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DISCLAIMER: THIS CRAFT REQUIRES DOCKROTATE FOR SWING-WING FUNCTIONALITY ALTHOUGH YOU CAN ALSO FLY IT OUT OF THE BOX IN THE STOCK GAME.
DISCLAIMER: Please use DockRotate version 188.8.131.52 for best results, later versions have issues with retaining autostruts after rotation and will produce odd wobbly behavior after changing the sweep.
INSTRUCTIONS (Please give them a read, at the very least the section on operating the wings):
The Tomcat has extremely comparable performance to my other jet fighters. The fairing drag bug in 1.4.2. hampers it’s top speed a little but as soon as it is fixed the plane should get very close to it’s real-life performance in terms of speed. 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.
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.
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), 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.
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.
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. Do not fold the wings with flaps extended. This should be quite logical.
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.
AG5 - Oversweep the wings
AG6 - Release from oversweep
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.
v1.7 - Visual tweaks made to improve the accuracy. The TCS now has a single visor instead of two (Two visors were introduced in the D variant), shape of the Phoenix missile fairings improved, tailhook assembly improved. Minor visual tweaks to the control surfaces were made.
v1.8 - Wing root pylons straightened out, structures housing the gear updated to better reflect the actual aircraft.
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.
v2.3 - Significant changes. Removed some unaesthetic seams and added some details in the horizontal stabilizer section. The stabilizers themselves are now slightly anhedral like in the actual Tomcat.
v2.4 - Areas around the intakes were modified to make them appear smoother.
v3.0 - Complete rework of the nose section, the replica is now fitted with a cockpit which closely resembles the real F-14.
v3.2 - Major changes to the fuselage. It is now about 0.4m wider and more consistent with the real F-14.
v3.3 - Changes to the drop tanks, detailing added.
v4.0 - The canopy has been remade to give it a proper teardrop shape, some panel lines on the wing gloves were remade, wing oversweep added for storage, the TCS pod moved further forward to match the real airframe.
v5.0 - Added VF-31 camouflage, rebuilt the nosecone section, added a LANTIRN pod on the left wing glove pylon.
v6.0 - Tail section remade. Engine nacelles moved lower, horizontal stabilizer supports made thicker and more rectangular as in the real jet. VX-4 Evaluators paintjob added, stores and LANTIRN pod removed, might add them in later. Minor changes to the nose section.
v6.1 - Removed some strutting near the wings since the docking port connections seem far more solid now, this should enable variable sweep in 1.8+
- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 559
- Pure Stock