Pixelart meets a legend of aviation: The famous F-14 Tomcat in full afterburner taking off the USS Nimitz.
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After its transition to the F-14 was completed, the squadron VF-84 nicknamed Jolly Rogers embarked on its first cruise on Nimitz in December 1977. In 1979 the unit was the first TARPS capable squadron of the fleet. In 1980 it participated in the motion picture The Final Countdown which propelled the skull-and-crossbones-adorned F-14’s to international stardom. The movie featured a memorable scene involving two VF-84 Tomcats engaging two Japanese A6M Zeros. Multiple F-14s are featured in the 2008 documentary “Speed and Angels”, featuring the story of two young Navy recruits working to achieve their dream of becoming F-14 fighter pilots.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was central to the 1986 film Top Gun. The aviation-themed film was such a success in creating interest in naval aviation that the US Navy, which assisted with the film, set up recruitment desks outside some theaters. Producers paid the US Navy $886,000 (equivalent to $2,106,169 in 2019) as reimbursement for flight time of aircraft in the film with an F-14 billed at $7,600 (equivalent to $18,066 in 2019) per flight hour.
In January 1980, Nimitz diverted from the Mediterranean to take up station in the Arabian Sea in response to the Iranian hostage crisis and in April participated in the failed hostage rescue attempt. In November 1983, the squadron embarked on an extended deployment off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, in support of a multinational peacekeeping force.
- Maximum speed: Mach 2.34 (1,544 mph, 2,485 km/h) at altitude
- Range: 1,600 nmi (1,800 mi, 3,000 km)
- Combat range: 500 nmi (580 mi, 930 km)
- Service ceiling: 53,000 ft (16,000 m) plus
- g limits: +7.5
- Rate of climb: 45,000 ft/min (230 m/s) plus
- Wing loading: 96 lb/sq ft (470 kg/m2)
- 48 lb/sq ft (230 kg/m2) effective
- Thrust/weight: 0.89 at gross weight (1.02 with loaded weight & 50% internal fuel)