When the F-14 entered fleet service, there was a noticeable shift in political power projection. Carriers of the US navy had always been important elements of political influence, but their engagements came with a high cost. The F-14 on the other hand, seemed invincible. It had combined the roles of two specialist aircraft, the F-4 and F6D, and presented a significant step forward in each capacity. Fifteen seconds was all that was needed to reverse a guns solution with an F-4 on its tail. A radar so powerful that it could burn through jamming signals emitted by other combat aircraft while guiding a missile that fell from 100,000ft at Mach 5.
The United States had, since the Korean War, favored decreasing the quantity of deployed units while increasing their sophistication and effectiveness. The F-14 was one of the first aircraft that fully embodied this theory, and it reigned supreme over the seas. There was no other aircraft that came close its ability to strike beyond visual range. If F-14's were patrolling, the carriers were safe and the US could venture into regions that were previously inaccessible. Dictators were suddenly looking out of their seaside palaces knowing a carrier was just over the horizon. These carriers and their new air wings created an era of force projection where the outcome of political events could be influenced without a combat engagement.
The Aerosoft F-14 X was designed with two principle objectives. The first was to create an authentic and detailed representation about what it was like to fly the early model F-14's and the refinements made over the first 20 years of the airframe's service life. The second was to create an accessible simulation for all users.
While many of the advanced systems will require you to RTFM to operate effectively, anyone can be in the air within seconds of loading the sim (well maybe a little longer if you're setting up a carrier launch). While failure logic, such as engine compressor stalls are included, they will not become active and take out an engine unless you enable the feature.
The only thing you can't simplify are the flight mechanics. Not a single tester or developer was un-challenged when attempting to trap this bird. But, the physics are consistent and based on real world data. As you learn why the F-14 does or does not respond the way you think it should, your intuition of flight mechanics will be become more sophisticated. Simply put, if you learn to fly this aircraft with a serious perspective, you will become a better pilot.
Final word. One of the defining aspects of this project has been an almost unyielding sense of collaboration from outside development houses, retired military personnel, and a group of dedicated F-14 fanatics that have been willing to advise and test over many long hours to make this a project a reality. Thank you and salute!
- Three generations of the A model F-14 as well as the more refined B model
- Drive up front or scan the skies from the RIO seat
- Payload Manager with Checklists
- Payloads can be loaded and jettisoned dynamically in the simulator, changing visual models, weight, and fuel
- Automated Checklists for Pre-Start, Start, Post-Start, Taxi, Run-up, Take-off, Approach, and Post-Landing
- Approach Rating system which evaluates how well pilots set their aircraft up for a visual approach
- Sim Start Options which allow users to set and remember the F-14's loading state.
- Visual Systems:
- HUD - A models: vintage type that is projected on the windscreen
- HUD - B model: Sparrow Hawk model with integrated combiner
- HUD - Both Models: All Flight and Steering modes have been created, including A/A and A/G with CCIP, shows Carrier TACAN and ILS symbology
- VDI (Vertical Display Indicator) - in-the-cockpit aircraft attitude instrument with ground and sky textures
- HSD (Horizontal Situation Display) - compass rose and steering symbols (TACAN, CRS, ADF)
- DDD (Detailed Data Display) - shows raw radar data in azimuth and range-rate
- TID (Tactical Information Display) - presents radar targets in a computer-generated, synthetic, clutter-free format
- RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) - shows ground and sea based radar emitters
- AWG-9 radar - 8 modes of operation (including STT, RWS, TWS, PLM), adjustable azimuth scan and elevation bar patterns, ranges from 5 to 200nm
- All displays have the authentic F-14A type symbology and functionality is programmed according to the NATOPS Manual
- Engine Management (TF-30)
- Compressor stalls (aero): Poor management of the aircraft will result in random compressor stalls which can induce a dreaded flat spin. Stall algorithm is random; stalls will onset, clear, and engine restarts based on a continuous supply of random numbers, while aircraft state (Altitude, Mach, Angle of Attack, and Sideslip) as well as aircraft configuration increase or decrease the chances of pitfalls and recoveries
- Compressor Stalls (throttle): Rapid throttle movements in the IDLE region can saturate the combustion chamber and stall a compressor
- Mach Lever: During Air Combat Maneuvering; Engine IDLE RPM is automatically increased at high AoA to increase stall resistance (both types)
- Engine Fires: Hot starts and compressor stalls dump fuel into the combustion chamber even though no thrust is being generated. Exceeding a transient temperature limit for critical time or heating beyond an absolute limit will cause the blades to melt and the engine will be lost
- Sump Tanks: Turbines are directly supplied by gravity fed sump tanks which only hold a combined 600lbs of fuel. Negative G maneuvers and high thrust settings can starve the engines in a hurry
- Flight Systems
- Complete wing sweep implementation with all four modes of operation: Auto, Bomb, Manual, and Emergency (with Oversweep). Auto Mode uses two sweep channels with dependencies on Mach and Altitude to determine optimum wing sweep angle
- Maneuver Flaps: Both automatic and pilot controlled (separate system from main flaps)
- Glove Vanes: Extend with Maneuver Flaps at sweep angles greater than 25° and also at very high Mach
- Approach Auto Throttle: The F-14 is a notoriously difficult plane to land, Approach AutoThrottle maintains the aircraft at optimum AoA.
- Direct Lift Control: Pilots can toggle a partial extension of the inboard spoilers to adjust AoA during approach
- Ground Roll AeroBrake: When armed, Inboard and Outboard spoilers fully extend with weight on wheel and throttles at Idle
- Speed Brake: Blows shut at speeds greater than 400KIAS or auto-retracts at MIL thrust
- MiniHUD: Optional 2D gauge gives access to information which would be readily available in a pilot's peripheral vision
- Auto Flight Control System (AFCS)
- Three channel passive Stability Augmentation System (SAS). Pilot inputs and control surface deflection rates are reduced, which allow better control in the normal flight regime
- Aileron-Rudder Interconnect designed directly from NASA source documentation
- Built from scratch Autopilot with Control Stick Steering in Pitch and Bank Hold Modes
- Vector mode follows a loaded flight Plan
- Auto Carrier Landing System combines with Auto Throttle for a hands free carrier landing. 2D Alignment gauge for AFCS can be used give precise feedback on ACLS lineup
- Flight Mechanics
- Thoroughly tested by retried Fleet F-14 pilots and a software engineer involved with a professional F-14 simulation. Performance and control response & stability data were sourced and matched as closely as possible to NATOPS and NASA technical archives
- The F-14's notorious flat spin has been recreated along with the 'Hoser' method of spin recovery
- Simconnect enabled Axis Manager (AM) precisely sets the aircraft's lift based on the configuration of six lift devices; Wing Sweep, Primary (outboard) flaps, Auxiliary (inboard) flaps, Slats, Spoilers, and Glove Vanes
- (AM) Separate control output for Stabilator and spoilerons; wings swept aft will produce less lift, less roll, and notably increased adverse yaw
- (AM) Authentic catapult launch speeds on any carrier as well as a custom trap physics on recovery
- Includes radar Intercept, escort, wandering (civilian) pilot, Random, and a Tanker for when the tanks run empty
- Included aircraft that have been generously donated by our collaborators:
- KA-6D: Razbam Simulations (http://www.razbamsims.com)
- Su-27 : ALS-Sim (http://www.als-sim.com)
- Tu-95 : Samdim Designs (http://samdimdesign.free.fr/)
- USS Kitty Hawk CV-63
- Built from scratch Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (FLOLS) which can be applied to any naval aircraft using the Kitty Hawk
- 11 moving carrier tracks from around the world centered around on historically significant locations. Each track has a corresponding saved flight which allows users to load the simulation directly on a moving carrier.
- Moving tracks includes a carrier task force
- USS Jarrett and USS Vandegrift by Alberto Garcia
- USNS Patuxent by Javier Fernandez
- Owners of the Deltasim DDG (http://deltasimstudio.com/ddg.htm) will have the option to substitute the destroyer into the Carrier Task Force
- TacPack by Vertical Reality Simulations
- Users who own TacPack will be able launch payloads including the F-14's potent beyond visual range capabilities
- TV Camera set (TCS) will focus on any radar locked target and enable visual target identification at a range of 10nm
Please note that many of the features (carrier operations etc.) are only usable for users of FSX Gold, FSX Acceleration and Prepar3D. These functions will not work on FSX SP2 (that’s the original released FSX with the two Service Packs).