In normal operations, it it controlled by an air data computer based on airspeed (Mach number), to provide the optimum L/D ratio. The pilot could switch to manual mode and position the wing as desired. In normal operations, the wing could sweep between 20 and 68 degrees, but when parked, could move to an "oversweep" of 75 degrees (where it would overlap the stabilators) to reduce the footprint for carrier parking. In an emergency, the aircraft could land with the wings swept back at 68 degrees, or with asymmetrical sweep.
An interesting side note the box beam and the wingbox were both titanium. That's one of the reasons the structure of the F-14 was able to take the punishment of carrier ops. In fact in most crashes the box beam was relativley undamaged.
Moose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2402 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12592 times:
Yes it was intentional. That was Tomcat #3, one of the test aircraft used by Grumman. It was done during a series of test flights to see if the aircraft could be controlled and landed in an asymmetrical condition. The right wing was locked in the 20 degree position, then they varied the sweep angle of the left wing to determine handling characteristics. They determined that with the wing swept back to 60 degrees (just short of full sweep) the aircraft could still make carrier landings. That aircraft now resides at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island.
And no, it could not be swept that way in normal operations.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 12256 times:
The wing sweep actautors were interconnected on teh F-14. Obviously this was in case a hydraulic sustem failure. I remember the airframers would get in a tizzy if you moved the wings with only one hydraulic system running. Puts a lot of strain on the crossover shaft.