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    DCS and P3D (Aerosoft F-14A/B)
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    San Fransciso Bay Area

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  1. The AFCS SAS system that was fitted to all F-14s (A/B/D) from introduction till 1998-2000 when the fleet was upgraded with DFCS starting with the F-14A models. -Nick
  2. Your NATOPS is for a DFCS equipped jet. It was standard procedure to turn off roll SAS for high AOA flight since the SAS does not function properly in the AOA range where roll reversal occurs. This is pretty standard for SAS equipped fighters like the F-4 phantom as well. Since most swept wing jets experience high AOA roll reversal the SAS functions become counterproductive at high AOA. -Nick
  3. Having the external tanks mounted at all times was standard practice while at sea starting around the late 1970s. The external tanks have a dedicated hardpoint and don't add much drag so there was little downside to keeping them mounted at all times. The biggest drawback was that it decreased yaw stability just a little bit at higher AOA, including the approach configuration. But it wasn't a big deal for pilots. But when launching from a ship, aircraft would take as much fuel as practical so mounting the tanks was preferred. Plus, removing them requires storage and such, so best to just leave them on the aircraft. It is different for other aircraft where the tanks are sharing hardpoints that may be needed for ordnance. While ashore, it was common to remove them, though things like airwing strike rehearsals at Fallon would generally include them since its the configuration flown from the boat. But for things like ACM dets and FFARP they would remove them and allow pilots to enjoy the clean airframe. -Nick
  4. Yes, I have heard the same and the G tolerance improvements from inclining the seat proved to be statistically insignificant and added some other ergonomic drawbacks. Hence the later F-22 would have the more standard incline of 14 degrees (I think?). The increased seat recline makes more sense if you treat the vascular system as a vertical fluid column, but physiologically it doesn't quite work that way. Especially since the primary area of interest are the relative position of the common carotid (and brachiocephalic) branches from the aortic arch. With pilots leaning forward to move their head, the functional angle is essentially unchanged from the usual inclination of 14-18 degrees. While elevating the legs can help a little, the effects of the G-suit is really far more powerful than the leg position. Young healthy people won't get as much pooling in their legs since they have healthy valves in their veins and the G-suit completely (or nearly so) collapses the venous system during inflation. Plus, the path of least resistance for blood is into the huge and valveless system called Batson's plexus. which invests the entire spine (including the epidural venous system) and lower GI tract. Batson's has a huge capacity and cannot be effected by external factors like the G-suit. It is also the reason that fighter pilots tend to get a lot of hemorrhoids..... In many ways, the G-suits effects on the legs serves to improve cardiac preload by driving venous blood out of the legs and helping to offset the blood directed into Batson's plexus. So overall, the G-tolerance issue is not really a factor compared to other combat aircraft. -Nick
  5. That inference is a pretty weak argument. Is it safe to call the Hornet a bomber because it was an A-7 replacement? That was indeed the role. But the "designed for" argument has little merit once the aircraft is in the fleet. Irrespective of design requirements (which was to be a superior ACM aircraft to the current fighter - the F-4J), the F-14 spent the first 2/3rds of its career as a dedicated air to air killer and the last 10 years as a "strike fighter" sharing both strike and fighter roles. NFWS was vast majority Tomcat crews until the early 90s and remained a major contingent till the end in 2006. The Tomcat crews spent a ton of time training for ACM and intercepts, it was their mission unlike the F-111 or F-15E (or even F/A-18C to be honest - which spent more time doing A-G training). But let's distill it down to the essentials, the cold hard metrics. (USN) F-14A-D Air-to-Air combat exchange ratio: 5:0 (USN) F/A-18A-D Air-to-Air combat exchange ratio: 2:1 Sure, both platforms wanted for opportunities, but when it counted the F-14 delivered and the Hornet left something to be desired. And remember that the Hornet's exchange ratio was all 3rd generation Soviet fighters (MiG-21s and a MiG-25). Feel free to spin it all you want, but thats what happened and those are the metrics. The Hornet a superior fighter to the Tomcat...? Not in combat. -Nick
  6. Totally the thing to say when you can't back-up a claim, I'll give you that. I think that Hummingbird over-stated his position, but thats another matter. Yes, so you agree that they appear to be equals? When a proper execution leads to success, errors lead to losses, and exchange rates are equal; that means it involves relative equals. Also note the lack of comments like "winning usually meant the F-15 made a mistake" or "it was rare, but sweet", etc. Does this translate into "invariably in a killing position" for the Eagle? Certainly sounds like a contradiction to me. So like I said.....still no evidence and lots of talk..... -Nick
  7. Sure, here you go: https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/this-topgun-instructor-watched-the-f-14-go-from-tomcat-1725012279 Scroll down to the part on the F-15. No one is saying that the Tomcat nearly always waxed the Eagle in DACT. Where did you get that idea from? What I am responded to is the notion that Eagles won the engagement nearly every time they tangled with F-14s. That clearly is incorrect. You made this claim supported by anecdotal reports of what "the community was saying in the 90s" - not even the outcome of a specific group of engagements. Basically second hand hearsay...... You made an unsubstantiated claim and your burden of proof is very high. Establishing equivalency is fairly straightforward and what I am trying to do here. Attempting to prove that another platform is clearly superior is going to take a lot of data and data of high quality. So where is it? I've handed you photo evidence, anecdotes, and now an article that support equivalency. So please provide the evidence. And its a shame that photos are classified since a picture is worth a thousand words. You've now seen two new pictures so there is a lot of typing to do.... ;) -Nick
  8. Oh you mean like a bunch of competitive guys getting together and talking about their victories over guys that aren't in the room? Sounds very definable and quantifiable.....oh wait! Its the opposite of that! :smartass: And to answer your question: yes. I have spoke with lots of Tomcat crews that have beaten Eagles multiple times at DACT. One of our best SMEs had a memorable round of three 2v4s (2 F-14As against 4 F-15Cs) and the Eagles lost 2 out of 3.....but I'm sure the Eagles were proud when they won the 3rd round. Surely they declared the Tomcats grapes after that 3rd victorious engagement..... But the thing is that these engagements come down to a lot of factors: SA, tactics, expectations, and the capability of the aircraft. The F-15 has its advantages and so does the F-14, in the end the aircraft factors are agueably less important despite the fact that people around here tend to fall into camps and think that aircraft type predicts the outcome of an engagement. It doesn't and a fair fight means that you messed something up. There is a reason why anecdotal experience is rated as the least reliable form of evidence, it is deeply flawed and subject heavily to selection bias. People don't like to remember unpleasant things, even when they try. And as you spend time with one community, you hear lots of stories of their victories and come to assume that they always win (or worse.....you believe their assertion that they always win ;) ). But reality is far harder to quantify. In the end there are lots of HUD cameras shots with Tomcat pippers on the Eagle and lots of Eagle pippers on Tomcats. The funny thing is.....I've never actually seen an Eagle pipper on a Tomcat. I've seen lots of vice versa, but seems the Eagle drivers don't like to take pictures......or maybe its something else. :D -Nick
  9. The crew on the FFP were both B crew members. Its worth mentioning that all F-14B pilots do their initial FAM flights in the F-14A - so even a pilot who spends his entire career on the B will put 60-80 hours on the F-14A. The only Tomcat crews who have no flight time in the F-14A are F-14D crews. So neither of those guys had experienced a real stall, but remembered the standard NATOPS restrictions and procedures - it left quite an impression, but reality was quite different. The TF30 was very stable at zone 5 and mil-power, even to 50+ deg of AOA. The issue is if you weren't at mil-power/zone 5 or if you decided to change power settings above 17-20 units of AOA. Then you could end up with problems, but it was actually pretty unpredictable. Usually things would work out fine, but every so often they wouldn't......and that would leave quite an impression as well. -Nick
  10. It is easy to pick a fight with something that intends to eat you. :D -Nick
  11. No it absolutely did with respect to TWS radar and the AMRAAM. The AIM-54C's guidance logic was plugged directly into the AIM-120A and it was miniaturization technology that allowed other US aircraft to acquire the Tomcat's multi-target engagement capability 20 years (!) after its initial deployment. Experience and algorithms developed from the design and implementation of the AWG-9 found their way into other Hughe's products including the APG-63. The T/W difference was purely driven by the troubled development and cost over-runs of the F100 engines (and therefore the related F401 for the Tomcat). All the proposals that competed with the Grumman 303 design (of which there were at least 4) assumed usage of the F401 engine with a lot more power. The engine program simply proved unaffordable, it had nothing to do with different service branches. The F-14 was designed around the EM theory and the Navy agreed with the assessment that the F-111 was a poor foundation for a fighter - hence their rejection of the program. The F-14 was a totally different airframe and inherited avionics simply because no comparable system existed for the Navy's requirements and nothing else was in the pipeline for a similar integrated weapons system. The USAF was being much less ambitious with their BVR requirements and invested energy on ergonomics to move from 2-crew to single-crew aircraft (helping to offset the F-15's high acquisition costs). Neither the F-14 or F-15 incorporated design criteria for maintainability or design streamlining since both had lots of systems that had never been deployed before! You can't optimize something that has never existed before. The Falcon and Hornet had the benefit of coming later. At least both aircraft proved more reliable than the Phantom. The F-14 is variable geometry because you can't build a Navy aircraft that can fly Mach 2.2+ and have an approach speed of 130 KIAS as the Navy required. It wasn't because of a difference in design concept, it was about requirements. If you were to ask Boyd how to design a fighter that could go head to head with a MiG-21 and defend against a Soviet bomber raid he would simply say "scrap the carrier and let the Chair Force handle the air threats"....for obvious reasons the Navy disagreed. Also, funny story about all this. You know that "hit the brakes and he'll fly right by" from Top Gun that we all love to make fun of? A certain pilot built his entire BFM reputation on that one maneuver....and it was John Boyd!!! He would put Nellis F-100 student in a trail behind him, let them settle in, and then perform a radical pitch up to bleed speed and land behind his students. Thats where his nickname (self-proclaimed BTW...) 20 second Boyd came from - later amended to 40 second Boyd so he could manage more consistently. His maneuver worked because there was a general prohibition against high AOA flight in the F-100 due to adverse yaw, roll reversal, and yaw based departures. Boyd addressed this by bracing his elbows on the canopy rail (sounds smart), but it does seem that he built his ACM rep on a Dolphin trick. Luckily his EM theory was good work and secured his reputation. :D You should read his biography - its on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Fighter-Pilot-Who-Changed/dp/0316796883/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=John+Boyd&qid=1557536604&s=gateway&sr=8-1 Yes, cheaper things sell better....ask Amazon. :P -Nick
  12. The Phantom was absolutely designed as an interceptor, but let me have the chief designer speak to that: How a service uses an airframe may have little to do with the original design intention. In the case of the Phantom, it was fast and powerful which made it adaptable. It was also big enough to allow for new equipment and large payloads. Hence the whole argument concerning “designed for” carries little merit since it doesn’t necessarily predict the strength or weaknesses of a given aircraft. The Phantom proved adaptable despite a design that was actually quite focused. Pilots are asked to fly the mission that is needed, not the one that the designers “hoped for”. :) -Nick
  13. Well....the assertion that it was designed "purely as an interceptor" is incorrect, but that ability was part of its design philosophy along with range, loiter time, acceleration, top speed, etc. If it was purely designed for fighter escort and armed "4x4" it probably would have been smaller and looked a bit different. In hind sight, its pretty remarkable that the designers built an airplane that was faster than the Phantom, had a 125 KIAS approach speed at max trap (without DLC), could carry the AWG-9 and 6 AIM-54s with their entirely unique/remarkable capability for the time, loiter on station for twice as long as the Phantom it replaced, and could outmaneuver any aircraft in the US or Soviet inventory at the time of its introduction (when the A-4 Super Foxes and F-5Es were regarded as a real threat against a properly flown F-4J in DACT). A might impressive group of traits for one airplane! And the idea that it was "average" for a 4th gen fighter in ACM is reasonable imho - considering that it was roughly equivalent to the F-15 while the later F-16 and F/A-18 had some advantages by virtue of aero advances, FBW, and improved engine technology. The F-14 was really a huge leap in capability when it entered the fleet in 1972, but life and technology have moved on. Now you can pack all that stuff (minus the fuel and loiter of course) into a F-16CJ with little AMRAAMs instead of 1000 lb AIM-54s. But the F-14 allowed those fighters to get there by pioneering the technology. How quickly we forget the contributions of those who came before us..... -Nick
  14. Yes, but we haven't sent a test build to Okie for a couple of months. We have other SMEs who test more frequently and continue to evaluate handling related changes. The thrust issues are validated more with bench tests and there will be changes in the near term (more thrust). -Nick
  15. Well it was actually designed to do everything - air superiority, fleet air defense, and close-in engagements as needed. If it were purely an interceptor (like the F-4) it wouldn't have a large bubble canopy and enormous control surfaces to allow for an impressive pitch rate. Plus "designed for" doesn't necessarily translate into capability. Irrespective, the F110 powered Tomcats can match the F-16's sustained turn rate at 10000', so nothing to take lightly. Being a post-Vietnam design, it certainly was created with the understanding that any fighter aircraft needs to be capable at ACM. I can confirm that Okie tested and validated the flight model. He asked us to adjust take-off/rotation behavior (which we did); otherwise he was very pleased and impressed with the handling and behavior. -Nick
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