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Vought V-507 F-14A Vagabond - VF-1 Wolfpack

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VF-1, "Wolfpack" was re-established on October 14, 1972 at NAS Miramar, at the same time as VF-2, these units were the first F-14 fighter squadrons. VF-1 received the first F-14As on July 1, 1973. The squadron's insignia was a red wolf’s head designed by Grumman Commercial Artist, George M. Kehew who himself is a WWII combat veteran. The Squadron Insignia is registered in the Library of Congress.

Under the command of Cdr. George M. Furlong, Jr.--better known as "Skip"--VF's first cruise came in September 1974 onboard Enterprise. The end of the cruise saw the Vagabond's combat debut, as VF-1 and VF-2 flew cover over Saigon for evacuation of US personnel in April 1975 as part of Operation Frequent Wind.  Skip Furlong, the pilot of the aircraft depicted in this profile, would go on to become a rear admiral after commanding VF-1.  He had a long and distinguished flying career serving as the F-14 Program Manager, the first F-14 CAG, the first S-3 CAG, and the last fleet pilot to check out in the Vought F-8 Crusader.

It was, perhaps, the radar intercept officer of this aircraft, however, that would go on to be more famous than the pilot.  Lieutenant (junior grade) Dale Gardner was involved in the initial F-14 developmental test and evaluation before his cruise with VF-1 on the USS Enterprise in 1974.  In 1978 he was selected as an Astronaut Candidate by NASA and would go on to fly on the Space Shuttle Challenger in mission STS-8 in 1983.  He later flew on the Discovery's second mission, STS-51-A.  This mission launched on November 8, 1984, Gardner's 36th birthday.  During STS-51-A, Gardner completed two space walks totaling 12 hours and participated in the recovery of two wayward satellites.  During his NASA career, he would spend over 14 days in space and make 225 orbits of the Earth.
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Comments12
anonymous's avatar
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Graphitedriver001's avatar
Ahh nice rendition of the Wolfpack there!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks!  Keep an eye out, more squadrons coming!
Graphitedriver001's avatar
I'll keep watch. :)
bagera3005's avatar
bagera3005Professional Interface Designer
kinda looks like the
Panavia Tornado
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Yes, it definitely does.  Like supersize Tornado with French influence.  It's not coincidence, either.  The Tornado and V-507 have common parentage.
RaguLeader's avatar
RaguLeaderHobbyist Photographer
I'm confused, is the image of the LTV proposal for the VFX, or of the actual Grumman F-14A that entered service?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
It's a profile of the LTV V-507 entry for the VFX program that was, in reality, won by the Grumman G-303 that would later become the F-14A Tomcat.  The writing style is "as if" the V-507 had won instead and gone on to fill the Tomcat's role.
RaguLeader's avatar
RaguLeaderHobbyist Photographer
Ohh, I get it now.  Cool!
talos56's avatar
It is a "What if LTV's V-507 proposal defeated the Grumman G-303 and entered service as the F-14."
ZeroRM's avatar
Interesting...of course this isn't referring to the F-14 Tomcat...I'm guessing that this is a fighter derived from the A-5 Vigilante?

Also, here's another candidate for some 'alt history' profiles: the YB-49, one of Jack Northrop's flying wing projects (essentially an XB-35 retrofitted with jet engines).  I see it perhaps functioning as a high-altitude bomber, long range strategic bomber with both conventional and nuclear capability supplementing the B-52.  Think that could work?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
No, it's actually derived from the Mirage G, but it's primarily its own design.

I LOVE the flying wings, but--for obvious reasons--they make into boring profiles.
talos56's avatar
This is an LTV design for the VFX program that spawned the F-14, no relation to the A-5.

Logan and I had discussed the Northrop flying wings (B-35, B-49, and the recce B-49) before, but one of the things we had concluded was that, due to their shape, they were pretty boring as profiles like this. Much of the interesting parts of the airframe are hidden from view.
anonymous's avatar
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