Laminar allegedly to introduce F-14 Tomcat to default aircraft family

By: Peter Tram
September 22, 2018

SCREENSHOT ABOVE: NOT an X-Plane product.

11.30. It’s an update everyone is looking forward to. Laminar had given us a taste of what to expect with an image of the new contrails from the redeveloped particle system. We’ve covered the internal changelog for the first beta sent to private testers, and it looks to be an exciting update ahead of us! Apart from the well-publicised features such as particles, flight modelling and systems, and 4K support… One mention of an aircraft had all our noses pointed towards a possible new default aircraft addition.

According to the internal changelog for X-Plane 11.30, very specific mentions and references to the F-14 Tomcat under “Various systems improvements”, suggesting that Laminar may be producing a rendition of the fighter jet.

The F-14 is a supersonic variable-sweep-wing fighter jet from the 70’s developed by Grumman, whose primary role was to fend off MiGs in the Vietnam War. Currently still being used in Iran but retired from the US Navy in 2006.

The update listing involves specific F-14 functions such as Flap lockouts, Sweep lockouts, and Auto-flaps. All the features except for the last two, end in “as is done in the real F-14” or a variant of some sort. It wouldn’t make too much sense to develop improvements to default systems solely based on functionality specific to one aircraft, one that has relatively little commonality with other jets.

If said aircraft would be in development, this will be a very welcome addition to military simmers. There hasn't been any prominent simulations of the aircraft since DrydenSims released a variant for X-Plane 10:

Hopefully it may have visuals that meet or exceed the 737’s, and systems comparable to the 747, judging from that piece of information. Only time will tell of what’s to become of this, if the stunning default 737 is anything to go by, then the possible F-14 will be one head-turning product from Laminar too.

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