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Oregon Pilots Airborne Again in the F-15 Jet FighterTim King Salem-News.com
The aging aircraft is still one of the world's best.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - A November 2nd crash of an F-15 raised concerns about the safety of the F-15 fleet, and the entire U.S. Air Force fleet of F-15s stood these aircraft over the last part of 2007 and through the early part of this year.
Engineers have focused recently on the A-D models of the jet fighter while allowing the E models to return to flight.
The pilot of the aircraft, Major Greg Young, died immediately on impact and was the only crewmember aboard the single-seat F-15A. The mishap occurred during a dissimilar air combat training mission with F/A-18s from Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas.
Greg Young was one of many Oregon Guard pilots who flew the F-15 Eagle. It is a unique roll for any military aviator, flying what has been one of the West's most potent fighters.
"There are two F-15 bases in Oregon: the 142nd FW at the Portland International Airport, and the 173rd FW at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls. The 142nd FW protects the skies for the Pacific Northwest from the Canadian border to northern California, and there are a total of 19 F-15s stationed there. The 173rd FW is one of two F-15 training bases with 25 F-15s assigned."
The Oregon planes Braibish described are only a small aspect of the overall F-15 inventory. This aging plane is one of the only aircraft in the world that has gone almost unchallenged in its quest for air superiority in numerous enemy contacts over the years.
The first F-15A flight was made in July 1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered in November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron was delivered.
The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements, including 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of additional internal fuel, provision for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight of up to 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).
The F-15 Multistage Improvement Program was initiated in February 1983, with the first production MSIP F-15C produced in 1985. Improvements included an upgraded central computer; a Programmable Armament Control Set, allowing for advanced versions of the AIM-7, AIM-9, and AIM-120A missiles; and an expanded Tactical Electronic Warfare System that provides improvements to the ALR-56C radar warning receiver and ALQ-135 countermeasure set. The final 43 included a Hughes APG-70 radar.
F-15C, D and E models were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm where they proved their superior combat capability. F-15C fighters accounted for 34 of the 37 Air Force air-to-air victories. F-15E's were operated mainly at night, hunting SCUD missile launchers and artillery sites using the LANTIRN system.
They have since been deployed for air expeditionary force deployments and operations Southern Watch (no-fly zone in Southern Iraq), Provide Comfort in Turkey, Allied Force in Bosnia, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
To learn more about the reintroduction and history of this aircraft, visit F-15 Eagle fact sheet
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