The F-15 Eagle is one of the best fighters in history and still continues to amaze 51 years after its first flight.
Despite the years that have passed since its first flight in 1972, the F-15 is still a great combat aircraft and very recent variants of this aircraft are still coming onto the market. Among them is the F-15EX Eagle II, an improved version of the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber, with more powerful engines, more advanced avionics and flight control that eliminates the limits imposed until now on the F. -15 when developing certain maneuvers. The US has already acquired 104 F-15EX for its Air Force, Indonesia has purchased 24 aircraft and Israel has acquired 25 F-15IA, a version adapted to its needs.
In August 2021, the F-15QA Ababil (Peregrine Falcon) was presented, a version similar to the F-15EX for the Qatar Air Force, which will receive 36 of these aircraft. The F-15QA improves the speed, range and payload of the original F-15. Like the F-15E, the F-15QA is a two-seat aircraft. The Ababil is part of the Advanced Eagle program to provide more advanced versions of the Eagle to countries that already operated the F-15, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. The F-15QA made its first flight on April 13, 2020.
Boeing announced that the first public display of the F-15QA would take place at the Dubai Airshow 2023, held between November 13 and 17 of this year. On November 14, Boeing released a preview on YouTube, showing a video of the F-15QA with two members of its test staff: Jason "Mongoose" Dotter as pilot and Mike "Houdini" Quintini as operator of systems:
Already in its beginnings the F-15 was an aircraft with an impressive climb speed and with great maneuverability for its size (19 meters long), but the F-15QA improves those benefits , and can exceptionally reach up to 12 G, as noted by The War Zone: a gravity load that very few planes (and very few pilots) can withstand. The display in Dubai was simply impressive, with maneuvers similar to those of an F-22 Raptor, despite the F-15QA lacking vector nozzles. We can see it in this video from This is Flight:
It should be noted that this display was done in a "clean" configuration, without weapons mounts and without the CFTs (the external fuel tanks that the F-15E usually have on the sides of the fuselage, under the wings). This explains to some extent why the plane is more maneuverable, but it would be impossible to do this with an original F-15.
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