Tuesday, January 13, 2015

F-15A Streak Eagle 40th Anniversary

Scan0511Scan0512 January 16, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the the 19th pre-production McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle aircraft (S/N 72-0119) time-to-climb records during Operation Streak Eagle. (Aquila Maxima) Quoting from the National Museum of the Air Force fact sheet:

“The museum's single-seat F15A, nicknamed "Streak Eagle," broke eight time-to-climb world records between Jan. 16 and Feb. 1, 1975. In setting the last of the eight records, it reached an altitude of 98,425 feet just 3 minutes, 27.8 seconds from brake release at takeoff and "coasted" to nearly 103,000 feet before descending. It was flown in its natural metal finish to reduce weight for the record-setting flights. To protect it from corrosion, McDonnell Douglas Corp. has since painted it in the gray color scheme of most operational F-15s. "Streak Eagle" is an early preproduction aircraft. Differences in internal structure and systems operation made it too costly to return to operational service. It was delivered to the museum in December 1980 after it was no longer useful as a flight test vehicle.”

Note the white telemetry antenna on the cockpit aft shelf and that
the Aquila Maxima emblem was not on the aircraft during the record flights.

Click here to view photos

Very good complete write-ups on the Streak Eagle can be found here and here from “This Day in Aviation” and “White Eagle Aerospace.”


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