Rare Pic of Inverted F-15 Strike Eagle Shows Six-Pack Abs and Holstered Weapons

F-15 Strike Eagle flying inverted 23 photos
Photo: USAF/Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak
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It’s been a long 2022, a year when for the first time in a very long time military operations and gear were in the headlines more than anything else. That’s of course because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the war that ensued there, raging for almost a year now.
So far, the only nations directly throwing punches at each other in the region are Russia and Ukraine, but militaries of other European nations, but also the U.S., are flexing their muscle like never before as they try to keep Russia from taking the war beyond Ukraine’s borders.

One could (and should) consider the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) habit of releasing on a weekly basis images of its hardware in action part of that muscle flexing operation. The truth is though the military branch has been doing this for years now, slowly trying to draw in more talent and at the same time advertise its capabilities to adversaries.

A few years back, we’ve started covering these USAF releases for our Photo of the Day section, for the simple fact that military airplanes in action are cool, and learning about them is very informative. We’ll continue to do that in 2023, provided the Air Force continues to offer us images we can drool over.

We’ll start with this photo of an F-15 Strike Eagle flying on its back. It’s part of the first batch of pics the USAF released in 2023, but it shows an instance of something that happened at the end of December 2022 somewhere over the U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.

That would be the region comprising the central area of this Earth, the most volatile on the planet since, well, mostly forever, as it includes countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, among others.

America is constantly flying over the area with two major goals in mind, deterring Iran from acting foolishly, and countering the many terrorist organizations there. The Strike Eagle we see here was on such a deterrence mission last month, when it was snapped on camera as it was moving away from the KC-135 Stratotanker that refueled it.

As pilots sometime do when moving away from these flying gas stations, the one in the cockpit of the F-15 decided to make a spectacle of the departure, banking hard left until the muscular belly of the fighter jet became fully exposed to the camera, a Nikon wielded by a staff sergeant in the Stratotanker crew.

It’s not that often that we get to see the underside of an F-15 in such detail, so we just had to have this pic included in our USAF coverage.

A rapid look at the photo will make obvious the shape of the two Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines running the length of the fuselage, from air intakes to afterburners, but also a pair of drop tanks attached to the wings.

The plane appears to be armed, but not heavily so. Technically, aside from the always-mounted 20 mm multi-barrel gun, one of these can carry four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, up to eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs, or basically the entire Air Force arsenal of air-to-surface weapons, conventional or nuclear.

Can you tell what this particular F-15 is packing?
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Editor's note: Gallery shows various other F-15s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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