The 4 reasons why the F-14 Tomcat won’t fly again (in the USA!)

The 4 reasons why the F-14 Tomcat won’t fly again (in the USA!) | Frontline Videos

YouTube / Air Zoo


Have you ever wondered why you rarely see (if ever) an F-14 Tomcat fly at airshows? Here are four reasons why:

Finding Spare Parts Is Pretty Difficult

The Tomcat is extremely well-engineered – which is excellent, but it also means that the aircraft can be quite complicated regarding finding spare parts. Most parts aren’t available or manufactured anymore, and selling them is illegal.

Wikimedia / USN

Complicated Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining the Tomcat was notoriously intensive and complicated. The aircraft’s massive frame makes checking, debugging, and fixing any anomalies significantly harder. The bottom line is you’ll need many people to look after the Tomcat, especially when one hour of flight time equates to 60 hours of maintenance.

Costs A Lot Of Money

With virtually no spare parts available, you’ll have a hard time paying for one when it does come along, not to mention the equipment and tooling you’ll need along the way!

Wikimedia / USAF

Problem Regarding Iran

One of the primary root causes as to why you’d rarely see an F-14 at an airshow is because of the US relationship with Iran. To stop Iran from being able to maintain its F-14s, there’s been a ban on sales of F-14 parts. The US even destroyed the spare F-14 airframes they had in the inventory just to make sure.


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