After all, the F-14 Tomcat, as I've noted way, way back in my blog, was my first combat aviation love. As a three-year-old no less.
And I regularly "Like" and comment on photos in the Facebook F-14 Tomcat Lovers page.
So why the deep hatred?
Well, I'm a guy, which means I know what I feel, but don't really care why I feel it. So it took me a bit to dig into my emotional circuitry and try and figure this out.
And yes, I did finish Osprey's Iranian F-14s in Combat. And I recommend you buy it.
What a read.
I was in awe of what the Iranian Imperial Air Force (IRIAF) claims to have accomplished with these jets. I mean, if only half of what they claim is true, still "Wow."
So I got my other F-14 books out: F-14 Tomcat: Bye-Bye Baby, How to Fly and Fight in the F-14 Tomcat, The Cutting Edge (which is a real steal now), Aero's Grumman F-14 (another steal on Amazon)... hours of old VHS tapes and so on. Still, "What an incredible jet!" And still, Hate.
I figured I'm have some great change of heart. An epiphany, if you will. All the excitement and awesomeness of the F-14 Tomcat blasting away my negative waves and my love for the bird would rise- like a Phoenix (pun intended). But that didn't happen.
I just felt more pissed than I did before. But I finally realized why.
We should NOT be protected by the F-15 Eagle and the F-18 Super Hornet.
We should be protected by the F-15 Eagle, and the F-14 Tomcat.
Don't get me wrong- the Super hornet is a great strike platform. If you don't mind hauling your carrier group within ASM range of the enemy's coastline. And if you don't mind that the enemy's strike force can now get 200% closer to you. And if you don't mind this compromise and that compromise.
But the F-14 Tomcat had a few advantages. Namely: Range, speed, payload, avionics, performance, I mean the list goes on. Did you notice that? Yes, that's all teh qualities of a fighter plane. And it outclasses the F-18E/F in every way.
Why the hell is the Navy flying the Superbug? Why wasn't the F-14 chosen, that new Strike 21 F-14E upgrade? Grumman HAD all the machinery for it. Ready to go! Just a nip and tuck. Brand new F-14Es were still cheaper than the deelopment of the F-18E/F. Not like the size-increasing, range decreasing, costly upgrade for the F-18.
Oh yeah, a Senator was bribed by Boeing Sales reps. I remember Aviation Week & Space Technology did a big story on it back in the 90s. But no one cared.
I hate the F-14, because after all it could do, it was murdered in cold blood by our government. Our CVGs are more vulnerable- and not by a little, by a lot- because of government corruption. It just plain pisses me off.
And great plane that it was- possibly, the best plane ever- I can't get past that is gone.
Yeah, I know. Pretty lame, huh?
Well, don't let me leave you as brokenhearted as I feel... watch a few YouTube videos of the Amazing F-14 Tomcat. And be sure to post in the comments below.