A friend of mine once said, “You want to know what the most capable platform in the U.S. Air Force inventory is? It’s the Strike Eagle.”

Pretty strong praise, considering this friend of mine was a Weapons School graduate in the F-15C, shot down a MiG-29 in combat, then went back to Nellis to teach at the Weapons School. What’s more impressive is this friend of mine also finished his Air Force flying career flying the Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor.

This shot was taken at Patrick Air Force Base on the eastern shore of Florida as the F-15E Strike Eagle Demonstration pilot gives an incentive ride to a member of the local news media. Even though the Strike Eagle Demo is no longer in existence, thanks to U.S. Air Force budget woes and sequestration, we never got tired of seeing the Mighty Mud Hen rage!

This weekend, the United States Air Force Heritage Flight Conference is underway at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside of Tucson. The F-22 Demonstration Team, the newly-resurrected Viper East Demonstration Team, and numerous, qualified warbird pilots are gathered to hone their formation flying skills, synchronization, and airshow routines in preparation for the 2015 season to start.

In the mean time, check out a couple F-15Es from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath practicing their low-level flying prowess on the “Mach Loop.”

Happy Burner Friday, FighterSweep Fans!