Grumman F-14 Tomcat

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F-14 Tomcat
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Type Interceptor/multi-role Fighter aircraft
Author(s) Enrique Laso, Alexis Bory (cockpit)
FDM YASim
--aircraft= f-14b
Status Production
FDM Stars-3.png
Systems Stars-3.png
Cockpit Stars-5.png
Model Stars-5.png
Livery database

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable geometry wing aircraft. The F-14 was the United States Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform from 1974 to 2006. It later performed precision strike missions once it was integrated with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night LANTIRN system. The F-14 was developed after the collapse of the F-111B project, and was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat in Vietnam against MiGs.

It entered service in 1972 with the U.S. Navy, replacing the McDonnell F4 Phantom II. It was later exported to the former Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1976, during a time when the US still had good relations with Iran. It was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. As of 2007, it remains in service only with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.

Keyboard controls

Flight controls

Cockpit of the F-14.
A nice scene with the F-14.
F14 air-to-air refuelling: tanker almost reached
Home Increase elevator trim
End Decrease elevator trim
] or f Lower flaps
[ or Shift+F Raise flaps
s Increase speed brakes (not valid now)
Shift+S Decrease speed brakes (not valid now)
Ctrl+b Toggle speed brakes
k Increase speed brakes
j Decrease speed brakes

Automatic flight controls

a Toggle APC (Landing Automatic Power Control)
Ctrl+d Toggle DLC (Landing Direct Lift Control)
d DLC increase
Shift+D DLC decrease
Ctrl+t Toggle AFCS (Defaut Attitude Mode)
Ctrl+a Enable AFCS Altitude Mode
* Engage AFCS Altitude Mode
Ctrl+h Enable AFCS Heading Mode
Ctrl+s Toggle ground spoilers armed

HSD - radar and RWR

h Cycles through HSD modes: radar - compas - ECM (RWR)
Shift+E Decrease Radar Range
Shift+R Increase Radar Range
Ctrl+r Toggles Radar Standby Mode. In standby mode the radar doesn't emit and the "STAND BY" words are displayed on the HSD screen when in TID mode. (FIXME replaced by "q" in git)

Carrier operations

Shift+O Lower the hook
o Raise the hook
Shift+L Engage launch bar (tip: keep holding until engaged)
Shift+C Release catapult

More info on Carrier operations:

On Nimitz carrier: locked in catapult, flaps set, full afterburner, ready for take-off
Carrier operations: going to lower deck on elevator

Weapons

Ctrl+w Cycle through MasterArm modes (see Master Arm switch in cockpit).
w Cycle Stick Weapon Mode Selector (see Weapon Mode knob selector on side of joystick in cockpit). Four positions: Off, Gun, SW, SP-PH.
Ctrl+m Toggle AIM-9 selection (must have at least one AIM-9 loaded through Tomcat Controls/Fuel & Stores menu)
e Trigger M61A1 Vulcan gun or AIM-9 missiles (depending on stick weapon mode selection)

Miscellaneous

c Toggle canopy and access ladder
u Toggle refuelling probe, three states (for air-to-air refuelling see Howto:Aerial refueling)
Ctrl+o Toggle oversweep (on ground only, otherwise sweep is automatic)
Ctrl+v Toggle between RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) and pilot view

Aircraft help

Engine Start

The engine starts automatically when there is fuel in the appropriate tank. Add fuel in Tomcat Controls menu under Fuel and Stores.

On Shore Takeoff

  • With wings on over sweep position (parking position) the elevator command is inhibited... just in case...
  • Check air brake in.
  • Fuel level: The Flightgear F-14 has a 10% fuel level and no external load at start up. This means the aircraft will be very light and have a strong tendency to raise the nose when accelerating on the runway. With less weight on the nose wheel, the nose wheel steering loose its efficiency. If the pilot use afterburners for take off, the loose of nose wheel steering efficiency is increased (afterburners are not necessary for take off). Set a suitable fuel level before take off.
  • Flaps: Set full flaps.
  • Elevators: The pilot will need to maintain a correct (levelled) attitude using the stick. Push the stick forward to prevent nose pitching up at the beginning of the take off run, release slightly as speed increase, pull smoothly when reaching rotation speed (150kts).
  • Rudder: Currently the FDM use a small rudder rate of move to damp some nasty oscillations when the rudder is not moved enough smoothly. If not anticipated, this delay will cause overshooting the desired rudder effect, then a strong counter action on the rudder will be applied by the pilot on the rudder with again an overshoot... That's a typical pilot-induced oscillation. To avoid this set a small amount of rudder, wait for the effect, see if it's enough, then add a small amount of rudder again if needed... when doing so the pilot will prefer increasing the power smoothly. Now the aircraft will quickly gain speed while covering the runway and the rudder effect will increase, thus decreasing the needed delay and the amount of pressure on the stick to match the desired effect.

Autopilot Operation

  • The main mode is Attitude Hold Mode, Ctrl+t. Other Modes need this main mode activated before being selected. Switching off Attitude Mode disables all other modes . When in Attitude Mode, the autopilot disengages whenever a certain pressure is put on the stick, and it re-engages when the stick is back in the centre position. Attitude Hold Mode will hold pitch attitudes up to plus or minus 30 degrees, and bank angles up to plus or minus 60 degrees.
  • It shall be switched off for aerobatics and inverted flight.

Autopilot Altitude Mode

  • Once in the Attitude Mode, you can select Altitude Mode by hitting Ctrl+a, then the AP REF indicator, (left of the VDI) will illuminate, when at the desired altitude using normal stick control, engage by hitting * (asterisk). The autopilot will then maintain your altitude.

CAUTION - at high speeds, it is imperative to stabilize your aircraft prior to engaging Altitude Mode!

Autopilot Heading Mode

  • Once in the Attitude Mode, you can select Heading Mode by hitting Ctrl+h. After manoeuvring the aircraft into the desired reference heading, release the control stick at a bank angle of less than 5 degrees. The autopilot will then hold the aircraft on the selected heading.
SAS Panel.
  • Autopilot needs SAS channels to be engaged, which is the default . SAS Pitch and Roll channels may be disengaged by actuating switches located on the AFCS (Automatic/Analog Flight Control System) panel.

Landing Automatic Power Control, (APC) Operation

  • The APC is a closed loop system that automatically regulates basic engine thrust to maintain the aircraft at an optimum approach angle of attack for landing.
  • Prior to engage APC, gear handle must be down with weight off wheels, and the throttles must be set between 98 percent rpm and 68 percent rpm, (as shown on the panel gauges).
  • Type a to toggle the APC on/off. APC is also disengaged by setting the throttles to MIL, (98 percent rpm) or idle, (68 percent rpm) or raising the landing gear handle or when weight on the wheels.
  • When disengaged the AUTO THROT caution light, (on the left side of the HUD) illuminates for 10 seconds.

Landing Direct Lift Control, (DLC) Operation

  • During landing approaches, the spoilers and horizontal stabilizers can be controlled simultaneously to provide glidepath correction without changing power setting or angle of attack.
Approaching Nimitz carrier: flaps set, hook lowered

Ground Spoilers Operation

  • Ground spoilers (that is elevons used as air-brake) provide additional drag immediately after the touch down. Before the landing, arm the ground spoilers by hitting Ctrl+s. After the aircraft hits the runway, pull the throttle to idle, then the spoilers (elevons) get fully deployed.

Weapons operation

At the moment, only the gun and the AIM-9s are operational, others ordinances are displayed under the wing, their weight is correct but they aren't usable.

You must have the latest F-14B package from Git for weapons operations.

  • Gun: At startup, the ammunition store is filled with 675 round. It's not possible to refill without quitting FG; even File/Reset does not reset the ammunition round (but see the Note below). To fire the M61A1 Vulcan:
    • Select HUD A/A Mode on the Display panel, on pilot's right console. A multikey shortcut is also available (:AHa). Having the HUD in this mode is not mandatory though there won't be any symbology available for the gun in other HD modes.
    • Select Gun mode with the Stick Weapon Mode Selector (w). A pipper, the G symbol with a number showing approximately the remaining rounds x 100 and a closure rate scale are displayed in the HUD. The closure rate scale is active only if a target is locked by the radar with TWS AUTO mode (diamond on the HUD).
    • Switch Master Arm on, the X on the G symbol means Master Arm off or in training mode.
    • Press e to fire the gun.
    • Note: You can manually reload ammunition using the Internal Properties (/-key). Set /ai/submodels/submodel[3]/count to 135 and /sim/model/f-14b/systems/gun/rounds to 675.


  • Sidewinders: Crudely modeled on AIM-9L available data.
    • Select a weapons set using the menu: Tomcat Controls > Fuel and Stores: "FAD light" has 4 sidewinders, "FAD", "FAD heavy" and "Bombcat" have 2 of them.
    • Select HUD A/A Mode on the Display panel, on pilot's right console. A multikey shortcut is also available (:AHa).
    • Select SW mode with the Stick Weapon Mode Selector (w).
    • Switch to the back seater's view (Ctrl+v).
    • Select pylons 1 and 8, down position, on the Armament panel, on RIO's left console. A shortcut toggles these two switches so you can select or deselect all AIM-9 in one keyboard stroke (Ctrl+m) without leaving pilot's view.
    • Switch back to the pilot's view (Ctrl+v).
    • Switch Master Arm on, you hear the search signal of the seeker head, a low volume buzz sound.
    • Now prior to be fired, the AIM-9 must have a lock on a target. Multiplayers, AI aircraft, and AI tankers can be locked. The minimal lock distance is 10 NM, the target must be approximately inside a 80° cone centred on datum line. When locked, the signal buzz volume becomes louder. For best results try to shoot (e) at a 3 to 6 NM range and with the target centred on the aircraft velocity vector. The missile will explode at the smaller distance possible. However if this distance is above 70 meters, it will continue its trajectory without guidance.

Pilot's Cockpit

Pilot's Display Control Panel.

Displays Control Panel

  • The Display Control Panel is located on the right side of the pilot's main panel, under the Hook lever. The 3 botom switches respectively turn the VDI, HUD and HSD displays on/off. The HSD MODE switch is also available, it selects NAV or TID or ECM mode. This can also be achieved by cycling through these 3 modes with the h key. (Note: the NAV MODE push buttons - TO, CRUISE, A/A, A/G, LDG - are not operational yet.)
    • VDI: Vertical Display Indicator. Shows the aircraft attitude in roll and pitch, with an artifitial horizon and magnetic heading.
    • HUD: Head UP Display.
    • HSD: Horizontal Situation Display. HSD shows either:
      • in NAV mode: compas with navigation indications,
      • in TID mode (Tactical Information Display): an horizontal representation of the tactical situation (that is information provided by the RIO from what he sees in his radar displays).
      • in ECM mode: a representation of radar threats around the aircraft.

VHF

  • Located on the RIO's left console, 3 bands: 30-88 MHz, 108-174 MHz, 225-400 MHz. Modes TR and TR-G set COMM1. Mode DF sets NAV1, that is Direction Finder displayed with the single needle in both BDHIs (Bearing, Distance, Heading Indicator) . You have Comm *or* DF. Storing frequencies (up to 20 channels) a - PRESET select the desired channel, b - READ tune the desired frequency, c - LOAD stores the frequency in the previously selected channel.

UHF

  • Located on the pilot's left console, 225-400 Mhz. ADF is not enabled on this radio.

External links