F-14 Wing Sweep In Action

F-14 Wing Sweep In Action | Frontline Videos

YouTube / thebbm1989


Swing Wings Up Close

We’re all familiar with the F-14’s variable-sweep wing, but not a lot of us have seen it in action this clearly. Its wings optimize airflow by using hydraulics to change angles.

The Tomcat’s wings have a sweep range of 20 to 68 degrees. At slower, subsonic speeds, the wings would only be swept back at an angle of 20 degrees. This is done so that more air can directly pass over the wings, maximizing lift at lower speeds.

At supersonic speeds, the wings are swept back to 68 degrees, allowing more air to move around them. This delays the formation of shockwaves and reduces drag, enabling the Tomcat to fly over 1,500 mph.

Have you seen the F-14 change its wing angle this clearly? It never gets old, doesn’t it?


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