This beautiful footage proves once again that Dale Snort Snodgrass was one of the best Tomcat jocks.
Taken during the Wings of Eagles Final Victory Air Show 1995 at the National Warplane Museum, the following clip shows three iconic Grumman Ironworks warbirds, the F8F Bearcat, the F6F Hellcat and the F7F Tigercat performing solo displays before being joined by Dale Snort Snodgrass, the most famous and experienced Tomcat pilot, in his F-14A for a spectacular “Grumman Cats” flyby.
The cats are joined by a Vought F4U Corsair – certainly a legend itself.
Actually, the slow speeds flown by the warbirds could have been a challenge for an F-14 driver, but given Snort’s skills and training, the formation flying of the Mach 2 fighter jet with the piston-engined warbirds appears quite easy.
As shown in the video, instead of joining the warbirds with his wings extended forward in low-speed configuration, Snodgrass joined with wings swept back. This apparently made things more difficult: in fact the reduced amount of lift generated by the wings would put the Tomcat close to stalling. On the contrary, the higher power settings demanded by this configuration, and the Tomcat’s ability to select afterburner, gave Snodgrass more throttle control, allowing him to finish with a missing man pull-up.
I was there… I’ve seen this same flight somewhere around 4 times. Not entirely sure why this video has the F4U in the 5th position as it was usually the Wildcat. This was called “Flight of the Cats” for a reason. And, contrary to the comment below the video, this air show was run by the NWM, but it was not AT the NWM. This was at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia, NY. I still have the program somewhere and possibly my ticket too and the video they put out afterwards.