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F-15C Eagle Looks Pretty Fit for a 42-Year Old Machine That’s Still Flying

49 years. That’s how long it passed since a company called McDonnell Douglas introduced the F-15 Eagle, a tactical fighter that has grown into one of the most successful airplanes of its kind, with over 1,100 of them made to date.
F-15C Eagle 17 photos
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49 years was enough time for McDonnell Douglas to disappear from the scene, being engulfed by behemoth Boeing, and for the F-15 to gain enough variants to suit all sorts of needs.

The F-15C variant, for instance, came to be 42 years ago, in 1979, as an all-weather single-seater fighter. For any other type of machine, that might seem like a very long time, but not for hardware intended to fight and kill.

The Eagle however doesn’t show its age, and that’s clearly visible in the photo we have here. This particular fighter, deployed with the 44th Fighter Squadron out of Kadena Air Base in Japan, looks as fit as new while conducting a routine training mission in the skies over the American “Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.”

Born as the 44th Pursuit Squadron in January 1941, the squadron was responsible with fighting Japanese airplanes and ships in the South and Southwest Pacific in the war years and later took part in the Vietnam war. Since 1971, the unit has been flying defense missions over Japan and is now using solely F-15s for their job.

Powered by a couple of Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines with afterburners that develop 23,770 lbf of thrust at full throttle, the F-15C can reach speeds of Mach 2.5 (1,650 mph/2,655 kph).

Enough fuel ensures the plane has a range of a little over 1,000 miles (1,609 km) fully loaded with weapons – rotary cannons, missiles – or other high-tech systems hidden in various pods.

At the moment, a limited number of countries, under ten, are using this particular airplane.

Editor's note: Gallery shows various F-15 variants.

 
 
 
 
 

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