The Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) F-15 all-weather tactical jet fighter is statistically the most successful fighter jet ever built, with 105 kills for zero losses. Big and fast, with a very useful combat range, the aircraft is also undeniably beautiful.
The F-15 Eagle was the result of a US requirement for a fighter design to counteract the cold war threat of the Soviet MiG-25 Foxbat which was unveiled in 1967. The requirement was for a high-performance fighter optimised to engage and kill its adversaries while still beyond visual range, and once they closed to within the ‘visual arena’ to be able to outmanoeuvre the enemy to gain a shooting advantage.
The prototype first flew in June 1972, and the first production F-15 was delivered to the USAF in November 1974. The Eagle entered service in 1976, and is expected to remain in service until 2025. Both single- and two-seat variants were produced. From its outset, the F-15 had been developed to carry both air-to-air missiles and some 15,000lb of bombs, but McDonnell Douglas saw an opportunity for a dedicated two-seat strike version as a replacement for the USAF’s ageing F-111 fleet, leading to the F-15E Strike Eagle, which made its maiden flight in 1985, and entered frontline service in 1988.
The Eagle and Strike Eagle have flown combat operations in a number of theatres with the USAF, Israeli Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force, serving with distinction with the USAF in both Gulf Wars, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and most recently Libya in 2011.
The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-15 Eagle Manual provides a unique insight into the design, evolution, operation and maintenance of the USAF’s all-weather tactical fighter jet. With the aid of information from official technical publications in the public domain, along with narratives from pilots and maintainers, the fascinating text, supported by numerous technical illustrations and photographs, describes in detail how the F-15 is built, employed as a weapons system, and maintained.
About the author
Steve Davies is a freelance military aviation photojournalist and author. This is his fourth Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual. He is the author of more than a dozen other critically acclaimed books, and he has worked as an adviser for a range of military aviation documentaries in the UK and US. His photography has been used by the aviation press and leading defence contractors and aviation corporations.
Doug ‘Disco’ Dildy is a retired US Air Force F-15C pilot, with 1,400 Eagle hours in his log book. With 26 years service in the USAF, his last position was Vice Wing Commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida. Currently a commercial pilot, he is also an accomplished author, having written a number of books about military campaigns and aircraft.
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