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Eagle 102, F-14 Refurbishment


Eagle 102, F-14 Refurbishment

During filming of TOP GUN at NAS Miramar, one special F-14 designated Eagle 102 was based there. Eight years after TOP GUN’s release, Eagle 102 arrived at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. In the last twenty years Eagle 102 has been on display, the harsh elements of Alabama weather and tree sap have not been kind. After completing the 2014 F-16 restoration and Tuskegee Airmen dedication of that aircraft, we turned our sights to the F-14. We are fortunate to have help from former members of the U.S. Navy’s VF-51 Screaming Eagle squadron. More specifically, Andy Foster – the lead motivator from VF-51 – realized he had flown in this very aircraft during his time in service and helped recruit other VF-51 members, including Sam Herrera  and James Morgan. With their help the team was able to open nearly every panel and engine compartment during the refurbishment effort and they’ve provided a great deal of guidance in the restoration. image1 Once again headed by Alumni Advancement Board Projects Chair, Chris Key, work on Eagle 102 began in September of 2014 and after a hiatus for college football and a very wet and cold winter, resumed in March. And on the weekend of April 4th, we applied the first coat of paint! This was only a test on a clean section of aircraft and much remains to be cleaned and refurbished. It will be very fulfilling to have this aircraft in a fully presentable state. We are excited to share it with alumni and visitors to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Aviation Challenge. Beyond restoring the aircraft itself, this effort has been a tremendous opportunity to hear first-hand history of this aircraft and of life in the Navy. We have a lot of work to do and we would greatly appreciate anyone that would like to come and help us with the restoration efforts. Join us Saturday mornings in May and June and capture a piece of the action and the legacy of Eagle 102. With many thanks and great appreciation to the VF-51 members (Andy Foster, Sam Herrera, James Morgan, Adam Lamson), USSRC Techs Dan Gibson and his brother Tommy Siler, Space Camp Alumni (Clarissa Flores, Maegan Edwards), and volunteers from Jacobs and FEMA Corps Oceans 3 team. You can read more on our progress at waves


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