Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by BlackLion213

  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
  16. The external views were taken from the case 1 break, its the HUD footage that’s of interest. :) -Nick
  17. That sounds odd and directly contradicts what I've heard from numerous F-14A and F-14B/D pilots. Our F-14A pilots state that the TF30 ran fine as long as you adhered to throttle restrictions. You can peg the AOA gauge with the engines at Mil power or zone 5 without concerns for engine stalls or coughs. The issues arose when you moved the throttles under those conditions. Even throttle movement wasn't that likely to cause problems (like maybe 15% chance of one engine acting up), but any event is dangerous and disruptive enough that pilots don't chance it. The notion that the F-14A was almost impossible to dogfight is thoroughly contradicted by the HUD footage I've seen of F-14s fighting all manner of the other aircraft. Heck...what about this HUD footage of an F-14A gunning a F-15 available on youtube? The HUD footage starts at 7:10. I've had F-15 pilots tell me that the F-14B/Ds were tough opponents - they used to use the vertical as a reliable tactic against the F-14A, but that stopped working against the B/D. The remaining effective tactic was to keep the fight high and fast since the Mach based CADC wing sweep programming placed the F-14 at a disadvantage under those conditions. My impression is that the dead-header was covering for his own deficiencies by claiming it was the aircraft...... -Nick
  18. Well the good news is that flat spins should not be a fact of life for dogfighting in the F-14. A flat spin in the F-14B generally requires the pilot to input a deliberate "pro-spin" control. For >95% of DCS F-14 players, this is caused by not being aware of high AOA roll reversal. At AOAs greater than 17-18 units, the aircraft will roll opposite of the stick input - meaning left stick results in roll to the right and building up AOA due to sidelslip. You need to keep the stick centered and only roll using the rudder in this AOA range. Many players think that the aircraft is departing when it rolls opposite of commanded roll, but it is actually the pilot forcing the spin with an improper control input. The player then compensates by adding more stick to try and force the roll towards commanded and then holds that lateral stick, eventually leading to a spin. When the aircraft rolls opposite of your commanded stick input, just center the stick and things will stop. If you don't have rudder pedals, just lower the nose to 15 units or below to roll with the stick. If you make these changes to your technique then your spins will likely go away. :) -Nick
  19. Yes indeed. The performance of the TF30 coupled with some aero characteristics of the F-14 airframe were the reasons that DLC was needed in the first place. Basically there are some challenging situations that are created by the spool down times of the TF30 coupled with the lift vs AOA of the airframe, the large hook to eye distance, and the effects of the "burble". So when pilots are coming down the glideslope, "the burble" creates a slight updraft mid-way down the groove and a noticeable down draft right as the tip of the nose crosses the carrier's round down (pilot's vantage point). That downdraft requires a small power addition, but afterwards the TF30 wouldn't spool down fast enough to settle back down after the downdraft disappeared. This was partly from the TF30's slow spool down and because of the lift vs AOA of the airframe in the approach configuration. The F-14 has a ton of lift and the coefficient of lift vs AOA is very steep, meaning that small increases in AOA add a lot of lift. This is why pilots describe the F-14 as "floaty", power reductions cause a small initial increase in AOA as the flight path changes, but this small change (too small to see on the AOA gauge) slightly increases lift and drag. So the airframe wants to slow down slightly without increasing the descent rate as much as expected. So power adjustments take slightly longer to manifest changes in FPM, this can be offset with a small nudge of the stick to adjust flight path. However, the big hook to eye distance means that flattening out at the ramp (from nudging the nose down) could easily cause the hook to sail over all 4 wires resulting in a bolter. So DLC was developed such that no power correction or attitude adjustment is made after the burble. The pilot adds a bit of power for the down draft then hits the DLC thumbwheel full open to maintain glideslope without flattening out. The version of DLC in the F-14B was one of two solutions tested in 1972-73 to address this problem. The test pilots preferred the "B version" since it was far more effective, but USN decision makers were concerned that pilots would "over do it" on using DLC after the burble and risk ramp strikes. It was easier to teach pilots to just go full open on DLC after the burble then use as needed (so it was said). So the F-14A's original DLC is a lot less effective. The USN later realized that the "B version" DLC would be helpful to pilots and it made its way into the F-14A+/B as that version was produced from 1986-90. The new DLC was later integrated into all F-14A's (and D's of course) as well. That said, "the burble" is not currently part of DCS so DLC is mostly just a general "glideslope adjustment tool" instead of being used for its original purpose. -Nick
  20. So you agree that comparing this to a paraplegic is hyperbolic. You are describing the difference between squatting 405 lbs with the B and 315 lbs with the A while your prior statement reflects someone without functional legs..... -Nick
  21. It shouldn't be too bad, the F-14A had the same max trap at each time point, but is ~1800 lbs lighter overall. The F-14 started with a max trap of 51800, but this was increased in the late-80s or early-90s to 54000. It was the same for all 3 versions of the F-14 in the fleet. In general, the TF30 will have plenty of performance for the pattern, but will run at slightly higher thrust settings. The difference between the engines will be most noticeable while flying the ball since the TF30's response time is definitely slower. This will likely be the issue that most players notice, especially since the version of direct lift control planned for the mid-80s F-14A is a lot less effective than the version of the F-14B. -Nick
  22. Hi bonesvf103, The F-14 is very sensitive to AOA in terms of energy management. One of its strengths is that it requires less AOA than other aircraft to generate solid lift for turn performance, but it is also very sensitive to excessive AOA. One of the most common issues is that players tend to be at too high of AOA during engagements because it takes a moment for the airframe to build to maximal pitch rate. So the player will apply back stick and see the pitch rate increase, but keep adding AOA since the pitch rate isn't what they need. Pitch rate will improve for at least 0.5 seconds after optimum AOA is reached, so it is better to set the aircraft to a specific AOA or light buffet than simply adding pitch inputs to deliver the rate. Small editions will then be easier to manage if you let the airframe settle in for a moment. Similarly, unloads require the AOA to decrease below 10 units to really pick up energy. This also takes a moment and its best to watch the AOA gauge for practice instead of just pushing the stick forward for a moment. Compared to other DCS modules, aero effects take a moment as airflow changes over the airframe. With the rudder rolls, you do need to watch AOA during rudder rolls since sideslip increases AOA (for most aircraft in general). At medium AOA (15-17 units), you don't need to relax much back stick to perform a solid rudder reversal, but at 20+ units you need to relax 30-50% back stick as the nose rolls past the horizon. With practice this will feel more natural and you won't build up so much AOA or lose as much airspeed. Also, being precise about the magnitude of the rudder input and centering the rudders before the reversal is complete (again because of inertia) will make the reversal cleaner. If you see buffet increasing during a reversal, release some pressure on the stick since it is a sign that AOA is building. In general, you want to be in light buffet during sustained maneuvers and moderate during instantaneous turn performance. If you see the airframe buffeting heavily, unload and reduce your AOA. I hope these tips are helpful. -Nick
  23. The ratcheting is because available roll rate markedly increases in the F-14 with speed and increasing sweep. As the wings sweep, roll ramping and inertia markedly decrease due to the centralization of mass and reduction in wing surface area. The relative power of the horizontal stabilizers also increases due to airspeed and airflow changes. The net effect is way more roll authority and roll rate becomes high enough that the effects of roll SAS are quite apparent. Roll SAS restricts maximum roll rate to 180 deg per second, but the maximum available roll rate is higher so the rate will ratchet as SAS periodically reduces horizontal tail deflection. Part of the reason for reducing rate is that the torque created by the power of the tail surfaces and roll rate is hard on the airframe that joins the wings to the tail, especially since only the horizontal stabilizers provide roll control with the wings swept above 62 deg. It is worth noting that this is only obvious when performing sustained rolls, which real pilots really didn't do since there is no real benefit to the maneuver. Most routine maneuvers involve rolling about 90 deg at a time and the roll rate is noticeably faster with speed and sweep under these conditions since roll SAS generally won't restrict rate for only 90 deg of roll. Turning off roll SAS for high AOA maneuvers was a standard practice for any jet aircraft with swept wings and conventional roll SAS. Since most swept wing jets experience roll reversal above a specific AOA (related to the adverse yaw effects of the down deflected aileron creating drag while the up going aileron is blanketed or less effective). It was also standard procedure to turn off Roll SAS in the F-4 Phantom (all variants) for maneuvers above 15 units as well. Basically the roll reversal means that SAS inputs will have a paradoxical effect and lead to a sustained input, increasing the risk of departure. -Nick
  24. Yeah, all the F-14B aircrews do their initial FAM flights in the F-14A so they have to learn TF30 procedures. Of course that pilot and RIO never actually had a stall. :) The only F-14 pilots who didn't get a flight time in the A were D pilots/RIOs. Of our several F-14A SMEs, only one had a real compressor stall in all their hours of flight time. And the cause of that one was very predictable. So if you follow the standard precautions then pilots can keep out of trouble. Okie did a recent interview where he discussed it in detail and it is worth a listen since he had over 2000 hours in the F-14A, but also a lot of time in the B. -Nick
  25. Uhhh.....seems a rather hyperbolic statement for a sustained turn rate difference of 0.5 deg/sec.... -Nick
  • Create New...