Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA5223 Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat 164601, VF-31, 2002 “Santa Tomcatters”. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, variable sweep wings capable of supersonic flight. The aircraft is crewed by a Pilot and a Radar Intercept Officer who share the tasks of navigation, Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force only. The name “Tomcat” is said to come from the call-sign used by Vice Admiral Thomas Connolly which conformed to the USN tradition of giving Grumman aircraft feline names.
In early 1981 VF-31 received the Grumman F-14A Tomcat and in 1992 upgraded to the F-14D Super Tomcat. In 2002 VF-31 was onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and heading home from Operation Enduring Freedom when they were ordered back to take part in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Like many squadrons that were deployed over the Christmas season they painted an aircraft with a Santa theme so F-14D 164601 was chosen. Felix The Cat was painted on the tail wearing a small Santa hat still carrying his fused bomb.