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August 11, 2010
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Aug 5, 2010, 1:08:59 PM
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Nose Art - Gotcha ...Baby by RoadTripDog Nose Art - Gotcha ...Baby by RoadTripDog
A little teaser for some aircraft photos I have taken recently, this from a small air museum nearby. This cool nose art is on a Grumman F-14A Tomcat on display. Looks like the AIM-54 Phoenix radar air-to-air missile has a lock and is ready to set its teeth into a bad guy. B'bye!

Here's what a six-pack of Phoenix missiles looks like mounted on a Navy F-14 Tomcat: [link] (first photo is one missile, scroll down to see the six-pack).
That's six big hot steaming cans of whoopass.

The AIM-54 is 13 feet long and weighs 1,000 lbs, and the F-14 was the only fighter capable of carrying that heavy a missile. Each Phoenix costs $477,131 so the total of a six pack on that Tomcat cost the taxpayers $2,862,786 plus freight and installation. The mission profile for the Phoenix was fleet protection against enemy cruise missiles and bombers, smaller missiles were used for close in dogfights. Usually the Tomcat would carry a mixed load of missiles rather than the Phoenix six pack (scroll down the linked page further to see a mixed load on a Tomcat - also notice how large the F-14 is compared to the pilot sitting on the wing). Phoenix has been retired but interestingly the replacement missiles do not have as long a range.
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:iconhtc-master:
HTC-Master Dec 19, 2013  Professional Artist
That cat is riding the missile? 
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:iconhtc-master:
HTC-Master Dec 21, 2013  Professional Artist
OK.
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:iconkiba928:
The AIM-54C Phoenix missile is BIG - weighs 1,000lbs, range approx. 200 km.
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:iconhtc-master:
HTC-Master Jan 12, 2014  Professional Artist
Very funny...
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:iconkiba928:
They call it the "Buffalo" for good reason...
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:iconhtc-master:
HTC-Master Jan 15, 2014  Professional Artist
OK.
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:iconpete8680:
ANY TIME BABY! Nice pic!
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:iconskoshi8:
Skoshi8 Mar 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
An odd thing about the F-14 and the Phoenix is that although the plane could take off from a carrier with six missiles, it could only LAND with four. That means that if it was sent out on a mission which turned out to be a wild goose chase, the pilot would have to jettison two of those half-million dollar AIM-54s, so in practice, four were carried at the most.
By the way, Iran still flies the F-14 with the Phoenix.
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:iconroadtripdog:
If you took off with six AIM-54s, you theoretically could spend $3 million taxpayer $$$ in just a few seconds. I have always wanted to hit the button to fire a broadside from the battleship Missouri. I wonder what that would cost today, although it will probably never happen again. As for Iran with F-14/AIM-54, are they properly maintained these days? Even on the black market parts must be getting scarce, although I would not want to test that theory in person.
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