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F-14 - Was it really that good ?


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Ok so, F-14... I am very impressed with the devs as they have delivered such a fantastic multi-crew module.

 

From day one of release I have trained as a RIO and have become proficient with it as well as the pilots I fly with have become proficient at piloting. We simmers feed on challenge and oddly enough we have ran into a bit of an issue with that...

 

I think there is a number of factors influencing the seemingly immune nature of the F-14 in PVP servers, such as ECM modelling or lack there of, lack of information on real seeker head performance, radar environmental performance, mission makers ability to create realistic scenarios, etc...

 

I am a little concerned as when we get the F-14A and the Mig-23MLA we will finally have a period specific match up. Of course the F-14 has always been considered a superior aircraft however with the current performance of the F-14 eating F/A-18's for breakfast and the lack of IADS modelling for Russian aircraft along with the lack of ECM modelling in DCS the F-14 and Mig-23 match up will be a joke.

 

I am not sure how posting my thoughts on this is going to change anything.. I guess I just hope they start to address the factors that amplify the performance of particular elements that make the F-14 god like and of course most of these factors are not the fault of the HeatBlur devs.

 

I'll share a short story, the kind of story that makes me feel like an ass hole when I RIO in a PVP server (happens often):

-We were returning from a self issued mission that was to take out the blue teams AWACS, which later we found was pointless because another one spawns immediately after. Heading back at approx 35,000ft, radar switched off and after dialling in home base for the pilot I was monitoring data link contacts. A sudden popup on our 5 o'clock angels 1 about 35-40 nmi out. Instructed pilot to bank right. Setup radar elevation and azimuth. Data link contact placed inside projected lines, illuminated, got TWS track, Fox 3, instructed RTB then radar off. - Splash one F/A-18.

 

That poor F/A-18 pilot would have had about 4 seconds of F-14 spike on RWR then soon after less than 5 seconds of pitbull.

 

Didn't even support the missile. Felt like a cheep kill. :joystick: The only time we ever get shot down is when we play around and purposely put ourselves in unnecessary danger.

 

Anyway I could be wrong. the F-14 might have been god like !! Why did they scrap it then...

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Why did they scrap it then...

 

Politics.

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That poor F/A-18 pilot would have had about 4 seconds of F-14 spike on RWR then soon after less than 5 seconds of pitbull.

 

Didn't even support the missile. Felt like a cheep kill. :joystick: The only time we ever get shot down is when we play around and purposely put ourselves in unnecessary danger.

 

In real life, the AWG-9 has to support the missile until a certain distance, then the AWG-9 commands the AIM-54 to turn on its terminal guidance seeker head after which point the F-14 can turn cold/go nose cold. This is one big limitation that DCS cannot simulate apparently due to the current engine.

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You are talking like spamming Aim54 was OK IRL. It was used only twice IIRC and usually kept for defend the fleet only.

 

Try approach F18s or Mig23s with Sparrows...

Total different game.

 

If you have the Phoenix, you'll shoot it against a BVR capable aircraft even if it isn't a bomber. A $1M missile is wasted just as easily if it is left on the rail when the Tomcat is splashed in BVR.

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You are correct as was previously mentioned the Aim54 is borked right now with it being fire and forget off the rails so it is a very cheap shot.

 

With regard to the F14A I met an F14 pilot deadheading home last week and we had an interesting conversation. He said the F14 A was almost impossible to dogfight as the engines liked to surge even at moderate alpha. With regard to the F14B he mentioned beating an F15 was almost impossible from a neutral merge in a B as the F15s performance was far superior ( "but it can't land on the boat").

 

With regard to you beating an F18c in visual combat I would assume that the F18 pilot didn't know how to fight it. It's a single circle fighter and should beat the F14 handily from a neutral merge.

 

In most cases its a little academic as most merges don't start neutral but I thought I would pass on the info.

 

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With regard to the F14A I met an F14 pilot deadheading home last week and we had an interesting conversation. He said the F14 A was almost

 

 

Meanwhile other Tomcat drivers, including Victory205 in this very forum, have said that they felt perfectly comfortable going up against anything in the -A. A single pilot's opinion is NOT representative of the actual performance of a jet.

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You are correct as was previously mentioned the Aim54 is borked right now with it being fire and forget off the rails so it is a very cheap shot.

 

With regard to the F14A I met an F14 pilot deadheading home last week and we had an interesting conversation. He said the F14 A was almost impossible to dogfight as the engines liked to surge even at moderate alpha. With regard to the F14B he mentioned beating an F15 was almost impossible from a neutral merge in a B as the F15s performance was far superior ( "but it can't land on the boat").

 

With regard to you beating an F18c in visual combat I would assume that the F18 pilot didn't know how to fight it. It's a single circle fighter and should beat the F14 handily from a neutral merge.

 

That sounds odd and directly contradicts what I've heard from numerous F-14A and F-14B/D pilots. Our F-14A pilots state that the TF30 ran fine as long as you adhered to throttle restrictions. You can peg the AOA gauge with the engines at Mil power or zone 5 without concerns for engine stalls or coughs. The issues arose when you moved the throttles under those conditions. Even throttle movement wasn't that likely to cause problems (like maybe 15% chance of one engine acting up), but any event is dangerous and disruptive enough that pilots don't chance it.

 

The notion that the F-14A was almost impossible to dogfight is thoroughly contradicted by the HUD footage I've seen of F-14s fighting all manner of the other aircraft. Heck...what about this HUD footage of an F-14A gunning a F-15 available on youtube? The HUD footage starts at 7:10.

 

 

I've had F-15 pilots tell me that the F-14B/Ds were tough opponents - they used to use the vertical as a reliable tactic against the F-14A, but that stopped working against the B/D. The remaining effective tactic was to keep the fight high and fast since the Mach based CADC wing sweep programming placed the F-14 at a disadvantage under those conditions.

 

My impression is that the dead-header was covering for his own deficiencies by claiming it was the aircraft......

 

-Nick

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That sounds odd and directly contradicts what I've heard from numerous F-14A and F-14B/D pilots. Our F-14A pilots state that the TF30 ran fine as long as you adhered to throttle restrictions. You can peg the AOA gauge with the engines at Mil power or zone 5 without concerns for engine stalls or coughs. The issues arose when you moved the throttles under those conditions. Even throttle movement wasn't that likely to cause problems (like maybe 15% chance of one engine acting up), but any event is dangerous and disruptive enough that pilots don't chance it.

 

 

 

The notion that the F-14A was almost impossible to dogfight is thoroughly contradicted by the HUD footage I've seen of F-14s fighting all manner of the other aircraft. Heck...what about this HUD footage of an F-14A gunning a F-15 available on youtube? The HUD footage starts at 7:10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've had F-15 pilots tell me that the F-14B/Ds were tough opponents - they used to use the vertical as a reliable tactic against the F-14A, but that stopped working against the B/D. The remaining effective tactic was to keep the fight high and fast since the Mach based CADC wing sweep programming placed the F-14 at a disadvantage under those conditions.

 

 

 

My impression is that the dead-header was covering for his own deficiencies by claiming it was the aircraft......

 

 

 

-Nick

Possibly but he instructed at Top gun 86-89 and we had a mutual friend from the F3 so I believe him. The D was a different kettle of fish as you say. I do tend to think we look back on our previous types through rose coloured glasses. I shot an F15 from a neutral merge once in bfm but it was a bit of a one off ( tho it's always the fight I quote) and tend to forget the times he just out rated me for a quick kill.

 

Hence my last comment that in most cases its somewhat academic. I wouldn't enter a fight with a gen 4 fighter without advantage.

 

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Combat is more than just the aircraft. For example in DCS, there isn't really a reason not to take 6 AIM-54's for any flight. In reality this wasn't done because of stress on the airframe. We can limit munitions in missions in DCS, but not on a per plane basis, so even with limited AIM-54's, it's still easy to end up with F-14's flying around with nothing but them loaded.

 

 

 

The AIM-54 itself, while it is a very good missile and should have an advantage over everything else in the sim in terms of range, is inflated relative to other options in my opinion. Not so much because it's over modeled (except the fire and forget issue) but because it has the best flight trajectory of all missiles. The DCS AIM-120C with no changes except a real loft profile would gain a huge amount of range (but not enough to match the AIM-54).

 

 

In any case I would expect the F-14 to perform well, but some things are skewed by DCS being a simulation and one that can't necessarily take everything into account.

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Possibly but he instructed at Top gun 86-89 and we had a mutual friend from the F3 so I believe him. The D was a different kettle of fish as you say. I do tend to think we look back on our previous types through rose coloured glasses. I shot an F15 from a neutral merge once in bfm but it was a bit of a one off ( tho it's always the fight I quote) and tend to forget the times he just out rated me for a quick kill.

 

Hence my last comment that in most cases its somewhat academic. I wouldn't enter a fight with a gen 4 fighter without advantage.

 

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I don't think he's necessarily wrong, or a bad pilot - but if he got beat, at the end of the day, he was facing a better pilot.

 

The F-14A and moreso F-14B/D are probably very, very close in performance to the likes of the F-14A/C, F-16C B.30/B.50, F/A-18 and the small differences can give huge impressions during a knife fight!

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Possibly but he instructed at Top gun 86-89 and we had a mutual friend from the F3 so I believe him. The D was a different kettle of fish as you say. I do tend to think we look back on our previous types through rose coloured glasses. I shot an F15 from a neutral merge once in bfm but it was a bit of a one off ( tho it's always the fight I quote) and tend to forget the times he just out rated me for a quick kill.

 

Hence my last comment that in most cases its somewhat academic. I wouldn't enter a fight with a gen 4 fighter without advantage.

 

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What's the guy's name? I graduated from NFWS in early 1986.

 

Story from where I sit is complete bullshit.

 

The engines didn't surge at any alpha. I had exactly one compressor stall in over eight years - I induced it approaching zero airspeed entering a tail slide because I moved the throttles to keep from exiting the top of a working area at around 30,000 MSL. Engine recovered after a few pops.

 

Some of the crap I hear has to come from guys who never flew the A, or they came late in the history when they were getting below average pilots who primarily dropped bombs, or they are just embellishing stories that they heard passed down.

 

The guys on The Fighter Pilot Podcast had me wondering if they actually had flown the aircraft a couple of times.

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What's the guy's name? I graduated from NFWS in early 1986.

 

 

 

Story from where I sit is complete bullshit.

 

 

 

The engines didn't surge at any alpha. I had exactly one compressor stall in over eight years - I induced it approaching zero airspeed entering a tail slide because I moved the throttles to keep from exiting the top of a working area at around 30,000 MSL. Engine recovered after a few pops.

 

 

 

Some of the crap I hear has to come from guys who never flew the A, or they came late in the history when they were getting below average pilots who primarily dropped bombs, or they are just embellishing stories that they heard passed down.

 

 

 

The guys on The Fighter Pilot Podcast had me wondering if they actually had flown the aircraft a couple of times.

Pm'd you his name, maybe his memory was coloured by flying F16N's and his comments may have been relative to flying that . If the current flight model is close to correct I can see where he is coming from.

 

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What's the guy's name? I graduated from NFWS in early 1986.

 

Story from where I sit is complete bullshit.

 

The engines didn't surge at any alpha. I had exactly one compressor stall in over eight years - I induced it approaching zero airspeed entering a tail slide because I moved the throttles to keep from exiting the top of a working area at around 30,000 MSL. Engine recovered after a few pops.

 

Some of the crap I hear has to come from guys who never flew the A, or they came late in the history when they were getting below average pilots who primarily dropped bombs, or they are just embellishing stories that they heard passed down.

 

The guys on The Fighter Pilot Podcast had me wondering if they actually had flown the aircraft a couple of times.

 

Sounds like you and Okie must be buddies... Love his interviews. He has me very curious to give the A a good run when it comes out since, as he mentions several times, there are certain pockets where the A outperforms the B... Not sure if he felt the same way about the D with it's additional system advantages (but heavier I've read) but from a pure performance standpoint anyway he is adamant that if the A was flown in its niche market it could benefit from mechanical fuel control.

 

He mentions he and or his son were involved in this project at some level (I can't recall specifically though I've watched all his interviews about half a dozen times) - do you guys actually know each other?


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Just to clarify for those whom assume phoenix spam. We only ever fly CAP missions with 4x phoenix, 2x sparrow and 2x 9's. We only ever fire 1 phoenix per target unless we can confirm a miss. With the F-14's speed we can pick our engagements. We have also switched to using 54A's hoping our opponent has an easier time defeating it and at least perhaps get a visual on the launch, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

Typical engagement we launch the phoenix close between 25-35nmi depending on situation and crank, most of the time its a splash of all targets. If a confirmed miss we may fire a second phoenix or run down the target with sparrows and 9's or disengage if we deem the situation too risky. With this approach we seem to rule the skies, I have only ever witnessed one Hornet pilot executing notching perfectly defeating 2 phoenix without ruining, must have anticipated the launch as most pilots don't react in time.

 

Using the phoenix on fighter sized targets is not all that uncommon as Iran loves using them and have used them extensively in the past. Accurate hit miss numbers seem hard to find however it does seem that the phoenix had issues tracking low flying target and those equipped with the french ECM pod. Honestly it is hard to say but at the moment our hit ratio online in DCS against modern hornet and eagles target seems higher than against the reports coming out of the middle east against antiquated targets some of which don't even have a capable RWR in detecting the missile. Again lack of ECM modelling is a problem but I can't see how they could model it.

 

Not requiring to support the phoenix is a big problem if indeed the missile needs it, at the moment it seems to guide to last known intercept point. Honestly don't see how it is an engine limitation as they can make the R-27 fly ballistic when not supported.

 

Regards to merge performance I have no problem with the result in DCS. Sustained dog fight is a loosing battle for a 14 against both 15's and 18's. I'm no expert with dissimilar combat training but it does seem about right.

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Remember that the F-14 was designed as an interceptor not a dogfighter... so in a close in fight, it was pretty average.

 

Well it was actually designed to do everything - air superiority, fleet air defense, and close-in engagements as needed. If it were purely an interceptor (like the F-4) it wouldn't have a large bubble canopy and enormous control surfaces to allow for an impressive pitch rate. Plus "designed for" doesn't necessarily translate into capability. Irrespective, the F110 powered Tomcats can match the F-16's sustained turn rate at 10000', so nothing to take lightly.

 

Being a post-Vietnam design, it certainly was created with the understanding that any fighter aircraft needs to be capable at ACM.

 

He mentions he and or his son were involved in this project at some level (I can't recall specifically though I've watched all his interviews about half a dozen times) - do you guys actually know each other?

 

I can confirm that Okie tested and validated the flight model. He asked us to adjust take-off/rotation behavior (which we did); otherwise he was very pleased and impressed with the handling and behavior.

 

-Nick

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I can confirm that Okie tested and validated the flight model. He asked us to adjust take-off/rotation behavior (which we did); otherwise he was very pleased and impressed with the handling and behavior.

 

-Nick

 

That is so awesome and incredible. It really shows the level of authenticity and realism we have with the Tomcat.

 

Are the SMEs continuing to work with Heatblur as they fine tune the FM, specifically in regards to the thrust issue and also how it is handles in the landing configuration?

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That is so awesome and incredible. It really shows the level of authenticity and realism we have with the Tomcat.

 

Are the SMEs continuing to work with Heatblur as they fine tune the FM, specifically in regards to the thrust issue and also how it is handles in the landing configuration?

 

Yes, but we haven't sent a test build to Okie for a couple of months. We have other SMEs who test more frequently and continue to evaluate handling related changes.

 

The thrust issues are validated more with bench tests and there will be changes in the near term (more thrust).

 

-Nick

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