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I saw a picture of the F-14 in 1972 wearing USAF markings. (search usaf f-14) I guess they were looking at the idea. Is there any better pictures of it, the conformal fuel tank under the belly or of the crest on the tail? Was this a stripped shell? There's no seats, nose gear parts or pitot tube.

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I know it was back in the days of the Robert McNamara plan. When all services should use the same equipment. Two notable examples the M-16 series and the F-4 Phantom series. The Secratary tried to push the Tomcat on the USAF. Read the John Boyd story and it will give you more on this. He convinced the USAF to develop the F-15 and F-16 instead of acquiring the Tomcat.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boyd_(military_strategist)

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=wWHIpt3EowQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:"Robert+Coram"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcsdnopdLmAhWWGc0KHS8SAQoQ6AEIDTAB#v=onepage&q&f=false
 

 

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3 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Corsairfoxfouruncle, I thought McNamara's unification plans involved General Dynamics F-111 (USAF) and Grumman F-111 B (Navy)? Cheers

Jure

It did initially, once the navy started development of the tomcat the defense Department realized it was a better design. Boyd eventually proved in his mathematics though that swing wing designs bleed of energy to fast in a dogfight. They cant recover it fast enough. Its an overall design fault that was never solved. Boyd said the best thing you could do with the F-111 was to rip the wings off it. Paint it yellow and use it as a high speed flight-line bus. The man went through four court-martial’s for bucking 2 & 3 star generals and won each one. He never cared about stepping up the chain. He only ever cared enough to make sure we had the best equipment. The USMC was his honor guard at his funeral. That says a lot that USMC escorted an Air Force colonel. Im paraphrasing i do recommend the book as it explains this all better. 

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25 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

It did initially, once the navy started development of the tomcat the defense Department realized it was a better design. Boyd eventually proved in his mathematics though that swing wing designs bleed of energy to fast in a dogfight. They cant recover it fast enough. Its an overall design fault that was never solved. Boyd said the best thing you could do with the F-111 was to rip the wings off it. Paint it yellow and use it as a high speed flight-line bus. The man went through four court-martial’s for bucking 2 & 3 star generals and won each one. He never cared about stepping up the chain. He only ever cared enough to make sure we had the best equipment. The USMC was his honor guard at his funeral. That says a lot that USMC escorted an Air Force colonel. Im paraphrasing i do recommend the book as it explains this all better. 

Neat story. From what I heard there's always rivalry's within the the branches, just because.

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I recommend a copy of Boyd's story. We need more people like him.

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1 minute ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

I recommend a copy of Boyd's story. We need more people like him.

Sounds like he was not a "yesman" not many like that.

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Sorry folks, the story told here is full of BS!

For a starter McNamara had resigned in Feb. 1968 and by then Grumman had not shown any of the work they were doing on what became the Tomcat. The F-111B had not been cancelled yet so it would have been impossible for McNamara to impose a Tomcat to the USAF considering that there was no Tomcat.

The F-111B was cancelled in late 1968 and Grumman was awarded the contract for its replacement in Feb. 1969, so if any politician should be blamed it would be under the Nixon administration.

However in reality no politician in particular has anything to do with the story!

Grumman itself proposed the Tomcat when ADC started looking at an F-106 replacement and built a plastic mockup. It was the then commander of ADC that in 1975 gave some serious thought to the proposal and ordered this to be evaluated. The evaluation showed that the Tomcat had some very important advantages but it was clear that a type already in service would have been preferred. The F-15 was selected.. and a few years later ADC was disbanded.

The USAF was earlier asked by Congress to evaluate the USN VFX program instead of developing the F-15, but the service was well set on their own program. This also happened after McNamara resignation (late '68).

And no, John Boyd had nothing to do with it! There are too many books that depict Boyd as the man who invented everything but in reality the had much less impact than believed. For example he never had any say in what the USAF could adopt or not. And while he was on the F-15 program, he actually opposed the concept that later became the Eagle as he wanted a light fighter with little avionics and not a M2.5 fighter with a large radar and BVR missiles 

Coram book in particular has been criticised for providing no reference to back many of his statements and sounds more like an agiography than a properly researched work.

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35 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

And while he was on the F-15 program, he actually opposed the concept that later became the Eagle as he wanted a light fighter with little avionics and not a M2.5 fighter with a large radar and BVR missiles 

This is correct. Boyd and fellow self-promoter Pierre Sprey have built a successful mythology around themselves making claims (or allowing others to make those claims) of having saved the USAF from itself in the post-Vietnam era. 

 

The reality is that a vast number of operational officers, Pentagon staffers and policymakers forced a shift in procurement and development policy following the harsh lessons learned from that conflict.

 

That the LWF competitors (F-16 and F-18) went on to become phenomenally successful is down to the huge improvements in capability, something Boyd was adamant the Air Force should have been abandoning in favour of simplicity and numbers.

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Hello

Boyd's forty seconds challenge sounded familiar as I remember reading something similar decades ago. While I do not know in which book it has been published, its description surfaced after a brief search on this webpage. To me it sounds like a variation of or partial implementation of reversement (stall turn) , which origins back to WWI. Oddly enough forty second challenge is based on aircraft quick deceleration, followed by equally quick acceleration which sounds like an exception to Boyd's own maneuver/energy philosophy which emphasizes energy preservation during air combat.

Busnproplinerfan, I followed your instructions and probably came across the same USAF F-14 photo. My impression is more or less the same as yours and I would not rule out the image shows a mock-up or is even heavily retouched photo of standard aircraft. Given its caption, I would say the crest on the tail is Air Defense Command emblem.

AIr_Defense_Command_Emblem.png

source: Wikimedia Commons

Cheers

Jure

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16 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

For a starter McNamara had resigned in Feb. 1968 and by then Grumman had not shown any of the work they were doing on what became the Tomcat. The F-111B had not been cancelled yet so it would have been impossible for McNamara to impose a Tomcat to the USAF considering that there was no Tomcat.

True but his cronies were in the department of defense well into the 80’s and 90’s and always tried to push the same objectives. Fair enough if you want to call it B/S Giorgio. However I know what I've read and who I've talked to, that is why I believe it. 
 

I will leave the conversation now before it becomes to political. I hate Robert McNamara and his Cronies. So will walk away before I get banned. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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Interesting bit of history.  If that's a mockup in the picture, would it be wood like the Model 303? or maybe a test airframe or like you say, might be a touched up photo? Just wondering outloud. Looks like whatever happened it was mired in deep.

Edited by busnproplinerfan

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Found this bit of discussion about the F-14 idea. It mentions it a mockup, don't know what it was made of, it suggests the idea of F100 engines which would make sense. It's a good "possible" model. https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/usaf-‘improved-manned-interceptor’-imi-program.423/

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9 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

True but his cronies were in the department of defense well into the 80’s and 90’s and always tried to push the same objectives. Fair enough if you want to call it B/S Giorgio. However I know what I've read and who I've talked to, that is why I believe it. 
 

I will leave the conversation now before it becomes to political. I hate Robert McNamara and his Cronies. So will walk away before I get banned. 

I apologise for having sounded rude in my reply !

In any case, McNamara or any of his accolades have nothing to do with the story of the Grumman proposal for the F-106 replacement program, and neither had Boyd or any of the "fighter Mafia" group. This was a Grumman led proposal hoping to jump on a chance to sell more aircraft, that predictably never materialised.

If you have proof that anyone related to these people had any serious involvement in these events, please tell us ! Personally I don't care about the personalities involved, I have no hate or love for any of them, as an engineer and aviation enthusiasts I can see positive and negative points in the systems proposed by all the people mentioned. Today this is not politics, it's aviation history.

 

 

On another related matter, the USN themselves suggested the adoption of the F-14 to the USAF and later it was a USAF general who suggested to Congress that the USN should have dropped the F-14, that was at that point in the middle of serious budgetary problems, to adopt a navalised F-15 variant... both services were just trying to increase the numbers of their chosen fighters to get unit costs down, no more no less, and all that activity resulted in were congressional hearings that predictably led to nothing.

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2 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Found this bit of discussion about the F-14 idea. It mentions it a mockup, don't know what it was made of, it suggests the idea of F100 engines which would make sense. It's a good "possible" model. https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/usaf-‘improved-manned-interceptor’-imi-program.423/

 

The "aircraft" carrying the fake buzz number FG-014 and ADC markings was the original F-14 wooden mockup modified to show a possible configuration to the ADC.

The mockup was modified to bring the shape closer to what production Tomcats looked like (the original configuration featured large ECM pods on the top of the tails) and then a conformal fuel tank was added under the belly to give some more range.  It's still possible to see several very early Tomcat features in the mock-up, for example the shape of the gun fairing.

If you want to build a model of this, the 1/72 Monogram kit represented the original mockup configuration and can be found quite easily for not much money. It is however a very, very basic kit.

 

The proposed USAF F-14 variant was first presented in 1972 and work on the program continued til 1974. In 1977 Gen. Daniel James, then commander of ADC, requested an evaluation of the Tomcat as new interceptor for the Command but nothing came of it. A similar request came 2 years later by his successor, Gen. Hill. Again nothing came of it. In 1979 ADC assets were assigned to TAC with the creation of ADTAC and the command itself was disbanded in early 1980. The F-15 in the end was the type selected to replace the Delta Darts in the remaining Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, and this happened in the mid '80s. Only 3 years later however all these units were disbanded, with air defence missions being assigned to ANG units.

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7 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 

The "aircraft" carrying the fake buzz number FG-014 and ADC markings was the original F-14 wooden mockup modified to show a possible configuration to the ADC.

The mockup was modified to bring the shape closer to what production Tomcats looked like (the original configuration featured large ECM pods on the top of the tails) and then a conformal fuel tank was added under the belly to give some more range.  It's still possible to see several very early Tomcat features in the mock-up, for example the shape of the gun fairing.

If you want to build a model of this, the 1/72 Monogram kit represented the original mockup configuration and can be found quite easily for not much money. It is however a very, very basic kit.

 

The proposed USAF F-14 variant was first presented in 1972 and work on the program continued til 1974. In 1977 Gen. Daniel James, then commander of ADC, requested an evaluation of the Tomcat as new interceptor for the Command but nothing came of it. A similar request came 2 years later by his successor, Gen. Hill. Again nothing came of it. In 1979 ADC assets were assigned to TAC with the creation of ADTAC and the command itself was disbanded in early 1980. The F-15 in the end was the type selected to replace the Delta Darts in the remaining Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, and this happened in the mid '80s. Only 3 years later however all these units were disbanded, with air defence missions being assigned to ANG units.

Thanks, I was looking at the picture also and couldn't see the main landing gear doors which are quite large or the wheel well which should be visable a bit. The gun port shape I noticed to is only one the early aircraft. On a pinterest note of the same picture, it says it's the mockup plane. It's to bad there was only two pictures of it available. For a model, it'll with so little reference it'll work. I never looked closely at the Monogram F-14. I want to do the original 303 mockup and was going to use the Hasegawa kit since I have one. I'll take a look at the Monogram kit.

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On 12/27/2019 at 7:39 PM, busnproplinerfan said:

Thanks, I was looking at the picture also and couldn't see the main landing gear doors which are quite large or the wheel well which should be visable a bit. The gun port shape I noticed to is only one the early aircraft. On a pinterest note of the same picture, it says it's the mockup plane. It's to bad there was only two pictures of it available. For a model, it'll with so little reference it'll work. I never looked closely at the Monogram F-14. I want to do the original 303 mockup and was going to use the Hasegawa kit since I have one. I'll take a look at the Monogram kit.

 

If you're thinking of using the hasegawa kiy then you will not like the Monogram one, as there's a huge difference in quality. The only advantage of the Monogram kit is that represents the shape of the original mock-up, so all the features of the Tomcat prototypes (early gun, early beavertail. large fences and different shape over the wings and so on) and the features that were changed before the prototype was built (like the large ECM blisters on the top of the tails).

The monogram kit lacks wheel wells and intakes (they are blanked off...) and is very toylike.

It is of course possibile to modify the Hasegawa kit, and I've seen a prototype built from the Hase kit in a Japanese book. Requires some work, particularly to reproduce the larger fences and different shape of the top fuselage.

I considered using the relevant parts from the Matchbox kit, that features these parts as in the prototype (the gun fairing however is an early production type) but found that the width was different between the two kits.

Now for a USAF what-it things are a bit different, as by then the mock-up had received the standard tails and had the Tomcat entered service with the ADC, it would have been with the features then current on the production aircraft, say around block 85-90. And of course the USAF specific features

Edited by Giorgio N

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7 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 

If you're thinking of using the hasegawa kit then you will not like the Monogram one, as there's a huge difference in quality. The only advantage of the Monogram kit is that represents the shape of the original mock-up, so all the features of the Tomcat prototypes (early gun, early beavertail. large fences and different shape over the wings and so on) and the features that were changed before the prototype was built (like the large ECM blisters on the top of the tails).

The monogram kit lacks wheel wells and intakes (they are blanked off...) and is very toylike.

It is of course possibile to modify the Hasegawa kit, and I've seen a prototype built from the Hase kit in a Japanese book. Requires some work, particularly to reproduce the larger fences and different shape of the top fuselage.

I considered using the relevant parts from the Matchbox kit, that features these parts as in the prototype (the gun fairing however is an early production type) but found that the width was different between the two kits.

Now for a USAF what-it things are a bit different, as by then the mock-up had received the standard tails and had the Tomcat entered service with the ADC, it would have been with the features then current on the production aircraft, say around block 85-90. And of course the USAF specific features

I don't mind working with the surface features of the Monogram kit if the shape and details are better as you say. I'm guessing the wooden mockups have very little surface detail aside from the access panels they built on it. I'm guessing the mockup had no engines, just the burner cans? Maybe not much of an intake trunk? I was planning on using the fujimi kit for the first prototype because of the dropped flaps. Would the rest of it be to modern for that one? Maybe use just the wings from it on a different kit?  I currently have one Fujimi A/D(comes with both parts), one Hasegawa and one Revell D which will stay a D. My plan is to make the first mockup, first prototype, D prototype and the AF mockup (likely how it appears in the photo, not sure how and in service one would've been)

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The MATS webpage is probably the best reference on the web for the Tomcat, you will sure find a lot of interesting and useful information for your project. For any other doubt, ask here, there's a couple of modellers who know the Tomcat pretty well,

Regarding the kits you have, the Fujimi kit is a good one but of course represents a production aircraft. On this you would have to change:

- Top fuselage above the wings. The MATS website has a good drawing of the difference:

 

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-wingsweep.htm

 

The "very early" arrangement was only on prototypes and was already changed to the final design during the life of the prototypes. In 1/72 models, only the Monogram mockup kit and the Matchbox kit have this style of structure.  I will later post a drawing from a Japanese article where a modeller converted the Hasegawa kit into the prototype... unfortunately it's in Japanese.

 

- Beaver-tail. Again looking at the MATS drawings, you want the one at the very top:

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-beavertail.htm

 

This is present in the Matchbox and Airfix kit but also in some hard to find boxes of the Hasegawa second tool kit. The very recent GWH F-14A kit also features this type of tail. The Fujimi kit only has the final production type. Keep in mind that tha the shape of the airbrake is also different in the two beavertails.

 

- The two vertical tails. There's no picture on the MATS website, in any case the differences are small. IIRC the second tool Hasegawa kit offers both styles in every box. you could transplant the early style on the Fujimi kit.

 

- The gun fairing. This is one you want:

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-m61-01.htm

The Airfix kit is the only one, apart from the Monogram mockup, to offer this style. It's however a pretty bad kit IMHO.

 

A more general comments on your plan and the kits you have: the Fujimi kit is better built as an A as they didn't reproduce the fairings for the F110 engines correctly. Hasegawa did, so I'd use the Hasegawa kit for a D. At the same time the Fujimi D exhausts are very nice, unfortunately they are a tad too wide for the hase kit, otherwidse they would be a great addition.

 

What would I do ? For the original mockup I'd try to find a Monogram kit, they are out there and not particularly rare. I bought mine a couple year ago for a tenner... it's more a toy but afterall represents a wooden mockup.

The best option for a first prototye would be converting one of the Hasegawa kit with the early beavertail. If you feel you can modify the Fujimi kit, it's a nice option. I don't have the GWH kit yet so can't comment on accuracy, sure it's very detailed... and expensive.

I have considered making a mould to cast resin copies of the Hasegawa early beavertail, if you're interested drop me a PM... not sure it it would fit the Fujimi kit though.

USAF mockup: here the Monogram kit would likely not work anymore as pictures show that by then the mockup had received features typical of the production aircraft, like the smaller fences above the wing (and likely the smaller cover above the wing sweep) and the tails without the large ECM bulges. Again probably an early Tomcat like the Hasegawa "Wolfpack" boxing or the GWH kit, with an early gun fairing and the USAF specific features

For the prototype D, I'd have to check but in general a standard D would work well, apart maybe from details.

 

 

 

-

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