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Tomcat and Flat Spins

Catmando

Keep your knots up.
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
We also flew the F-14A initially for a few years, being told it was "impossible" to spin.

Then suddenly, we had a rash of flat spins, many/most unrecoverable.
 

pourts

former Marine F/A-18 pilot & FAC, current MBA stud
pilot
Thanks. That is a significant difference.

But the F-14A thrust you mention must have been a later engine mod. My 1984 NATOPS lists it as 17,077 pounds in AB.

I recall some losses with engine loss on TO back then, even with the lower thrust. This caused a lot of concern and scrambling for new procedures.
My old NATOPS says the following unusual comment:



That is pretty amazing since the aircraft had by then been operational for almost a decade. I do remember later they established new and radical procedures after that testing.
You still have your NATOPS? Departure/ spin, go.
 

Catmando

Keep your knots up.
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
pretty sure the first flat spin loss was around '75 at pax river. the whole event was filmed. the aircraft appeared to recover after the crew jumped out (c g change).
that particular jet was to have been the first f14 the marines were scheduled to reveive.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-14-test.htm
I stand corrected. And I also should have said, "highly unlikely" rather than "impossible" to spin. And it was...... unless you lost an engine and ended up, "coupled."

It's said the first fleet flat spin was in 1976. Bu the first one I remember - and I don't know if it was a true flat spin was VF-124 Lt Barret and Ens. Carlock in 1977 by the Salton Sea. They flew through another's exhaust and lost an engine (yes, just like Maverick), spun and ejected.

He was a good, experienced instructor and it caused an awful lot of concern in the community as to WTF happened?

Here is an interesting old newspaper article on F-14 spins: FWIW

"After the first F-14 crashed as a result of the problem in 1976, Navy engineers and NASA experts spent eight years figuring out what was going wrong and how to fix it."
 

flaps

happy to be here
None
Contributor
anybody know when the last f14 loss to a flat spin took place?

there were no iranian tomcat losses to a flat spin in the 3 years i was there. i remember one loss during BFM, the pilot got slow during a barrel roll attack. wound up on the back side of the power curve. the RIO, miles pinneman could not get him to dump the nose so as to unload.
the pilot died, miles was okay.
 

SynixMan

Space Cadet
pilot
Contributor
Re: The video of the F-14 ejection that recovered after they punched out. We saw that in API Aero. We were told that after the flat spins started to be an issue, the Navy went to Grumman and asked them to build a recovery system that did funky stuff with the control surfaces to facilitate a recovery. The video was the test of that system. The aircrew punched out at their OCF bailout altitude and the plane recovered itself shortly after. ....Or that's what we were told...
 

flaps

happy to be here
None
Contributor
ped slicer on order. thanks

re: wingsweep during spin.

pretty sure the cg doesn't change much with wingsweep angle.
a lot of flight test data was fed into the tomcat simulator software model over the years. in grumman flight test we certified several configuration/stores changes. we did a test flight with 2 delta 4's(2000 lbs) on stations 3 and 6. the jet behaved pretty much exactly as the simulator said it would.
that's the kind of thing the slide rule guys would have played with.
also, aft w/s increases stall speed.
...

 
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