Wingspan: 42 ft 10 in
Length: 63 ft 9 in
Weight: 28,600 lb empty, 56,000 lb fully loaded
Top Speed: 1,854 mph
Range: 2,878 miles
Armament: One M61A1 Vulcan 20 mm six-barrel rotary cannon, four AIM-9 Sidewinder and four AIM-7 Sparrow or four AIM-120 AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles.
The F-15 Eagle was commissioned as a successor to the F-4 Phantom, and the prototype flew in 1972. At the time of its introduction, it was the most sophisticated and expensive aircraft of its kind, with more engine power, less weight, and greater wing area than the older aircraft. The F-15 was a match for the speed and maneuverability of the Soviet fighter aircraft it was designed to face.
The F-15 was the first American fighter with greater engine thrust than its basic weight. Its powerful engines help to give the aircraft its notable agility and acceleration, and allow the F-15 to accelerate vertically and turn tightly without losing airspeed. Sophisticated weapons and flight-control systems, including a head-up display, are designed so a pilot can engage enemy aircraft and still fly safely.
Over 1,200 F-15s were supplied to the USAF and other countries including Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Since 1979, the type has seen action in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The F-15E Strike Eagle variant, built specifically to attack ground targets, was developed in the 1980s, and is still operated in the UK by the 48th Fighter Wing based at Lakenheath, Suffolk.
The museum’s F-15 was built in 1976. In 1977, it began its service with the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying training missions across Europe, and visiting U.S. bases in the UK. In 1981, it returned to the U.S., serving with tactical fighter and interceptor squadrons, and in 1988 it was allocated to various Air National Guard units. In 1993 it was dismantled and placed into storage, before being delivered to Duxford in 2001.