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F-15E Strike Eagles Imprint Their Predator Forms on the Blue American Sky

Back in the late 1980s, a company named McDonnell Douglas introduced to the Air Force arsenal something called F-15E Strike Eagle. It was a multi-role strike fighter based on the slightly older F-15 Eagle and a model that would become one of the most successful now in service.
F-15E Strike Eagles over Clayton, NC 14 photos
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Presently handled by McDonnell Douglas’s new master, Boeing, the plane is in the service of several nations, with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) owning the bulk of the about 1,500 active ones.

The American variant of the plane has a few tell-tale traits, like dark camouflage, conformal fuel tanks (additional tanks located close to the profile of the aircraft), and a tandem-seat layout.

The fighter is a mechanical wonder, capable of flying at speeds of more than Mach 2.5 and for distances that can reach 1,381 miles (2,222 km). The highly-capable war machine can climb to an altitude of 60,000 feet (18.2 km) and carry 29,500 lbs (13.3 tons) of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, missiles, and bombs.

It got to use some of its weapons in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya.

Absolutely none of these traits can be admired in the shot captured by Airman 1st Class David Lynn (main photo) as two of these planes were flying over Clayton, North Carolina, earlier this June, during a Flags for Heroes event held there. That’s because the image (click photo to enlarge) shows the planes from underneath, with the bright blue sky behind them making it impossible to distinguish anything.

But it is exactly this approach that makes this image perfect for our Photo of the Day section because the same sky that prevents us from seeing anything makes every edge of the two airplanes clearly visible, as if their contours were perfectly cut, or imprinted, on a blue canvas.

Editor's note: Gallery shows an assortment of other F-15s.

 
 
 
 
 

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