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PostPosted: Fri 14 Apr 2017 05:09 am 
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Picked up a Heller re-box of the Airfix F14 'Tomcat' yesterday at a charity shop for £1.50. I remember buying the kit when it first appeared way back in 1976 - it looked so futuristic! But looking it up, I see it was retired by the US Navy in 2006 after more than 30 years in service!

If presented with a choice today as to which of the F14 or its replacement, the F/A18 Super Hornet, was the more 'up to date' aircraft, I'd pick the still futuristic looking Tomcat. And the predecessor of the F18, the YF17 was in development around the time that the Tomcat entered service! And I do appreciate the improvement in capability and efficiency in maintenance requirements and effectiveness in operation that the Hornet has [had?] over the F14. Hey ho!

And current aircraft entering service or 'in development' are so angular and bulky that, to me, they simply don't have the 'good looks' of older types. It seems today that the maxim 'if it looks good, it'll fly good' is a redundant one. Almost anything can be made to fly what with computer governed flight controls and engine management systems. Or is it just that I'm getting older.....

I wonder if anyone else has any personal suggestions as to aircraft which although 'retired' still look the part!


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PostPosted: Fri 14 Apr 2017 06:09 am 
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I think thats a bit of a big list theres loads of aircraft that still look good , but beauty is in the eye of the beholder i suppose

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PostPosted: Fri 14 Apr 2017 11:25 am 
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I always thought the Jaguar was one of the most elegant aircraft around, but that's probably because it was in service when I was a kid and I saw lots of them at airshows and flying around the Malvern Hills. Not with the ridiculous over-wing ordinance though - that spoiled it completely.

And as a prime example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I've always had a soft spot for the Phantom. Similar reasons to the Jaguar, except it was more to do with absolute brute force and how the earth shook at airshows when they fired up the afterburners!

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PostPosted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 04:51 am 
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I agree that the Jaguar was an attractive aircraft. I especially like its spindly undercarriage! Never been a Phantom admirer though.


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PostPosted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 20:29 pm 
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In defence of the YF-17 and F/A 18, they were developed as cheaper alternatives to the F-15 and F-14, respectively. I'm surprised you gents haven't mentioned the Harrier, actually.

However, I will tender the Concorde.

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Apr 2017 00:01 am 
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You guys :roll: everyone knows the A-4 is the best looker around, could beat an F-14 in ACM too :Tonka1: :Pilot:

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Apr 2017 04:45 am 
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Everyone has an opinion. The Scooter might have been hot, but in Australian service, it had a better-looking contemporary - the Mirage IIIO.

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PostPosted: Mon 17 Apr 2017 04:49 am 
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Brews wrote:
However, I will tender the Concorde.
I'll counter this with the Tu-144 ...(just for fun)

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PostPosted: Mon 17 Apr 2017 20:18 pm 
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LOL - sure, it had canards - much more futuristic.

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PostPosted: Tue 18 Apr 2017 15:01 pm 
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My vote would definitely be for the F14. Watching them launch & recover from goofers on board NIMITZ and SARATOGA was amongst the most pleasurable hours I ever spent at sea and without doubt the best 2 hours I ever spent airborne was a back seat ride out of NAS OCEANA. The whole aircraft just screams power.

The Buccaneer would run it a close second though, especially when sat in the hover at 400 feet and the six-ship flies underneath you...


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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr 2017 09:52 am 
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Definitely F-14 as USian fighter.

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PostPosted: Sun 30 Apr 2017 12:30 pm 
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wookie wrote:
The Buccaneer would run it a close second though, especially when sat in the hover at 400 feet and the six-ship flies underneath you...
A hovering Buccaneer eh? Is there something that you're not telling us?

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PostPosted: Sat 06 May 2017 00:23 am 
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In passing ..... I've seen some internet posts that question development of the F35 and advocate bringing the Tomcat back into production.

But the Tomcat is afterall an aircraft of the 1970s which'd be difficult to effectively redesign, build and potentially engage in combat with naval Sukhoi/more modern Chinese types?


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PostPosted: Sat 06 May 2017 01:54 am 
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Check this out Inkpen;
http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=6610.0
Looks very Tomcat II don't it?

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PostPosted: Sun 07 May 2017 04:20 am 
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Great stuff!

Imagination; application!


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PostPosted: Mon 08 May 2017 15:17 pm 
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My opinion of an aircraft's "good looks" has a LOT to do with whether I encountered it as an adult or as a child. One of the great disappointments of my life (which I've never admitted before) was when, after I enlisted in the USAF, I found myself working on new and utterly alien airplanes (F-16's). Yes, they were cool, I guess, but not NEARLY as cool as the F-105's flown by the AF Reserve at the other end of the base. Now those babies--Thunderchiefs!--those were the real deal.

I always felt slightly gypped.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 May 2017 20:18 pm 
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Being British, I grew up when the Lightning was the primary interceptor of the Royal Air Force. Living in London as a kid, every year on the Queens 'official birthday', the RAF did a fly by over the Palace and my house was on the flight path. For a couple of weeks beforehand, a single Lightning would fly over, fairly low, and thunderously noisey trailing a thin exaust plume. Come the day, we'd see a squadron come over, sometimes with a Vulcan. Yes, for me too it's the aircraft of my youth that remain most attractive, and fondly recalled ...


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PostPosted: Fri 12 May 2017 16:10 pm 
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Speaking of Vulcans, I still remember the first time I saw one: on holiday in Wales and driving round RAF Valley on a sunny day, and then the Sun went out briefly!

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PostPosted: Tue 16 May 2017 10:58 am 
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Being Italian and living not far from an Aeronautica Militare airport, I remember the Lockheed F104. I remember the supersonic bang when I was a child in the early seventies and a visit to the airport. Then, many years later, this airport was the home for Tornado ECR. At my eyes the Starfighter remains as a very attractive aircraft. Sadly the airport is closing down in these days.
Cheers to all.


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PostPosted: Wed 17 May 2017 07:48 am 
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Starfighters!

I remember seeing the Royal Canadian Air Force display team of Starfighters back around 1975. It was at Farnborough. The announcer introduced them and BANG they were over our heads having approached from behind us at what must have been around 1,000 feet!

The Typhoon is generally noisey, but the noise made by those Starfighters was something else!


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