Congratulations to all of you who flew and worked on the F-15 Eagle and to the Might Mighty’s 50th anniversary.
50 years ago today, on July 27, 1972, under the control of McDonnell Douglas chief test pilot Irving L. Burrows, the F-15 Eagle first took to the skies over Edwards AFB, CA.
Burrows took the Air Force’s new twin-engine dedicated air superiority fighter on a 50 minute cruise, which topped out at 12,000 feet and 250 knots, before returning to base. The flight was uneventful other than a minor issue with a landing gear door.
“It was just like the simulator,” said Burrows upon departing the aircraft, S/N 71-0280, the first YF-15A prototype (F-15A). It was painted in “Air Superiority Blue” with orange flight test markings, and had square wingtips and an unnotched stabilator.
“This aircraft performed well from the first minute,” said Burrows later. “We knew we had a winner from the start.”
Several more flights occurred in the week that followed. They included milestones such as achieving Mach 1.5 speed and reaching an altitude of 45,000 feet.