Grumman Tomcat spruced up in Florida

An example of the fearsome swing-wing jet has been restored for public display in the States

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat BuNo 159619/AJ-105 has emerged from a near six-month refurbishment at Lakeland Municipal Airport’s Florida Air Museum.

The sole example of the swing-wing ‘Big Cat’ on display in Florida, the jet continues to wear the markings of its final operator, US Navy unit VF-31 'Tomcatters'. Taking to the air for the first time on October 22, 1975 from Grumman’s Bethpage facility in New York, 159619 was handed over to the US Navy soon after. Involved in a landing accident two years later at NAS Fallon in Nevada, the jet – originally an A model – became one of 34 examples converted to ‘D(R)’ status during the early 1990s. It went on to become the last Tomcat to fly in combat, dropping a GPS-guided munition over Iraq on February 7, 2006.

The refurbished jet was also on show at this years Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo held at Lakeland, held from March 28 to April 2.

Tomcat 159619 shortly after its roll out earlier this year
Tomcat 159619 shortly after its roll out earlier this year Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo