A Moment in Air Force History

This fighter made its maiden flight on July 27, 1972. The first flight lasted 50 minutes, reached 12,000 feet and 250 knots. Name the plane.

A. F-4
B. F-14
C. F-15
D. F-16

Answer: C. The F-15A Eagle. The first Eagle, a F-15B, was delivered in November 1974 to the 58th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. In January 1976, the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va., became the first operational F-15 unit. The F-15 Eagle has a perfect combat record of 101 victories and zero defeats. F-15s downed four Mig-29 fighters during the Balkan conflict and 33 of the 35 fixed-wing aircraft Iraq lost in air combat during Operation Desert Storm. During the Balkan conflict, the F-15E was the only fighter able to attack ground targets around the clock, in all weather conditions.

Did You Know? The F-4 Phantom II first flew in May 1958. The F-4 first went into operational service with the U.S. Navy in October 1961. The first two F-4s arrived at Langley Air Force Base Jan. 24, 1962. The U.S. Air Force designated the F-4 as the F-110A. On Sept.18, 1962, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft designation systems were combined into a single scheme, under which the Air Force F-110A and the Navy F4H-1 became F-4C and F-4B respectively. The F-4 was retired in 1996. The Navy’s F-14 Tomcat first flew in December 1970. In October 1972, two squadrons were formed to begin flight operations. The U.S. Navy will phase them out of service in mid-Fiscal Year 2007. The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is replacing the F-14. The YF-16 Fighting Falcon first flew Jan. 21, 1974. On Jan. 6, 1979, the 388th TFW, Hill AFB, Utah, became the first operational F-16 unit. During Desert Storm, the F-16 flew more sorties than with any other aircraft.