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Thread: F-14 TOMCAT Sighting

  1. #1
    Member Rick G's Avatar
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    Default F-14 TOMCAT Sighting

    Does anyone know how many F-14 TOMCATS may still be flying? I know the U.S. NAVY officially retired them from active combat duty some time ago.

    I sighted an F-14 the other day, flying low and slow, the swing wings were extended out to the fully forward position, as it appeared to be headed in the direction of the Austin airport. (Texas) Whether it actually landed at Austin, I do not know.

    And no I'm not crazy and wasn't seeing things- I know the difference in appearance between an F-14 and say, an F-15 EAGLE or an FA-18 HORNET. This WAS an F-14 TOMCAT. And I know it wasn't an F-111 fighter-bomber. I know the F-111's had a single vertical tail fin. This was an F-14 with twin vertical tail fins.

    I presume what I saw was maybe an aircraft that has been preserved for use on the airshow circuit, perhaps in private hands owned by some organization? Is anyone flying any F-14's on the airshow circuit these days???

    Or, perhaps this was a converted F-14 target drone aircraft, being piloted in-transit to a sight where it will meet its final doom as a target drone? Does anyone know if F-14's are now being converted into target drones?

    Or, perhaps it was an aircraft now being employed by the military or some company, serving in some sort of research capacity?

    Anyways, it was quite a surprise and a thrill to see an F-14 in flight once again. I figure this may be the last one I ever see in the air. A stroke of luck.
    Last edited by Rick G; 06-28-2015 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Spelling corrections

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    Dutch ....... ErwinS's Avatar
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    Think you were wrong. Really no F-14's are flying in de States anymore.
    “The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.”

    Erwin


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    Member Rick G's Avatar
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    No, as I said above, there was no mistaking this was an F-14. It's purpose surely would have had to be one of my aforementioned thoughts above: Possibly an aircraft dedicated for airshow use, or a target drone being flown in transit, or, perhaps a research aircraft.

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    Dutch ....... ErwinS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
    No, as I said above, there was no mistaking this was an F-14. It's purpose surely would have had to be one of my aforementioned thoughts above: Possibly an aircraft dedicated for airshow use, or a target drone being flown in transit, or, perhaps a research aircraft.
    Then you have seen a real scoop. But still it would be way in the news in the aviation community if it is true.

    As far as I know the F-14's and spare parts were scrapped with high prio to prevent Iran from getting parts from the black market.
    “The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.”

    Erwin


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    Member Rick G's Avatar
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    Yes, certainly something very out of the ordinary or maybe something "clandestine" going on.

    Another possibility I just thought of is perhaps this was some sort of a "ferry" flight- maybe the plane was being ferried on a one time / last time flight so it could be delivered to an aircraft museum some where?

    Perhaps one of the other board members here will read this thread and have some knowledge of this.

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    Enthusiasts with lots of money fly model F-14 aircraft. I saw one fly at the model airport near Thermal in California and they really look and sound like the real thing.
    A search on Google will bring up videos including this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFHBUom2SA

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    Could it perhaps have been a Tornado? The Luftwaffe have a few stationed at Holloman AFB for training.
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    Member Rick G's Avatar
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    Oops, sorry, it's been a while since I visited.

    Thanks Peter.

    No, not a Tornado. The Tornado has a single vertical tail fin.

    My sighting had twin vertical tail fins, a'la F-14.

    I am aware however that foreign Tornados have been visiting here in the U.S., on training missions.

    I've been trying to research to see if any aircraft museums down this way have recently taken delivery of an F-14 Tomcat for museum display, but so far I am coming up empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
    Oops, sorry, it's been a while since I visited.

    Thanks Peter.

    No, not a Tornado. The Tornado has a single vertical tail fin.

    My sighting had twin vertical tail fins, a'la F-14.

    I am aware however that foreign Tornados have been visiting here in the U.S., on training missions.

    I've been trying to research to see if any aircraft museums down this way have recently taken delivery of an F-14 Tomcat for museum display, but so far I am coming up empty.
    Palm Springs Air Museum has a Tomcat that was delivered by truck. The Navy strips out the engines, radar, ordnance, and any other valuable, dangerous, or classified components (demilitarize) before delivery to museums. The aircraft is still owned by the navy but is far from flyable. http://palmspringsairmuseum.org/aircrafts.htm

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    I think any other F-14 were destroyed so no part could be smuggled to Iran, right ?

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