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F-15s Fly Missing Man Formation, Honor Pilots Lost in the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was a collection of countless aerial encounters between German and British pilots that span for over 3 months. Over 4,000 pilots lost their lives during that time, and over 3,700 planes were shot to bits, making the event one of the fiercest, longest and deadliest of this kind the world has ever known.
Three F-15s fly missing man formation over Britain air base 15 photos
F-15E Strike EaglesF-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15Three F-15s fly missing man formation over Britain air base
The Battle of Britain ran from July to October 1940, but today’s pilots do not shy away from celebrating it every chance they get. The lates tribute flight in honor of the wartime event took place back in September, when a bunch of American aircraft performed a so-called missing man formation flight.

That’s how people in the industry call a kind of aerial salute that usually occurs during a funeral or memorial event dedicated to a fallen or veteran aviator, or some other important figure. This formation calls for a space to be left in the chosen flight formation to signify the absent pilot from the ranks.

In the image we have here (click main photo to enlarge), we see one F-15C Eagle and two F-15E Strike Eagles flying over the RAF Lakenheath base in the United Kingdom, in honor of the Battle of Britain Day – that is celebrated in September, the month when RAF Fighter Command claimed victory over the Luftwaffe.

As per the U.S. Air Force, which just recently released the photo, the F-15C is pulling away from its siblings to create said missing man formation. The three planes together also make for one amazing underbelly shot of modern-day fighter jets flying together.

The F-15 family of planes was born way after the war ended, in the early 1970s. Close to 1,200 of them have been made since, and are presently fielded by the militaries of seven allied countries – the United Kingdom is not among them.

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

 
 
 
 
 

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