Good afternoon, FighterSweep Fans! We are back with another installment of Milestone Monday, and today we are celebrating an important anniversary. On this day, in 1972, the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle took it’s maiden flight at Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of southern California.
All ribbing from Viper guys aside, the Eaglejet is a truly badass machine: Undefeated in air combat since it first entered service–with a current tally of 104 victories to 0 losses, the recipient of multiple software and hardware upgrades over the years, the Mighty Mighty is just that.
Nearly 1,200 of the air superiority version, the “Light Gray,” were produced. There is not a USAF contingency plan out there that is not dependent upon the presence of F-15Cs–predominantly working alongside a smaller number of F-22s–to ensure mission success in the air-to-air combat battlespace.
Only a fool would write off the airplane as a “relic” worthy of nothing more than soaking up sun, sand, and tumbleweeds at AMARG. With its upgraded APG-63 (v)3 AESA radar, JHMCS, AIM-9X, and now the ability to carry the Sniper ATP to get visual identification of airborne targets beyond visual range, the Eagle is more dangerous now than it has ever been.
Check out this awesome video of a 142 FW (Oregon Air National Guard) F-15D conducting an unrestricted climb on departure from Portland International Airport (KPDX). It never gets old!