McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

1972

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McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

The first McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle made its maiden flight on 27 July 1972, giving the US Air Force by far its most potent fighter aircraft, albeit one of its most complex and expensive. The Eagle was developed to rival the MiG-25. Powered by two 10855kg thrust Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 afterburning turbofans, the Eagle, unlike its Soviet counterpart, is not a stand-off interceptor but a close-combat dogfighter with AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles along the bottom of its large inlet ducts and 20mm cannon mounted in the right inboard wing. The two-seat F-15B combat trainer which first flew on 7 July 1973 is about 360kg heavier than the F-15A fighter, but retains most of its combat capability.

The Eagle is equipped with Hughes APG-63 pulse-Doppler radar with computerised data-processing to leave nothing on the pilot's head-up or head-down displays except items of genuine interest. All-round visibility is superb and the F-15 pioneered the HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) concept to ease the pilot's task in combat. The single-seat F-15C has now replaced its predecessors on the McDonnell production line in St Louis, along with the two-seat F-15D. In both, internal fuel is increased, FAST (fuel and sensor, tactical) pallets fitting against the sides of the fuselage giving 4423kg of extra fuel.

After being developed by the manufacturer and tested on a converted airframe, the concept of using the F-15 as a long-range, all-weather interdiction aircraft was accepted by the USAF and the F-15E Enhanced Eagle was ordered in 1984, almost certainly as replacement for the General Dynamics F-111. McDonnell has moved in two directions to develop the F-15E's capability, concentrating on avionics and ordnance-carrying potential. The rear cockpit of the prototype has been fitted with four multi-purpose cathode ray terminals (CRT) for information display to the systems operator, and three more CRTs are to be installed for the pilot in production versions. Beneath the nose cone, high-resolution radar provides long-range ground-mapping of remarkable clarity while forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) gives close-range images of the best quality. In combination, these systems allow rapid target indentification and all-weather weapons delivery. Production F-15E aircraft have about 25 per cent greater load-carrying ability and range than the current fighter variants.

Versions of the F-15 have been exported to Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The Israeli Defence Force/Air Force aircraft have been involved in several dogfights with Syrian MiG-21s and MiG-23s and are officially confirmed as having shot down at least one MiG-25. On 7 June 1981, Israeli F-15s escorted F-16s making the strike against Iraq's Osirak nuclear powerplant, covering a radius of 966km.

The 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Virginia, was the first USAF recipient of the F-15A, while the first operational aircraft in Europe were assigned to the 36th TFW at Bitburg AB, West Germany. USAF F-15s also operate in the Netherlands, Okinawa, and Alaska as well as the continental USA. Some have also reached Air National Guard units.

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

Specification 
 CREW1
 ENGINE2 x P+W F-100-PW-100, 112.1kN
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight18145-25000 kg40003 - 55116 lb
  Empty weight12245 kg26996 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan12.9 m42 ft 4 in
  Length19.2 m63 ft 0 in
  Height5.7 m19 ft 8 in
  Wing area56.5 m2608.16 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed2655 km/h1650 mph
  Ceiling20400 m66950 ft
  Range w/max.fuel8000 km4971 miles
  Range w/max payload4500 km2796 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm machine-guns, 6800kg of bombs and missiles

3-View 
McDonnell Douglas F-15 EagleA three-view drawing (1673 x 908)

Comments1-20 21-40
TORBJÍRN KAMPE, e-mail, 07.06.2015 17:56

DREAM MASKIN. KILLER MASCKIN. HELL FOR BAD ASS.

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GARY BEDINGER, 01.04.2015 20:02

I WAS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE U.S.NAVY. I WAS STANDING ON THE BOW OF THE GUIDIED MISSILE CRUISER,USS JOUETT CG 29 RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SHIP'S MISSILE LAUNCHER ONE LATE AFTERNOON WHEN THE JOUETT WAS MAKING A PORT VISIT TO PEARL HARBOR BACK IN 1989.WELL,THREE F-15s FLEW A FULL CIRCLE AROUND THE WHOLE MAIN PART OF PEARL HARBOR WHERE "BATTLESHIP ROW" IS.THE THREE F-15sWERE SO LOW THAT YOU COULD SEE THE PILOTS' HEADS.THOSE F-15s WERE A DULL GRAY COLOR.MIG PILOTS,BEWARE OF THOSE "EAGLE" PILOTS!!!!

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TORBJÍRN KAMPE, e-mail, 05.03.2015 22:58

THIS MASKIN IS THE BEST F PLAN YOU CAN FIND TO DAY.
REAL DREM MASIN IN HEVEN. EVRY YONG BOYS VETT DREM TO DAY.
AND NATEMARE FOR CHARLY. AND EAST. BEAST OF THE BEAST F IN HEVEN. I LOVE YOU F-15 EAGLE I LOVE YOU F-15 EAGLE. WOW.

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Keith Mitchell, e-mail, 02.03.2015 18:23

F-15's were no fun for us GCI controllers:
F-15 - "I've got 2 contacts at 280, 82 miles."
Controller - "That's your bogey."
F-15 - "Roger, Judy."

And that's all the help they needed. :-)

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MOG, e-mail, 05.02.2015 20:12

You forgot to mention the addition of the conformal fuel tanks to the E version which nearly doubled the range.

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molnibalage, e-mail, 29.07.2012 11:46

Most of online sorces stand this:

The purpose of the F-15 Multi-stage Improvement Program (MSIP) was to provide maximum air superiority in a dense hostile environment in the late 1990s and beyond. All total, 427 Eagles received the new avionics upgrades. Along with later model production aircraft, these retrofitted aircraft would provide the Combat Air Forces (CAF) with a total MSIP fleet of 526 aircraft.

Total production.

F-15A – 384, F-15B – 61, F-15C – 483 db, F-15D – 92 db. The F-15 Eagle Engaged book mention the some F-15s were modernized in Kimhae (JSDF F-15s), CASA Getafe (Spain) and in Isreal.

So, I cannot fiuger how many USAF F-15s went through MSIP and how many foregin. Does anyone have better information?

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Don Nash, e-mail, 22.05.2012 21:55

In Jan 1959, with McAir, I was assigned to the F-15 Proposal to write a large segment of the F-15 Proposal Section 4, Quality Assurance requirements, i.e., how was McAir going to show compliance with the Section 3, Performance Requirements. I defined Flight Tests for Flying Qualities and Stablility & Control, Flight Controls, Aeroelastic Statibility (Flutter)and Stability & Control for the 2-seater. When McAir won the contract in Dec 1969, I was assigned Sr. Flight Test Engineer for the total development flight program for acft #1. "What an exciting program." Saw #1 through its entire test program at Edwards. Great program. Completed on time and on schedule. 2.5 years from contract award to 1st flight and 4 years to OT&E from contract award. No. 1 is now at Kelly AFB, TX in Triple Nickle colors.

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AverageJoe, e-mail, 10.02.2012 04:16

There is a typo in the second paragraph "computerised" should be "computerized". Other then that this page is a well done account of the Eagle's history and specs. Though On 19 March 1990, an F-15 from the 3rd Wing stationed at Elmendorf AFB, AK accidentally fired an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile at another F-15. The damaged aircraft was able to make an emergency landing; it was subsequently repaired and returned to service. Note that this was not a combat mission, but does mark the first time an F-15 was ever struck (though not shot down) by an air-to-air missile, accident or otherwise.

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Art Dunn (GB), e-mail, 29.08.2011 23:08

Had the honor of crewing 80-030 at 1st TFW from '82-'84. ACC was Paul Hester. Went on some good TDYs and enjoyed crewing there a lot. Worked with a great bunch of guys on the line and have fond memories of LAFB. Still working (teaching on 15s at SAFB) having been at SJAFB, LAFB and SAB NL. Gotta love these 15s for sure!

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Paul K. Adams, e-mail, 21.08.2011 23:10

This was my first and only effort to design a hydraulic system for any aircraft and I think I done well.

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Eric Ray, e-mail, 30.05.2011 07:01

I worked on a version called F15-AJ which was an aircraft sold to Japan in 1980 or so. I built an F15 mission computer emulation and dedicated control panel for the Data Link integration bench test. I used hundreds of TTL SSI and MSI chips and one EPROM for some test data. Loved that plane.

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JJ Watson, e-mail, 14.05.2011 22:05

Worked the F-15 in the 525, Bitburg, 86-89. What a jet!

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Darrell Rosipko, e-mail, 10.02.2011 15:22

is it still used to this day?

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KJ_Lesnick, e-mail, 10.01.2011 07:15

It was designed to replace the F-4 originally, and actually was originally supposed to be a swing-wing fighter optimized for both air-to-air and air-to-ground. The designs were overweight and weren't optimized for either roles.

Within a year or so, the aircraft was built around the concept of energy-maneuverability, which called for a plane with a high thrust to weight ratio and a light wing-loading. Speed was reduced a little bit from the earlier design to allow greater agility. The plane was to feature a pulse-doppler radar to allow it to see through ground-clutter which was a problem in Vietnam.

In mid-1967, due to an intelligence snafu, there was the belief that the MiG-23 was a variant of the MiG-25 and could also be a fighter as well as just an interceptor (There were also people in the USAF who wanted a faster plane than the design that was currently on the table and they took advantage of this), and the requirements were now amended to include the ability to fly as high and fast as the MiG-25.

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Ord, e-mail, 23.12.2010 18:08

Here Here! The Mighty Eagle has been a great asset to our nation's air supremacy. Thanks to all who have contributed to its success and capability! Our hats are off to you.

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john mullis, e-mail, 07.11.2010 16:46

it is the best

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Stormin', 24.01.2010 19:33

Another important fact about this aircraft. In the winter of 1974-1975 at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota it officially captured the worlds time to climb (from a dead stop to stated altitude) records for all altitudes.
The motto "Built to Fight where others fear to Fly" fit this bird to a "T" for many decades.

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Paul Gettinger, e-mail, 12.01.2010 19:09

I worked over 25 years on this great aircraft starting with the preproduction aircraft at Eglin AFB, Florida. Later I worked as a tech rep with assignments at the 36TFW in Bitburg,Germany,later with the Spanish at CASA in Madrid,Spain. Later assignments were in Tel Aviv,Israel and our depot at Warner-Robins,Georgia. Those were the days my friends.

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paul scott, e-mail, 18.08.2009 19:39

I know about the fifth-generation fighters, but surely the F-15 still reigns supreme? I mean, an almost continental range for a fighter, its dogfighting ability and not far off speed of 2,000 mph PLUS an awesome load of about 23,000lbs - what more could you get from a fighter /fighter bomber.

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Some one, 25.03.2009 20:24

The F-15 is awesome aircraft, and during Red Flag Training excersises, done in F-16's during dogfights.At 35,000 feet, ot can reach 1875mph or Mach 2.5.Below 40,000 feet mach one is 749.954mph, above, it is 660 mph exactly. At high altitude, it can still reach 1875mph, but this is treated as somewhere around mach 2.7.

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1-20 21-40

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