Celebrating 50 years of the Mighty Mighty this month. Today a closer look on the third prototype built. McDonnell Douglas F-15A 71-0282 made its first flight on 4 November 1972 and was the test aircraft for the Eagle’s APG-63 radar and avionics. 0282 was also used for air speed trials. Used by the combined McDD/USAF F-15 Joint Test Force at Edwards AFB between July 1973 and November 1977 (coded ‘3’ in July 1973). 71-0282 was also used by the AFFSL (Air Force Flight Systems Laboratory) for a short time between August and December 1977. The AFFSL adorned the aircraft with a sharkmouth
on 16 December 1977. The aircraft departed storage again on 14 August 1979 and was transferred to the 2955th CLSS at Robins AFB. It was noted in a WFU condition (possibly used for some kind of instructional purpose) at Robins AFB (GA) in January 1986, and was reportedly preserved at Robins at a later date, but it has not been seen since 1986.