Vincent Devino was the head of cockpit design and avionics installation for the F-14 at the time Grumman proposed the design in 1967. He shared some of his photos from that early era with Air&Space. (All photos courtesy Vincent Devino).
Profile drawing of an early Tomcat concept. Note the very large single vertical fin and rudder and separate front and rear cockpit canopies. Generally, though, the overall planform very much resembles that of the eventual Tomcat configuration.
Small images (click on photo for larger version):
1. One of the first notions for what eventually became the famous "Anytime Baby" Tomcat patch. It was the idea of the then project pilot, the late Bill Miller, and translated into a piece of artwork by one of the Grumman staff artists.
2. Grumman photo of the very first mockup of a conceptual Tomcat forward fuselage (early 1968), made of cardboard over a plywood substructure. Note the chine, which is reminiscent of the SR-71 and the separate cockpits, neither of which made it into the final configuration.
3. View of the airplane cockpit as it existed prior to contract award.
4. Exterior view of the airplane as it existed prior to contract award. This was the Grumman "sales mockup" and reflects the single vertical fin and folding ventral fins. Neither of these features made it into the final configuration.
5. The "contractual mockup," Tail Number 00000. This was used to prove equipment installations, weapons loading and engine removal and installation, among other things. It was made mainly of plywood.