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Why the F-14 Tomcat Ruled the Seas

Taking the US by storm in the late 80s, the movie Top Gun thrust the F-14 Tomcat into theaters and then living rooms across the country.

In a lot of ways it represented the technology that allowed the US to, literally in this theatrical instance, flip the bird to the Soviets. Americans’ love of the iconic fighter jet continues on to this day for several reasons, not just its star role in the hit film. But for the Naval Aviators who actually flew this incredible plane, there are so many more reasons to love it. Below we’ll explore what made the F-14 Tomcat truly a badass fighter.

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F-35B Vertical Landing USS Wasp

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 17, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VFMA) 121 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during carrier qualifications and flight deck certifications. VMFA-121 is aboard Wasp assigned under the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit forward deployed to Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Molina/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 17, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VFMA) 121 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during carrier qualifications and flight deck certifications. VMFA-121 is aboard Wasp assigned under the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit forward deployed to Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Molina/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 17, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VFMA) 121 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during carrier qualifications and flight deck certifications. VMFA-121 is aboard Wasp assigned under the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit forward deployed to Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Molina/Released)

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Carrier Flight Deck Firefighting Foam Test

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (May 12, 2018) Damage Controlman 1st Class Sharese Grey tests a sample from a sprinkler during an aqueous film form foam countermeasure washdown on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during sea trials. Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (May 12, 2018) Damage Controlman 1st Class Sharese Grey tests a sample from a sprinkler during an aqueous film form foam countermeasure washdown on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during sea trials. Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (May 12, 2018) Damage Controlman 1st Class Sharese Grey tests a sample from a sprinkler during an aqueous film form foam countermeasure washdown on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during sea trials. Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)