• Review: Aerosoft - F-14 X

    F-14 X

    Publisher: Aerosoft

    Review Author:
    Justin Cogo

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here


    Flashbacks to my early days when I used to build toy airplane models as a kid, I remember building the F-14 jet and will never forget its variable-swept wings. These simple die-cast plastic models were slightly difficult as a kid to build but I got the hang of them and built many. With the F-14 I remember putting the top and bottom pieces together with the left and right wings set in place between them sitting on a swivel so you could sweep the wings back and forth. I had also played Top Gun on Nintendo and fell in love with flying. Then I watched Top Gun and my view of the world forever changed. At the center of the movie, behind Tom Cruise of course, was the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.

    Fast-forward 20 years and we have Aerosoft's newest aircraft add-on for Flight Simulator and P3D.

    Image supplied by Aerosoft

    With Aerosoft's previous creations such as the Airbus series of aircraft, there are high expectations for the quality of product they put out and their F-14 Tomcat does not disappoint!

    In general the F-14 flies like any other supersonic fighter aircraft but because of its variable-swept wings and low-speed flying is very possible but peculiar. This is how the F-14 flies in real-life and Aerosoft has modelled their F-14 in the same way. After learning the F-14 systems and how it performs at different stages of flight this aircraft is very fun to take out flying.

    When first getting this plane it was flyable but had some minor issues because of just how complex it was. Within a month Aerosoft updated the F-14 to version 1.10 fixing all these issues, which is a pretty fast response time considering updating Flight Simulator add-ons can be a lengthy process. I just wanted to note their prompt service shows their commitment to customer service which is another quality of this company in addition to delivering high-end products!

    Aerosoft F-14 X Package Features

    These are the features as described in the F-14's documentation:

    • A & B model F-14 with multiple variants
    • Two cockpit models included: Pilot and RIO cockpits
    • Payload Manager; user-selected visible payload at various point on aircraft; jettison capable
    • Automated checklists for multiple stages of flight (hands off checklist)
    • Sim Start Options which save the F-14's loading state
    • Avionics
    • HUD (Heads-Up Display)
      • F-14A model - vintage type projected on windscreen
      • F-14B model - Sparrow Hawk model with integrated combiner
      • A & B Models - All flight & steering modes available (A/A, A/G, CCIP, TACAN/ILS)
    • VDI (Vertical Display Indicator) - display aircraft attitude with dynamic ground and sky textures
    • HSD (Horizontal Situation Display) - compass rose and steering symbols (TACAN, CRS, ADF)
    • DDD (Detailed Data Display) - shows raw radar data in azimuth and range-rate
    • TID (Tactical Information Display) - radar targets in a computer, synthetic, clutter-free format
    • RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) - shows ground and sea based radar emitters
    • AWG-9 radar - 8 modes (including STT, RWS, TWS, PLM)
      • Adjustable azimuth scan
      • Elevation bar patterns, ranges from 5 to 200 nm
    • All displays have:
      • Authentic F-14A type symbology
      • Functionality is programmed according to the NATOPS Manual
    • Engine Management (TF-30)
      • Compressor stall modelling
      • Adverse engine throttle movements can cause stall
      • Random stall algorithm
      • Aircraft configuration affects the chances of pitfalls and recoveries
      • Engine idle RPM automatically increased during high AoA for stall resistance
      • Engine fire modelling based upon certain situations
      • Sump tank modelling; negative G loading and high thrust can starve engines of fuel
    • Flight Systems
      • Wing Sweep Implementation
        • Auto, Bomb, Manual, and Emergency (with oversweep)
        • Auto mode uses two modes with dependencies on Mach and altitude
        • Maneuver flaps: automatic and pilot controlled
        • Glove Vanes: Extend with flaps and high sweep angles
        • Approach Auto Throttle: Maintains aircraft at optimum AoA
        • Direct Lift Control: Pilot controlled inboard spoilers for AoA
        • Ground Roll AeroBrake: Inboard and outboard spoilers fully extended at landing
        • Speed Brake: Blows shut at speeds above 400 KIAS or auto-retracts at MIL thrust
        • MiniHUD: Optional 2D gauge gives info in pilot's peripheral vision
    • Auto Flight Control System (AFCS)
      • Three channel passive Stability Augmentation System (SAS)
      • Pilot inputs and control surface deflection rates reduced allowing better control
      • Aileron-Rudder Interconnect designed from NASA documentation
      • Scratch-built autopilot with control stick steering in pitch and bank hold modes
      • Vector mode follows a loaded flight plan
      • Auto Carrier Landing System combines with Auto Throttle for hands free landing
        • 2D gauge for AFCS used to give precise feedback on ACLS lineup
    • Flight Mechanics
      • Thoroughly tested by retired F-14 pilots & software engineer
      • Performance & control response & stability data matched to NASA specs
      • F-14's notorious flat spin recreated including 'Hoser' method of spin recovery
      • Simconnect Axis Manager (AM) sets lift based upon six lift surfaces
      • (AM) Separate control output for stabilator and spoilerons
        • Wing sweep affects lift, roll, and yaw
      • (AM) Authentic carrier catapult launch speeds & customer trap physics
    • AI Scenarios
      • In-sim menu allows user to spawn near a carrier TACAN signal
      • Menu-spawning includes radar intercept, escort, wandering (civilian) pilot, random & tanker
      • Included aircraft
        • KA-6D: Razbam Simulations
        • Su-27: ALS-Sim
        • Tu-95: Samdim Designs
      • USS Kitty Hawk CV-63
        • Scratch-built Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (FLOLS) for Kitty Hawk
        • 11 moving carrier tracks around the world based upon history
          • User can select saved flight to go to the carrier track
        • Moving tracks includes a carrier task force
          • USS Jarrett and USS Vandegrift by Alberto Garcia
          • USNS Patuxent by Javier Fernandez
          • Deltasim DDG owners can substitute destroyer into Carrier Task Force

    1 Comment
    1. avallillo's Avatar
      avallillo -
      I never had much interest in flying anything like this (was I the only one in the theater whose hand went up when CAG told Maverick that after just one more screwup he would be flying a cargo plane out of Hong Kong?!!). But I just have to say, for the record, that this is one of the very best product reviews I have ever encountered here, or anywhere else. Complete, thorough, and touching on what appears to be every aspect of the item in question, and with a good deal of history included for good measure.

      Well done!
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