Photo by C. Jeff Dyrek
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When this F-14 Tomcat took off, there was a large bang and a fireball backfires out of the exhaust.
Working onfor 24 years, I have seen this many times. This is undoubtedly a fire ball coming from the accumulation of fuel in the fuel vent system. One of the answers on your website is 100% accurate. Other type of Fighter Aircraft do the exact same thing. It is harmless and some aircraft have been modified to prevent this occurrence, however the modification is not 100% successful.
Chief Smith, USAF
AO2 James Floyd
A CURRENT F-14 GUY 6-24-99The explanation of a corrosive/salt buildup is a definite possibility, along with (more likely) an afterburner blow-out. This only means the AB blew out momentarily, and then relit-- the buildup of fuel in the spraybars / nozzle during the moment the AB was not lit caused the 'puff.' While certainly not common, this is not unheard of. The AB usually relights itself, or is relit by the pilot cycling the throttle (s) out of AB and back again.
If you'll notice the fireball is definitely below the horizontal axis of the port engine. This would seem to rule out any kind of a backfire. Engines don't throw curve balls. I would conclude that the cat steam ignition theory is the correct explanation in this case. Notice how the flame appears closer to the deck than the engine, and appears to follow the convection of the escaping steam and engine exhaust.
CPOMEA RN Wayne
From a gas turbine point of view, if the aircraft successfully took off and flew its op then I'd go for an AB related problem. If the plane crashed in a fiery heap, I'd go for a catastrophic component failure (FOD damage?), compressor surge or stall serious enough to affect combustion during the rather sensitive manooeuvre of take off is doubtful in a well designed modern engine and intake system. ex CPOMEA RN Wayne Clancy
As you can see,
there is a little conflict of information here.
To tell you the truth,
the more technical the explanation, the more I believe it.
has any more information,
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