External Fueltank & Camera Pod|
The external fuel tank extends the range of the Tomcat even more and enables the fighter to spend more time on station. In any case of emergency or in a dogfight the external fuel tank can be jettisoned by a device built into the tank rack. Note that early fuel tanks were equipped with fins as shown in the graphic above. After the testing of the Tomcat prototypes, the fins and the cones were removed when the F-14's external fuel tank was introduced into the fleet.
Additionally, a very few external fuel tanks were modified to carry cameras instead of fuel. This was done at Patuxent River to monitor bomb separation with the "new" Bombcat. Several cameras were placed inside the external fuel tank to photograph the bomb release sequence from the main fuselage as well as from the wing pylons.
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