What if, Grumman went with a fixed wing for the Tomcat

Arjen

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Indeed it is, I apologize for my harshness. It was the result of a rush of unattributed material in other threads, the low point being an image from a gamers' site, presented as an example of which direction AFV-development might take.
The diorama image fooled me too, compliments to its maker.

Do provide sources, though :)
 

helmutkohl

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Indeed it is, I apologize for my harshness. It was the result of a rush of unattributed material in other threads, the low point being an image from a gamers' site, presented as an example of which direction AFV-development might take.
The diorama image fooled me too, compliments to its maker.

Do provide sources, though :)
i do my best ;)
 

Mirage4000

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yup its a very great model! Iran never received F-16s

but I remember back in the days this image floated around
iiaf-jpg.98549
The Iranian Tomcats have a few nice pictures well not with F-16s but other interesting things


1623356978991.png

These are two of my favorite aircraft, and with little insight, are related to the topic.

The MiG-29 is a mini Tomcat with single seat crew, fixed wing.

1623357254159.png

If I am honest I see the MiG-29 as the fixed wing Tomcat variant just with better design in terms of aerodynamics.

Leading edge root extensions to reduce wing size and increase lift, fully ventral intake position to enhance air suction under the wings to improve AoA.


The wing planform of the F-16 is effectively that of a cropped delta with a 40-degree leading edge sweep. The wing has 4 percent thickness/chord ratio, and the aerofoil section is 64A204. The wing structure incorporates five spars and 11 ribs. Upper and lower wing skins are one-piece machined components. From left to right, the wing gradually blends with the fuselage, making it impossible to tell where the wing begins and the fuselage ends. This wing/body blending made it possible to increase the internal volume, enabling more fuel could be carried. In fact, 31 percent of the loaded weight of an F-16 is fuel, accounting for the long range of the Fighting Falcon. Gradually increasing the thickness of the wing in the region of the root resulted in a stiffer wing than would have been possible with a conventional design.
In forward-to-aft planform, the wing leading edge blends smoothly with the fuselage by means of leading edge strakes. At high angles of attack, these strakes create vortices which maintain the energy of the boundary air layer flowing over the inner section of the wing. This delays wing root stalling and maintains directional stability at low speeds and high angles of attack. Vortex energy also provides a measure of forebody lift, reducing the need for drag-inducing tail trim. By keeping the inner-wing boundary layer energized, the strakes allowed the wing area to be kept smaller, saving about 500 pounds in weight.

The strake also increases the total lifting area, but it is usually not included in the reference planform area

Nose strakes offer significantly improved lateral/ directional performance with a minimum increase in wetted area and little effect on longitudinal characteristics. Forebody strakes provide beneficial linearlization of the pitching moment curve, improved maneuver lift, and in some cases, improved lateral/directional characteristics. Although the application of the strakes is highly configuration-dependent and optimization will undoubtedly require tunnel testing, initial design guidelines have been developed and several recommendations can be forwarded. Design guidelines have been developed that
Aerodynamic of Forebody and Nose Strakes Based on F-16 Wind Tunnel Test Experience Volume I: Summary and Analysis C. W. Smith, J. N. Ralston, and H. W. Mann CONTRACT NASl-1

Grumman never saw what Sukhoi and GD did see

. 1623358281079.png 1623357500247.png

The Su-27 was to my personal opinion the truly enhanced Tomcat


1623357600391.png

The Su-33 had similar weight to an F-14 but instead of using a bigger wing they used canards and reduced LEX, higher power Al-31, basically Su-33 is the fixed wing Tomcat.
1623357763886.png

I think in the Russian design school F-14 really influenced their design school.


1623357844799.png

I think F-14 still lives in the Su-57, but as a 1970s kid I still will consider the Tomcat my favorite aircraft, and the ghost riders camo as my favorite camo, long life to the F-14 the coolest aircraft ever
 
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SSgtC

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The MiG-29 is a mini Tomcat with single seat crew, fixed wing.
The MiG-29 is in no way, shape, or form a mini-Tomcat. They were designed for completely different missions and roles. You really need to stop comparing the two. The aircraft that's actually comparable to it, is the F/A-18A and C models.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Can you provide any substantive evidence that the F-14's variable geometry wing had a very high need for maintenance? Any source documentation? Do you know what the top 10 maintenance drivers were?

Protip: source documentation (not endlessly repeated web comments) will build your case.
The last flight of the F-14 Tomcat in US service took place October 4, 2006, with the final flight retirement ceremony on September 21, 2006. Two F-14’s were readied for the ceremonial final flight; after the primary plane experiencing mechanical problems, a backup was flown instead. The failure was a reminder of one of the reasons for the retirement, high maintenance costs. The F-14 Tomcat was officially retired on September 22, 2006 at Naval Air Station Oceana. The F-14 fleet is mothballed at the Davis-Monthan “Boneyard.”

Grumman F-14D Tomcat – Prairie Aviation Museum

this is a museum of aviation thus you can consider it a good source.

Now this is an official source consider here they say money matters early in the F-14 program Grumman was delivering an overpriced jet and not achieving the goals upon the budget they promised here are some extracts


A valid schedule variance could be determined by comparing the planned value of work scheduled versus the planned value of work accomplished (PVWA). Likewise, a valid cost variance could be determined by comparing the planned value of work accomplished with the actual cost incurred to complete this same accomplished work. For example, assume that the contractor scheduled $50 worth of planned work but only accomplished $30 worth of this planned work at an actual cost of $100. In this case, an unfavorable cost variance of $70 (actual costs - PVWA) and an unfavorable schedule variance of $20 (PVWS - PVWA) would result. However, in the CASSR this condition would be reflected as an unfavorable current variance of only $50 (actual costs - PVWS). Further distortion would arise if PVWS and actual costs were the same. For example, if PVWS is $100, PVWA is $30, and the'actual cost for this work is $100, then the current variance as reported in the CASSR would be zero (PVVWS - actual costs), while there should be both a $70 unfavorable cost variance (actual costs - PVWA) and a $70 unfavorable schedule variance (PVWS - PVWA). We therefore believe that the current variances as cited in the Cost Account and Summary Status Report are not meaningful.

The estimated cost progression of the program is as follows: Date Quantity Estimate Unit Cost Jan. 13, 1969* 469 $6, 166 million $13.1 million June 30, 1969 469 $6,373 million $13.6 million June 30, 1970 722 $8,279 million $11.5 million June 30, 1971 313 $5,212 million $16.6 million


See that originally they were going to purchase 469 aircraft at a price of 13.1 million dollars but by 1971 it went down to 313 aircraft at a price of 16.6 million dollars.


this of course inpacted the F-14B since they say
Most of the total net cost reduction is due to the change in quantity planned for production. The increases in estimated costs were primarily attributed to inflation, the crash of the first aircraft, and development problems on the advanced technology engine. The unit cost has risen primarily due to the development cost being appropriated over fewer aircraft.

I was there for the arrival of the F-14 that the Prairie Aviation Museum was receiving - had a spot on the control tower balcony and was pumped for the opportunity. The aircraft made one pass then had a partial electrical failure which led to an immediate landing. Bummer....

Enjoiy the Day! Mark
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The MiG-29 is a mini Tomcat with single seat crew, fixed wing.
The MiG-29 is in no way, shape, or form a mini-Tomcat. They were designed for completely different missions and roles. You really need to stop comparing the two. The aircraft that's actually comparable to it, is the F/A-18A and C models.
He means in terms of layout (widely spaced engines, boat-tail) not roles. F-18 has tightly packed engines.
 

Mirage4000

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The MiG-29 is a mini Tomcat with single seat crew, fixed wing.
The MiG-29 is in no way, shape, or form a mini-Tomcat. They were designed for completely different missions and roles. You really need to stop comparing the two. The aircraft that's actually comparable to it, is the F/A-18A and C models.
in terms of mission, yes you are correct.

But in terms of basic aerodynamic layout, it is a F-14 with blended F-16 aerodynamics.

Originally Grumman claimed the Variable geometry needed less area to generate more lift, that was correct the F-14 with Variable geometry wing reduced wing size with relation to the fixed wing on the F-14 studies.

However on F-16, the strake increased lift reducing wing size


1623362177358.png



1623362225382.png

On the MiG-29 you see F-14 features, widely separated engines with a flattened fuselage fairing beaver tail, same type of intake, with multishock ramps, twin tails.

On F-14 they went Variable geometry for take off and mainly Landing performance, however they added mechanical complexities with glove vanes and pivot and wing center section wing box this added substantial weight.
1623362820571.png
On MiG-29 the LEX added lateral/directional stability gains and increase lift with relatively smaller wetted area as on F-16.

It means the strake increased lift without a substantial wing area increase.

Consider F-14 at empty weight is 7000 kg heavier than MiG-29 but it is only 2 meters longer, Su-27 is longer but lighter than F-14 at empty weight. almost less than 2000kg, and MiG-29K is much lighter.
 
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Archibald

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I remember at whatifmodellers some talented modelers mixed 1/72 scale Phantoms, Tomcat, Eagle, Hornet... which I could have more time to make such mixes, throwing MiG-29 and Su-27 into the lot.
 

Gobloxx

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lets settle to agree to disagree.
We're going to have to since I'm really getting tired of the shifting goal posts
Let me explain my self better.

The F-14 belongs to the late 1960s early 1970s aviation trend of using Variable Geometry wings.
In example we have MiG-23, Mirage G8, Tornado, Su-17/20/22, Su-24, F-111, Tu-22M, B-1B and later Tu-160


Variable geometry wings do have a problem, they are difficult to maintain because they are fixed to the fuselage with a rod or pivot
View attachment 658111

this structure requieres more maintainance, than a regular wing


View attachment 658112

So while technically a F-14 with better engines could compete with F-15, its maintainance time and availability was going to be lower.


Let us remember the Russians built close to 4000 MiG-23M/ML fighters, but since the 1990s, all were decomissioned in most countries, even in Russia.

To answer that you have to see, the F-14 as well as the MiG-23 were fighters that means with better engines in both aircraft, the structure was going to be put into more stress more and more time.

On Panavia Tornado since it is a interceptor well that was not as bad, on Su-24 or Tu-22M for example that was no trouble they are not dogfighters, so maintainance demands are of lower fatigue.

Early MiG-23s suffered troubles with the wing and were limited to lower G forces than late MiG-23s.

So at the end the decission by Grumman to use variable geometry wings did backfire at them.

Like the MiG-23 they needed to retire it.

On B-1B you have tiny canards near the nose of the aircraft, Su-33 took the idea for controlability and ride on Su-34.
on B-1B once the wings swept back the tiny canards help the ride and controllability.

If you ask me from my personal opinion what F-15 could had replaced the F-14 i would have said this, but this flew many years later

View attachment 658113

So to finish is not that the F-14D was not a excellent fighter, but it was too expensive and at the end affordability is a factor.

On F-14A the TF-30 was due to affordability, and the factor despite the tomcat is called a dogfighter, it real niche was of an interceptor, as such was the less agile of the teen fghters due to high maintainance, so due to high maintainance it was better to fly the F-14 as an interceptor and not as a dogfighter.
F-18E then was a better and more affordable solution; by using TF-30 the Variable geometry allowed lower drag so it compete with F-15 despite having lower thrust.

But the reality is in retrospect variable geometry wing is the reason F-14 was retired and we still have F-15EX going to be manufacture in the 2020s despite F-14 flew for the first time only a year ahead of F-15.

It is sad but it is the truth



“Back in the 1960s there was a need to vary the airplane’s geometry,” says Captain Don Gaddis of Naval Air Systems Command, a former Tomcat pilot and current program manager for its replacement, Northrop Grumman’s F/A-18 Hornet. On the F/A-18, “we’ve learned how to optimize the wing design so that the aircraft can carry out its functions” without changing geometry.

I was an engineer on the Kitty Hawk when VF-154 was still there. I was always an avid aviation fan so I spent a lot of free around the cats, I did a lot of "hook up" jobs for the squadron and since I was the number 1 attack team leader for the Flying Squad I was the most junior and most easily accessible person who could sign off and hold training for damage control qualifications. AND I'm the only engineer, I was an HT to have ever worked on the Tomcat doing so as an HT, but that is a story for another time. While I saw them work on many things and the entire underside was drip pan against drip pan the wing wasn't something they seemed to have to work on outside of basic checks and PMS. I've also seen VF-154 F-14a's go up against and DOMINATE SU-24's and 27's but that would also be a story for another time.
 

Gobloxx

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Inappropriate Language
One of the designs for the Tomcat replaced the swing wings with a fixed wing. Such as the 303F

What if, in this alternate history.. Grumman decided to go with a fixed wing instead of a swing wing.
Then the question becomes

  • How would its performance characteristics be like with a fixed wing?
  • Would it be less maintenance intensive?
  • Cheaper to operate?
  • Would more or less countries have interest in it?
  • Would it last longer in service?
  • Would it have better payload capabilities?


1395473d1437846091-defender-fleet-grumman-f-14-tomcat-303f1.jpg
AV8PQ68PH0u4-wqNL9tjEu--E6OUIDsrm76i9NQsvNiwrh_D3Wwi0tIjK_g1GWnQvp5RNRhbq4MnQWcqFzvKIDQJ_1d2PTg
Let's go a different direction with this, the Tomcat keeps it's iconic wing all the politicians who put petty bs ahead of national defense all happen to be in the same crashing aircraft... The F-14A is built as originally intended which is pretty much a D but with AWG-9. The chair force is told to sit down and shut up as they were about to get blanket partied by the other branches. The F401 is a success and the fixed wing Tomcat optimized for land becomes the F-15....
 
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AVROE

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yup its a very great model! Iran never received F-16s

but I remember back in the days this image floated around
iiaf-jpg.98549
The Iranian Tomcats have a few nice pictures well not with F-16s but other interesting things


View attachment 658740

These are two of my favorite aircraft, and with little insight, are related to the topic.

The MiG-29 is a mini Tomcat with single seat crew, fixed wing.

View attachment 658741

If I am honest I see the MiG-29 as the fixed wing Tomcat variant just with better design in terms of aerodynamics.

Leading edge root extensions to reduce wing size and increase lift, fully ventral intake position to enhance air suction under the wings to improve AoA.


The wing planform of the F-16 is effectively that of a cropped delta with a 40-degree leading edge sweep. The wing has 4 percent thickness/chord ratio, and the aerofoil section is 64A204. The wing structure incorporates five spars and 11 ribs. Upper and lower wing skins are one-piece machined components. From left to right, the wing gradually blends with the fuselage, making it impossible to tell where the wing begins and the fuselage ends. This wing/body blending made it possible to increase the internal volume, enabling more fuel could be carried. In fact, 31 percent of the loaded weight of an F-16 is fuel, accounting for the long range of the Fighting Falcon. Gradually increasing the thickness of the wing in the region of the root resulted in a stiffer wing than would have been possible with a conventional design.
In forward-to-aft planform, the wing leading edge blends smoothly with the fuselage by means of leading edge strakes. At high angles of attack, these strakes create vortices which maintain the energy of the boundary air layer flowing over the inner section of the wing. This delays wing root stalling and maintains directional stability at low speeds and high angles of attack. Vortex energy also provides a measure of forebody lift, reducing the need for drag-inducing tail trim. By keeping the inner-wing boundary layer energized, the strakes allowed the wing area to be kept smaller, saving about 500 pounds in weight.

The strake also increases the total lifting area, but it is usually not included in the reference planform area

Nose strakes offer significantly improved lateral/ directional performance with a minimum increase in wetted area and little effect on longitudinal characteristics. Forebody strakes provide beneficial linearlization of the pitching moment curve, improved maneuver lift, and in some cases, improved lateral/directional characteristics. Although the application of the strakes is highly configuration-dependent and optimization will undoubtedly require tunnel testing, initial design guidelines have been developed and several recommendations can be forwarded. Design guidelines have been developed that
Aerodynamic of Forebody and Nose Strakes Based on F-16 Wind Tunnel Test Experience Volume I: Summary and Analysis C. W. Smith, J. N. Ralston, and H. W. Mann CONTRACT NASl-1

Grumman never saw what Sukhoi and GD did see

.View attachment 658747View attachment 658743

The Su-27 was to my personal opinion the truly enhanced Tomcat


View attachment 658744

The Su-33 had similar weight to an F-14 but instead of using a bigger wing they used canards and reduced LEX, higher power Al-31, basically Su-33 is the fixed wing Tomcat.
View attachment 658745

I think in the Russian design school F-14 really influenced their design school.


View attachment 658746

I think F-14 still lives in the Su-57, but as a 1970s kid I still will consider the Tomcat my favorite aircraft, and the ghost riders camo as my favorite camo, long life to the F-14 the coolest aircraft ever
 

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