The F-14 Tomcat was the premier fighter aircraft for the US Navy, beginning at the end of the Vietnam War until 2006. Glorified on the big screen in movies like Top Gun, respected among fighter pilots and aircraft engineers as the best aircraft of its time, and feared by our nation’s enemies as an almost unconquerable instrument of war, the F-14 must now be memorialized, and given the honor it is due for its service to our country. But when F-14s were retired from service, there was concern that our enemies would begin to acquire the spare parts through the black market as the craft were being demilitarized, particularly by Iran. Iran has an air force made up of F-14s that the US sold to them in the 70s when the countries were still on good terms. The Department of Defense began destroying the planes and their parts as a result, and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon drafted the Stop Arming Iran Act in 2008 to prohibit the sale of any parts to any entity other than museums. Museums are now the only place where the F-14 survives, and are the best places to celebrate these amazing aircraft.
This particular F-14 was displayed by the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond. According to the F-14 Association it has seen a lot of history. After its delivery to the Navy in February, 1992, it flew combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 2nd Gulf War, was on the USS Abraham Lincoln during George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech, and was the last F-14 to ever land on an aircraft carrier. Unfortunately, the museum has closed, and the fate of its F-14 is uncertain. The Museum of Flight, based out of Rome, GA, is currently slated to receive this historic aircraft, but requires your assistance to make sure it finds its way to this new home. With a fuselage that measures 22ft wide it qualifies as a super load. It will need to travel through three states, with police escort, before it arrives at the Museum of Flight. This endeavor will cost $40,000, so any small gift will go a long way to ensure that this F-14 will find a home that is safe from the scrap pile and the black market. Please join us as we ensure the survival of this truly amazing aircraft and help us celebrate its history.
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