Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Saga of the F-15 Wing Tips (To clip or not to clip)

Untitled 4Strakes and Fences3[6] Clipped Tip2 If you never noticed, the pre-production F-15’s started out with “Square” wing tips – while the production F-15’s had “Clipped” wing tips!

Jack Abercrombie was in the middle of this problem and had these words:“The attached document describes the buffet problem and the solution.  Not noted is the fact that the first "clipped tip" for the airplane was achieved at Edwards in the dark of night by sawing off the tip, smoothing the ragged edges with wooden tips and duct tape.  And, it worked wonders! The alternative was to incorporate a combination of strakes and fences (a St. Louis developed configuration)--unfortunately, the alternative resulted in too much drag to be viable. Both configurations are shown in the above sketches.”

My only part in this as a Flight Test Engineer was to coordinate the production, distribution and delivery of the Mod Kits sent out for incorporation in all of the pre-production aircraft.

No matter if you call them clipped, modded or raked wing tips, Jack has written a very interesting saga about their history!

Click here for the document in PDF form

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