What Makes a Tomcat Go?
Why these of course.
The Grumman f-14 Tomcat has been one of the most iconic Navy fighters of the modern age. Sure they are long in the tooth and are pretty much passed by now, but thanks to Top Gun they will always have a special place in our collective hearts, and that above is what made them go.
The Pratt & Whitney TF30 was first put into production in 1964 and were being built up until 1986 and while they functioned well in other aircraft, in the F-14 that had some issues with compression stalls at high angles of attack when the throttles were moved aggressively.
In other aircraft these stalls were able to be compensated for, but in the Tomcat, because the two engines were so widely spaced apart it could cause the plane to go into a spin that was VERY difficult to recover from. Just ask Goose. The major issues were finally resolved in a new version of the engine that started seeing service in the F-14A in the late 80’s.
The engine was used in the following aircraft models:
- F-111 (General Dynamics)
- F-111C (General Dynamics)
- EF-111A Raven (General Dynamics/Grumman)
- F-111B (General Dynamics/Grumman)
- F-111K (General Dynamics)
- F-14A Tomcat (General Dynamics)
- LTV A-7A/B/C Corsair II
If you are curious you can find out some more about the engine at the Pratt & Whitney site here.