From 1974 to 2006 the Grumman F-14 Tomcat represented the backbone of the United States Navy.This two-seat, two-engine, supersonic variable geometry wing aircraft first flew on 21 December 1970, entering service with the US Navy in 1972, replacing the aging F-4 Phantom II. The Tomcat was designed as an air superiority fighter as well as fleet defense and reconnaissance platform.
The Tomcat was the star of the Navy, having reached the stardom level in 1986 when the film Top Gun, featuring Tom Cruise as Maverick,the pilot of an F-14 sent to NAS Miramar, aka, “Top Gun” for intensive training, was released in the US.The film was a success and spawned a surge in Navy recruiting.On 22 September 2006 the F-14 Tomcat was retired from the US Navy fleet in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station Oceana.
In 1989 the first of the Fighter Fling series was released.These are annual celebrations of the F-14 Tomcat squadrons of the US Navy. Fighter Fling celebrations started in 1989 and continued until 2004 when the Tomcats began retirement.
Fighter Fling 1990
Fighter Fling 1992 following a break due to a tailhook scandal
Fighter Fling 1993
Fighter Fling 1994
Fighter Fling 1995
Fighter Fling 1996
Fighter Fling 1997
Fighter Fling 1998
Fighter Fling 1999
Fighter Fling 2003
Fighter Fling 2004 – last of the Fighter Fling series