Inside the Issues

Issue 13 - F-14 Tomcat: Contents

Issue 13 - F-14 Tomcat: Contents

22 November 2011

Born out of the US Navy’s Naval Fighter Experimental programme, the Tomcat first flew in December 1970 and was instantly recognised as the best fleet defence fighter and long range interceptor in the world. With its heavy armament of guns and air to air missiles, including the massive long range AIM-54 Phoenix missile, when combined with its powerful Hughes AWG-9 radar it gave the Tomcat the capability of engaging targets at up to 100 miles.  Aside from its excellent service with the US Navy and interestingly, the Iranian Air Force, the Tomcat also found fame as a movie star, firstly in The Final Countdown and later in the Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun.  This issue of Aviation Classics will tell the complete story of the aircraft, its development, service career and retirement from the US Navy as well as take the reader backstage to find out how the movie Top Gun was made, the story told by the aircrew who flew the aircraft in the film.

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Issue 13 - F-14 Tomcat: Anytime, baby!

22 November 2011.

Well, producing this magazine has been a real learning curve again, and this time one for which I am deeply grateful, as it has cleared up many questions I had often pondered regarding the programmes that led to the F-14. It also posed a particular problem. Let me try to explain...

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Issue 13 - F-14 Tomcat: The Iranian F-14 – the last Tomcat

22 November 2011.

The last operator of the F-14 in front line service is also the only export customer for the aircraft. David Oliver tells the story of Iran’s acquisition and combat use of the Tomcat.

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Issue 13 - F-14 Tomcat: Why move the wings?

22 November 2011.

David I Roberts explains a brief history of swept wing and variable geometry aircraft up to the TFX.

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Issue 12 - F4U Corsair: Contents

28 September 2011.

The mighty Corsair has to be one of the most instantly recognisable of Second World War fighter aircraft. Big, powerful, its gull wing design, high cockpit and large radial engine gave it a very distinctive look. The first prototype was delivered in 1940, and series production began in 1942. This was not to end until 1953 with 12,571 being built, the longest production run of any American fighter. The fighters saw active service during the Second World War, the Korean War, the First Indochina War, Algerian War, the Suez Crisis and finally in 1969 in the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras, certainly one of the longest combat records of any military aircraft. Although it achieved a kill ratio of 11 to 1 in US Marine Corps service, this very successful aircraft was initially rejected for service with the US Navy, its early development being dogged by setbacks. This issue of Aviation Classics tells the whole story of this remarkable machine, its designers and pilots.

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Issue 12 - F4U Corsair: Team Players - Editor's introduction

28 September 2011.

Well, the magazine is officially two years old with this issue, No. 12, the Chance Vought, or Vought, or Goodyear or Brewster,  F4U or FG-1 or F-3A, Corsair. Almost as many manufacturers and designations as the Harrier in the last issue, but also like that aircraft, one immortal name.

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Issue 12 - F4U Corsair: Carrier crash!

28 September 2011.

In another article supplied by David G Powers, Fred Blechman describes the day he made his last flight in an F4U-5 Corsair, although at the time he did not know that this was the case. The dangers of flying large powerful aircraft from small carriers are perfectly illustrated by this honest account.

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Issue 12 - F4U Corsair: The last of the line

28 September 2011.

The Corsair in French Navy service by David Oliver - The 12,571st and very last Corsair to leave the Chance Vought Dallas production line on January 31, 1953 was an F4U-7 for the French naval air arm, the Aéronavale.

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Issue 11 - Harrier: Contents

29 July 2011.

Aviation Classics takes a leap forward in time this month as we trace the history of one of the most remarkable aircraft of all time. Sir Sydney Camm’s design department at Hawker Siddeley began design work in 1957 on the world’s first vertical take-off and landing jet aircraft, and we tell the story from this time to the RAF’s retirement of the type in 2010. With never before published photographs from the Falklands War, Iraq and Afghanistan, Issue 11 is a unique tribute to the Harrier, its engineers and pilots.

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Issue 11 - Harrier: Aviation and politics: Do not mix - Editor's introduction

29 July 2011.

I find this page hard to write, espcially when I am angry. One day my best friend counselled me thus: “If you feel anger, write about it, it will give you perspective and calm the emotion.” Okay, it’s worth a try, thought I. That said, you are looking at the 24th draft of this introduction. See, I told you it was hard.

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