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F-14 Tomcat Projects

Sundog

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I was wondering if anyone has any more information on the version of the Tomcat II shown in the image below? It's obviously stealthier than the standard version and has inlets similar to the F-22, but I was wondering if anyone here has all three views or any renderings or pictures of models of the version shown in the image. This is from an article in Flight Journal comparing the Super Hornet and the Tomcat.
 

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I believe borntokillagain's image is the Naval ATF variant that was under study for quite some time- that was a completely different lineage from the F-14 as it was to be based on what became the F-22 Raptor if I remember right.
 

TinWing

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borntokillagain said:
Is it anything like this one ?

Both Matej and Paralay have both uploaded that exact image.

What is the original source?
 

overscan

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Looks to me like one of Paralay's self-made drawings.
 

Sundog

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The aircraft shown in those images from Borntokillagain and Tinwing is one of Lockheed Martin's AF/X submissions, which was what followed the A-12 debacle then was replaced when the programme to research advanced STOVL concepts was morphed into the JSF programme and the Super Hornet Programme was added to replace the F-14 and the high end/long range segment of the attack. Well, sort of like that. How we got to the Super Hornet and Lightning II is incredibly convuluted to say the least.
 

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Picture posted by borntokillagain is Boeing/Lockheed/General Dynamics submission to A/F-X program called AFX-653. It is generally navalized F-22. 2-view drawing is from Paralay, more artists impressions and photo of the model here:

http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/stealth4.htm

And my commentary to the first picture - pure what if. Nothing more. Too much modifications to use efectivelly on Tomcat and too weired as a new design.
 

Sundog

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Actually, that design, the Tomcat II, is a Grumman design, and my guess is it was a new build version designed to use as much of the existing jigs, etc and the knowledge base of the Tomcat structurally. But it was sort of a cheap attempt to get into the stealth game in much the same way that the B-1B was an attempt to get a "Stealth Bomber" out of the original B-1A design.

In much the same way that there have been drawings of design studies of a "stealthier" Tornado from BAE with the reshaped forward fuselage and inlets.

BTW, thanks for re-informing me that that AF/X design is Boeing/L-M/GD. I kept looking at it thinking it's Boeing, no L-M, but the jpg's I have saved of it I labeled Lockheed without the other companies, my bad. Although, I do like the version that was just a Rockwell/Lockheed submission more, that's shown in the back of Jay Miller's Skunk Works book. Of course, there was also the G-D/L-M design that was another completely different design, all though all three were V-G.
 

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Grumman actually built a "stealthified" modified A-6 mockup, in an attempt to show stealth knowhow for the AX (A-12) program.
 

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I believe Sundog's illustration comes from an article Adm. (Rtd) Gilchrist wrote for Flight Journal pushing for the retention and upgrading of the F-14 rather than, or in addition to, proceding with the F/A-18E/F. Personally, I rather like the idea and would love to get a good, high-resolution, scan of that drawing.
 

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overscan said:
Looks to me like one of Paralay's self-made drawings.
Are you referring to the AF/X design graphic? I have a large format image of that same design that came from an old issue of Flight International (don't know what year, I got it from Deino a while back).
 

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elmayerle said:
Personally, I rather like the idea and would love to get a good, high-resolution, scan of that drawing.
For those, who ask .... Here it is !!!!!

Deino
 

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Deino said:
elmayerle said:
Personally, I rather like the idea and would love to get a good, high-resolution, scan of that drawing.
For those, who ask .... Here it is !!!!!

Deino
The "belly stores" look like JDAMs?

I thought this project would have predated the JDAM?
 

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Sundog said:
Although, I do like the version that was just a Rockwell/Lockheed submission more, that's shown in the back of Jay Miller's Skunk Works book.
BTW, I found it to be the best available explanation of "Northrop AX-17" rumours. Just take a look...
 

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Sundog

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The first one is actually from Air Forces Monthly (I think; That's an edit. I'm trying to find my pic of it) magazine in the UK, based on what they think crashed at Take-Off at Boscombe Down back in 1994. I think the aircraft is actually the Fast Mover that's been seen flying out of Area 51 and recently out of Yokata Air Base in Japan. The eye witnesses compared some of it's features to the YF-23, but I think they primarily meant the exhaust nozzles and I think the type, based on other reports, has the engines right next to each other on the centerline, not separate. I think it doesn't have serated trailing edges though, I think it's actual planform is more like what they had on the cover a few years ago of what was seen flying out of Area 51. I'll scan that in this weekend if someone doesn;t beat me to it ;)

The bottom is the AF/X design I was referring to upthread, as you note, that looks so cool to me. My guess is that's too new to be the AX-17 or what I think resulted as part of the ASTRA programme. Avaiation Week recently reported that location of the GE J-93's built for the XB-70 program are currently unknown. I think it's probably a good bet they are what power the ASTRA/AX_17, but that's just my guess. Although I think they may have been rebuilt with uprated turbine/fan technology. That's all just a guess on my part though.
 

elmayerle

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Deino said:
elmayerle said:
Personally, I rather like the idea and would love to get a good, high-resolution, scan of that drawing.
For those, who ask .... Here it is !!!!!

Deino
Gorgeous!! Thanks. Any chance of getting front and side views?
 

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The strong similarity to a variety of design incl. F-117, F-22 and F-14 clearly shows the lack of design work. The F-14 is not only since yesterday a very famous aircraft, hence every artist and expert showed "studies" of a new/enhanced Tomcat. The fact that they all sticked to the original configuration of the heavy Tomcat sometimes including its double crew and swept wings (both rather useless items for a clearly new-built), shows that it was more art than engineering at work. I wouldn't take any Super Tomcat study really serious. Of course Grumman always hoped to print money by selling something old to the Navy, but to my knowldge the Navy never particularly asked for something like a new Tomcat.
 

Sundog

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Well, I think the Tomcat II study was as feasible as the Super Hornet studies, since the Super Hornet was just a larger newer version of a proven configuration in the same way that the Tomcat II was and given that the Navy is replacing the two seat F-14 with the two seat F-18F, I think it shows they still see viability in the two seat fighter.
 

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The latest known variants of Tomcat were:

F-14D Quickstrike (APG-71 radar and new weapons as HARM, SLAM, etc.)
Super Tomcat 21 (redesigned front part of the aircraft, FLIR, single piece canopy...)
ASF-14 (Advanced Strike Fighter - completely redesigned Tomcat with some degree of stealth and new avionic equipment)

With the F-14D Quickstrike and ST21, already built Tomcats should be modified to this variants, but ASF-14 was completely new plane without that possibility.
 

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Super Tomcat 21 incorporated nav-FLIR & attack-FLIR, including Laser rangefinder/Laser designator, lower fuselage either side of the nose. Combat radius doubled over F-14D, extended glove vanes, larger tailplane, 25% greater lift, 15% lower landing speed. F110-GE=129 engine would allow Mach 1.3 supercruise with 4 AAMs. A single piece canaopy would cover an all new cockpit with multicolour MFDs, HMDs etc. Reduced radar cross section.

Attack Super Tomcat 21 incorporated the A-12 radar and had thicker outer wing panels to house more fuel.

ASF-14 was even more modified, with the winning ATF engine & advanced avionics.

David Baker "Feline Claws: The nine lives of the F-14" Air International
 

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Sorry for the gravedigging but does anyone here have a 3-View of the ASF-14?
 

F-14D

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There's some confusion about the various proposed advanced versions of the Tomcat.

F-14 Quickstrike (also called the "Block IV upgrade") was basically an F-14D with greater strike capability. Since the Tomcat-Ds APG-71 incorporated a number of common features with the F-15Es APG-70, the plan was to port over a good portion of the Strike Eagle's a/g software. The APG-71 had a bigger antenna and a more powerful transmitter than the APG-70 so it would have had greater range and resolution than the F-15Es. It would have Synthetic Aperture Radar like the F-15E, and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar, which the Strike Eagle lacked. Sea surface search would be developed as would terrain avoidance modes. Off the shelf nav/attack and laser rangefinder/designator pods would be added. There would also be some cockpit changes. Weapons testing and clearance trials would be undertaken for different types of a/g ordnance.

This would produce an aircraft superior to the Super Hornet in both fighter and strike roles, but would cost 1/22 as much to develop, since these would be enhancements to an existing aircraft, whereas the F/A-18E/F is essentially a new program. At equal production rates, a Quickstrike would cost about $2 millino more than a Hornet E/F.

Super Tomcat 21 was an outgrowth of earlier Tomcat 21 studies for a more affordable alternative to the Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter with greater strike capability. It would use the higher thrust GE F110-429 engines. It would also modify the wings to incorporate Fowler flaps and an increased chord leading edge slat to bring back the approach margin that had been used up by weight growth in the Tomcat over the years. The 9,000 lb. bringback capability of the -14D would be increased to 16,000 lbs (17,000 if you count the gun). Although the APG-71 would be retained, it would be enhanced and the radar output would be doubled from 10 Kw to 20. This, combined with the enormous antenna (36 in, possibly increasing to 40), would allow very long range and/or high resolution beyond other aircraft. The FLIR and sensor pods would be permanently mounted. All analog systems would be digitized and fly by wire would be an option, although not in the base design. The cockpits would be completely redesigned and there would be a one piece windscreen. It would also be capable of carrying larger conformal external fuel tanks

There would be structural enhancements for the ST-21's increased agility. The glove vanes, removed after the F-14A would still be gone, but the glove itself would be modified so that its shape would be that of the old glove withe the vanes extended. This is where the 2,000 lbs of fuel would go, along with a relocated IFF. ST-21 would have all-weather strike capability, even better than Quickstrike's and be an enormous advance in air-to-air.

Attack Super Tomcat 21 is essentially ST-21 with the priorities reversed. The IFF goes back to the nose, which allows 300 lbs. more fuel to be carried.. The TCS and IRST would be made removable and a Forward Air Controller beacon mode would be added to the radar. The pylons under the nacelles would be modified so that they could carry weapons as well as fuel. Although the APG-71 is retained, the option would be there to put in A-12 avionics, if the Navy was willing to fund it.

Both Super Tomcat 21 and its attack sibling would cost less to develop than the Super Hornet, although their production cost would be more. Also, existing Tomcats with sufficient airframe life could be rebuilt into ST or AST-21s, alongside new production.

ASF-14 would be a Tomcate derivative in ATF class with new avionics, some borrowed from A-12 and ATF, some carried forward, and some custom developed. Because the design of this aircraft would "lock" a few years after the F-22's in some ways its (along with ST and AST-21's) avionics would be more advanced. It would have provision for a conformal radar in the leading edge of the wing, resulting in a different outer wing panel. It would use engines from the ATF and would also incorporate 3D thrust vectoring (F-22 is 2D, only 3D in service is on SU-30MKI). Although you could not rebuild earlier F-14s into ASF-14, is development cost would still be less than that of Super Hornet. However, it would cost substantially more.

That would be the problem with ASF-14. It would cost twice what ST-21 would cost but would not offer twice the warfighting capability. It would be stealthier, but also heavier and draggier, which would eat up the extra thrust. So, even Grumman wasn't too enthusiastic about ASF-14.
 

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F-14D said:
That would be the problem with ASF-14. It would cost twice what ST-21 would cost but would not offer twice the warfighting capability. It would be stealthier, but also heavier and draggier, which would eat up the extra thrust. So, even Grumman wasn't too enthusiastic about ASF-14.
True perhaps, but it would have offered scads more capability than the Superbug or any reasonably priced carrier capable plane. And therin lies the rub. It would have been a significant increase in capability as the F22 is not carrier capable.

I suspect this might have been a good alternative to the F22. Stealthy, carrier capable and with good bombing capability.

Feh....
 

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I wonder how agile would the ASF-14 be compared to aircraft that are in use today.If they added ATF engines,3D vectoring,digital fly-by-wire there would definitely be a performance jump,but i can't help wonder would that jump be significant enough for modern fleet defence.This plane would supercruise,and probably have better acceleration,range,speed then many of its potential rivals,but it would still be heavy and its wingloading would probably still be significant compared to others.Or am I wrong?
In the strike role it seems superb to the Super Hornet.At least on paper i does...
 

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Maki said:
I wonder how agile would the ASF-14 be compared to aircraft that are in use today.If they added ATF engines,3D vectoring,digital fly-by-wire there would definitely be a performance jump,but i can't help wonder would that jump be significant enough for modern fleet defence.This plane would supercruise,and probably have better acceleration,range,speed then many of its potential rivals,but it would still be heavy and its wingloading would probably still be significant compared to others.Or am I wrong?
In the strike role it seems superb to the Super Hornet.At least on paper i does...
Depends how you look at it. Since the Flanker isn't a choice your options are Tomcat, Super Hornet, and F-35. Now imagine that stealth Tomcat with 3D TVC F119s (or F135s), a top of the line AESA APG-XX, NCADE, AIM-120D and AIM-9X, etc and the air defense bubble gets pushed out much further than the Super Hornet can do.
 

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I don't doubt that in BVR combat an improved stealthy Tomcat wouldn't be effective.What worries me is its performance in WVR .I know that today WVR is rare,but there are situations in which it could happen,especially in high tension crisses in which no official war is declared.So i wonder would the 3D vectoring,higher thrust,fly-by-wire & structual improvements make the Tomcat agile enough to go against the Flankers,Rafales or any other more modern airframe.What would the g-limit be on this improved airframe? Would the turning capabilities improve drasticlly or would the performance stay as it is do to the incressed weight of the added gadgets.But then again if the aim-9x is that good as they say,then high off-bore cueing sights for the pilot (and maybe an extra for the RIO) would probably be enough for the Cat to play ball. Other then this WVR scenario,and probably maintanace do to its greater complexity,the advanced versions of the Tomcat seem as a much more logical choice then the Superbug.
 

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Regarding an advanced Tomcat's capability "close-in":

The F-14D was more agile overall than the F15 and F/A-18, and would regularly fight F-16s to a draw close in. The ST-21 and AST-21s would have had significantly greater agility than that, but whether they would have matched the Typhoon is uncertain, since not much data was disclosed on high AoA performance (the Tomcat has good high AoA performance and good high AoA maneuverability when fitted with the British Digital Flight control System) They would have relied on superior avionics and off-boresight capability in sensors and weapons more than ultra agility, since if you can get a lock, you can build far more agility into a missile than any aircraft could hope to achieve. They probably would not have been able to match an F-22 close-in, and so by extension an SU-30MKI, since the Air Force is at least slightly conceding that the latter may match the F-22 close in in agility. Because its avionics would have been frozen "later" than most of the other aircraft, the advanced versions of the Tomcat would attempt top exploit that here as well.

Grumman itself said that the stealthier ASF-14 would not have a dramatic increase in performance except at very high AoA over the Super Tomcat 21 versions

The Tomcat D was planned to use AIM-120 (in fact it was the first aircraft to fire one) and AIM-9X with helmet sights, but these were never fitted, partly to keep funding available for the Super Bug.

Interestingly enough, although the F-22 uses AIM-9X, it is not yet scheduled to have helmet mounted sights, USAF's position being that no aircraft will ever get close enough where they would be needed.
 

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F-14D said:
Regarding an advanced Tomcat's capability "close-in":

The F-14D was more agile overall than the F15 and F/A-18, and would regularly fight F-16s to a draw close in.
Seeing how that is FAR from the general concensus do you have any cites backing your claim?
 

F-14D

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"
Seeing how that is FAR from the general concensus do you have any cites backing your claim?"

I don't know if discussions of F-14 vs. other current fighters' agility is really germane to this forum, but if the moderator leaves it on, I'll address it this once. Notice that I specified the F-14D. That was for a reason, although most of this would apply to the F-14B as well.

A little background: Most comparisons have been made between other fighters and the F-14A. Although more of those were built than any other version, it was not originally planned that that version would go into production. This version was only planned to number 13 to 69 aircraft, to develop the aircraft and get into service while awaiting the arrival of the (original) B model which would feature the actual production configurations and especially the PW401 engine, which would be a more powerful naval derivative of the Advanced Technology Engine, which would appear in USAF service as the F100. However, USAF accepted their version at a level of reliability that was unacceptable to the Navy and the USN couldn't afford to bring their version up to an acceptable level alone, so they chose to stay with the awful TF30 used in the A model and not do the enhancements of the B.

The F-14 airframe was always designed around use of two 27,000 lb thrust engines. The TF30 only put out 20,900 lbs. This causes even more problems than what appears a t first glance; a 23% drop from expected thrust hurts a design far more than an extra 23% would enhance it. Consider the impact on Typhoon if its engines only put out 15,500bs of thrust instead of 20,000. The tunnel area between the engines has some unusual benefits. The fuselage of the F-14 acts much like a lifting body as airflow is channeled between the two widely separated engines. In fact the F-14 can be thought of as a lifting body with three nacelles (2 engines and crew/systems nacelle) attached, plus wings. The 565 ft2 of the wings is augmented by an additional 443 ft2 of the lifting body for a total effective lifting area of 1008 ft2. This extra lift is available in all flight configurations, but is most effective when the wings sweep back, and in a sense lowers the wing loading to a value less than would be expected than by just looking at the regular wing area. The problem is, this also creates drag, which the TF30s don't have enough thrust to overcome, so the tighter turns facilitated by the lifting body can't be sustained in the A. Although the A accelerates and climbs real well, it's nowhere near as good as what the plane would be cable of with the right thrust.

Additionally, the TF30s were a disaster. In air combat maneuvering, the pilot not only has to fly the plane, he has to monitor the engines to insure they aren't going to quit. He also has to move the throttles carefully, otherwise the TF30s might quit. Finally, maneuvers that might prevent air from flowing down the intakes smoothly (high AoA, rapid changes in direction) have to be handled with care so the TF30s don't quit. Of course, they don't always quit when exposed to these flight regimes--sometimes they blow up. As a result, A models have to be "held back" from using their full agility lest they become gliders or worse. With the arrival of the superb F110 engines, the limitations no longer apply, the engines can be flown with abandon, and the Tomcat has the thrust for which its airframe was designed. In addition, with the incorporation of the Digital Flight Control System (thank you, UK) which replaces the original system planned for the original B, the Tomcat could now maneuver at the high AoAs of which it was capable. There wasn't much point in spending too much on this before since attempting to maneuver at high AoAs with the TF30s could end badly.

The Tomcat wasn't more agile at everything, but no aircraft is. At comparable thrust to weight ratios, its always turned tighter than the F-15, but couldn't sustain the performance before the F110s. (Side note: In the Iranian flyoff, the Tomcat pilot kept burning fuel on the ground until his thrust/weight matched that of the F-15 and then outflew it.) It accelerates/decelerates very fast. It out turns the F-15 and F/A-18, has better high AoA capability than the F-15 and -16 (but nobody of its generation beats the Hornet at low speed/high AoA). Thanks to the VG wing and fuselage, the Tomcat can outturn other aircraft at supersonic speeds. I believe a D will out-accelerate all the others over a large airspeed range. Multiple close-in "fights", both sanctioned and spontaneous between F-16s and Tomcat B/Ds tend to come out as draws. With the A, although it outmaneuvered all previous fighters, unless the Falcon pilot made a mistake, close-in the F-16 almost always won.

One of the other reasons you didn't hear much over the years about what the Tomcat could do was because of the strong Hornet lobby within naval aviation. It's no accident that at its last public appearance at NAS Oceana the F-14 was restricted from demonstrating its prowess and was only allowed to make a few passes always accompanied by Hornets, nor was it an accident that at its retirement ceremony, the Tomcat was flanked by two Super Hornets and was only allowed to takeoff and fly away, no demo, no last "beat up" of the airfield.


Again, my statement was not that the Tomcat B/D was better at Everything, but that it was more agile overall than the -15 and -18. Sensor-wise, it definitely was better than all of them and its two crew design gave tit a great advantage in the many vs. many arena. Could go into more detail, but this post is already too long and it's really outside the realm of what this forum is about.
 

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Matej said:
The latest known variants of Tomcat were:

F-14D Quickstrike (APG-71 radar and new weapons as HARM, SLAM, etc.)
Super Tomcat 21 (redesigned front part of the aircraft, FLIR, single piece canopy...)
ASF-14 (Advanced Strike Fighter - completely redesigned Tomcat with some degree of stealth and new avionic equipment)

With the F-14D Quickstrike and ST21, already built Tomcats should be modified to this variants, but ASF-14 was completely new plane without that possibility.

Quickstrike ported over some of the software from the F-15E, added some new modes to the APG-71added more a/g weaponry, most of which was scheduled to go on the Tomcat anyway until Dick Cheney canceled the program, a few display changes and off-the-shelf FLIR, laser and other sensors and designators. It would have been available quickly and cheaply. It was designed to meet the Navy's fighter needs for the foreseeable future as well as provide long range strike after the cancellation of the A-12 until the AX-A/FX arrived.

ST-21 was offered as an alternative to the NATF and had substantially changed avionics, new lift devices on the wings (Fowler flaps), revised wing root/glove vane area (although no glove vane), relocated IFF, totally revised glass cockpit and updated avionics, larger conformal fuel tanks than F-14D. It would not be capable of using AIM-54 because it was expected that AAAM would be operational by the time it entered service, although if AAAM was canceled, AIM-54C or later capability cold be put back in. It would have full all-weather air-to-ground capability as a secondary mission

There was also an Attack ST-21 which was the ST-21 with the priorities reversed. The IRST and TCS would be removable, the IFF relocated back to the nose and the space used for more internal fuel, and there would be other functionality built in for greater strike capability. Some of the A-12's avionics might have been used.

ASF would be a much more dramatic departure, including even more advanced avionics, newer GE engines and vectored thrust. Even Grumman, though, was unsure that the performance gained would be worth the cost of ASF-14 vs. starting with a totally "clean" sheet of paper.
 

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The famous Tomcat 21 model is on display at The Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. Seems to have lost a couple Mark 84s on the way there though. I'm surprised there aren't many 3 views or more concept art floating around the net considering all the Super Tomcat-Super Hornet flame wars.
 

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Very nice. Did you take them? I don't suppose we can get a slightly higher resolution image?
 

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Pyrrhic victory said:
The famous Tomcat 21 model is on display at The Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. Seems to have lost a couple Mark 84s on the way there though. I'm surprised there aren't many 3 views or more concept art floating around the net considering all the Super Tomcat-Super Hornet flame wars.
One thing I've been trying to find for a while are pictures of the Super Tomcat 21 cockpits. Only Aviation Week, as far as I know has ever published pictures, and then only small ones in their news sections.

A redundant reminder: Super Tomcat 21 was never intended to be an alternative to Super Hornet (which didn't even exist when it was first proposed). It was proposed as a cheaper alternative to NATF. The alternative to Super Hornet was F-1D Quickstrike (sometimes referred to a "Block IV". Super Tomcat 21 would have cost much more to develop than Quickstrike (although less than Super Hornet). It remains, The Road Not Taken".
 

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F-14D said:
A redundant reminder: Super Tomcat 21 was never intended to be an alternative to Super Hornet (which didn't even exist when it was first proposed).
The Super Bug ancestor Hornet 2000 was basically a contemporary of Super Tomcat 21, wasn't it?
 

F-14D

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TomS said:
F-14D said:
A redundant reminder: Super Tomcat 21 was never intended to be an alternative to Super Hornet (which didn't even exist when it was first proposed).
The Super Bug ancestor Hornet 2000 was basically a contemporary of Super Tomcat 21, wasn't it?
Hornet 2000 was first mooted in 1987 an attempt to convince Europe to abandon Eurofighter in favor of an F/A-18 derivative. Tomcat 21 was started about a year later. Super Tomcat 21 was a result of feedback from the fleet and was not constrained by the Tomcat 21 cap of $ 1 billion for R&D. It was intended to be far more capable than what was expected of Hornet 2000, and was aimed at a different market.
 

Lampshade111

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Any concepts of the proposed ASF Tomcat? I would agree that a "clean sheet" design like the NATF or A/F-X would probably be better than such a radical upgrade.
 

F-14D

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Lampshade111 said:
Any concepts of the proposed ASF Tomcat? I would agree that a "clean sheet" design like the NATF or A/F-X would probably be better than such a radical upgrade.
ASF-14 used the Tomcat's basic aerodynamic shape but was a far more radical proposal than Super Tomcat 21. The latter was intended to leverage as much of the Navy's Tomcat investment as possible while the former jettisoned a lot of that and substituted the architecture of the Joint Integrated Avionics Working Group. Other users of that were to be the ATF, A-12 and RAH-66. It would be pure fly by wire and have provision for a conformal radar in the wing leading edge. It might have axisymmetric thrust vectoring nozzles but this was iffy as Navy felt F-14D and ST-21 already had enough dogfighting capability and they were more interested in slewing multiple sensors faster (HMS, for example) and putting more performance into the missiles. It would retain all previous strike capability. ASF-14 would be stealthier than ST-21, but it would also be heavier and draggier (necessitating the use of ATF engines), and would have little performance advantage over Super Tomcat 21. All ASF-14s would have to be new build, you couldn't remanufacture earlier Tomcats like you could with Super Tomcat 21. Although its R&D was estimated to still be less than the Super Hornet's, it would be twice that of Super Tomcat 21. Frankly, when they saw that, both Grumman and the Navy lost intrest. The better solution would have been to pursue a clean sheet design, which would have been A/FX, which was the plane the Navy really needed.
 

sferrin

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F-14D said:
TomS said:
F-14D said:
A redundant reminder: Super Tomcat 21 was never intended to be an alternative to Super Hornet (which didn't even exist when it was first proposed).
The Super Bug ancestor Hornet 2000 was basically a contemporary of Super Tomcat 21, wasn't it?
Hornet 2000 was first mooted in 1987 an attempt to convince Europe to abandon Eurofighter in favor of an F/A-18 derivative. Tomcat 21 was started about a year later. Super Tomcat 21 was a result of feedback from the fleet and was not constrained by the Tomcat 21 cap of $ 1 billion for R&D. It was intended to be far more capable than what was expected of Hornet 2000, and was aimed at a different market.
IIRC Hornet 2000 was to be a higly modified Hornet as an interim aircraft. There were 3 or 4 configurations of varying degrees of modification to the standard F/A-18. They chose one of the more radical upgrades and this became the Super Hornet.
 
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