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"F1/F14 connection???" Topic

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The H Man Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2019 2:09 p.m. PST

I am wondering if there is a connection between the F1 rocket and F14 jet, and other Fs. Are they part of the same series? Is there a link for a list of the series of Fs? Or is there no relationship at all?

Dynaman878931 Dec 2019 2:37 p.m. PST

The F in F14 simply stands for Fighter so I'm guessing no relationship at all.

Legion 401 Jan 2020 8:30 a.m. PST

I believe you are correct …

emckinney01 Jan 2020 11:20 a.m. PST

Anyhow, it's "F-14"

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2020 1:19 p.m. PST

Thankyou all.

15mm and 28mm Fanatik01 Jan 2020 2:36 p.m. PST

There are two "F1"s but none are American. One is the French Mirage F1:


Then there's the Japanese Mitsubishi F-1:


Toaster02 Jan 2020 5:11 p.m. PST

The original USAAF scheme had fighters designated P for pursuit and when the switched to F for Fighter (mid 40's) they kept the numbers going until the late 60's (F111 was the highest that actually saw service I think).

Meanwhile the USN had its own scheme that used multiple letters and tended to reuse numbers (F4-F and F4-U were totally different aircraft).

In the late 60's a new simplified system was introduced for both services (USAAF having become USAF at the end of WWII). The current navy fighters kept their numbers but had their letters switched to the new system F4H-1 Phantom became the F4 Phantom for example). And then new aircraft carried on the numbering from there suych as the Northrop F5.

And every other nation in the world has its own system.


ReallySameSeneffeAsBefore02 Jan 2020 5:53 p.m. PST

Not forgetting the F117- which admittedly wasn't really a fighter. I guess they didn't quite know how to define such a new type at first.

Toaster02 Jan 2020 10:17 p.m. PST

Thanks, I was forgetting the F117.

Dynaman878903 Jan 2020 8:07 a.m. PST

The F117 is fighter sized so I guess it got lumped in as a Fighter. Always interesting to say a plane is "small" though when a trip to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum makes it clear just how large modern fighters are compared with the Enola Gay that is also there. Darn near 75% the size if not more.

Mark 103 Jan 2020 6:43 p.m. PST

Meanwhile the USN had its own scheme that used multiple letters and tended to reuse numbers (F4-F and F4-U were totally different aircraft).

The old USN system was:

1st Letter: Type of aircraft
2nd Number: Model in sequence from a given manufacturer. But there is no number 1.
3rd Letter: Manufacturer
Hyphen (if needed), and then…
4th Number: Sub-type in sequence. Again, no number 1.

So F4F was the 4th model of Fighter plane made by Grumman (F4F: Fighter model 4 from vendor F). We usually call it the Wildcat. In fact the F4F-3 and F4F-4 were the most common types (3rd and 4th sub-versions).

But when Wildcat production was taken over by General Motors (vendor M), the Wildcats they delivered were the F2M (their second production fighter for the Navy). It's a good thing GM took it over, because someone needed to make Wildcats for small escort carriers that had very limited room and take-off and landing decks for the larger higher-performance Grumman F6F (Hellcat) and F7F (Tigercat) and F8F (Bearcat) fighters.

Vought (vendor U) was also in the business of making planes for the USN. Their 4th fighter version was also an F4, but because it came from Vought it was the F4U. We usually call it the Corsair. F4U-1 was a major production version, but the F4U-4 was built in the largest numbers. Now you have just got to know that the difference between an F4F-4 and an F4U-4 was NOT just who made the d@mned thing. Wildcats at Midway were a long ways from Corsairs over Okinawa!

But wait, didn't they also have Corsairs called FG-2s or F3As, I hear you mumble. That's because some were built by Goodyear (vendor G), who didn't just sit on their license but further developed the Corsair into the FG-2 -- a specialized fast-climbing quad-20mm armed fleet defense fighter highly prized for anti-kamikaze work. And some were built by Brewster (vendor A), a firm that had already built some other fighters for the USN. You may recall that their second fighter for the navy, F2A Brewster Buffalo, that was replaced on the production line by the F3A Corsair, was not quite so fondly remembered by history!

Now if that all seems "oh so simple", let's add that the first letter was not always just one letter -- it could be TWO letters. So for example TB was the Navy prefix for torpedo bombers. The TBD Devestator was the first torpedo bomber from Douglas (vendor D). The TBF Avenger was the first torpedo bomber from … oh come on now, I already told you … Grumman! (You remember vendor F, as in F4F, F6F etc.) But when it was made by Martin that same Avenger it became the TBM.

SB was for Scout Bombers. So SBD Dauntless was the first scout bomber from Douglas. And SB2C Helldiver was the second scout bomber from Curtiss (vendor C). In some the USN squadrons the SB2C Helldiver replaced the SBD Dauntless that had replaced the SBC-2 Helldiver … as in the second sub-version of the first model scout bomber from Curtiss (and Curtiss just liked the name Helldiver I guess).

Now isn't THAT an easy way to keep track of things? And you wonder why the Air Force wanted none of it?

So when the SBD Dauntless was provided to the USAAF it became the A-24. That's the 24th attack plane accepted into service, bother with who made the d@mned thing. Note that does NOT mean the 24th bomber, though, because B-24 was a very different beast altogether.

I hope that's all clear.

And this is why MacNamara rationalized all of the services into a single numbering scheme, and after the "century series" of USAF fighters (F-100 through F-111), the next major USAF fighter (after 3 less-than-successful programs) was the F-4 Phantom. Which, in the USN, was called … wait for it … the F-4 Phantom. WHAT A CLEVER SCHEME!

Now as to the F-117 … I read that it was supposedly named as a counter-intelligence ruse, to make it seem like a 15 year old fighter program when it was the newest latest bestest secretest attack plane going. Or so I've read. Wasn't part of the program, so don't know if that's all actually true.

(aka: Mk 1)

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2020 11:37 p.m. PST

Actually, the Phantom II, since there was a previous, and far less famous, Phantom aircraft, just to make things even more confusing.

Lion in the Stars04 Jan 2020 3:57 p.m. PST

The story I've heard was that F-117 was pilot-log code for "so classified I'd have to kill you if I told you what it was" like a captured MiG25 or whatever; and Lockmart, not knowing the joke, printed the flight manual with F-117 on it. Then the USAF refused to pay to get the actual next number (F-19, I think) printed. So F-117 it was!

Uparmored07 Jan 2020 4:04 a.m. PST

I wonder how much the F-111 fed into the design of the F-14?

Dynaman878907 Jan 2020 8:45 a.m. PST

Thanks Mark! I never knew where the terminology for the IDs came from in WW2. (Never even thought twice about it, I just figured there was a scheme and accepted it)

Toaster11 Jan 2020 11:04 a.m. PST

Grumman was a sub contractor to GD for the F-111B to provide experience with naval aircraft. When it became clear that the F-111 could not be made into a decent naval fighter Grumman asked the USN for permission to do a clean sheet of paper design for the same concept (two seater missile armed swing wing fleet defence fighter) That's about the limit of the connection.


Uparmored12 Jan 2020 1:53 p.m. PST

Hey Toaster, that's real interesting, so there was a connection! Thanks so much.

Lion in the Stars13 Jan 2020 12:25 p.m. PST

@Uparmored: some lessons from the F111 were applied to the F14, mostly in the location of the swing-wing pivot. The F111's pivot point is a bit too close to the fuselage/air intakes, the F14's pivot point is shifted outboard about 12" in comparison.

Oh, and the AWG-9 and Phoenix missiles from the F111B ported over entirely.

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