A Boeing F-15D Eagle from the 390 FS pulls into the vertical during a “quick climb” departure.

The F-15 is a twin engine, high performance, all weather air superiority fighter. First flown in July 1972, the Eagle entered USAF inventory in November 1974. It was the first U.S. fighter to have engine thrust greater than the normal takeoff weight of the aircraft, allowing it to accelerate while in a vertical climb. This, combined with low wing loading, makes the Eagle highly maneuverable–and especially dangerous in a vertical fight.

In fact, in 1975, a single-seat F-15A called “Streak Eagle” broke a total of eight time-to-climb world records in a two-week period in January and February. In setting the last of the eight records, the Eagle reached an altitude of 98,425 feet just 3 minutes, 27.8 seconds from brake release at takeoff and “coasted” to nearly 103,000 feet before descending.

The record still stands.

The “Wild Boars,” though no longer flying the Mighty Boeing F-15, still exist today as the 390 Electronic Combat Squadron, flying the Boeing EA-18G Growler at NAS Whidbey Island, WA.