F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet
This post is dedicated to Snipe who gave a compelling argument to feature that the F-15 should have been listed in the top 10 aircraft post.
The F-15 Eagle is no doubt one of the most famous fighter planes in history. This twin-engine tactical fighter is designed to fly combat missions in all weather conditions. And due to technological advancements and subsequent modifications, the Eagle has maintained its air superiority to this day.
Although its primary mission is to defeat other planes in combat, the F-15E Strike Eagle has been modified to support air-to-ground missions – including strategic strike, interdiction, OCA and DCA. The F-15E can also perform CAS and Escort missions.
Manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now merged with Boeing), the Eagle boasts exceptional maneuverability, advanced electronic equipment and awesome firepower, and still remains a crucial piece of the U.S arsenal.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the F-15 has a perfect combat record, with over 100 victories and zero defeats.
The United States Air Force commissioned the F-15 in 1967, after the Soviets Union revealed the powerful MiG-25 fighter. The MiG-25, also known as the ‘Foxbat,’ was far superior then the Air force’s primary fighter jet, the F-4 Phantom.
In order to keep a firm stance during the Cold War, the U.S military needed a new fighter jet to rival the Foxbat.
Unbeknown to the U.S., the MiG-25′s primary mission was play role as a high-speed interceptor, so its main asset was speed. Nevertheless the appearance of the MiG-25, with its larger tailplains and tail fins, spurred on the U.S military to commission a heavily armed fighter jet with unmatchable maneuverability.
Four companies, General Dynamics , Fairchild Republic, North American Rockwell, and McDonnell Douglas, were selected to submit proposals for the new fighter in 1968.
McDonnell Douglas won the contract to develop the F-15 in June 1969, and the company delivered the first F-15 later that year on the 23rd December.
The company has since introduced several variations on this historical fighter jet.
The F-15 superior maneuverability and acceleration are the result of a high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low wing loading.
The low wing-loading, the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area, combines with high thrust-to-weight ratio to enable the aircraft to turn tightly without loosing speed.
The F-15 can climb to 30,000 ft (10,000 m) in around 60 seconds and can reach speeds over Mach 2.5 at high altitudes.
One Israeli pilot got to find out just how durable an aircraft the F-15 is when one day during a training exercise, after a collision with an A-4, the F-15 managed to land with just one wing. Check out the video below.
The F-15′s are powered by Pratt & Whitney F100 engines and the the first F-15A’s and B’s came equipped with a standard M61 Vulcan gun and four Sparrow missiles
The newer more heavily armed, F-15E Strike Eagle is specially designed with deep strike missions in mind. The fighter, which adds a rear seat weapons system operator and a new suite of air-to-ground avionics, is able to venture far into enemy territories with a range of munitions.
The F-15E performs day and night all weather air-to-air and air-to-ground missions including strategic strikes, interdictions, OCAs and DCAs. The F-15E can also perform CAS and Escort missions.
The Strike Eagle can carry four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles, and an internal 20mm Gatling gun (with 940 rounds of ammunition).
The Strike Eagle can also be loaded with various other armament including ECM pods, six Mk-82 “Snakeye” retarded bombs or six Mk 20 “Rockeye” dispensers, four CBU-52B, CBU- 58B, or CBU-71B dispensers, a single Mk-84 (907 kg) bomb, as well as smart weapons like the CBU-10 laser guided bomb CBU-12, CBU-15, or another, laser, electro-optical, or infra-red guided bomb including AGM-G5 “Marerick” air-to-ground missiles.
The F-15 comes complete with an advanced multi system avionics system that sets it apart from other fighter planes. tactical electronic-warfare system
The F-15′s electronic warfare system provides both threat warning and automatic countermeasures against selected threats.
The tactical electronic-warfare system, upgraded in all existing models of the F-15, includes: advanced radar, radar jammer, “identification friend or foe” system, head-up display, inertial and tactical navigation system, instrument landing system, electronic countermeasures set and a central digital computer.
The F-15 has a “look-down/shoot-down” radar that can distinguish low-flying moving targets from ground clutter. Using this pulse-doppler radar system the aircraft can identify small high-speed targets beyond visual range.
The radar feeds target information into the central computer for effective weapons delivery. For close-in dog fights, the radar automatically acquires enemy aircraft, and this information is projected on the head-up display.
The head-up displays projects all essential flight information on the windscreen. The display, which can be viewed in any light, eliminates the need to look down at the controls.
To supplement the radar jamming system, a Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) offers protection against radar-guided missiles. The device is towed behind the aircraft whilst emitting a stronger radar signal than the plane itself.
The “identification friend or foe” system informs the pilot if an aircraft seen visually or on radar is friendly. It also informs U.S. or allied ground stations and other suitably equipped aircraft that the F-15 is a friendly aircraft.
The USAF introduced the F-15 as “the first dedicated USAF air superiority fighter since the F-86 Sabre.”
The first F-15A flight was made in July 1972 with the its two-seater brother designed for training purposes, the F-15B, following in July 1973.
Around 365 F-15A’s and 61 F-15B’s were produced between 1972 and 1979, at which point, the revised F-15C and the two-seat F-15D entered service.
Additions incorporated in the F-15C included upgrades to avionics as well as increased internal fuel capacity and a higher allowable gross takeoff weight. Low-drag, conformal fuel tanks were added to the aircraft without sacrificing external stations for munitions, in fact the fuel tanks allowed for AIM-7F/M Sparrow and AIM-120 missiles to be attached to the corners.
The first flights of the F-15C and F-15D took place in June 1979.
The F-15C and F-15D entered the Air Force inventory in 1979 with Kadena Air Base, Japan, receiving the first F-15Cs in September.
The F-15C has an overall air combat victory ratio of 95-0, making is one of the most successful air superiority aircraft ever developed.
The F-15E Strike Eagle entered the Air Force arsenal in 1988, modifications included an extra cockpit station and air to ground bombing capabilities.
F-15C’s, F-15D’s and the F-15E were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm, earning a confirmed 26:0 kill ratio.
The F-15 has had a very active and successful past, it is estimated that the aircraft will stay in service until at least 2025.
- Primary function: Tactical fighter
- Contractor: McDonnell Douglas Corp.
- Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100, 220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners
- Thrust: (C/D models) 23,450 pounds each engine
- Wingspan: 42.8 feet (13 meters)
- Length: 63.8 feet (19.44 meters)
- Height: 18.5 feet (5.6 meters) Weight: 31,700 pounds
- Maximum takeoff weight: (C/D models) 68,000 pounds (30,844 kilograms)
- Fuel Capacity: 36,200 pounds (three external plus conformal fuel tanks)
- Payload: depends on mission
- Speed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2 class)
- Ceiling: 65,000 feet (19,812 meters)
- Range: 3,450 miles (3,000 nautical miles) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
- Crew: F-15A/C: one. F-15B/D/E: two
- Armament: One internally mounted M-61A1 20mm 20-mm, six-barrel cannon with 940 rounds of ammunition; four AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and four AIM-7F/M Sparrow air-to-air missiles, or eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs, carried externally.
- Unit Cost: A/B models – $27.9 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars);C/D models – $29.9 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
- Initial operating capability: September 1975
- Inventory: Total force, 522
- Unavailable, please contact us for more information.