Tech Info title


If you wish to volunteer to join the team, contact Andy or one of the team members and then fil out a US Space and Rocket Center Volunteer Application. (Does involve a background check.). Also, you must download, print, fill out, and bring with you an Authorization for Consumer Reporting on your first day.The documents and information you need to complete these tasks are here.

Most of our work is happening on the weekends. Generally, we will plan on working as much as we can (but NLT 4 pm) on Saturday and half-a-day on Sunday. However, this is an all-volunteer effort; so your schedule is yours. just let us know when you are willing to be there so we can coordinate work and logistics. We appreciate any help you want to give, however big or small.

Andy Foster was the Project Lead for the VF-51 team and is still involved but Chris Key is performing worksession planning and coordination now. Contact Andy if you have any questions including if you need info about how to contact Chris or just join the group on the Facebook project page and go from there.

Dan Gibson is the Technical Lead. (Reponsible for determining the actual workplan, supplies, and supervising the work on the aircraft.)


The current worksession schedule is: August 8 which future sessions TBD. If you'd like to give us a hand but if any announced date does not work for you but you'd still like to work, contact And or Chris. We can generally support a work team almost any weekend as long as the weather permits it and we have a technical lead from USSRC and enough volunteers and equipment.

Incentives (As Available)

1. Volunteers who work for four hours or more at any time will get a Certificate of Appreciation declaring them an Honorary Screaming Eagle.

2. Volunteers work work for a weekend (6 hours or more) get a Certificate of Appreciation declaring them an Honorary Screaming Eagle and a 4x6 photo of the aircraft in flight.

3. Volunteers who work for two weekends (12+ hours) also get a VF-51 Tomcat Project hat.

4. Volunteers who work for three weekends (18+ hours) are eligible to join "The Core Team" and inclusion in Team activities post-project.

5. Andy claims the right to award any incentive to anyone for contributions he deems worthy.


The U.S.Space and Rocket center has a spray rig, full carpentry shop, and a mechanics shop. A telescoping arm lift and scaffolding are also available. Please send inquiries about any specific equipment requests to Andy or Dan.

Barrack-type facilties within the Aviation Challenge part of the Center will usually be available for us to stay in during our work. Generally, they can accomodate us for the weekend with a two week notice. Anything longer and they need three. Males and females are housed on seperate floors Cohabitation is generally not allowed, even for married couples, but may be possible under some circumstances. Must be discussed and approved in advance.


  1. All work sessions must be coordinated with Ed Stewart and either Andy Foster, Dan Gibson, or Chris Key before commencing.  Work sessions requiring weekend dormitory support require two weeks notice.  Longer work sessions will need to be coordinated at least three weeks in advance.

  2. All team members must submit a volunteer application to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center before commencing work.  Contact Andy Foster for details. (This does involve consenting to a routine background check.)  Team members must also submit a photo (head and shoulders) to Ed Stewart as soon as possible after they have submitted an application.  This allows the Center to make up badges so they are ready upon the volunteer’s arrival.  Please read the Orientation Packet (next page) before arriving.

  3. Team members are responsible for reading and adhering to the Safety Information section below before commencing work.  All work is at your own risk.

  4. Generally, you can expect us to work on weekends.  We will plan generally to start work at 8 am on Saturday and end NLT 4 pm (a lot sooner when it's really hot or cold!) and on Sunday start at 8 am and end at Noon. Other times will be scheduled as desired by the volunteers and coordinated with the USSRC.  Any time you can give us is VERY appreciated!  (Don't feel like yout have to stay all day.)

  5. The Technical or Project Lead or a designated representative must be present for any work session to take place.

  6. All arrivals must first check in with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Security Office before heading off elsewhere.  If you’re going to arrive after 5 p.m, please contact the Security office in advance of your expected arrival time.  (They are manned 24/7.)

Safety Info/Guidelines

We're here to spread some squadron pride out into the general public and to engage in some camaraderie; Safety is paramount in making sure this remains a good time and not something any one of us regrets. To that end, be responsible for yourself and your shipmates. Don't be afraid to make a safety suggestion or be resistant to receiving one.

  1. Weather is going to be a primary player in determining how much we can work. We'll make every effort to make a "go/no-go" call on any particular session by NLT the Thursday prior. Notifcation will generally be by e-mail; contact Andy or James if you are unsure of the status
    1. Pay close attention to your condition in the heat. Water and ice will be provided at the worksite and erectable shade if it's available. Take lots of breaks in the shade or air conditioning whenever you need to. (More often than not.). Be familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion and stroke. Use sunscreen. Wear lightweight clothing and a hat with a brim.
    2. If you can see lightining or hear thunder, it's time to knock it off. Secure all electrical power and tools whenever moisture is imminent or present. Ensure all electrical chords are not in contact with water.

  2. We will have a first aid kit at the worksite and the center has a nursing staff available to treat minor injuries and sickness. For emergencies, call 911. For any emergencies or injuries, once they are taken care of, call the Center's Security Office at 256-721-7198to fill out an incident report. (NOTE: This is the responsibility of the Project or Technical Lead or the On Scene Commander if one of them is not present.)

  3. Eye protection is highly recommended, as are workgloves and (paper) breathing masks. (Bringing your own is recommended.)

  4. Non-alcoholic drinks and water only are permitted at the worksite. Snacks and food are at your discretion.

  5. If you smoke, be mindful of your shipmates and any risk that might pose to the project.

  6. The nearest restrooms are in the large metal building behind the aircraft (i.e., the Aviation Challenge building). The building has facilities for both genders.

Technical Info

    Paints: The center will provide high-gloss paints that are more UV and light damage resistant. Need to use an equivalent F-595 paint code for colors. MIL-STD-2161 A (large file: 16.6MB) has the following colors assigned to the F-14A: Grey (light) FS-16440 (most surfaces)
    Grey (dark) FS-16801 (some markings and surfaces); Black FS-17038 (most lettering and some surfaces); Red FS-11136 (Red tail stripes, intake warnings, ejection seat warning); Yellow FS-13538 (Rescue markings/warning markings); White FS-17925 (Some lettering and trim). The details are listed below:

    Light Grey: FS – 16440; Usage: Majority of fuselage

    Black: FS – 17038; Usage: Most lettering
    Both Vertical Stabilizers, inboard and outboard sides
    Anti-glare panel forward of and around canopy

    Dark Grey: FS – 16081; Usage: Step panels on intakes
    Stars and bars
    Some lettering

    Red: FS – 11136 (Same as F-146)
    Various ports
    Red warning striping on intake
    Red striping on both vertical stabilizers (inboard and outboard sides)
    Red striping on ventral fin, aft of main gear
    Ejection seat warning.

    Yellow: FS – 13538
    Warning and rescue signage near canopy

    White: FS – 17925 (same as F-16)
    Stroke on letters of tail flash
    Some lettering
    Drop shadow for aircraft call number lettering on nose.

    Supplies: Work supplies available on our first work weekend are listed here (Excel spreadsheet).

    Wash: Typically done using 1 part Simple Green to 9 parts water. Power washing only done when time to repaint.


    (1) You can see in the photographs that the current location and slant of the aircraft allows water to accumulate in the bottom of the engine intakes. How can we prevent that? Would just making some covers for the upper inlet ramp slots work?

    (2) The aircraft has defaulted to the kneel position. Can we return it to its normal stance?


    (1) F-14 Dimensions and Block Data (NATOPS page/pdf format)

    (2) Nose Strut Kneel Functions and Illustration (NATOPS pages/pdf format)

    (3) F-14 Surface Area Calculation. (Conservative estimate of paint surface area performed using simple shapes to envelope airframe areas; XLS format.)

    (4) Technical Data for PPG Topcoats: CA 8100; CA8200

    (5) Paint Coverage Calculation Guide

    (6) MIL-STD-7179