Skip to content

Check Six: Retro F-14 Tomcat Spin-Test Video

August 18, 2017

Between 1979 and 1985, a very special Navy F-14 Tomcat was one of NASA’s favorite guinea pigs. Designated NASA 991, the Northrop Grumman fighter jet conducted 221 flights out of the space agency’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in the service of flight research — and to study the fighter’s alarming penchant for falling into a deadly spin, a tragedy immortalized by the death of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw in Top Gun.

To do this, NASA and the Navy sent its twin-engine test subject up to tumble uncontrollably through the skies above California, on purpose. And this 1980 archival footage, posted to the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s YouTube page on July 25 (and surfaced by Popular Mechanics’ Kyle Mizokami on August 15), captures the whole experiment in action:

From → History

Comments are closed.