I wasn't sure if I would be able to get out and do some photographing tonight so I decided to go with my standby of taking model pictures. These are diecast models as I don't have the patience I used to. This particular one is from Dragon Models and is pretty well detailed.
First up is the F-15 Eagle. This particular one is the C model which is the current one in service. It is designated as an Air Superiority Fighter and came about as a direct result of our experiences in Vietnam. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 beat out designs from Fairchild Republic and North American Rockwell.
The first flight was in 1972 and the first operational model was in 1976. It is capable of going at least Mach 2.5 and there is enough thrust in the engines that the plane can take off straight up. One of the lessons that came out of Vietnam was the need for a gun. Back in the 50's, it was thought that missiles would replace guns and Vietnam proved that theory wrong. The plane is equipped with look down-shoot down radar which means that it can pick out targets from ground clutter.
The F-15 is used by the US Air Force, Israel, the Saudi Air Force and Japan.