Happy Pre-Turkeyday to all!

Howdy, All!

Got a true opinion question to the masses - I’m torn between the F-14 and the F/A-18 and I cannot make up my mind between the two. now before you say - Hey, get em both stupid! geesh how hard is that?
I should point out that I have a wife that may (or may not) be aware of the amount of time and money I tend to invest in my flight sim! :slight_smile: Ok, the fact that I am alive and posing this question states that she is unaware as of this posting.
with Chanukka/Christmas (mixed family) approaching, I can squeeze one in now and one in a few weeks or so - HELP! which one do I want???

I should point out that while I have several aircraft to fiddle about with - one more that I will fly horribly should not stop me from obtaining!

can you help a brother out here?


Hinges on what you enjoy doing. The F-14 is a quirky, involved Fighter with a capital F, and an “eh” secondary strike capability. It’s an absolute joy to fly – once you tame the fickle beast within. But get good at loving the '80s because that’s where it’s at for this aircraft; fleet defense against the dirty evil communist horde is the whole idea. LANTIRN with LGBs offers a '90s-early '00s strike capability because the USN didn’t want to keep the almighty A-6 Intruder’s manliness along with its awesome power for your limited 90s needs.

By contrast, the F/A-18 does a little bit of everything as well as being modern, capable of slinging just about everything in the USN and USMC arsenal. You’ll never run out of things to do and you’ll rarely find yourself bored with it. However, it’s not as full of character as the F-14, being a fly-by-wire aircraft with a pure focus on doing the mission, not flying the aircraft. It’s currently the most versatile aircraft in the game, by nature having the most systems depth due to everything it can do in the real world.

If I had to take only one, it’d be the F-14 for the simple reason that I find it far more intriguing to fly, even if the mission set is far more restricted. The aircraft just comes to life better, while the F/A-18 often feels stale.


It appears that I will be talking to goose and feeling the need for speed!

Thanks Brother


It’s all relative of course, but the Hornet has never felt stale to me, or really any of the DCS aircraft in VR.

I jumped in the Hornet last night and one thing I noticed is there are a ton of official missions now to fly, and the variety seemed pretty damned good. Surprised me, because the last time I checked there wasn’t much there.

I’ll hop in Tomcat now and report back how many are there to get a comparison.

Edit: not including training, I counted 19 missions for Tomcat and 78 for Hornet. The Hornet missions are spread across all four maps though, well mostly three maps, with two missions in Normandy.


Well great! Indecision rears its fly by wire head!
Darn it now in back to square one! Lol

I’ve heard that the F/A18 is still ’relatively speaking’ unfinished?

It’s missing air to ground radar. That’s the big one. TWS is another, but that will be done in a few weeks.

Other than that, you can play with Harpoons and Harms and JDAMs and HMDs and a whole slew of other toys. It will never be “complete” compared to the real bird, but it sure as heck is more complete than any other C simulation has been by a long ways.

So is the F-14, just not to the same extent. There are a number of assets like the AI A-6, Forrestal carrier, and the F-14A that haven’t been delivered yet. The F-14B is largely complete, however; there’s a few small bugs which are going to be fixed in the next few weeks if all goes to plan. The major stuff is all working, such as LANTIRN; the major missing radar feature is the auto TWS mode, with everything else mostly in place.

The F/A-18, by contrast, is missing significant features of its radar, such as all the air-ground and air-sea modes. Weapons like SLAM have not yet been incorporated, the self protection jammer isn’t working, and a number of other small things. It’s still capable of 80% of the assigned tasks, but you’ll run into problems if you, for example, want to attack a ship with the Harpoon accurately, as you don’t have the required sea mode for the radar and will have to guess the ship’s position from launch. The targeting pod is the LITENING and the cheek mounted ATFLIR is not in yet, so you’ve got a more Marine type Bug than you do a Navy, etc.

You basically can’t go wrong with either of them. I think I would have to recommend the Hornet just because of the roles you can play… you name it, the Hornet can do it. AD, SEAD, Strike, CAS…

Having said that…the F14 is a pilot’s airplane, it feels alive and the flight model talks to you in a way that you can’t experience with a FBW airplane. So, if you are interested in hands on flying, then the F14 is the way to go because you will fall in love with it…

Or… wait for it… you could get both ;). The Hornet is on sale right now though, so maybe the smart thing would be to pick up the Hornet now, and get the F14 as soon as you can afterwards.

What paul said.

The hornet is not entirely without character as a fighter. It has this mad AoA capability that has you pointing that long plastic nose all over the sky while grovelling about at 120knots.

It has wing flex and such and there’s only one big bug ledt in the flight model, something to do with ground effect. Its a fun bird to fly, but indeed not as fun or challenging as the turkeybird.

Now I love my tomcat. Its such fun to throw around the sky, reach out and touch people with. It looks and sounds are incredible, truly unmatched.

But had I to choose only one, I’d go plastic bug for the more diverse mission set, the easier man-machine interface and the diversity in tools. Walleye baby!

Get the tomcat down to about 150kts and then drop a wing. She feels alive. ALIVE!! But everyone seems to love the bug for the mission set which I completely understand.

Of course for turkeyday, only a turkey will do.

gobble gobble motherlovers!


I’d put my vote in for the F-18C. (Get both actually because you KNOW you will eventually). I find that I don’t do much with the F-14 because I find it awkward dealing with “Jester”. Don’t get me wrong, Jester is beautifully done. But I like managing my own radar. With the F-18, all of that capability is there and at your fingertips. However, as a “study sim” the F-14 is unquestionably great. Learning the back seat is every bit as satisfying as learning the front.

IMO, both are great and non lacks essential features

Hornet if you love fighting (competitively).

Tomcat if you love flying. Also get VoiceAttack and AI RIO extension for maximum immersion.

I’d vote for the Turkey. Heatblur deservers credit for the innovative Jester AI and their usual high quality when it comes to visuals, sound design and systems modelling.

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Back in my VF-32 days we had a saying, “Never ask a pilot what type of plane he flies. If it’s a Tomcat, he’ll tell you. If not, why embarrass him.”



Kind of reminds me of
“If you walk into a crowded room, how do you tell which person is a pilot? Don’t worry, they will tell you”

When I first heard that I thought it was hilarious, but I try very hard to not be that guy in social situations.

Back to the original topic… I feel I should make the point again, the Hornet is going for $59 right now which is $20 off the regular price. The F14 is not discounted in the sale this time around.

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I fear I started into DCS via Steam - therefore I am hoping that the next steam sale Nov 26 - Dec 3 will bring me gifts! Perhaps the cost will help but it seems I’m going to have a 160.00 hole in my billfold!

Fellas as always I appreciate the direction and insights!

Happy Thanksgiving :poultry_leg:

The point about the sale is a good one, since the Bug is going to be 25% off when the Steam sale rolls around. If you don’t already have the gulf map, you can add that in as well for some additional savings.

Having said that…


I love the Hornet with all of the versatility it brings and the fact that it’s single seat, but after flying the Tomcat a bit I TOTALLY understand why many others prefer it.

For one, it’s just downright sexy to look at, second you have the flight model which just feels so much more engaging than the bug, third the thing feels like an absolute rocket ship (especially when comparing to the bug) and last but certainly not least the sound of when you light the cans in the Tomcat is just GLORIOUS!!!


@smokinhole brings up a good point about learning the back seat. You can almost think of it as getting 2 for the price of one in the F-14. There are always people online that will love to have an R2-D2… I mean a RIO. And I know on Hollo Pointe there are plenty willing to sit in the back seat and help out while you are learning to drive up front.

I still prefer the newer F/A-18 and it’s broader mission set and available weapons. Now if the did an F-14D…

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