Archive for the ‘Catblogging’ Category
Haven’t done a Catblogging entry for a while, so here’s one:
Not sure about when this happened. The photo seemsm to be making the rounds.
Used to post a Murdoc-style entry in the catblogging meme. Thought I’d put one up for old times’ sake.
The Pentagon is paying a contractor at least $900,000 to destroy old F-14s, a jet affectionately nicknamed “the turkey,” rather than sell the spares at the risk of their falling into the wrong hands, including Iran’s.
Within a workday, a $38 million fighter jet that once soared as a showpiece of U.S. airpower can be destroyed at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., the military’s “boneyard” for retired aircraft.
“There were things getting to the bad guys, so to speak,” said Tim Shocklee, founder and executive vice president of TRI-Rinse Inc. in St. Louis. “And one of the ways to make sure that no one will ever use an F-14 again is to cut them into little 2-by-2-foot bits.”
We want to keep unique F-14 components out of Iran’s hands. As the only other operator of the Tomcat, we have a chance to do that. As I noted back in March:
We’d much rather be facing Iranian F-14s instead of Iranian F-15s. (Now, now, Tomcatters…hear me out!)
What if the Shah had decided to buy the F-15 instead of the F-14? Sure, you could argue that the Tomcat has some advantages over the Eagle, and you’d have a point. But the bigger issue is that of maintenance and operation. The only reason any sort of “embargo” of spare parts to Iran has a prayer of working is because no one else in the world ever owned any F14s. Just about everyone has some F-15s at this point. Even if every nation which operates Eagles made a 100% effort to keep spare parts and knowledgeable personnel from falling into Iranian hands, the sheer scale of the installed base would make acquiring spares and even upgrades fairly easy. 1980 vintage Tomcats or more recent vintage (via upgrades and better maintenance) Eagles?
Despite the fact that we’d just as soon not have to tangle with Iranian Tomcats, the outcome of such encounters is far more certain than it would be against better-maintained Eagles with a larger number of effective support personnel.
We would have zero chance of keeping F-15 spares out of Iran.
Meanwhile, Pinch has some thoughts on Speed! as it applies to naval aviation.
Take a look at this early drawing of what would become the F-14 Tomcat:
Profile drawing of an early Tomcat concept. Note the very large single vertical fin and rudder and separate front and rear cockpit canopies. Generally, though, the overall planform very much resembles that of the eventual Tomcat configuration.
In case you get the History Channel and have the time and interest, tonight’s episode of Modern Marvels is “Tomcat Sunset” at 9pm ET…about everyone’s favorite retired naval interceptor. It’s 90 minutes long and looks like it will be repeated at
midnight 1am ET.
UPDATE: Incidentally, a show I’ve never watched before called “Shootout” is on right now. It’s pretty good. It appears to be about small-unit military engagements. The episode I’m watching is about the Makin Island raid in 1942. Pretty good.
Here are some stories on Saturday’s event:
A shot of an Independence Tomcat back in the day:
A flight deck crewman prepares to signal the pilot of an F-14 Tomcat aircraft for takeoff from the aircraft carrier USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62), during operations off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon. 6 Dec 1983
And Tom’s old friends the Rooskies:
An air-to-air right side view of a[n] F-14 Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron 51 (VF-51) as it intercepts a Soviet Tu-95 Bear-A/B aircraft. 15 Oct 1979
tap tap…is this thing on? Many thanks to Murdoc for offering up this opportunity to help fill in some possible quiet spots over the next few weeks or so. I’m looking forward to posting along with Nicholas, in a combined sort of way (as opposed to a joint sort of way), seeing how we’re allies and all. I have a little blog called Instapinch where you can usually find something associated with naval aviation, and for at least a few more months, the F-14 Tomcat. My 30 second bio? Tomcat RIO for about 8 years, still doing the reserve thing down near Naval Air Station Oceana, and currently hanging the civilian hat at a large multi-sided office building in the northern Virginia area. And with that out of the way, launch ‘em!
I spent the last few days back up in Long Island at a wonderful event hosted by the Northrop Grumman folks to mark THEIR farewell to the Tomcat, which is being retired after 33 years of service. I spent 90-92 up there in Calverton, their main aircraft assembly plant, on Navy orders as Operations Officer and part of the flight acceptance team for the F-14D program – Grumman would build the jet, their own test pilots would perform the first flight on the aircraft, then they’d give it to us and we’d fly a specific acceptance profile to check out all the systems. Those hops, as mundane as they sounded, could actually have a bit of fun in them. The British Airways/Air France Concorde was, of course, still flying back then, and they would begin to accelerate to their mach 2 crusing speed just southwest of our military operating area (MOA). As part of the radar check out, if our acceptance hop coincided with the Concorde scheduled departures, it was always fun to lock up the big beast and watch the speed readouts climb through the roof.
I’ll have a bit of a longer post over at the Instapinch on the events of these last few days soon, but in the meantime here is the Long Island Newsday link to there rather….paltry…coverage. I mean really, guys! Put some meat in the story! This isn’t a Hornet, fer cripes sake!
BTW, two Tomcats came up from Oceana for those two days – the first F-14s to grace those skies since the early-to-mid 90′s – thanks to Puck and his boys for bringing them (see pic).
—Posted by Pinch
I had a sun-setting-on-a-Tomcat picked out for this occasion, but I seem to have lost it with a hard drive failure. This one is close:
Instapinch has a Tomcat post, and he’s going to be in Oceana NAS today armed with a camera for the fly-in of VF-31 and VF-213 as the Roosevelt returns from her deployment. He promises to have pics, so be sure to keep an eye on his site.