F-15 "Eagle"

To win the battle for air superiority, the Air Force needed a fighter that could fly in all weather, be very powerful, very maneuverable and deploy a range of weaponry.   The F-15 has definitely met those needs and, until the newer F/A-22's come on-line to take her place, the F-15 will hold its place as the best fighter airplane in our Air Force. 

Developed in the early 1970's, the first F-15 went into service in 1976.  Its two powerful engines make it one of the only airplanes that can produce more thrust than its overall weight.  This means it can fly vertically, straight up, for a long period of time without stalling or losing power.  The F-15 is one of the only airplanes to actually shoot down a satellite in Earth's orbit.  Imagine how high it had to fly and how much vertical momentum it took to do that!  That significant milestone was done from Edwards.

There have been five different models of the F-15 but there are two basic "flavors".  With the exception of some A models that were built as two-seat trainers, the A through C models are single-seat fighters.  The D model is a fighter designed with two seats.  The newer E model was also designed to be a two-seat bomber - not a fighter.  The F-15E is also known as the "Strike Eagle".

An aerial demonstration of an F-15's abilities is quite an impressive sight.  Not only does it climb at a fast rate, but it also turns quickly.  When the plane's two powerful engines are pointed back at the Air Show crowd and are at full throttle with the afterburners on, everyone will feel the energy radiating from this fabulous machine!

An F-15D taxies past the crowd.
Notice the jet intakes in this and the previous picture.  Just like other high performance jet engines, the intakes are designed to scoop air into the engine in a special way and increases thrust. 
Another F-15 taxis by.  This time it is a single-seat model.
The port side of the double seat F-15.  Incidentally, we were told that the person in the back seat is none other than Chuck Yeager.
Front view of an F-15.
A typical F-15 takeoff consists of becoming airborne, continuing to zoom 20-40 feet above the runway and then pulling up to a near vertical climb.  The F-15 was one of the first fighter planes capable of producing significantly more lift which gives it the ability to sustain vertical (straight up) flight for long periods of time.
View of the bottom of an F-15.  Here it is making a sharp left turn and is banked at almost 90.  What appears to be flames coming out of the engines is an indication that the engine's afterburners are on.  The pylons or racks mounted on each wing are where the missiles or bombs are mounted.
F-15 turning left as sharply as it can with full afterburners on.
Another shot of the F-15 turning left.  This time, only the left afterburner on, which allows the aircraft to sustain lift by keeping the nose up while banked left at a near 90 angle
The F-15 (back airplane) as compared to the smaller, single engine F-16 in front.
Static display of an F-15E Strike Eagle.  This newer E model is a double-seater and is outfitted with many bombs (see explanation above).
Static display of an F-15C fighter outfitted for air to air combat.
Closer look at the fire power of the F-15, which typically includes four heat-seeking "sidewinder" missiles mounted on the wing and four long-range "sparrow" missiles mounted under the fuselage.

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