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One Tank Trip: F-14 Tomcat At VFW Post

By Karin Mallett, Anchor / Reporter, KMallett@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 17 2011 09:49:34 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 13 2011 05:53:19 AM CDT

With all it's top secret missions, the F-14 Tomcat was catapulted into the consciousness of pop culture with one movie.

CEMENTON, Pa. -

With all it's top secret missions, the F-14 Tomcat was catapulted into the consciousness of pop culture with one movie.

In "Top Gun," Tom Cruise was behind the controls, but "Maverick" and "Goose" aren't in Cementon, Lehigh County.

"Cheese" and "Charmin" are in the Lehigh Valley instead, with an F-14 Tomcat that keeps watch.

It sits on the grounds of the Egypt VFW Post 7293.

"It's just a tremendous view and this aircraft would just sit here looking like it was taking off," said Quartermaster Allen Meckes.

Built in 1972, the bird spent time on the U.S.S. America and Enterprise.

It's last recorded mission was at a Top Gun school in Nevada.

It was the 18th Tomcat built out of more than 700. All but 80 went to the U.S. Navy.

The Shah of Iran bought the rest.

Its top speed is mach 2.4. Its size is impressive, but nothing compared to when its wings are out and it reaches 64 feet across.

With supersonic strength, one Tomcat can engage the same number of targets as three of its replacements.

But the Tomcat was too expensive. It required 15 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight time. So it was retired.

In 2004, the one in Cementon found a home.