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Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce Aviation Dollars
2012 Aviation DollarF-15 Eagle

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 aerial combat victories. In nearly four decades of active service, the F-15 Eagle has never lost a dogfight.

The United States Air Force selected the McDonnell Douglas design in 1967 to meet its need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976. Since that time, the Eagle has been involved in virtually every major military engagement around the globe. The F-15 is expected to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force well past 2025.

Since the 1970s, the Eagle has also been exported to Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. More than half of all F-15 combat victories were achieved by Israeli Air Force pilots.

Despite originally being envisioned purely as an air superiority aircraft, the design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, was later developed and entered service in 1989.

In addition to its air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, the F-15 can also act as a launch platform for anti-satellite missiles. On Sept. 13, 1985, USAF Major Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson, became the first and only pilot to destroy a satellite in orbit, making the F-15 Eagle a truly full-spectrum fighter.

On the 40th anniversary of its first flight, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle jet fighter is the featured aircraft on this year's Aviation Dollar.