• Review: DC Designs F-14 A/B Tomcat For MSFS

    F-14 Tomcat

    Publisher: DC Designs

    Review Author:
    James Huddison

    Suggested Price:
    $34.99

    Buy Here

    DC Design - F-14 Tomcat

    When I was approached and asked if I wanted to write a review for the F-14 Tomcat for MSFS, I was slightly hesitant. Call me old fashioned, but I generally prefer to fly military aircraft in dedicated military flight simulators, such as DCS World. But having heard good things about the Tomcat, I agreed to review it, and in hindsight, I absolutely made the right call!

    Surely the F-14 needs no formal introduction: featured in many famous movies, like Top Gun and The Hunt for Red October (to name just a couple), it is one of the most beloved and well recognised military fighter jets ever made.

    The F-14 made its maiden flight on 21st December 1970 and served as the US Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, well into the 2000's. It has also been featured in many arcade flight/fighter jet style of computer games, such as Ace Combat 6 & 7. With such a huge reputation and fanbase, my (and many other peoples') expectations were set extremely high for this one.

    Installation is straight forward: purchase and download the package (which comes in the form of an .exe file); and it will perform any available updates and install directly to your MSFS community folder. After the installation was complete, I chose my preferred livery (only 3 available at the time of writing this review), picked my desired runway and clicked fly.

    My oh my, looking at the Tomcat in external mode whilst sitting on my chosen runway, made my jaw literally drop to the floor - the external modelling of the F-14 is absolutely exquisite; with high levels of detailing and texturing throughout. You can even see the two pilots sitting in the cockpit of the aircraft - it all looks somewhat out of place in a simulator such as MSFS; but in the best way possible.

    DC Design - F-14 Tomcat

    The high level of quality continues into the cockpit. All the various banks of instruments and switches have an authentic weathered look about them, and it certainly conveys the impression of actually sitting in the cockpit of this iconic aircraft. The majority of the switches and buttons are thankfully operational, and as such, one could spend many hours simply flicking the switches on and off, just to see their effect on the aircraft and its systems.

    It's a step-up from similar fighter jet offerings that are found elsewhere for MSFS.

    DC Design - F-14 Tomcat     DC Design - F-14 Tomcat

    At this point, with not even a single glance at the included manual, I simply couldn't resist engaging full afterburner, releasing the parking brake, and taking this beauty up for a fly around.

    The roaring sound of the afterburner deserves a special mention here, as even when situated in the cockpit, the audio is highly satisfying. When viewing the F-14 in external mode, the camera actually seems to shake as you pan your view past the violent flames of the afterburner - fan service at its very best!

    Afterburner noise levels and effects, can literally make or break the jet aircraft experience, and I'm happy to report that the Tomcat simply aces this category, as I found it to be one of the most enjoyable features of this aircraft.


    11 Comments
    1. piet06273's Avatar
      piet06273 -
      Mother of all 'Tomcat movies' : Kirk Douglas's - 'The Final Countdown'
    1. daspinall's Avatar
      daspinall -
      It looks even better in VR Hurrah!
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Piurchased it from the store yesterday and so far love it!

      W33
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      The F-14 did look great in "The Final Countdown" :-)
    1. thecorporatepilotdad's Avatar
      thecorporatepilotdad -
      Quote Originally Posted by piet06273 View Post
      Mother of all 'Tomcat movies' : Kirk Douglas's - 'The Final Countdown'
      Ditto. That is a great movie. I have it on Blu-Ray.
    1. Bowman Creek's Avatar
      Bowman Creek -
      previous incarnations of the Flight Simulator series, have sold packs such as the FSX Acceleration pack (which included military fighter aircraft), way before simulators like DCS even existed
      Severely dating myself, but going back 25 years, because I remember it so fondly, the Tomcat (by Mike Hill) dates back as early to FS5/FSFS. It had sweeping wings, a functional tailhook ... stuff way ahead of its time. I look forward to trying this iteration!
    1. N069NT's Avatar
      N069NT -
      The 1980 movie "Final Countdown" was the first to show jet Naval aviation up close and personal, specifically with the F-14, years before Top Gun came out. I remember seeing it with my father, a former USAF F-105 and F-4 pilot, as a tween in the movie theater. He loved the Tomcat and I believed secretly envied those Naval aviators that flew it. I have that epic tune when the jets are flying and landing on the carrier in my head.
    1. N069NT's Avatar
      N069NT -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bowman Creek View Post
      Severely dating myself, but going back 25 years, because I remember it so fondly, the Tomcat (by Mike Hill) dates back as early to FS5/FSFS. It had sweeping wings, a functional tailhook ... stuff way ahead of its time. I look forward to trying this iteration!
      We all date ourselves when referencing early FS experiences. Carry it like a badge of honor and respect!
    1. Disneyflyer's Avatar
      Disneyflyer -
      Great fighter and gorgeous in MSFS. My son's baseball coach was one of the real Naval Aviators who flew scenes in Top Gun. He did not do the flyby of the tower though. That was someone else.
    1. Deano1973's Avatar
      Deano1973 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Disneyflyer View Post
      Great fighter and gorgeous in MSFS. My son's baseball coach was one of the real Naval Aviators who flew scenes in Top Gun. He did not do the flyby of the tower though. That was someone else.
      Charles "Heater" Heatley?! I'd have loved to know what he thought of my Tomcats, but I doubt he's into the flight sim scene - who would be when they'd done it all for real?!

      Lloyd Abell did the fly-by scene at Miramar I think.
    1. Huddison's Avatar
      Huddison -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bowman Creek View Post
      Severely dating myself, but going back 25 years, because I remember it so fondly, the Tomcat (by Mike Hill) dates back as early to FS5/FSFS. It had sweeping wings, a functional tailhook ... stuff way ahead of its time. I look forward to trying this iteration!
      I must have missed that incarnation of the Tomcat - goes to show the FS heritage, in introducing fighter jets into the flight simulator world!
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