Thunderbird Pilot Shares 10 Facts About F-15EX, C, and E

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In this post, we’re going to talk about the ten hidden facts about the F-15 that you probably didn’t know according to a former Thunderbird pilot. Let’s get on to it!

10. The F-15 can fly at over Mach 2.5 

This is the F-15C configuration, and according to Ryan, a former Thunderbird F-16C and Strike Eagle F-15E Pilot, “The thing screams.” 

While he shared that the fastest that he’s been in an F-15 is Mach 1.3, the fact that the F-15-C can go up to Mach 2.5 is pretty mindblowing. 

9. In an F-15E, you get over 60,000 pounds of thrust

The former pilot says that sometimes you can even get up to 70,000 pounds of thrust because both the F-15E and the F-15C have an override switch that allows it to go an even greater stage of max afterburner. 

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8. It can basically go straight up 

According to him, “I flew an F-15E, without conformal fuel tanks, and as soon as I pulled up after takeoff, I basically stood the thing on its burner cans, and I went straight up.” 

At that time, he did a split S, leveled off, and then he had enough energy to pull off another one. 

7. The F-15 was actually recorded in the 80s as going from zero to almost a hundred thousand feet in just 3.5 minutes

Is this impressive or what? 

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6. The “Mafia” was actually involved in its production

This Mafia is actually the “Fighter Mafia”, involving John Boyd and Robin Olds. Boyd was considered one of the original gangsters of the Air Force. During that time, the Fighter Mafia wanted jets that would keep them alive in combat and then place them in the driver’s seat when it came to prosecuting and executing enemy planes. 

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5. Because of the plane’s lightweight ability to maneuver, it is the world’s number one air superiority fighter

The plane is built for air superiority first, and according to him, the plane’s designed to pretty much take out anything that one can think of beyond the visual range and within visual range because it’s been built for this purpose alone. 

4. Over a hundred F-15s have been built in Japan and counting!

The US has contracted for F-15s to be built by Mitsubishi and some Japanese manufacturers. 

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3. The F-15’s internal cannon can fire over 6,000 rounds per minute

This is equivalent to about a hundred bullets per second. You don’t want to do incredible bursts with it since the gun was designed to shoot a hundred bullets at a time. As a result, you get a lot of chances during a dogfight to get a hit. 

2. This thing doesn’t actually need a gun

Well, technically, the F-15 does need a gun, but its ability to target beyond visual range is pretty impressive. 

New F-15s have been outfitted with ASA radars, a fixed array radar that lets you target an aircraft and see the battle space to see the airfield in real-time or see an aircraft right in front of you that you might not be able to see with older radars.

YouTube / Max Afterburner

1. The F-15’s first kill came from the Israeli Air Force

That was during the year 1979 when the Israeli Air Force shot down a slew of MiG-21s and Mig-25s in Lebanon.