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McDonnell-Douglas F-15 "Eagle"

In 1968, as the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 "Phantom" aged and slowly became obsolete, the USAF began development of the F-15 "Eagle" as a replacement. First flown in July 1972, the "Eagle" with (2) Pratt & Whitneys turbofan, after burning engines propelling the aircraft to a blazing speed of 1,650 mph (MACH 2.5), has a dizzying operating ceiling of 100,000 feet above sea level and a long range capacity of 3,400 miles or 5 hours before refueling. In short, the F-15 is presently considered the worlds greatest aircraft fighter. Designed as an any time, any where, in any weather aircraft fighter with a secondary role in mission strike capabilities, the F-15 carries as array of munitions. Armament includes the M61A1, 20mm, 6 barrel cannon, (4) AIM-7 "Sparrow" missiles, or (4) AIM-9 "Sidewinder" missiles, or (8) ASRAAM air to air missiles, or a payload of 16,000 lbs of cluster, conventional and laser guided bombs. All controlled by a "Heads Up Display (HUD) flight and fire control system allowing the pilot to concentrate upon the external world and targets.
Since 1973, approximately 1,500 F-15 "Eagles" have been manufactured in various variants. The F-15A, a single seat or the F-15B. The F-15B has been used in avionic and aircraft development or pilot training. As the aircraft developed, the F-15C/D superseded aircraft with improved avionics and flight controls. With the F-15E development for Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) and low altitude or infra-red target and navigational systems were under development. Criticism of the F-15 program has been the expense and its vast number of specialized personnel.




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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net