Why does an F-14 lose control when it flies through jet wash


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    • #121935
      1

      Hammer
      Ute Fan
      @hammer

      And then go into a flat spin?

    • #121936

      dystopiamembrane
      Ute Fan
      @dystopiamembrane

      It’s a feature.

    • #121938
      11

      GameForAnyFuss
      Ute Fan
      @gameforanyfuss

      Jet wash is exhaust gas and contains little oxygen. If the exhaust is “inhaled” by another engine, it may starve that engine of oxygen and cause it to flame out (like how the engine in your car would shut down if it couldn’t get oxygen). If one engine on an F-14 shuts down without the pilot preparing, and the other engine is running at a high power level, you get what’s called a thrust differential – one side of the aircraft is being pushed forward and the other side is not. That can put the plane into a flat spin. Imagine trying to control a canoe when everyone is rowing on the same side.

      The recovery procedure would involve shutting off the working engine to remove the thrust differential, trying to get out of the spin, and then trying to re-light both engines before losing too much altitude.

      Sorry I know this stuff – my dad flew F-14s and actually flew in a few scenes that made it into Top Gun. We had this discussion a few times.

      • #121941
        3

        Tony
        Admin/Founder
        @admin

        VERY interesting.

      • #121945
        11

        Onlyu
        Ute Fan
        @uf8fl

        This was a better answer than I could have provided…I thought it was because they flew “right into the danger zone.”

        Man I need sports back!!!

      • #121956

        FtheY
        Ute Fan
        @fthey

        F-14’s were my favorite as a kid, loved them. 

        • #121961

          Tony
          Admin/Founder
          @admin

          F16’s for me.

    • #121939
      3

      GameForAnyFuss
      Ute Fan
      @gameforanyfuss

      The design of the F-14 with the engine intakes next to the fuselage actually made this a huge problem. Too much yaw during flight would cause the fuselage to block the airflow into one of the engines, which would make it stall.

      Famously, this happened to one of the few female F-14 pilots while she was landing on a carrier. She was killed in the crash. See the mildly graphic video below.

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