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Quid

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  • Birthday 01/01/1984

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  1. While this quote was made more than 40 years later, this is far from the first time it was used. The F-14A's top speed was quoted in the open-source world by James Perry Stevenson in 1975, albeit with an apparent typo listing its top speed as 2.5M instead of 2.4M[1]. It was amplified in Jon Lake's 1998 "Grumman F-14 Tomcat: Shipborne Superfightter": "Later the Tomcat exceeded its Mach 2.4 limit, the pilot chopping the throttles to decelerate when he reached a reported Mach 2.41, still accelerating." [2] Former TOPGUN CO "Wigs" Ludwig actually claimed an even higher 2.5M, but he was speaking anecdotally[3]. These things having been said, it wouldn't surprise me if it were part of a disinformation campaign to say a loaded Tomcat could hit 2.4M (or 2.5M) to make the Soviets spend money to counter it. Practically, the plane is slower, and it wouldn't surprise me if to hit 2.41 the plane had to have its engines and ramps tweaked in a way different from operational F-14s. References: 1. James Perry Stevenson, Grumman F-14 "Tomcat", TAB Aero Publishing, London, 1975, 24. 2. Jon Lake (ed.), Grumman F-14 Tomcat Shipborne Superfighter, Aerospace Publishing, London, 1998, 36. 3. Grumman F-14 Tomcat Bye Bye Baby!, Zenith Press, MN, 2006, 175.
  2. With the AI update, just about every shot you take is going to have to be a lot closer. I have the Tacview of an engagement on Through the Inferno where a player flying an F/A-18C tried to splash a 3-ship of Fulcrums, flying at 0.91 and about 33,000 feet, launching against the lead MiG-29A at 28.54nm, while the MiG-29A was closing at 1.21M at over 34,000 feet. The Fulcrum performed one of the craziest defenses I've ever seen, not even starting to threat-react until 8.33nm. Harsh dive with high-g, out-pulled the missile, then pulled back up, recommitted and continued towards the Hornet (who probably lost SA and continued firing AMRAAMs at the other two - one at 28.84nm at 1.03M and 36087ft, and the next at 14.04nm at 34066ft and 0.76M). Not a single AMRAAM hit, every Fulcrum managed to defeat every missile fired at those altitudes and high closure velocities, and the lead MiG killed the Hornet with an R73 face-shot. Myself and another Hornet closed on the same Fulcrum flight, I managed to kill one of them launching at 47.05nm from 38703ft and 1.15M; the AIM-54 that hit, hit a Fulcrum that appears to have tried to stay slow, getting no higher than 0.4M at about 30000ft. My second AIM-54 (fired at 38nm) at a fast-closing (lead) MiG-29 bit off on chaff. The F/A-18 that followed behind me hit the other two, firing one AMRAAM at 20.8nm at 37000ft against the closing Fulcrum at 1.9M (yes, 1.9) and 38000ft. I thought I got him with an AIM-9 but going back over the Tacview, it was the F/A-18's AMRAAM that just beat my Sidewinder to the bandit. His second AMRAAM was launched at the last Fulcrum from 15nm at 34550ft and 1.02M against the Fulcrum at 30156ft and 1.16M. So, in this engagement: 5 AMRAAMs fired, all high altitude, all under 30nm, 2 hit 2 Phoenix fired, both high altitude, one high closure, one low closure, 1 hit, 1 had the potential to hit but bit off on chaff Earlier in the flight I also shot down an F-4 from 44.9nm at high altitude, but that AI was set to normal and didn't do any truly hard maneuvers (weird diving spiral thing that the missile didn't really need to adjust to make the intercept point). Suffice to say that with this update, even going against AI you're going to have to adjust your tactics regardless of which missile you're using; Phoenix, AMRAAM, or otherwise.
  3. Well, AMRAAM wasn't being pushed because of the AIM-54 (the AIM-54 was actually one of the reasons the F-14 community eventually stopped pursuing the AMRAAM and pursued LANTIRN instead - no need for the cost), it was because of the limitations of the AIM-7 and the objective was to bring "Phoenix-like ability" into a missile the size of a Sparrow, and Phoenix did "out-stick" AMRAAM for its entire service life. As to your comment about waiting until 22nm to fire - 22nm is long range for an engagement that low. I wouldn't fire an AIM-120 on the deck at 22nm and expect it to make the intercept point against a maneuvering target, and as Draconus said, I wouldn't expect it to climb up 24,000 feet from 50ft (or up to 30K from 10K) at 22nm and have an advantage, either. Missile launch zones and no-escape zones are highly dynamic and highly dependent on altitude, launch conditions, target closure, etc., and no missile is immune to those effects.
  4. I'd assume somewhat close (but we all know about assumptions). The reason being the US apparently sold Iran 32 F-4Ds in 1972, 36 F-4Es in 1974, and 12 RF-4Es in 1975.1 I don't know the peculiarities of the export models compared to the US models, but HB indicated that the "early" F-4E will be: "a “classic era” F-4E (blocks 36-45 with updates retrofitted in 1974 and before, including new slats, DSCG and AGM-65) ."2 This is right around the same time as when Iran received theirs through the FMS program. So, there might be some differences, but I'd assume they'd be more similar than different, akin to the F-14As sold to Iran compared to their USN counterparts of the same era. References: 1. Tom Gervasi, Arsenal of Democracy II (New York, Grove Press Inc., 1981), 111. 2.
  5. There are two instances of early Phoenix tests I've seen in open-source documents against sea-skimming cruise missiles. The first is in Gillcrist's Tomcat! The Grumman F-14 Story, page 41-42. The test occurred on 8 June 1973. The setup used a QT-33 drone cruising at 0.72M and 50 feet. The F-14 was at a cruising altitude of 24,000 feet and 0.92M. Launch range of the AIM-54A was 22 nautical miles with a successful intercept. The second is in The Great Book of Modern Warplanes (1987 ed) on page 631-633, which indicates a test against a Ryan BQM-34A at 50 feet, flying at 0.75M, with the F-14 at 10,000 feet and 0.72M. Launch range of the AIM-54A was again 22 nautical miles with a successful intercept. You could always set up a test and try under these conditions and see if your missile successfully intercepts your target. Of note, the targets in the real-world tests were not maneuvering, so if you go back over the track/tacview and find the missile maybe just makes the intercept due to all that low-altitude drag, then you have an idea that against a defending fighter at such low altitude, even from a higher launch altitude, 22NM might be too far for a successful intercept. You might need to go faster to give the missile a better start, or wait longer before pulling the trigger. In the end, just experiment with it - you don't have a limited budget or supply of missiles or drones; fire as many missiles as you want under as many scenarios as you want.
  6. I'm sorry, but no. I have no idea where you're getting this information. The F-14 was flown to and through its g-limit all the way until the end. There was no "5.5g peacetime limit" to the plane, unless it was loaded so heavily as to reduce the limit to 5.5g or less, or were carrying munitions or pods that lowered the limit to this (in which case, a similarly loaded F-16 would have the same limit). The only time there was a 5.5g symmetrical limit was in the early days for the maneuver flaps and slats (this can be found in the 1975 NATOPS). This was revised by 1980 so that regardless of maneuver flaps/slats the limit was 6.5g symmetrical (again, unless you're talking above combat weight, in which the limit lowers as weight increases, as is true of every aircraft). Even the last two Tomcat crews who qualified (Jay "Faceshot" Consalvi and Megan "Vargas" Flannigan) both admitted to overstressing the jet during training and real-world operations (IIRC, Faceshot put more than 9g on his jet during a MANPADS defense, and Vargas did 7.5g+ during training to win, neither aircraft broke anything critical), and HUD footage of F-14Bs in 2004-5 show maximum g loads on their Sparrowhawk HUDs around 10g. No Tomcat EVER broke its wings under any circumstance whatsoever in the real world, and the wing box was considered the strongest part of the aircraft. The only thing I'm aware of that caused a temporary reduction in allowable "g" due to the wings was that metal shavings were showing up in the joints in the 1970s and again in the mid-1990s, but in both cases, it wasn't a long lasting problem. If there were any reason F-14 crews became less proficient at air-to-air combat into the late 1990s/early 2000s, it was because they trained less for it; they went from being entirely air-to-air assets to multi-role with heavy focus on strike. I recall "Okie" Nance actually talking about the difference going against Aggressor F-16s and line F-16s and the night-and-day difference because aggressors did nothing but fly the Viper in air-to-air and BFM, while line guys would do strike and practice BFM per their syllabus. He considered the latter not much of a challenge and the former difficult. This goes back a little to my comment about boasting and whatnot, but think about it from what I said about how it's all about the pilot/aircrew: a pilot who does nothing but BFM all day is going to be exceptional at that. A pilot who does strike, FAC(A), some intercepts and some BFM is going to be a much different person to go against. As to the speed limits, all F-14s were eventually limited to 1.88M, even if they were rated for a higher speed. Victory 205 talked about the reason, I'd have to search for his answer, but all F-14s could physically break 2.0M and both had a similar top speed, but it is as Spurts explained - the TF-30 is a "dumb" engine that just takes air and fuel and turns it into thrust while the F110 is a "smart" engine that governs the thrust for wear and life considerations, and the TF-30 at extreme high speeds eventually overtakes the F110. At any tactically significant speed, the F110 is the more powerful of the two.
  7. Well, that's the thing, I know pilots IRL who considered it a great BFM platform, so "anyone in the real world" is beyond a stretch. I turned my sarcasm up to 11 in that post above because what you posted is the kind of hyperbole that I hear from every aircrew of every platform. So, I posted a Tomcat pilot's own thoughts about the Viper as it was relevant to the thread and was an example of both an alternate opinion, and that it tells me next to nothing about the two, yet I can take it and run with it as if now the F-14's supposed to come out on top every time. Every single fighter apparently kicks the living snot out of the other guy every time, or has something it can do that the other guy can't. "Like shooting fish in a barrel," "eat them for lunch," "not really a challenge, but their plane looks nice," "is a grape," "is a big fat target," etc. It's all a bunch of BS. It comes down to the pilot/aircrew, not the crate, and anyone who has said one of those things has also probably gotten their proverbial brains drilled out by the pilot/aircrew of plane they are making fun of, they just don't like to admit it.
  8. Oh, cool! Random opinion bullsh*t because my platform is the best and above all! I happen to know a Tomcat pilot whose opinion was that, against the B, the Viper "made a nice lunch after its first 9g vapor/Viper ball" turn! That's all I need to know. F-14B>F-16 in a gunfight! Seriously.
  9. Only HB can really tell you, so I'd defer to them for truth data, but based on what they have said in other threads, I wouldn't expect the "original" beaver tail, and might expect dumb bombs. The reason for the former is that the beaver tail was revised during the production of Block 75 (there are early photos showing some Block 75 birds with the old config and others with the new)1, which were delivered between March and October 1974.2 The earliest model Heatblur is working is the Block 95 IIAF/IRIAF Turkey which would have had the revised beaver tail, automatic maneuver flaps and slats, etc. The reason I might expect dumb bombs is that F-14 squadrons did begin experimenting with them even by the late 1980s (to say nothing of the early experiments from the get-go), but they weren't cleared for operational use until the 1990s. So it's possible, but we'll see. References: 1. Brown, Tomcat Alley, 35-44 2. Gillcrist, TOMCAT! The Grumman F-14 Story, 198.
  10. Yes, this is a bug. Have a report in here: The fix action at this time is to engage/disengage autopilot.
  11. Definitely possible - it may be that the engines were tweaked to output less thrust in motion (vice at static) to improve the stall margin or lessen wear. Interesting to read about an up-rated engine years later. Thanks for the further discussion.
  12. I hear that a lot, but can't find any documentation backing it. Going through the NATOPS manuals (including 1972, 1975, 1981, 1984, 1997 and 2004) the thrust appears to have negligibly increased, rather than decreased at least at static installed thrust going from the baseline -412 to the -414A. It was discussed here: What I am aware of are the steel containment cases built around the TF-30's fan blade sections to contain them if they should fail that increased the gross weight of the aircraft, and therefore decreased the thrust to weight at any given point in the envelope. Every model HB is doing would have had either the -414 or -414A, with the engine introduced in Block 95. For the sake of completeness, I'm sure -412s got installed in some of those aircraft at certain points since they were likely still common at that time.
  13. Noticed this as well; I put a post into the Bug Report section on the subject.
  14. ALCON, I’ve noticed a possible bug, but what is infuriating about it is its lack of consistency. I’ve tested this against multiple airframes (F-14A/B, F-15C, F-16C, F/A-18C, MiG-19) and only the Tomcat (both A and B) appear to be affected. This happens in both single player and multi-player to me. At random, the F-14 will spawn with a trim setting where the stabs will be offset. They are offset to such an extent that the aircraft will roll itself uncommanded as if the stick were programmed at least 50% to either the left or right. I attempted to trim it out and at full trim, the aircraft still rolled uncommanded. I first encountered the issue in a 1v1 guns vs. AI mission and then found it occurs in both SP and MP. I was fighting uncommanded right roll while trying to dogfight with counter-rudder and counter-stick to try to get the plane to pull straight. The problem is not related to the joystick itself. I tested it on other airframes, ran recalibration, updated the firmware, restarted the computer, restarted DCS, unplugged and replugged the stick into the computer. I also tested the VR hand settings to see if they were interfering (they had been in the past causing the stick to recenter at random), turning off and on the VR grips interaction with the throttle and stick, with no effect. I checked my settings as well to see if there were multiple bindings to the roll axis; there are none. I do not have a track file because the problem is idiosyncratic by the spawn. On a friend’s server, I spawned six times to test. The problem appeared the second time in the second of four Tomcat slots on that server. Slot 1 did not have the problem, nor did 3 or 4. 2 did the first time, but when I tested a second time, it did not. When I tested it on my 1v1 guns only vs. AI mission, it happened repeatedly, but randomly, it would not. A free-flight test resulted in no roll, while an intercept mission had it happen immediately as I left the deck. Eventually I started checking the external view to see if the stabs were deflected differentially, and lo and behold, they were. Please see the attached pictures which show the stab deflection differential with neutral stick and rudder. Again, this happens randomly, for some reason more often in my single player missions, but sometimes in MP. Easiest way I’ve dealt with it in MP is to just respawn until the plane I get has matching stabs. Cheers, Quid
  15. Auto maneuver flaps and slats were introduced in Block 90, so the 95 should have them.
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