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F-14D Tomcat

mangaroca Guest

Hi All,

My name is Darek. I am a great fan of F14 Tomcat. I tried to “fly” it in every possible simulation and had a very good time playing Dino Cattaneo’s F14 in Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004. After being quite disappointed with the lack of this particular airplane in Lock On: Modern Air Combat (it is present there but among the non-playable aircrafts) I turned my eyes back to the Flight Simulator. I searched the net and found two (worthy) versions of the Tomcat, both using Dino’s F14 gmax model: F-14A Top Gun Tomcats by Dean Mountford and F-14B Tomcat totally created by Dino himself. After a few hours spent in the air I felt more and more need… more need for speed… J
It was than when I realized that the first Tomcat (variant A) is slightly bigger than variant B, which I believe was an “accident at work” Very Happy Either way an idea was born in my head. How about the big “D”?
Well, flying it in my mind felt good. Creating it still seems to be a difficult task. However, the prize could still be greater than the price. I would like this model to be as accurate as possible. Of course, I’ve never flown the F14 and I’ve never felt how it feels like but “superspoilers” and (in my opinion) a bit too strong aerodynamic lift too soon during takeoffs makes this plane inaccurate. I know Dino has created the superspoilers on purpose (to let the Player land on a carrier without external modules). However, in my opinion, it should be removed. Let’s make the F14 act as it acts in real life.
Don’t get me wrong. I find Dino’s model almost perfect. He (and all the others that helped) has done an amazing job creating this model. Nevertheless, an occasion is coming to patch and repair all the small errors and inconsequences. Please, don’t treat me as another aircraft modeler – wannabe. Although building flyable airplanes for Flight Simulator is still new to me, I have some background which I am willing to use. Please, notice that all that I wish to change (at least now) concerns only the model.
I have read Dino’s ReadMe file attached to his F14B Tomcat. Since He has to say “Goodbye” to the FlightSim I’d be most grateful for any kind of help from just about anobody, whether it’d be a tip, some hints or a few words of encouragement… Very Happy
For now, please have a look at rest of this looooong post. It describes all of the things I intend to (or would like to) implement in my project. Feel free to comment on them and say which could actually work. I tried to describe them as well as I could. All of the ideas are backed up with knowledge and the data have been checked. Since I’m sort of a “Tomcat freak” You may find them even too accurate. Nevertheless, please – make Yourself a cup of coffee, sit back… and be as helpful as You can. Enjoy the ride! Wink

The F-14 D Tomcat Project

As I wrote at the beginning, all I want to cover in this work is limited to giving ideas about changing the aircraft’s model and it’s animations. Flight dynamics, cockpits and special effects will hopefully be left for the future. Mentioned aspects intend to change the existing methods and ways in which Dino solved problems in his F14. All not mentioned things are to be left as they are… or maybe You can add something extra?
I’ve noticed there are some unused, animation–enabling key functions in Flight Simulator e.g. lowering Concorde’s nose, opening cowl flaps, folding wings etc. Applying different actions to these keys could enrich this model and give it an “extra kick”. Since there can be no weapons in this game (well actually there can, but… :/), let us have a fighter never seen in any previous game before. The one that would “kick ass” in a “deluxe” way…

I will use slightly different terminology to name the parts. Please refer to: http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail.htm for better understanding of those issues.

The Wing – it’s middle part is static and does not move (except for the geometry change – wings sweep between 20° and 75°); forward brakes (slats) are divided into two parts, both moving automatically (between 0° and 17°); steering planes (spoilers) are divided into two pairs of two parts, all of them moving together (between 0° and 55°) when the wings are swept forward, when the wings are swept back (until 62°) only the outer pair is active, behind this barrier (62°) the steering planes are blocked and bank angles are acquired by horizontal stabilizers; the flaps are divided into three parts (all of them moving between 0° and 35°), but the inner flaps move only until the wing is swept back at 22°, the two remaining flaps move until the wing is swept back at 50°, above this barrier they are blocked as well. Wings sweep back and forward at the speed of 7,5° per second in leveled flight and at 4° per second when maneuvering.

Flap positions (Can there be 6? If not, can we use wings folding for the last flap position [f]?):
a)Take-off and landing
· Wings swept fully forward at 20°
· Slats fully deployed at 17°
· Flaps fully deployed at 35°
b)Maneuvering
· Wings swept fully forward at 20°
· Slats partially deployed at 8,5°
· Flaps partially deployed at 10°
c)Leveled flight (subsonic transit)
· Wings swept fully forward at 20°
· Slats fully retracted at 0°
· Flaps fully retracted at 0°
d)Bomb run
· Wings swept back at 55°
· Slats fully retracted at 0°
· Flaps fully retracted at 0°
e)Leveled flight (supersonic transit)
· Wings swept back at 68°
· Slats fully retracted at 0°
· Flaps fully retracted at 0°
f)Taxiing and parking
· Wings swept back at 75°
· Slats fully retracted at 0°
· Flaps fully retracted at 0°

Air Brakes – the upper air brake can be deployed at 60° maximum; the lower air brake is divided into two parts, both deployable till 18°. The speed of deployment is 30° per second.

Hook – it will be deployable till 36,5° from the vertical axis. If it is actually to stop the airplane on a carrier, it will have to be “equipped” with external module, am I right? Or should just the arrestor cables “have” such? It’s just a “by the way” question. It is too soon to write about it. However the answer would make it easier to design it.

Engine intakes and nozzles – finally animated (it can be done – Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet by Team FS KBT has animated air intakes/coolers/whatever connected with thrust/amount of throttle), consisting of two planes each; I still cannot make up my mind whether they should be controlled by the throttle or the wing sweep. The airplane’s overall speed cannot enable any animations in the model, right? So unfortunately, although automatic in real life, both the wing sweep and the engine intake nozzles’ animations must be controlled by the player.

Thrusters – they are different from the one in F14A and B variants. As You probably know it is caused by the different type of engine installed. As the actual shape of the exhaust should be quite easy to model, the problem comes with their animation (increasing the throttle closes the exhaust etc.). Dino’s model never had moving exhaust, however it was present in a F/A-18 E Super Hornet. I guess it is also possible to have such thing “on board” the Tomcat. I would also want the throttles and what follows, also the exhausts to be separately adjustable e.g. You can turn on the afterburner in the left engine closing it’s exhaust and turn the right off leaving it’s exhaust fully open.

Cockpit stairs – deploying when opening the canopy; a small detail but giving so much joy, not to mention that they were one of the aspects that the Navy put much stress on.

Air to air refueling pipe – another detail, which probably will never be used for “virtual air refueling”, but hey… neither will the stairs for entering the cockpit. Besides, just as carriers have been created to make us feel like being in the NAVY, maybe AI air tankers circling in the air will appear soon letting us check our ultimate flying skills? Which brings me to…

Fuel dropping – I don’t know if such thing is possible in Flight Simulator, but a small pipe in the back of the plane, just above the retracted hook is waiting to have an effect added… all in it’s time.

Extra panels and covers opening during maintenance activities – might sound “scary” and needless but unused animation keys would surely “thank” us for making them at least a bit important Wink. Besides – there is nothing more beautiful than the Tomcat with a raised radar cover and opened side panels looking like a “wet turkey” unable to fly…

Different armament configurations – as You surely know the F-14 D can also carry bombs, Harpoons and HARMs. It would be best if the plane had a few general weapon configurations available along with one paint scheme. It has been done before and it will look good with the “Bombcat”. More details on this shortly.

Cosmetic changes to the hull – again, variants A and B are different from variant D. Such changes would concern: a deeper engine turbines’ placement inside the air intake (new engines are shorter than the old ones); the rear section change between the engines, above the retracted hook; a different gun cover (vents); a different TCS pod beneath the bow, just in front of the nose-landing gear; etc. By the way – is it possible to increase or decrease the on-ground turn rate? The front wheels can swing sideways up to -/+ 70°. Some FS models turn their nose wheel on their own (the wheels are physically steered), some use left/right brakes to force the unsteered nose wheel to turn sideways. In my opinion the second option is correct with reality but I may be wrong. Maybe Hornet (she has the first option front wheel) has been equipped with it, to be able to taxi more accurately on carrier deck? I don’t know about the Tomcat…
OK. That seems to be it. You must admit that some of the ideas are really “a piece of cake” and could be done by anyone who knows at least some basics about 3D modeling in Studio Max or G Max. It so happens that I not only have that knowledge but also am willing to do it. J And that’s how I come to my final question.
I know that Dino’s model can be easily distributed throughout the net for free. I know that many people have created add-ons and paint schemes especially for his Tomcat. I also know that giving away all his secrets could be impossible or could at least have a price. However, I still believe in honesty and good will leading towards improvement. I am aware of the fact that a .mdl Tomcat is much less “endangered” with unwanted changes made by the wrong people than the .gmax one. A question emerges. Is there a possibility that someone, anyone, me for example J could work on his model? Is it possible to put it back into G Max and change a few things? If yes… how? (I already tried “mdl to max converter” with no positive result.)
It would take a lot of time for me to model this airplane before even coming to the present state of Dino’s work. Besides, there would probably be significant overall differences between his variant B and my variant D. That is why I ask… Does anyone of You know if this would be legal? If yes, how can I convert the mdl do gmax or any other file format readable by 3D modeling program such as 3D Studio Max or G Max? If anyone of You has already tried this or would like to help, I’d be most pleased for any kind of input. F-14D is so much more than just different textures… I can assure You that I do not look for neither fame nor fortune. All I want is a properly made “D” and it so happens that I have both the skills and the knowledge. At least I believe so… J I can guarantee that nothing of what I would ever create would see the light of day if You wouldn’t agree.
Once again – please understand me. I will do my best not to disappoint You… nor the Tomcat.

Best wishes

Darek Gurtowski
mangaroca@wp.pl
Poland

PS. Sorry for my English. I am still learning…

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I wish you all the best building the perfect aircraft. You are very ambitious and your English is excellent.

I played with this one but I'm a taildragger looking for occasional fun.

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/1792/super-hornet-fast-and-hot/

Radar

mangaroca Guest

Thx... I hope my ambitions are not too big :/ And as it comes to mdl/gmax conversion...?

hawk_345 Guest

I wish you all the best, i owuld love to see your idea of the ultimat tomcat come through. I love the tomcat and i seeem to have trouble with the models i already have, the Vc guages dont show up, so i hope to see yours soon. Godd Luck.

mangaroca Guest

At the moment I'm creating the model in 3ds max. Unfortunatelly, it turned out that my best plans that seemed to be "perfect" on paper are quite unprecise when put into max... I am forced to search through all available sources (web) and find something that can substitute them. After adjusting the scale, both the lenght and width in top and side views are exactly identical . Trouble begin when I measure the height in front view and compare it to height in side view - they match only in the front of the airplane... The back is way out of scale... (perspective??? :/)

so...

IF ANYBODY HAS F14-TOMCAT PLANS/BLUEPRINTS - PLEASE, MAIL THEM: mangaroca@o2.pl

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

All I can do is give this to you and you'll have to see if it takes you somewhere, there are many links in it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-14

Radar

mangaroca Guest

Cheers for that RadarMan... although, it's still not what I need :/

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
mangaroca Guest

damn... Very Happy somebody was faster... Smile however, if it suits me I'll be happy...

"...shot down, in a blaze of glory..." Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

mangaroca wrote:

damn... Very Happy somebody was faster... Smile however, if it suits me I'll be happy...

"...shot down, in a blaze of glory..." Wink

I'm glad you stopped by and saw it. I didn't know if you would, I had hoped.

I didn't download it but being the expert you are I'll take your word that it's good, or better than good.

Don't give up, anything can be improved. I bet it has a great sound-file with a huge download like that.

Radar

mangaroca Guest

The package is big: 115 mb after decompression. However, it is not "D" yet... Model by Jeff Dobbing/Dino Cattaneo = old F-14B. I believe not a single part of the model has been changed. Sad The key differences between As, Bs and Ds have been left aside. None have been implemented. There are signifficant errors in paint schemes - squadrons flying only variant B now fly the "D wannabe" :/
The only true good changes are: the sound (a few errors anyway) and the flight dynamics... You cannot take off after just a few meters anymore when having the falps extended. However the "superspoilers" are still there... spoiling the fun. The same thing goes to overstrissing. It still happens too often after 3, 4 g manouvers. This is bad... Sad
I wrote an email and got a reply - they may be planning an update. Limitations are that the only freeware F-14 model is this of Dobbing's/Cattaneo's and this will never be taken as variant D. At least by me... (do I want toooooo much?;>)

Hope remains... Smile

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Maybe you could work with him to get an exact model. He has done quite a bit so far and you can improve on it.

Personally I would want the entire model to be my own but that's a huge amount of work and you may have to do some minor tweaking to make it fully acceptable in FSX, it's coming sooner than we think.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Radar

mangaroca Guest

Guess what, I edited the Aircraft.cfg and found out that the spoiler_limit is actualy set to 45! NO SUPERSPOILER effect should be there! (superspoilers have about 1000) But there is!!! And what's even more strange - after I change it to 10 it still works as before, stopping my plane in 4 seconds...

Why???

mangaroca Guest

Does anyone know an e-mail to Jeff Dobbing? I searched in his files but didn't find anything...

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

His name is mentioned in a few of these check them and see if his e-mail is in one of them, or one of these designers can reach him.

http://library.avsim.net/search.php?SearchTerm=+Jeff+Dobbing&CatID=root&Go=Search

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
mangaroca Guest

Does anyone know what happened to the creator of the Ultimate Tomcat [v1,2&3] - Randy Shoemake? He's project web page (prosoftsimulations.com) is now empty and all his mods are unavailable. Why?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

That link worked when I posted it, now it's dead, very strange.
I can't find a name with that spelling at avsim.

Radar
Download some of his other aircraft and see if you can find his e-mail.
Maybe someone who has repainted his aircraft has his e-mail.

Radar

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