The F-15 has been in service since the '70s, meaning this fighter has been patrolling the air for over 40 years! Take a look at some of these lesser-known facts about one of America's best fighter jets.
It Has A Perfect Record In Air-To-Air Combat
Although half the confirmed kills have been by the Israeli Air Force, the F-15 has over 100 kills against zero losses.
It Can Fly With Only One Wing
A pilot suffered a mid-air collision that tore off one of the wings, but he still managed to land the plane safely. According to the pilot, the plane was so stable that he didn’t even realize there was a wing missing.
It Can Fly Extremely Close To The Ground
Equipped with ground sensing radar/infrared units, the pilots can fly incredibly close to the ground at extremely high speeds, even at night!
The Politics Of The Design Was Influenced By The Mafia
A group known as the “Fighter Mafia” lobbied for the government to create a powerful, small fighter jet in the ’60s.
Mitsubishi Built Over 100 Of Them
A part of an agreement with Japan, Mitsubishi was allowed to build over 100 of the iconic F-15s.
It Can Fly At Mach 2.5
That might not sound impressive — until you realize that’s nearly 1,900 miles per hour!
The On-Board Can,on Can Fire 6,600 Rounds Per Minute
The F-15 featured the M-61 Vulcan, a six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary canon.
Although The Cannon Wasn’t Really Necessary
The F-15 was one of the first planes to feature radar that could track multiple enemies and fire from over 100 miles away.
It Managed To Bomb A Helicopter Right Out Of The Sky
During the first Gulf War, a F-15 used a laser-guided bomb to hit an Iraqi helicopter in mid-air. This attack showed how devastating this fighter could be.
It Can Take Off Almost Vertically
Once lift is achieved, the F-15 can at a near 90 degree angle, thanks to there being an immense amount of thrust balanced with its light weight.
The Israelis Were The First To Record A Kill With It
The Israeli Air Force earned the first kill with a F-15, when they shot down several Soviet fighters over Lebanon in ’79.
It Is The Only Aircraft To Shoot Down A Satellite
An anti-satellite missile was tested in the ’80s, using the F-15 as a high-altitude launching point. While the missile did strike the satellite, the program was discontinued.
It Can Launch Satellites As Well
Using the F-15 as a high-altitude launching point, DARPA is currently testing using the F-15 to launch small satellites into orbit.
It Has An Insane Amount Of Thrust
When the afterburners are turned on, the F-15 can achieve nearly 60,000 pounds of thrust!