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This Is the Closest You’re Ever Going to Get to a Flying F-15E Strike Eagle

As into military aircraft as we might be, most of us have to face the grim fact that pictures and the occasional air shows are the closest we’re ever going to get to experiencing these great machines. Yet, every time a photo such as the one here surfaces, the sadness of that realization is somewhat sweetened.
F-15E Strike Eagle closeup 15 photos
USAF/Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffinF-15E Strike EaglesF-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15
We’ve known for a while U.S. Air Force (USAF) people are equally as talented at shooting a camera as they are at shooting their aircraft guns, but the constant flood of amazing shots coming our way from the USAF keeps making us gasp in awe. For today, we uncovered this amazing closeup of an F-15E Strike Eagle, taken back in mid-September by an Airman 1st Class during a refueling op.

The flying machine belongs to the 48th Fighter Wing, and we’re getting this amazing view from inside a U.S. Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker. The two planes were tied together for the said refueling op in the skies over the Czech Republic during exercise Ample Strike 2021.

And the image is so detailed, that we can even make out the direction each of the two pilots on board is looking in, the weapons-laden wings, and almost every imperfection of the plane’s paint.

The Strike Eagle is a relatively young airplane compared to what else is out there. It was introduced in the late 1980s as a multirole fighter, and over 500 of them have been made since.

It is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney engines that give it a top speed of 1,875 mph (3,017 kph), which is almost two times and a half the speed of sound. The thing has a maximum weapons payload weight of 29,500 lbs (13,300 kg), and they can be anything from air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles to devastating bombs.

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

 
 
 
 
 

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