The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is an American supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program after the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters, which were designed incorporating air combat experience against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.
The F-14 first flew in December 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor, and tactical aerial reconnaissance platform into the 1990s. The Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system were added in the 1990s and the Tomcat began performing precision ground-attack missions.
In the 1980s F-14s were used as land-based interceptors by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War, where they saw combat against Iraqi warplanes. Iranian F-14s reportedly shot down at least 160 Iraqi aircraft during the war, while only 12 to 16 Tomcats were lost; at least half of these losses were due to accidents.
The Tomcat was retired from the U.S. Navy's active fleet on 22 September 2006, having been supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-14 remains in service with the Iranian Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976.
With some ideas running around inside our heads, along with the curiosity on how to build a fully working score-n-fold swinging wing, we decided to start this project as a learning based project with hope that if this project works we could make it available to scratchbuilders just like our other parkjet designs.
We started to design it with some criteria in hand:
1. Have to be easy to build, still with score-n-fold design.
2. Need to have no additional materials other than commonly used in score-n-fold designs
Along the way, we addressed some challenges in the way that we need to answer those under the same criteria above:
1. Simple swinging wing construction.
2. Full plane control with elevons only when the wings don't have any aileron in order to simplify the built.
3. Calculate the CG right under 2 different conditions: expanded and collapsed wings.
We finally came up with the base design of the F-14D, using Rhinoceros 6.0 and OpenFOAM Computational Fluid Dynamics with Paraview that digitally met our requirements.
The design consists of some aerodynamics compensations in order to make the CG location in both wing states close to each other, as well as rods weight calculation inside the wing to balance the CG correctly. So, using 3mm carbon rods for the wing is crucial.
The swinging wing mechanism is pretty straight forward: the wing rotation axis would place the same a the servo arm axis, with the help of popsicle sticks in holding the wings. However, Wildthing, jimbosflyin and me had different approaches in order to show some possibilities to construct this F-14's swinging wings.
It is definitely an interesting experimental project for us as we will learn something out of it.
We strongly recommend to use these particular parts for the swinging wing mechanism:
1. External 6V 3A BEC.
2. JX Servo PS-1171MG 17g Metal Gear Analog Servo, that could deliver 3.5kg of torque when using 6volt BEC.
We tried with Emax ES08MA ver 2 sevo on ground tests and it failed to perform. So after looking around for some strong servos with similar dimensions, we picked JX PS-1171MG as the choice of servo for this swinging wing.
Stay tuned as updates will follow
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