Home F-14 Tomcat RARE PHOTO SHOWS AN F-14A TOMCAT TAKING OFF FROM A SKI-JUMP

RARE PHOTO SHOWS AN F-14A TOMCAT TAKING OFF FROM A SKI-JUMP

by Dario Leone

The F-14 flew 28 times from a ski jump but never achieved maximum take-off capability because of single-engine operating concerns

The interesting photo in this post was taken in 1982 at Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. and shows the left-side view of an F-14A Tomcat fighter aircraft taking off from a ramp, raised nine degrees, during “ski-jump” feasibility tests.

The ski-jump tests, which involved also the T-2, F/A-18, and AV-8 Harrier, were conducted in an effort to reduce the length of the carrier flight deck needed for an aircraft to become airborne—without the aid of a catapult.

According to The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, flight tests showed that the basic theory was sound: all aircraft tested took off in significantly shorter distances than they could from flat decks. But except for the AV-8 Harrier, none of these aircraft ever flew from ski-jump-equipped carriers. In fact the upward push of the ski-jump means that aircraft structures need to be stronger to bear the extra launch loads. This could lead to aircraft that “weigh—and cost—more.”

Actually the F-14 flew 28 times from a ski-jump but never achieved maximum take-off capability because of single-engine operating concerns.

Source: U.S. Navy; Photo credit: PH3 Ron Vest / U.S. Navy

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Aviation Geek Club
Welcome to The Aviation Geek Club, your new stopover aviation place. Launched in 2016 by Dario Leone, an Italian lifelong - aviation geek, this blog is the right place where you can share your passion and meet other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world.

error: Content is protected!