Although advanced fifth-generation platforms like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor tend to dominate the headlines, workhorse fourth-generation fighters like the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle remain the backbone of America’s air dominance around the globe.
Despite being in operation for better than forty years, the F-15’s incredible thrust to weight ratio has secured its place as the fastest fighter in the U.S. arsenal, besting even the dog fighting phenom F-22 Raptor. Recently, Boeing even announced plans to double the F-15s air to air missile capacity, intent on keeping the aged but capable platform in the fight alongside its fifth generation counterparts as a variation on the concept of an “arsenal plane.” F-15s, laden with as many as 24 missiles could serve as flying magazines for advancing stealth aircraft — engaging dozens of targets from a distance through relayed targeting data.
Get a sense of just how capable this legendary aircraft in the video below, showing F-15Cs from the 493d Fighter Squadron making passes through the world-famous Mach Loop in Wales.
Feature image courtesy of YouTube.