F-15E Strike Eagle Wood Model Airplane
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The Strike Eagle has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Odyssey Dawn carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle had been introduced by the United States Air Force (USAF) as a replacement for its fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs. However, unlike the F-4, the F-15 was strictly designed for the air-superiority mission with little consideration for a ground-attack role; the F-15 Special Project Office opposed the idea of F-15s performing the interdiction mission, giving rise to the phrase "Not a pound for air to ground." In service, the F-15 was a very successful fighter, with over 100 aerial combat victories and no losses in air-to-air combat. Despite a lack of official interest, McDonnell Douglas quietly worked on an F-15-derived interdiction fighter. The company envisaged the aircraft as a replacement for the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark and the remaining F-4s, as well as to augment the existing F-15s. In 1978, the USAF initiated the Tactical All-Weather Requirement Study (TAWRS) which looked at McDonnell Douglas's proposal and other options such the purchase of further F-111Fs. TAWRS recommended the F-15E as the USAF's future strike platform. In 1979, McDonnell Douglas and Hughes began a close collaboration on the development of the F-15E's air-to-ground capabilities. To assist in the F-15E's development, McDonnell Douglas modified the second TF-15A prototype, serial number 71-0291, as a demonstrator. The aircraft, known as the Advanced Fighter Capability Demonstrator, first flew on 8 July 1980. It was previously used to trial conformal fuel tanks (CFT), initially designed for the F-15 under the designation "FAST Pack", with FAST standing for "Fuel and Sensor, Tactical. It was subsequently fitted with a Pave Tack laser designator pod to allow the independent delivery of guided bombs. The demonstrator was displayed at the 1980 Farnborough Airshow.