F14 - one bad ass jet!!
I dated an A6 pilot long time ago. He was one of the pilots who bombed Kadafi’s (sp?) compound. He said seeing f14s flying cover was a beautiful sight.
High speed pass over the carrier to celebrate. He absolutely loved it!
I grew up as an aviation nut and still am, and when I had gone in the Navy, being able to see them flying all the time, close up and personal...well...they were simply the epitome of a modern jet fighter.
Gorgeous lines...just a pleasure to see.
I almost got fried by one once as I got caught behind a jet blast deflector on the flight deck. I didn’t see the warnings to clear out as I was inspecting the plane right behind the Tomcat as it went to full afterburner (IIRC, they used to wave everyone away from behind there in those cases, but...I didn’t see it.
Next thing I know, the temperature starts to rise, and I realized what was going on. At that point, it is too late to run out from behind the JBD because you would not only probably get fried, you would probably get bounced down the flight deck for your trouble, so I got up in the wheel well of the plane I was inspecting, and the temperature kept going up to the point I was having a hard time breathing...I had pulled my vest over my face with tightly shut eyes, shoved my face up into a corner of the wheel well and gasped for breath.
I NEVER made that mistake again! But seeing a Tomcat launch at night in full afterburner...well, what boy in every man wouldn’t like that???
They used to do supersonic fly-bys on the ship at sea, and it is an unworldly thing to see, in my opinion. they would do them low, close aboard, at flight deck level...and it was eerie.
You would see them a speck, approaching faster than anything you have ever seen in your entire life move, and...no noise. Nothing. Just this...thing. And you see white flashes...compression waves on the plane condensing moisture instantaneously making it visible for a split second. On and off. Then, faster than you can imagine, it is even with you and passes in the blink of an eye...in total silence. As if it were an alien spaceship.
Then the world explodes a second later in sound...the explosion of the sonic boom at close range...the roar of the engines mixed in...
Yeah. I LOVED that. Nothing like it...:)