Get $20 off an annual Nebula subscription by signing up at: go.nebula.tv/mustard
Watch Eagle vs. Foxbat: Samurra Air Battle: nebula.tv/videos/mustard-eagle-vs-foxbat-samurra-air-battle
Watch More Mustard Videos & Support The Channel: nebula.tv/mustard
More than 50 years after making its first flight, the F-15 Eagle remains one of the most capable fighter aircraft ever developed.
The F-15 was born from the difficult lessons learned during the Vietnam War. In the late 1950s, Air Force planners were confident that the advent of powerful new radars and long-range air-to-air missiles had rendered close-range aerial combat a thing of the past. So fighter jets like venerable the Mcdonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom were not engineered to be light or agile like their predecessors. Instead, they were designed to be heavily-loaded with missiles and carry powerful radars. Their pilots were no longer trained to dogfight, as they would engage the enemy at great distances, well beyond visual range.
But in the Vietnam War, military planners learned the hard way that the age of dogfighting was far from over. American pilots were being downed at alarming rates. The Friend or Foe (IFF) systems designed to identify enemy targets proved unreliable, forcing Air Force pilots to get in close to visually identify targets. At close-range, up against more agile Soviet-built MiGs, the F-4s were at a disadvantage. They were less agile than the MiGs, lacked a gun for close-range combat, and their pilots weren’t properly trained. To make matters worse, 1967, the Soviet Union looked set to unveil what appeared to be a new super-fighter built for extreme maneuverability.
The devastating experience from Vietnam and concerns being outclassed in the skies pushed the United States to develop a new air-superiority fighter that could face off with any current or future Soviet-built fighter. The result would be a twin-engine, high-performance, all-weather air superiority fighter known for its incredible acceleration and agility. Engineered from the ground up for tactical dominance in any air space, the F-15 holds the distinction of over a hundred aerial victories without a single defeat.
Thanks for watching!
In July 1967, the Soviet Union reveals what appears to be a new super-fighter.
It sets off alarm.
We currently have no fighter in our operational inventory that could constantly.
If successfully, combat the Foxbat.
It is thought to have multiple air-to-air and long long-range air-to-surface missile capability.
At a speed of Mach 3.
With, the United States and Soviet Union locked in a struggle for air superiority, the Soviets seemed to be winning.
Faced, with the prospect of being outclassed in the skies.
The United States would respond by engineering the greatest fighter jet in history.
In, the Korean War, early fighter jets like the American F-86 and Soviet MiG-15 squared off in fierce air-to-air battles.
Both were light, agile jets built for close-range dogfighting.
But by the mid-1950s, new technologies were beginning to radically transform fighter aircraft.
Powerful new radars could detect the enemy from much greater distances, while newly introduced, guided missiles could hit targets.
Kilometers away., Military planners grew convinced that air battles of the future would be fought beyond visual range, where the enemy wouldn’t be more than a distant blip.
On a radar screen.
It meant the newest fighter.
Jet, the F-4 Phantom, was no longer light or agile.
It was fast, heavily-loaded with missiles and carried a powerful radar.
Many believed that dogfighting had become obsolete.
But in reality.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In, the Vietnam War, the Air Force’s new approach was put to the test.
But things didn’t go as planned.
The skies over Vietnam were a chaotic mix of enemy and friendly aircraft and the systems designed to help Air Force pilots identify the enemy proved.
Forcing pilots to get in close to visually confirm each target.
The whole idea of engaging from a distance fell.
The, new F-4 Phantoms were pulled in to close quarter dog fights against more agile MiGs.
Their pilots had never been trained to do.
And, the Phantom’s guided missiles proved hopelessly inaccurate.
Designed for larger, high-altitude targets.
Initially only 14% ever hit anything.
When the missiles failed, pilots were left, defenseless.
Because the F-4 was built without a gun for close combat.
The larger, less maneuverable Phantoms, with their notoriously smoky engines, were easily spotted., The, more agile, MiG’s, lured, the F-4s in close, knowing they were vulnerable.
Just barely held its own in this air space because it is an interceptor used as a fighter, finding it difficult to compete with a fighter designed as a fighter.
American, pilots were being downed at alarming rates, and military planners were learning that the age of dogfighting was far from over.
Air Force planners scrambled to respond, equipping the F-4 with pod-mounted Gatling guns and training pilots to engage the more maneuverable MiGs.
These were stop-gap, solutions.
What, the Air Force really needed was a new dedicated air superiority.
It meant scrapping every one of its earlier concepts for the next generation of fighter aircraft, which now looked too large, too heavy, and likely to fare even worse than the Phantom.
And they’d have to move quickly.
Because in 1967, the Soviet Union unveiled a new fighter of their own, and it looked nothing like the MiGs that F-4 Phantoms were squaring off with in Vietnam., Everything seemed to suggest a fighter built for extreme maneuverability., With twin tails, a massive wingspan, and monstrous engines.
Intelligence experts suspected the Soviets were using advanced lightweight materials, along with new radar and weapons systems.
A few months.
Later, the Soviet’s went on a record-setting spree, posting new world speed and altitude records with the new fighter.
We, currently have no fighter in our operational inventory that could constantly.
If successfully, combat the Foxbat.
If the experience in Vietnam wasn’t concerning enough, the Soviet Union now looked ready to unleash a new super-fighter.
After spending, the better part of two decades building, mostly interceptors, fighter-bombers, and attack aircraft.
The Air Force finally set its sights on building a state-of-the-art air superiority.
In 1968, leading U.S.
aircraft designers were invited to submit proposals.
Their entries would be assessed using a groundbreaking concept called Energy-Maneuverability.
A mathematical formula to help define a fighter’s total performance in terms of speed, thrust, drag, and weight.
In December 1969, the contract to build the new fighter was awarded to McDonnell Douglas.
Their design was the product of 2.5 million man hours of effort, allowing development to begin immediately., The F-15 Eagle was designed from the ground up for tactical dominance in any air space.
Two afterburning turbofans could unleash a massive forty, eight thousand pounds of combined thrust.
Enough power to break the sound barrier….
Even while flying straight up.
With a top speed of over Mach 2.5, the F-15 would be the fastest fighter jet ever produced by the United States.
For peak performance.
The engines were fitted with variable air intakes with a computerized air inlet control system, adjusting to ensure optimal airflow at any speed or angle of attack.
Earlier fighters, like the F-4 had a reduced wing area for high supersonic speeds, in the F-15, engineers instead opted for low wing loading which, combined with a high thrust-to-weight ratio, delivered superior maneuverability.
For maximum situational awareness.
The cockpit was mounted high in the fuselage, with a canopy offering a commanding 360 degree view, along with a digital heads, up, display, fully integrated with radar and avionics.
Eight, Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles were mounted under wings and along the fuselage.
If things got up close and personal, a 20 millimeter Gatling gun could dish out up to six thousand rounds, a minute.
And for maximum survivability, engineers designed in triple-redundant hydraulics, low-vulnerability flight controls, and a reinforced airframe.
Its combination of speed, power and agility.
The F-15 was ready to earn its place as one of the greatest fighters ever built.
First prototype was unveiled in June 1972, just 3 years after McDonald Douglas was given the go ahead.
The new fighter was put through an extensive testing program and it would have to prove itself against the best of what the Air Force had to offer.
Up against the heavy F-4 Phantom.
The F-15 looked assured and in control, easily making quick work of the interceptor.
The smaller, lighter F-5, used to simulate more agile mig fighters in combat, struggled to shake the larger F-15.
In, nearly every engagement, whether beyond visual range, or close in dogfighting, the F-15 commanded, an overwhelming advantage.
With, a true air superiority fighter on their hands.
The Air Force was ready to send a message to the Soviet Union.
Only a year and half earlier, the Soviet’s posted new time-to-climb world records with the Mig-25.
The F-15 was about to erase them.
In 1975, engineers stripped a pre-production F-15 of its non-mission critical components, even removing its paint to make it as light as possible.
In, the cold, dense air of North Dakota.
The Eagle made a series of climbs from a dead stop, rocketing up to altitudes as high as 30 kilometers.
Right to the edge of the earth’s stratosphere….
Not only did the F-15 beat the MiG’s records it shattered them by more than 25 percent.
The Air Force had a winner on their hands, and the F-15 Eagle would come to be recognized as one of the most successful fighter.
Development programs in history.
By 1974, the fighter, was already in mass production with over 400 early F-15A and B models ordered for the U.S.
And America’s allies were also eager to get their hands on the new jet.
The first foreign operator was Israel, beginning in 1976, followed by Japan a couple years later and Saudi Arabia.
And, with some of the first F-15's being deployed at West German air bases, right on the Soviet Union’s doorstep.
It seemed only a matter of time before the new fighter faced off against the MiG-25.
In 1976, the Americans finally got a first hand.
Look at the Soviet Union’s super fighter.
It wasn't what they were: expecting.
In September of that year, Lieutenant Viktor Belenko, a 29 year old pilot with Soviet Air Defence Forces made a fateful decision to escape the Soviet Union.
He did it by secretly flying his MiG-25 from a Soviet air base in the Far East to a civilian Airport in Japan.
After more than a decade shrouded in mystery, the Americans got a chance to examine the Foxbat down to every last detail.
Although, similar in size and appearance.
The MiG-25 and F-15 had almost nothing else in common.
Built, mostly out of heavy nickel steel alloy, the Foxbat weighed nearly twice as much as the F-15.
The large wings weren't for agility.
They were needed just to get the monstrous jet airborne.
The enormous weight meant that the MiG-25 could only pull a four and half G maneuver.
The F-15 was capable of nearly that.
Of what the MiG carried was the fuel needed to feed its enormous engines.
Even so, its combat radius was a mere 300 kilometers., Its avionics used outdated vacuum tubes, and its radar lacked look down.
Meaning it couldn't even detect an F-15 flying below it’s horizon.
The MiG-25 was anything but the dogfighting monster.
The Americans had feared.
It was purely a high altitude interceptor.
Designed to reach incredible speeds to catch enemy, bombers.
It wasn't built to do much.
The Soviets had kept the Foxbat’s capabilities a closely guarded secret, cashing in on its propaganda value and the alarm it had caused the Americans.
Now it was the Soviet’s turn to panic.
Because in 1976.
The Soviet Union had no fighter that stood any chance of surviving a dogfight with an F-15.
F-15s scored their first victories in 1979 when Israeli pilots downed 4 Syrian MiG-21's in a single engagement.
Over the years the Eagle would win air battle after air battle, clearing the skies of adversaries, almost as a matter of routine.
Today, F-15’s have racked up more than 100 victories without a single defeat.
A record unmatched by any fighter in history., Early, F-15, A and B models were soon joined by C and D variants, improving on the aircraft's range, payload and weapon systems.
Originally conceived of as an air superiority fighter.
The F-15 would also be developed into a formidable ground attack, aircraft.
Leveraging, the fighter’s superior range, speed and payload.
Nearly a half century.
After taking to the skies.
The F-15 remains vital to the U.S.
With deliveries, beginning in 2021, of the F-15EX, a thoroughly modernized replacement for the F-15C.
The MiG-25 was never designed to combat an air superiority fighter like the F-15.
But in January of 1991.
The two Cold War icons came face to face over the skies of Baghdad.
And the outcome.
Wasn’T, what anyone could have predicted.
Because, what the MiG-25 lacked in maneuverability, it made up for in raw power as the fastest fighter of all time.
The Iraqis would use it to their advantage, devising a daring plan to ambush F-15 Eagles as they patrolled the skies.
You can learn about this incredible air battle in my next video, coming exclusively to Nebula.
Nebula is where you can watch a growing number of exclusive Mustard videos, like the story of the MiG-31 Interceptor, the legendary F-117 Nighthawk, and the M-50 Bounder, along with lesser known, bizarre proposals like the MiG-25 business jet, and the insane Soviet plan for flying Aircraft, Carriers.
It’s, also, where you’ll also find hundreds of other exclusives from brilliant, independent creators, like Real Life Lore and his Modern Conflicts series, Wendover’s Jet Lag, and NEO’s Under Exposure series., On, Nebula, there’s, no algorithm to punish creators for trying something new or taking risks on big-budget projects.
And, because Nebula is completely ad-free.
Creators aren't limited to making content that YouTube deems advertiser-friendly.
When creators are given the freedom to make their dream projects a reality.
The results are nothing short of astounding.
On, Nebula you’ll also get access to Nebula Classes…, where you can even take entire courses on how to become a creator.
Sign up using the link below, and get a twenty dollar discount, meaning for just $2.50 a month.
You’ll support Mustard and get access to tons of premium content.