Kagero's Grumman F-14 Tomcat


Salvador Mafe Huertas




$28.95 from Casemate Publishing


Scott Van Aken

Notes: #3074. ISBN 978-83-66673-30-4, 108 pages

The next offering from Kagero in their Monograph series is this one on the F-14 Tomcat. The Tomcat was a replacement for the F-4 as a fleet interceptor. As such, it was as much designed around the Phoenix missile system (originally designed for the F-111B) as it was to be an air to air fighter. Naval aircraft need to have a fairly low landing speed as there are no 12,000 foot runways at sea. The best way to have high speed and low speed in the same airframe was to have a swing wing. Moving wings were a 'fad' of the time and used in a number of military aircraft of the time.

The type went through a number of updates including the ability to handle a reconnaissance pod and the addition of air to ground attack capabilities. The initial build of the aircraft, the F-14A, was plagued with a less than optimal engine, a situation that was not fixed until the F-14A+/F-14B. The best of the line was the F-14D, which was not built in large numbers and half of these were rebuilds of older airframes. As with all miliatry aircraft, increased maintenance costs and politics resulted in a lack of replacement builds and so those Tomcat squadrons that were not disestablished ended up moving into the F-18E/F Super Bug.

The author was with VF-32, so there is no surprise that many of the photos in the book are of aircraft of this unit. All of the photos are in full color as one would expect with a newer aircraft like this. We are provided a history of the type along with the various sytems used in and on the plane. Another section is on its war history since its first deployment in 1975. Kagero books have always provided a nice selection of full color profiles and this one is no exception. A nice addition to the series and well worth picking up.

July 2021

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