The F-14 Tomcat program was initiated when problems with the F-111B became evident and could not be resolved to the Navy's satisfaction. In May 1968, funding for the F111-B was terminated. The USN specified for a new fleet air defense fighter with the primary role of intercepting Soviet bombers before they could launch missiles against the carrier group. In addition, the Navy wanted the aircraft to possess inherent air superiority characteristics. Of the five companies that submitted bids, McDonnell Douglas and Grumman were selected as finalists in December 1968. Grumman had been a partner on the F-111B, and had started work on an alternative as the project was dwindling, giving the company an edge over its competitors. In January 1969, Grumman was awarded the contract. Twenty-two months later, the F-14 had its maiden flight on December 21, 1970. Though lighter than the F-111B, it was still the largest and heaviest US fighter to ever fly from an aircraft carrier.
This handcrafted model is painted in the same paint scheme as the original and is painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by our skilled craftsmen. Perfect as a gift for any aviation enthusiast and history buff!