Thursday, January 21, 2021

USS Yorktown - The Flightdeck - The Tomcat Prowl

What would a tribute to carrier aviation be without the Grumman F-14 Tomcat?

The Tomcat, made famous in the movie Top Gun, is a large, twin-engined, two seat, swing-wing supersonic fighter and interceptor.


First deployed in 1974, it served with the US Navy until 2006 being replaced with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.    The F-14 scored its first air-to-air kill in 1981 when a patrol of F-14s was engaged by, and then downed Libyan Sukhoi jets.


Tomcats were also adapted to fly air-to-ground missions with the ability to drop both precision-guided and non-precision bombs.  The moniker Bombcat was often applied to these upgraded aircraft.  F-14s took on air-to-ground missions in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Interestingly, the F-14 on the USS Yorktown bears the markings of two different squadrons on the aircraft.

It bears markings of aircraft #103 of the USS George Washington on the port side with the squadron markings of VF-143, the Pukin' Dogs.

On the starboard side it is painted with the livery of the USS KittyHawk, Aircraft #101 of squadron VFA-154 The Black Knights.


drjim said...

One helluvan airplane!

I worked on the AWG-9 radar in the Tomcat and Phoenix missile when I first started at Hughes. One of the highlights of my career was getting to go aboard the Nimitz and meet some of the pilots and aircrews.

It was the first large ship I'd ever been on, and I was gobsmacked at how BIG it was.

Aaron said...

drjim: That it is. Very neat that you actually worked on the radar system for them very cool indeed. Yorktown is big and its only a third of the size of the Nimitz.