The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a first-ballot Hall of Famer when it comes to badass military aircraft. The supersonic, variable-sweep wing, two-seat, twin-engine, twin-tail fighter jet was introduced by the U.S. Navy in 1974 and was officially retired on September 22, 2006 and replaced by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Able to carry six AIMG-54 Phoenix missiles (which weigh 1,000 pounds a piece) and equipped with radar that could track more than 20 targets at once, the F-14 Tomcat served as an air superiority fighter, a fleet defense interceptor, and an aerial reconnaissance platform. It really could do it all. A plane of all trades, if you will.
It's a real shame the Navy doesn't use F-14s anymore, because these things were big, fast, and incredibly loud. It doesn't really get more American than that. Thankfully, we have videos, like the above one from 1996, that can give us a look back at the good old days when F-14s were still operational in the United States.
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Now, what we have here is one hell of a F-14 flyby. We're talking Maverick buzzing the tower in Top Gun type stuff. With the afterburners engaged, this incredible machine flies through the air at supersonic speeds. Could anybody else hear Danger Zone playing in the distance, or was that just me?
Wow! It's crazy to think that this was filmed nearly 25 years ago. Even all this time later, it's hard to top the chills you get after watching a plane of the F-14 Tomcat's caliber roaring through the air. And, that's just from watching a pretty low-quality video on YouTube. Imagine being there in person. Or even flying the damn thing. What a rush that has to be!
This post was first published on April 14, 2020.