The F-14 Tomcat is a (now retired) supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat fighter aircraft, developed for use by the United States Navy. The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter used by the U.S. Air Force. The F-15 was developed as an air superiority fighter. The F-14 is used as an interceptor, for air superiority, and as a multirole combat aircraft. It was retired by the U.S. Navy in 2006 but is currently used by the Iranian air force.
The F-14 was developed in the US by Grumman as part of long term attempt to develop long-range, high-endurance interceptors to defend carrier battle groups against anti-ship missiles. It was first flown on the 21st December 1970 and was introduced for use by the US Navy in September 1974 to defend aircraft carriers from Soviet bombers carrying long-range cruise missiles. It was exported to Iran in 1976, and was retired from use by the US Navy on September 22nd 2006, two decades after the tomcats were glamorized in the 1986 Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun".
The F-15 was developed as an air superiority fighter with both air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. As the planes developed by the US Navy, such as the F-14, were unsuitable for these purposes, the US Air Force spearheaded the F-X program, which led to the development of the F-15A. It made its first flight in July 1972. It was introduced in 1976 and was followed by other single-seat and two-seat models with extra fuel capacity and improved radar and engines.
The F-14 is 62 feet 9 inches long, with a spread wingspan of 64 feet and a swept wingspan of 38 feet. Its loaded weight is 61,000 kilograms.
The F-15 is 63 feet 9 inches long, with a wingspan of 42 feet 10 inches. Its loaded weight is 20,200 kilograms.
The F-14 has a bubble canopy that contains two seats and allows for all-round visibility.
The cockpit of the F-15 is mounted high in the forward fuselage. It has a one-piece windshield and large canopy.
The F-14 initially used two Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan engines. However, as 28% of accidents were attributed to the use of these engines, they were eventually replaced by two General Electric F110 engines.
The F-15 uses two Pratt & Whitney F100 axial-flow turbofan engines with afterburners mounted side-by-side in the fuselage.
The F-14 can carry over 6700 kg of stores under the fuselage and wings. It was fitted with an internal 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling-type cannon. It can also carry AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and both laser guided and unguided bombs.
The F-15 can be armed with AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles, AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missiles and a M61A1 20 mm Gatling gun.
F-14s are currently only used by the Iranian Air Force after the U.S. retired them from use in February 2006.
F-15s are used by the US Air Force, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
edit Related Videos
Here is an excerpt from a documentary on the evolution of the F-14 Tomcat and the F-15 Eagle:
This video is a farewell tribute to the F-14 Tomcats that were retired from the Navy active service on Sept 22nd, 2006: