This VF-24 was photographed in August 1987 during its landing at homebase NAS Miramar (CA). The Fighting Renegades transitioned from F-8 Crusader to the F-14A Tomcat and received their first aircraft on 9 December 1975 and swapped the Alpha for Bravo's in April 1989. The squadron was eventually disestablished on 31 August 1996.
A Fighter Squadron 24 "Checkertails" F-14A during a steep approach to homebase NAS Miramar (CA). The VF-24 bird (F-14A-Block 85-GR) was the 15th F-14A that was remanufactured to F-14D, as a result it received the designation F-14D(R). The Tomcat was stricken with VF-31 on 13 January 1995 when it was involved in a mid-air collision with F-14D 164340 over the Pacific Ocean, south of San Diego. The crew was rescued by a SH-60F from HS-8 and a nearby operating US Marine Corps CH-53E.
A permanent test Tomcat for the Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division at its homebase Point Mugu. This F-14B (Block 150, FY 1987) was delivered to the US Navy in 1989 and served from the early 90s within the Test and Evaluation community. Since the mid 90s, BuNo 163223 was used as the F-14B Avionics Upgrade Prototype and was therefore specially wired and configured. It received an N in its type designation to make it clear that this aircraft was not suitable for regular carrier deployments as it deviates from normal standard F-14s. The NF-14B was scrapped at AMARG in July 2007.
From VF-41 and based at this time aboard aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Seen here fitted with live weapons at the end of 1st Gulf War. This Tomcat was lost on May 22sd, 1995 in Mediterranean see after takeoff from USS Theodore Roosevelt. Crew safely recovered.
Some Tomcats were specially configured as a test airframe for new avionica, weapons, databases, wiring and so on. In the Naval designation system, test airframes receive the letter N in front of the basic type. The NF-14Ds were based at NAS point Mugu (CA) and assigned to the Naval Weapons Test Squadron Point Mugu (NWTSPM). This unit was redesignated to Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). This Tomcat shows the NAWCWD title on the leading edge, as well as the old Weapons Test Squadron on the tail.
Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111), USS Kitty Hawk, 1979. Made famous by the movie "Top Gun," the F-14 Tomcat is the last of Grumman's "Cat" series of Naval fighters which began with the F4F Wildcat in the 1930s. Tomcats entered service on the USS Enterprise in 1974, and flew some of the last American combat missions over Vietnam while providing air cover over Saigon during the American evacuation in April 1975. The Tomcat was retired from service in the U.S. Navy in 2006.
There are Tomcats and there are beautiful Tomcats. A classic picture of a towed Tomcat over the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). The aircraft was on its way to the the rear of the flight deck where it was positioned for an upcoming morning launch. Many Tomcats were scrapped at AMARG to prevent spare parts feeding to Iran. Luckily, this beauty was relieved from that fate. Since September 2006, 164342 is preserved at the Wings over Miami Museum at Kendall (FL).