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The Tomcat has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, I used to rewatch Top Gun over and over and build scale models of the famed big fighter. Even today, I still believe it is one of the most beautiful and innovative airframes ever concieved and constructed. Even if it won't take it to the skies under US Navy roundels ever again, I have decided to give it a second life in the skies of Kerbin. Here is my replica of the F-14 Tomcat - the most successful variable-geometry fighter to ever enter service. INTRODUCTION: The "stock" part of the title is actually a bit complicated. In this replica, I've decided to opt for visual accuracy and performance over anything else, and thus I could not fit in a bulky stock bearing system that could handle the stresses on the wing surfaces properly. At the same time, a Tomcat without it's variable-geometry wings isn't a true Tomcat of course, thus, I've resorted to a different solution. Parts that make up the aircraft are completely stock and you are free to fly it out of the box. Swing-wing capabilities though are provided via a handy mod called DockRotate which I will include below. It doesn't add any parts or functionalities besides making the docking ports capable of rotation. I believe this is the best compromise I could manage. It allowed me to place the wing bearings in their correct position (I've actually read some blueprints to make sure they are correctly modelled) while maintaining the sleekness of the wing gloves themselves. The mechanism operated extremely smoothly and I'm very satisfied with the result overall. INSTRUCTIONS: The Tomcat has extremely comparable performance to my other jet fighters. Due to it's unconventional wing layout and behaviour it has a few small details worth knowing before you take it to the skies and buzz some towers. 1. Takeoff: This one is pretty straightforward. Don't use excess yaw and roll as in all planes in KSP when rolling, feel free to use flaps (AG6) and rotate at about 90m/s. Tailstrikes shouldn't be possible unless you have your tailhook extended which would be unusual for takeoff. 2. Landing: The Tomcat has some beautiful handling characteristics when landing. Remember to land with wings extended, with wings folded under 200m/s the aircraft may be very underresponsive, albeit in emergency situations landing with wings folded is absolutely viable as long as you keep your speed about 30m/s higher than usual. The stall speed depends on your fuel load but with about 50% of fuel (which is about what you will be landing with for the most part) sits at around 40m/s. Optimal approach speed sits at around 60m/s or whatever other speed that allows you to slowly lose altitude while maintaining mild nose-up attitude. AoA for touchdown should sit at about 10 degrees. You can extend the brakes (Brake buton), flaps (AG6), and the tailhook (AG5) if you need to bleed off speed. With drop tanks attached be careful not to slam down too hard as this can damage the tanks. 3. Overall flight behaviour: Some quirks the Tomcat has: Since it uses it's elevons for roll control it can sometimes take a few tenths of a sec to achieve it's max pitch rate if coming out of a roll. Keep that in mind if you need to pull up hard from a dive for example. Other than that just keep in mind that it's a big and heavy fighter. Also be aware that flight behaviour will change depending on the wing sweep: 20 degree sweep will favor turn rate and responsiveness at low speeds while folded wings will increase roll rate and energy retention at higher speeds. 4. Operating the wing mechanism. The wing mechanism is the central part of this replica. With DockRotate installed, AG1 and AG2 are assigned to increasing and decreasing the sweep respectively. Main guidelines are: - Only change the sweep when not maneuvering. After the wings are locked in position you are free to push the 'Cat as hard as you like. - Change the sweep at speeds of 240-250m/s and higher. Lower speeds will not break the pivots but they will put unnecessary strain on the wings. - Don't try to unfold the wings when they are already unfolded or fold them when they are already folded. One click of the proper AG will put them in their correct position. ACTION GROUPS AND FUNCTIONALITIES: Stage - Detach the drop tanks. Brakes - Deploys the airbrake, engages wheel brakes. AG1 - Toggle afterburners. AG2 - Wings folded (With DockRotate). AG3 - Wings unfolded (With DockRotate). AG4 - Toggle tailhook. DOWNLOAD LINKS: DockRotate (Optional, enables variable-geometry wings) (Thank you @peteletroll!): https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/170484-141-dockrotate-rotation-control-on-docking-ports/ CRAFT file: https://kerbalx.com/EvenFlow/F-14B-Tomcat Enjoy! v1.0 - Initial release. v1.1 - Some tiny details polished out, missing autostruts added where possible. v1.2 - Nose assembly smoothed out. v1.3 - Ventral fins aligned properly, strutting improved. v1.4 - Minor changes to the tail section to make it appear smoother. v1.5 - Changes to the tail section and nacelles to make them appear smoother overall. v1.6 - Aerodynamic improvements, top speed increased by about 5m/s overall. v2.0 - Major overhaul of the whole airframe. Airframe reinforced, wing gloves remodelled, wings refurbished to appear cleaner and more accurate, wing sweep corrected to match the real aircraft, horizontal control surfaces updated. I highly recommend updating your craft if you have downloaded a previous version. v2.1 - Aerodynamics improvements, antennas are now modelled better. v2.2 - Tiny changes to the positioning of the fuselage panels in some places to increase the overall smoothness. v3.0 - Complete rework of the nose section, the replica is now fitted with a cockpit which closely resembles the real F-14.
Grumman F-14 Tomcat - America's Favorite Fighter A few months ago, for the Jet-of-the-Day thread, I made a functional, visually accurate F-14 Tomcat. However, going back to it, I found it much less accurate than I thought, so I decided to return. At the cost of doubling the part count, I finally have a Tomcat that I'm happy with. The Mechanisms In addition to the visual overhaul, I redid the hinge mechanism to work smoother and explode less. The result is a mechanism that works smoothly in level flight, and is actuated by only two action groups (one forward, one back). The mechanism is pretty interesting. The solar panels in the hinge hold two RCS balls each, in two chambers. The docking ports (facing up) are actuated by the airbrakes between docking ports (facing down). The result is a smooth hinge that's timewarp resistant. The Arsenal The F-14 was an extremely versatile big fighter. It was extremely maneuverable when armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders, and could kill from long range with AIM-54 Phoenix. Long-range interceptor roles used a combination of the two, and this replication follows the most common loadout for that role. On the central pylons are four AIM-54 Phoenix. Like its real-life counterpart, this AIM-54 is a long-range air-to-air missile capable of destroying bombers in one shot. Decouple the missile and use target hold to home in. Earlier versions of this missile were capable of killing planes from kilometers away (in KSP, IRL it had much more range). To complement the jet rockets, there are a pair of unguided missile types. The inner wing pylon holds AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, and the outer one holds AIM-9 Sidewinders. To extend the range, there are a pair of drop tanks as well. More Information In addition to the accurate weapons loadout, I spent a lot of time making sure that the craft would look and function the same as an actual F-14. The variable incidence wings are fully functional, and are actuated by action groups. This is mostly non-problematic, and the wings dock back without incident, provided that the transition is done in level flight. The focus for this project was extreme visual accuracy, so the craft is extremely draggy. Because of this, expect top speeds of about 100m/s with afterburner, and about 170 with burners lit. I expect that it will perform much better in FAR, but have not tested it. Fitting to the real Tomcat, this replica is significantly more maneuverable with wings forward, and a bit faster with the wings swept. Action Groups 1 - sweep wings backward2 - sweep wings forward9 - toggle engines0 - toggle afterburnerRCS - body spoilersABORT - tailhookG - gear + gear bays Download https://kerbalx.com/servo/Grumman-F-14-Tomcat Enjoy!
Torquimedes posted a topic in The Spacecraft ExchangeI've read that the way to build this aircraft is with Infernal Robotics, but there's nothing infernal about this one. It's pure stock. After building the Moller Skycar I had a notion how to make the wings work. I started with the Skycar’s butterfly hinges, added wings, and removed the pistons which were so prone to breaking. The wings swing fore-and-aft reacting to speed changes like a real Tomcat. I had trouble with the wings twisting until I remembered that Tomcats have "wing gloves" that fit around the base of the rotating sections, so I built those, along with the "wing deck" on top of the nacelles to restrict wing motion to one axis. You can see both features on this Tomcat: Here's the wing glove/deck: I thought I was done at this point, but wanted a go at synchronizing the wings as well. So I added some solar-panel gear teeth to each wing hinge that engage in the center section, and another to restrict the arc of the swivel, and the wings move in unison now. Here's an exploded view of the mechanical bits: The thermometers hold the hinge axles in place inside the engine nacelles. The wings are attached to the lower end of the hinge axle, and the solar panels to the upper end. The solar panels mesh in the center behind the cockpit to synchronize the motion of the wings as seen below: After the early versions were so fragile, I was amazed how simple and stable operation became after these changes. This Turkey(1) ended up working as I expected and is also fun to fly! Yes, I did listen to Kenny Loggins DANGER ZONE on a loop for the three solid days it took to build and test this. But when Youtube wouldn’t allow me to use Kenny Loggins, I discovered DANGER ZONE by The Sinners. Operation: Engage SAS. Throttle full. Stage. Leave the ground as quickly as possible to avoid injesting a squirrel and stalling one of the engines. This plane can be squirrely on the ground. Watch the wings sweep back as you gain speed. Snap roll or decelerate to extend them again. Stir in afterburner to taste with action group 1. You have about 20 minutes of fuel, or 6 minutes if you feel THE NEED FOR SPEED. Mods EditorExtension and HangarGrid were used during construction, but the result is pure stock, so it should also be usable on consoles. KerbalX link Mass 11.23t Cost 60,916 Crew Capacity 2 Part Count 97 Built in KSP 1.2.2 Size 11.86 x 4.26 x 11.05 (1) Turkey is a deck crew nickname for how the Tomcat looks on landing approach with its wings and flaps and spoilers all fanned out. And a play on the "Tom" in its name.