Going Vertical: F-22 Raptor Versus F-15 Eagle

An F-22 Raptor and an F-15 Eagle pull into a vertical climb over the Nevada Test and Training Range, July 16, 2010. Because the above doesn’t do the photo justice, click here to see the full size version courtesy of The Strategy Page.

— Greg Grant

(h/t: Stephen Trimble)

  • bravem

    The Eagle looks like it’ holding it own pretty good. Now if the Raptor gave it a head start, then it’s a different story altogather. But the Eagle does look good.

    • Michael

      Youre post it hard too read

    • AirPowerisAwesome144
  • blight

    Beautiful. But don’t the Russians have planes that can do this too?

    Let’s have a JSF do something like this…or is it not ready? :/

    • praetorian

      the thrust to weight ratio is the key. The F-15 can gain speed going vertical where as
      the F-16 & F-35 can not. The F-15 broke 8 world records in 1975. Reached 98,000 feet
      in 3 min.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563177261 James Mclean

        And we know that the F35 can not because? Last time I checked its not done flight testing.

        • Maserati

          Then why are they in production on the fourth batch?

      • will

        your F-16 stat is wrong it can gain speed while vertical.

        • praetorian

          Yup your right. in some configurations. new engines ?

      • Chops

        True-but those F15s were modified Streak Eagles

        • praetorian

          Yes they were. the Streak Eagle didnt even have paint to save weight. But still an amazing feat. Look at this way, the Streak Eagle beat the Saturn V rocket by almost 60,000 ft


      • Hauer

        The old Mig-25 Foxbat can climb to an altitude of 120,000 feet in 4 minutes.

        What are you guys thinking? How is the US going to maintain a proper force if all this exaggeration of capabilities continues?

        • WARRIOR

          Real simple Hauer, there is no exaggeration of capabilities with the F-15. It is a proven fact that while the old Mig-25 can climb to higher altitudes in less time, it is made for speed because it can’t maneuver worth a crap. It’s engine design is very high maintenance and like most Soviet engine design, not very dependable.

          It is made for pure speed and acceleration not dogfighting. Israel has had no problems shooting the old Mig-25 Foxbat down with F-16s. There is more to being a fighter jet than just pure speed. My advice to you is to do some research before you start making statements like that.

    • ziv

      The SU35 is right around 0.76:1, MTO ratio.
      The F22 is around 1.25:1 thrust to weight at 50% fuel and about 1:1 MTO ratio.
      F15 is max takeoff weight of 68,000 pounds, and the 229 engine has around 29,000 lbs x 2 for 58:68 or 0.85:1 MTO ratio.
      The F15 is close but the F22 would blow past it in a vertical climb, and the SU35 isn’t even in the running. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su35 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-15_Eagle

      • praetorian

        SU-35 is still just a prototype. Russia wont receive its first production aircraft til late this year, if not early 2011. Whats the ratio of SU-30’s ?

        • ziv

          The SU30 is even worse than the SU35, which is ‘state of the art’ for Russia. The SU30 has a maximum take off weight of 76,000 pounds and a max thrust of 55,000 lbs, so its MTO thrust:weight ratio is just 0.72:1, the SU35 is 0.76:1, the F15 is 0.85:1 and the F22 is 1:1. All of them improve markedly when they are at 50% fuel capacity with the F22 being the highest at 1.25:1.


          • praetorian

            Thanks Ziv

          • praetorian

            Hey Ziv, whats the thrust to weight ration of an F-16 and F-35

          • Wildcard

            Aren’t SU30 / 35′ using AL-37 FU engines, which are rated at a little over 32,000lbs each.

      • Jack

        T/W for F-22=1.18
        T/W for Su-35BM=1.30


    • Buzz

      Blight, Russia does have aircraft that will do this also but I dont think any russian pilot would attempt it. Most of their planes are 20 years old or older and poorly maintained. Russian pilots only get enough fuel to be proficient in take offs and landings and dont posses the skills needed to fly like this. Only the guys that do the airshows have that kind of training and experience

  • John Moore

    Who won? Who can go higher and faster?

    • Claude Ector

      F15 maxes at 1875 mph. F22 maxes out at about 1400 mph.

  • Mr_GoodKat

    The F22’s Pratt & Whitney F119 engine produces >35,000 lbf (180 kN) of thrust x2
    Max takeoff weight: 83,500 lb (38,000 kg)
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 9:1

    F15’s Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 produces 29,000 lbf (129.6 kN) of thrust x2
    Max takeoff weight: 81,000 lb (36,700 kg
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.8:1

    My moneys on the F22. =]

    • guest


    • Stormcharger

      Uhhhh…. My math may be a little rusty, but neither of your calculations show the a greater than 1:1 thrust ratio. It’s ctually 0.838:1 for the F22, and 0.716:1 for the F15. Thrust to weight is a simple formula, (Total thrust/total weight). Even accounting for a 40% increase in thrust by using afterburners its still just barely over 1:1.

      • mike j

        Mr_GoodKat got confused and gave the T/W for the powerplants themselves. The thrust numbers he gave are static at sea level with the burners lit.

    • gab00

      I don’t think any F-15C’s have 229 engines in them…only 220’s. Raptor still hasn’t beat the 12 miles high time-to-climb that the Streak Eagle accomplished back in 1975

  • blight

    Is there any good to putting F119’s on the F-15? Probably couldn’t be done, but what-if?
    (Or JSF’s F135…)

    Granted it still doesn’t address the aging airframe issue

    • Moose

      Would take a bit of work to redesign and rebuild the Eagle for an F119, or to design a variant of the F119 to fit the Eagle. And with the later, you’re probably giving up so much of your performance edge over the newer F100s that the investment isn’t worth it.

      And, as you say, it only really makes sense in new-build since the current airframes are wearing out.

    • gab00

      won’t fit

  • Wigwam Jones

    There’s a spot of dust on the camera sensor. Upper right corner.

  • Michael


    God bless America.

  • http://twitter.com/Earlydawn @Earlydawn

    Anybody know what the F-22’s Alpha is like?

  • aasd

    How about the EF2000?

    • Wildcard

      The RAF Typhoon is equipped with two Eurojet EJ200 engines each delivering 90kN (20232lbs) of thrust in full reheat. Add an additional 7% the figures, as there is talk of an upgrade to EJ200 with (full 3D) thrust vectoring nozzles.

      • ziv

        In other words, the EuroFighter is better than the Russians but not as good as an F15, which is pretty much best in class, but, what, 20 years old? The EF2000 has around 40.5k lbs of thrust, its MTO weight is 51.8k lbs and its loaded weight is 35.3k lbs. So it is 0.78:1, thrust to weight ratio, when you are looking at MTO ratios. It does have a 1.14:1 ratio on the thrust to loaded ratio, which is pretty impressive.

        So it loses to the American F15 by a bit and to the F22 by a lot, but it beats the SU35 by a hair and beats the SU30 by noticeable amount/

  • Jan

    What were the climb stats for a clean F-14B or D?

    • Cliff Sampson

      about 45,000 ft/min . A 15,000 ft/min jump from the A model .

  • Dave S

    ZRH537 - Just for the record, the F-4 Phantom II did participate in Gulf War I. :)

    • ZRH537

      oh yeah, forgot about that. good point

    • praetorian

      Yup in the Wild Weasel role

  • Oblat

    So as the eagle soars effortlessly upwards the F22 obviously has a high wing loading. This looks like an advertisement for the F15

    • chaos0xomega

      I wouldn’t say the F-15 is effortlessly soaring upwards. Having seen both of them in there together, in person, I can tell you that an F-15 needs to do a full-afterburner takeoff to lift off the ground anywhere near as nicely as the F-22 can do without it…

    • mike j

      Your comment is garbage. The F-22 is pitching back, which accounts for the shock condensation (i.e. “wing loading”). The Eagle is in a right roll. With any aircraft in pure vertical flight, the wings are essentially unloaded.

      I’m no fan of defense waste either, but base it on facts.

      • chaos0xomega

        I dunno, to me it looks like the eagle is pitching back slightly as well, but it might just be the angle.

    • Cliff Sampson

      In a vertical climb I don’t think wing loading is a factor. This is all about power/ thrust to weight ratio !

  • DAWG66

    It ALL boils down to the Rules of Engagement. We had F-14’s with 100+ mile missile-kill capability for years…yet the ROE was ALWAYS get an eyeball on it before a shot. As long as our leadership does not allow BVR (Beyond Visual Recognition) any US aircraft will be taken-out before they can ‘go-verticle’. IF we can furball with the opposition, then dynamic capabilities come to play. Question is, how much does it cost to field ENOUGH Air Superiority aircraft to do the job. Remember, technology & quality only go so far…we beat the Krauts & Japs by outproducing them & overwhelming them. Right now we have an Administration that is killing our military capabilities with cuts & overuse of what forces we have. ROE should ALWAYS give U.S. Forces the advantage. Great Pic & God Bless Our Republic!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563177261 James Mclean

      “technology & quality”

      What? We had superior tactics in WWII against the Japanese but they actually had better aircraft. of course I could be wrong though LOL.

      • Blight

        They had the better aircraft at the beginning of the war, but by the end American aircraft were outperforming them because they didn’t upgrade the Zero as much as the Americans switched entire platforms.

        We needed the Thach weave and modified tactics to survive the zero because they didn’t have self-sealing tanks and other hardware, so their power/weight was superior. But eventually it wasn’t a problem, especially compounded with attritional losses that could not be replenished as quickly as with America.

      • Riceball

        You’re right, the Japanese (at least initially) had the better aircraft in the Zero but we soon learned how to take advantage of the strengths of our planes and the Zeros weaknesses. We did eventually even up the playing field once we stared to field the Hellcats, Bearcat, Corsairs, Mustangs, and Lightnings. Then add to that the Japanese were losing pilots faster than they could replace them which, from what I understand, was part of the reason they eventually turned to kamikaze tactics.

    • Matt

      The USA plans to buy 1500+ F35 STEALTH fighters. Russia plans to buy 60 PAKFA stealth fighters. America out produced them… And besides a modern war would have a greater difference in tech levels than between the allies vs axis in ww2.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1065929401 Earl Chambers

      eaxctly correct

    • f15jetmech

      Mostly by out flying them because of superior training.

  • Grant

    Why don’t we put thrust vectoring on new models of F-15’s or F-16’s? I know we experimented with it on the F-15 but what ever happened to that?

    • praetorian

      Americans felt that BVR was more impotant then dog fighting. But they did put it on the F-22. besides there are no ” new ” or newer F-15 or F-16’s in our fleet. Most F-15C’s where
      built before 1980.

      • Wildcard

        Don’t need ‘new’ fighters to implement TV. Just new engine nozzles and updated flight control software.

        • praetorian

          My point being why would you. All of the F-15 fleet was grounded because of fatigue
          in the frames of some older F-15’s. If you Put TV on these units that would make it worse. Most of the F-15 fleet is at or past thier flight hours, by adding TV your added more G’s to the airframe. It will rip the plane apart. The DoD plans on moth balling
          about 100 to 150 F-15’s this year. They are going to keep only airframes with low hours ( ” golden eagles ” ). But why put TV on these tired frames??

          • Wildcard

            My statement wasn’t solely directed at putting TV on US F15′ and F16′. My statement was outlining that TV doesn’t require radically new engines (or airframes for that matter), more incremental updates. For relatively small changes to airframes (if req. at all), engines and FCS you can get greater benefits in overall performance.
            F15 and F16 production lines aren’t shut. This could have been offered as incremental updates for foreign customers.
            Whilst I understand the F22’ nozzle issue, it only has ‘2D’ thrust vectoring.

          • praetorian

            Sorry, I prob. read into Grants statement wrong also. I thought he was talking about F-15 & F-16’s already in our fleet. But as i read it now he might be talking about units we are producing now.

          • mike j

            “Most of the F-15 fleet is at or past thier flight hours, by adding TV your added more G’s to the airframe. It will rip the plane apart.”

            - Nope. Thrust vectoring doesn’t put unsafe g-loads on the aircraft. It allows it to pull more g’s than it otherwise could- i.e. maneuver- at low speed or post-stall, when the aerodynamic surfaces are less effective, or ineffective. You could say it would put stress on the airframe that it may not have been designed for, but “rip the plane apart” is hyperbolic.

          • praetorian

            Mike, I agree that i miss stated what i was trying to say. If the D0D grounds the fleet of F-15’s ( except the E models ) because of structural failure
            why would you want to put TV on them to make them more maneuverable.
            Seems to me if you make them more maneuverable to pull more G’s
            that would put more stress on the airframe, and add to more structural failures.

          • mike j

            That’s not quite what I meant. They’re pulling G’s anyway, TV just lets them do maneuvers they couldn’t without it. Every plane has restrictions on it’s flight envelope. This is kind of an academic point.

            Practically, why would we want to? -If it gave our fighters a tactical ability that would give them an edge against our adversaries. So I’m not sure it’s necessary from that standpoint, but I don’t see why we couldn’t do it, even to older airframes.

            BTW, Have you seen this from The DEW Line blog?:

          • mike j

            You’d want to put thrust vectoring on the fleet if it gave some tactical advantage, and from that standpoint I don’t think it’s really necessary. But I don’t see a problem with retrofitting it on even the older airframes. They’re pulling G’s anyway, TV just let’s them do some different maneuvers. Every type of plane has flight envelope restrictions. Fatigue issues would be handled with maintenance and inspection.

            btw, Have you seen this article on The DEW Line?:

          • mike j

            You’d want to put thrust vectoring on the fleet if it gave some tactical advantage, and from that standpoint I don’t think it’s really necessary. But I don’t see a problem with retrofitting it on even the older airframes. They’re pulling G’s anyway, TV just let’s them do some different maneuvers. Every type of plane has flight envelope restrictions. Fatigue issues would be handled with maintenance and inspection.

            btw, Have you seen this article on The DEW Line?:

          • mike j

            You’d want to put thrust vectoring on the fleet if it gave some tactical advantage, and from that standpoint I don’t think it’s really necessary. But I don’t see a problem with retrofitting it on even the older airframes. They’re pulling G’s anyway, TV just let’s them do some different maneuvers. Every type of plane has flight envelope restrictions. Fatigue issues would be handled with maintenance and inspection, same as now.

          • praetorian

            Point taken

  • jacint

    The F-22 cancellation is a very risky decision. I cannot understand it. The price per unit was going down and China and Russia are triying to catch up its capabilities.

    Airforce-Magacine has today a good article “The China Gap”:
    “The US may be in a military airpower race with China, but only one side is racing.” http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/…

    • http://twitter.com/Earlydawn @Earlydawn

      If you’re concerned about China, you should focus on airbase expansion in the Pacific. We could fill every fighter slot in the theater with F-22s, and it wouldn’t do us any good.

      We need to leverage both numbers and technology against China. The F-22 falls pretty bluntly on one side of the spectrum.

  • hhh

    Lucky that the Russians never produced SU-37’s. Thanks for BVR F-15’s and possibly 22’s would be toast.

    • Enthusiast

      Su-37 was demostrator plane, nothing more.

    • William C.

      The Su-37 (and Su-35BM which is an actual production aircraft) wouldn’t even get close to the F-22A. A modernized F-15 is nothing to laugh at either.

    • anonimous


    • RedFlag

      SU-37 had high maneuverability however at a big great cost of losing power. F22 would slap it silly with power and maneuverability. You should think and research before you speak or in this case write.

  • ZRH537

    Does anyone know if the F15 Stealth Eagle will be marketed to the US, i think this would be a better option then the F35. The F15 is a proven airframe and the F35 seems to be full of bugs. and Second, i hate the F22 is cancelled, Does anyone think it will ever get put into production again. It bothers me to think that obabm has cancelled such a great plane when russia and china are pursuing there 5th gen fighter

    • praetorian

      The F-15SE is not being catered to the U.S. Boeing is trying to push it for Isreal,Japan,Saudi’s. The saudi’s are gonna buy 84 more F-15’s but not the SE model
      Once LM stops production of the F-22 ( which ends at the end of this year ) Its not that easy to start production again.

      • chaos0xomega

        While the F-15SE is not catered to the U.S., that does not stop congress/the AF from pursuing it (although the general attitude seems to be that its garbage because its not brand-spanking new…)

        And I’m not so certain that the not easy to start production again thing is true. I have a feeling that is largely a myth that defense corporations try to force down our throats to scare us into not canceling production, but I haven’t gotten to that part of my Industrial Engineering courses yet….

        • praetorian

          I hope not. I know we coundnt afford to replace F-15’s per plane with F-22’s.
          I just think 186 was not enough. I liked the idea the AF was pushing for around
          240 or so F-22’s.

        • Wildcard

          It is and it isn’t. Provided complete TDP, tooling and [F22 familiar] work force is kept, reopening production lines isn’t too expensive in the short term. But you have to look at everything, suppliers of components, materials, etc. Suppliers may also stop production of certain components, have gone out of business, be bound by other projects, etc. So that increases costs. If the new batch of fighters is to incorporate incremental upgrades / changes then again there is an increase.

    • Matt

      Stealth eagle is less stealthy than an F35 and it cant do STVOL or carrer landings… Also wasnt the B1 cancled and later brought back by Reagan? Could that happen if obama is voted out in 2012 (I hope so…)?

  • Guest

    cost of the f-22 is way to much for so little gain over the F-15. I’m glad some Wash. wimp cancelled it

    • SW614

      F-22 vs F-15

      LO Technology
      Better avionics suite tat allows a ‘first look’ versus potential opponents.

      More than a little gain.

    • jacint

      “too much cost” was only a political slogan of the Obama-Gates team.

      Another slogan: “the F-22 has not supported a single mission in Iraq or Afghanistan” … but they have sent it now to korea. F-15 was 15 years waiting for its first real use, and if the same number were produce maybe F-22 could be 22 years waiting for its first real dogfight because there is not plane capable:

      (2004) < < Secretary Roche said of the Raptor's initial operational test evaluation trials. The secretary used the results of a recent combat simulation to describe the Raptor's capabilities. "We had five F-15 Eagles against one Raptor," he said. "The engagement was over in three minutes. None of the F-15s even saw the Raptor. The Raptor simply went down the line and, in simulation, took out all five of the F-15s.">>

      • Chops

        Not only that but consider that the F15SE is going to cost $100mil. ea.Why spend that kind of money on a non stealth air frame when for 20% more you can get a brand new 5th gen stealth fighter that will last 25 years?

      • chaos0xomega

        Im not going to deny that the F-22 is a great aircraft, but that was in 2004. Our own pilots have since developed methods for taking out the raptor during simulated training. I personally met 2 eagle drivers that claimed at least 1 kill each against the raptor. It is NOT anywhere near invincible.

        • William C.

          Yeah, and how many Eagles where “shot down” for those two Raptors? 50, 60?

        • Bob Matthews

          I’m sorry your information is incorrect. The F-22 has over 86+ dogfights with the F-15 and the F-22 has lost NONE of them. In the Alaskan exercise, the F-15’s lost every single battle and in most cases never saw or had radar lock on the Raptor.The F-15 cannot defeat the F-22 even if the F-22’s radar was turned off and it only used it’s maneuverability against the Eagle. I have found many, many Eagle pilots making statements about the Raptor that are untrue, maybe because they aren’t flying it. With only 187 Raptors being built, many pilots won’t ever have the chance to fly a Raptor.

          • Greg

            What was the original number of F22’s that were order to be built before Obama pulled the plug on futher planes being built? 187 Raptors no matter how good they mightbe will not become the workhorse for the military in the coming decades simply because theres just not enough of them to do that. So that means the F15 will have to have money poured into them to bring them up a step or two in order to keep par with China not Russia as our main concern and threat throughout the world we will be living in.

          • greg

            The nations of the world will more than likely continue to from alliances together in order to even have any chance of showing power and force when making a stand against China as that is the only response they will reconsider in making military policy and decisions.

    • Matt

      Not a big gain?
      F22 can supercruise, is stealth, can carry bombs and air to air missles, has better avionics, will last longer, higher thrust/wieght ratio
      F15 can have to seats and has a bombing variant
      i think thats a gain

    • Blight

      We won’t know how much “gain” there is until there’s a legitimate war. The M1 was pricey, consumed too much gas and was difficult to transport and before GW1 one could say it was “too expensive” compared to keeping the M60’s. And before that, the M60 seemed like incremental gain compared to the M48.

      We could do this recursive logic until American troops are on horseback using bows and arrows for bottom dollar. Great thinking Guest?

  • Trex

    OK, lets do the same demo with a F22 and a F35, then with a F35 and a F15. The F22 was canx because it gave us an “unfair advantage” over our mortal enemies. That is totally unacceptable to the nambypamby gutless flowerpower looney liberals. Build more F22’s !!!!

    • DC101

      Relax Trex, I’m a liberal who also believes it was a poor decision on the part of Gates to cancel production of the F-22. The T-90 isn’t much of a threat at this point because it’s riddled with numerous flaws and frankly, come time for production, most experts remain skeptical of it’s projected performance. As for the F-35 - as history has shown, mutli-role fighters have never been very successful at executing both air and ground attacks. I feel like the F-35 was built using the same principles as the F-16. If we build a somewhat decent and cheap plane, through mass production, the U.S. may maintain air dominance through numbers. It will be interesting to see.

      • matt

        the t-90 is a tank…. how is this applicable?

  • GDawg

    Some of y’all may not remember, the F-15 in it’s “Streak Eagle” form held and perhaps still holds a lot of “time to climb” records internationally because of it’s superior thrust to weight ratio. The F-16 used to at least ( don’t know anymore) use the same engine, abeit one less than the F-15 and has the ability to accelerate vertically. So that tells you that while the F-15 is a larger airframe, it has two of those beasts of an engine.

    The other thing to remember is, what is the context of this picture, it might have been a photo op to make a really cool picture and not any contest between the two airframes. Who’s to say, unless you were one of the pilots or the guy in the chase plane taking the picture. That being said, do I think the F-15 has the ability to out climb the Raptor….my first guess would be no, based on the “known” capabilities of the Raptor. However, it would be interesting and I’ve wondered if the AF would try and use a stripped down “Streak Raptor” to try and break any records set by the F-15 “Streak Eagle.” Perhaps it’s not in the cards because that might give too much capabilities intel away. I am not an expert, just supposition and pondering on my part.

    • L.J Cook

      During the development of the F-15 at Edwards, I got a chance of a lifetime, to ride backseat, in a ship performance demo flight. Yeahhha, pilot asked for permission for a Viking departure runway 22, and away we went. When the wheels broke ground and we rotated up, went straight up, through the sound barrier. Above forty-two thousand, we then dropped in a zero-gee arc, back down to about twenty-thousand ft. After a few twists and turns, the pilot asked if I was airsick. Nope, that became his call to really open her up. All I can say, after check flights in T-38s, and F-4s, nothing ever came close to the flight of the F-15. As to a stripped down Streak Raptor, the cost per unit is way too much to retire one, as with the F-15 program. The Streak Eagle aircraft had so much paint and such stripped out of it, that it could never be put back into service, cost wise. It became a recruiting aid, and is now on display somewhere, repainted in air superiorty blue.

  • Enthusiast

    Some facts about F-15 which are mostly unknown by public:

    1. Few F-15s were downed by enemy fighters fire actually. Syrians claimed three air-air kills of Israeli F-15 in 1980s. So “105:0 kill ratio” claim for F-15 is BS. Also, few “Eagle” were lost due SAM fire.

    2. F-15 had never fought in air combat against 4-th generation aircraft of same class (e.g. Su-27). Most kills made by F-15s were obsolete 3rd-generation Soviet aircraft (Mig-19, Mig-21, few Mig-23) piloted by arabs. Also, F-15s enjoyed major advantage in BVR using AWACS/AEW early detection (enemies had not similar capabilities).

    3. It’s not “greatest combat aircraft in history”. At least, this statement can not be based on its combat history of conflicts with poorly equipped, poorly piloted and outdated air forces.

    • Unenthusiast

      1. And we can trust Syria to tell the truth about their military successes? (I suppose that we can’t discount the possibility, they might accidentally tell the truth once in a while.)

      2. The chief reason that the F-15 never fought the Su-27 is that the latter entered service almost 9 years later than the F-15A (December 1984 vs. January 1976). If the Su-27 had entered service in 1976, it is likely they would have fought each other over the mid-east.

      9 years is a long time advantage over its chief peer.

      F-15s did always enjoy AWACs support but opponents often had ground radar support. But AWACs was a factor. Air-to-air requires a team effort. The F-15 did fight the Mig-29 in Iraq and the Balkans. Can’t call the Mig-29 3rd generation. It was introducted in 1983, 5 years after the F-16.

      • Enthusiast

        1. Why not trust Syrians? Just like many people trust Israel and their B.S. claims about ZERO losses in air-air engagements with Syrian AF. F-15s were lost over territory which was controlled by Israel.

        2. Not a fact.

        3. F-15’s foes had radar support with obsolete equipment, mostly from 1960’s era.
        Mig-29 and F-15 are fighter jets not from same class. Mig-29s (downgraded versions) were outnumbered.

        • unenthusiast

          “2. Not a fact.”

          Wow, that is a devasting riposte. Well done.

          I see that you are so certain of your facts that you don’t even bother to document them. Mine claims are available through wikipedia and they accord with common sense and my memory.

        • praetorian

          Also Un is right the Mig-29 is a 4th gen. fighter

    • anonimous

      And the eastern bunny is real too!!!

    • trpilot6

      First of all that 105:0 kill ratio is air to air engagements. There have been a couple of F-15’s downed by ground based Missiles, maybe this is what ur thinking of? NO ONE has EVER shot it down in air to air combat. EVER. The US and Israel can produce the cockpit recordings of every F-15 air to air kill, but NO ONE has EVER produced a cockpit video recording showing an F-15 being shot down by another aircraft, this includes Syria. If Syria were telling the truth then they should be able to produce these recordings like everyone else, which they cannot. Also the US and Israel can account for every single one of their F-15’s, so what 2 mystery F-15’s did the Syrians shoot down??

    • ggkfv

      My money is on the F-15

    • dlmziggy

      You are incorrect. To believe the Syrian claims is like believing the Soviets when they said they shot down over 600 F86’s in Korea. Show me the gun cameras! The SAM kills are correct but you cant do anything about them. F15 ‘s shot down at least 5 MIG29’s (4th gen) in Gulf war and at least 4 more over Kosevo. As per Kill ratio and air superiority dominence it is definetly the most successful fighter in history no matter who was flying against who.105-0 vs F6F Hellcat(19-1), F4U Corsair(11-1), P51 Mustang (8-1) .even better than the Japanese Zero over China(pre-wwii) which was 20-1.

    • Joe

      You Suck the EAGLE is the best EVER . You suck the Eagle is the best……Joe

  • unenthusiast

    3. The perception that the F-15’s opponents weren’t good enough is partly a result of the quality of the F-15 and its pilots. Superior aircraft are bound to be fighting inferior opponents, by definition. “Greatest combat aircraft” is what lawyers call “puffery”, I think. That means that it is essentially an opinion given about a subject in which there are not objective standards for measurement. No need to get your panties in a wad.

    Given its excellent combat record — even if we believe the Syrians — I think that one can make the argument that the F-15 is the “greatest combat aircraft” ever. But there are other aircraft that vie for the title.

    • Enthusiast

      3. F-15’s opponents simply were armies with obsolete equipment and incompetent military personnel

    • L.J.Cook

      While Israel and Syria were battling over the Baka Valley, the ground below, became littered with the remains of Syrian aircraft. Israel F-4s were responding to intruder flights, and left the junk scattered all over the valley. Here in America, we have never known the horrors of incoming bomber flights, and had to respond to prevent our nation being lost to us. The Israel Air Force, does so almost on a daily basis. And they do so, with less than top line equipment, but always maintained to be the best they can be. My money goes on a better trained flight crew, out flying a flight crew that lacks full authority training. Most of our possible opponents follow the Russian doctrine, of ground control being in charge. This leads to failure, because they do not want to make decisions for themselves. Look up the stats, and other info.

  • Camrober

    In 1992 at an air show in Oregon I saw an Su-27 outclimb an F-16 easily, left it for dead. Maybe the F-22 is better.

    • William C.

      Su-27 has two engines. A clean F-16 does have a T/W ratio greater than 1, but a Raptor or Flanker with 50% fuel has a significantly higher T/W ratio than that.

    • mjwildman

      SU-27 has two engines dimwit and the f-16 is about 25 years older. Lets see the 27 dogfight the F-16 !! I would rather be in an F-16 anyday of the week.

    • Greg

      I was there. Ate and drank with the Russians, too.

  • mechanic

    The F-15 is the greatest fighter ever.

    • Enthusiast

      Not proven

      • anonimous


      • WARRIOR

        Very much proven Enthusiast. Countless battles in the air, very well documented I might add. You might want to do some research before you make comments like that.

    • mjwildin g1

      Right on !! The F-15 IS THE GREATEST FIGHTER EVER. If I had to go to war tomorrow my fighter of choice…..F-15 Eagle !!

  • blight

    BVR didn’t exactly pan out for the Phoenix, which had a spotty record in GW1. I wonder if the Iranians had better luck with the Phoenix/F-14 combo.

  • mike j

    Seven more photos from this flight (plus an 8.5Mb version of the above) here:

    Nice shots of the Eagle and the Raptor over canyon country.

  • Jay

    I heard the F 15 is getting an upgraded engine. Anyone hear that as well? Right now we are about 25 years ahead of any other AirForce (Including the Chinese). Although I agree we need to keep pushing technology I think we can wait 5 years and spend the money to help with the current conflict we’re in. That means helping with missions being performed today such as a focus on close air support rather than air superiority considering the Taliban don’t have an air force.

    • William C.

      Most F-15A-D models have the F100-PW-220E engine which generates no more thrust than the original F100 did back when the F-15 was introduced. Most (all?) F-15Es have the F100-PW-229 which is a much improved engine generating over 4000 pounds of additional thrust and providing other advantages. It is possible that the USAF is looking at upgrading some F-15Cs with the PW-229 or the even newer PW-232.

    • Benjamin

      I forget where I read it but one of the major engine manufacturers is looking at developing a version of one of their commercial engines for the F-15.

      • Blight

        Why? There’s nothing wrong with the JSF engines or the work P&W does.

        It’s not like this is JSF which needs an imaginary second engine program

    • Enthusiast

      Su-30 and Su-35 are more than enough to deal with F-15. Not mention to PAK-FA

      • crackedlenses

        Translation: We’re all doomed and should go ahead and buy the latest Russian stealth planes because our stuff will never be as good.

      • anonimous

        In what video game???

        • Enthusiast

          you have no clue what you are talking about kid

          • crackedlenses

            And you have a inherent dislike for US planes. That is a good point though. What video games HAVE you been playing?

          • William C.

            Give that F-15 an APG-63(V)3 or APG-82 AESA radar, JHMCS and AIM-9X capability, and new PW-229 engines and it will easily match a Su-30 or Su-35 in air-to-air combat. Yeah it won’t have the thrust vectoring some Flanker models do, but with the AIM-9X that isn’t much of a worry.

  • Fred

    Still believe that our F22s, F35s, as well as our most updated/upgraded versions of F15s, F16s, F18s flown by US pilots would have NO problems encountering and defeating any air threat from most nations (including the ubiquitous MIG29 and MIG31 and SU27). Firmly believe both QUALITY and QUANTITY (both in terms of planes AND pilots) are CRUCIAL here and still have hopes the F22 will resume production at some point in the near future.

    • praetorian

      I agree on all points…

      • Enthusiast

        Mig-29 / Mig-31 and Su-27 are old news
        Not fair comparison

        • crackedlenses

          Why are you so determined to make the new Russian fighters out to be the best in the world? You are acting as though all our planes stink; the Israelis have had to make due in the past fighter-wise and still have owned the surrounding nations who were receiving Soviet help.

  • comet1usa

    Sounds like the enthusiast is a power in his own mind. Back your facts or shut up I’d say and stop be-litting something you have no true ideals about..

    • crackedlenses

      Name names please, or no one will shut up.

  • Enthusiast

    “First of all that 105:0 kill ratio is air to air engagements
    Read more: http://live-defensetech.sites.thewpvalet.com/2010/08/05/going-vertical-…
    Defense.org ”

    F-15 were lost over territory which was controlled by Israel. Thats why no wreckage were found. Israel tried to hide these facts for propaganda reasons. It’s cause of “F-15’s zero losses” myth.

    Syrians claims about F-15 kills:
    29Jun81 1 FIS MiG-25PD(e) R-40R missile -> F-15 IDF/AF (kill)
    9Jun82 MiG-21bis Harra R-60 missile ->> F-15 IDF/AF (damaged)
    3Jul82 MiG-21bis >> F-15 IDF/AF (kill)
    4Dec83 MiG-23ML >> F-15 IDF/AF (kll)

    Syrian air force lost their fighter jets (which had kills) too. Thats why there not any camara records with f-15s kills.

    Yeah, F-15s had much better results and good looking combat histrory . But it got these results from engagements with obsolete fighter jets which were generation behind (3rd generation), or even were not air superiority fighters (Mig-25, Su-22…).

    • crackedlenses

      The F-15 was designed to be in the same category as the Mig-25 (got it from Tom Clancey’s Air Wing).

      • Enthusiast

        Wrong. MiG-25 is dedicated interceptor, it was designed to counter and intercept American supersonic (3 mach capable) strategic bomber XB-70 Valkyrie. Later it was used as standart interceptor in PVO (air defense). Some Mig-25 was converted into reconnaissance aircraft, it was very capable spy plane with a very high altitude capability (>30000 ft) and high speed (~3 mach).

        F-15 was designed as air superiority fighter jet.

        These planes are not in same class.

        • Tim

          While touting about its high speed capability (+3 Mach), the Mig-25 simply is not capable of sustaining such speed over long period -definitely not more than a few minutes. Of course, we did not know that at the time, but you can find plausible sources now to indicate that the Mig-25s actual ‘preferred’ speed is 2.5 Mach or below. Instances where the Mig-25 actually went over Mach 3 caused the engine to overheat and even exploded.

          How can you seriously be a ‘superiority’ fighter jet if you can’t intercept the intruder and soundly defeat it? The F-15 was designed to be as such and was from the same era as Mig-25. The Soviets later built Su-27 to counter the F-15, and at least on paper the former has more advantages or capabilities due to the fact that it is newer tech. But since the two have never met in battle, it’s hard to say.

  • Enthusiast

    Syrian air force combat victories: http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_270.sh…

  • Frak U

    Further production of the F-22 was cut due to the extremely high cost of the plane in combination with the economy heading towards a 2nd great depression. It’s easy to say that “liberls” cut the Raptor but when each fighter cost well over $100M and you need money for other military needs what would you do? What would you do if you’re the one who is responsible for making drastic cuts in order to save your country?

    If people really want to be angry, you should be mad at the way these companies build the planes in the first place! They do everything they can to spread-out the manufacturing of the F-22 and F-35 across the entire country making each fighter several times more expensive and politically impossible to cancel entirely. The F-22 fleet will fly 182 planes.

    • Anonymous

      However, the issue is that if more F-22s were bought, the cost per aircraft would go down. Each project has a fixed cost and a unit cost. More aircraft means that the fixed cost would be spread out, meaning the individual cost per aircraft is lower. Plus, the fact that the F-22 has contractors everywhere means that hundreds of thousands of people work on the project, producing jobs. Cancelling the F-22 only made the cost per aircraft higher, and further deteriorated our economy by destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs. You wanna fix spending? Look at Obamacare, the bailouts, and all the other wasteful social programs that do nothing to help our economy. These cost much more money and are much more useless

      • blight

        The fact is that fighter contracts aren’t optimized for economies of scale anymore. They’re calculated like any military project to create jobs in the appropriate states or congressional districts. We did not fight WW2 like this. If anything, the government had a very active hand in pushing efficiency and cutting waste and corruption. We did not execute people for their failings in engineering (eg B-29), but government retained an iron fist for the situations where the taxpayer wasn’t getting what they deserved.

  • Sanity

    @Trex, you mean Gates?

    Put down the Red Dawn tape and talk some sense instead of babbling.

  • SneekMatrix

    Hey The F22 is dumping fuel LMAO

  • CommonSense

    The F-22 and F-35 programs are already obsolete. The US Military needs to eliminate manned fighter jet programs altogether and replace them with much more maneuverable and less expensive unmanned vehicles. Manned fighter jets are a thing of the past and will not survive attacks from stealthy unmanned opponents!

    • Anonymous

      the only problem is that every current project by the aerospace industry on that matter is still decades away from actually being feasible. The F-22 is projected to be in service until the 2040’s. That’s how far away from reality UCAV’s currently are. There’s no doubt that UCAV’s are the future, however, it’s still suicide to rely on technology that won’t be feasible until then. Rely on proven technology, not conceptual.

  • Bloodyscot

    The F-22 was just too costly but does have important advantages over F-15 in a few areas. The F-35 needs a new engine for it to really compete but that is likely in the works now.
    Unmanned vehicles are good against less advanced militaries but it they can block/jam communications or have missiles that can home in on it signals then its of limited use.

    With the new passive radar systems in development, will make stealth aircraft less usable. Passive radar has a limited range of 450km max (due to curve of earth) but it is much harder to jam or use HARM missiles against or cruises missiles if it mobile and current stealth aircraft maybe easier to spot than normal one for same reasons active radar can not spot them.

  • nonito d. cabato

    the u.s. air force should continue buying the latest F-22A Block 35 with the increment 3.3 software version at a total of 864 planes or more. Must retire most of the legacy fighter, this aircraft has passed its operational life. They maintenance nightmare, the raptor is in production. This stupid Gates does not know about air combat, he is destroying the finest air force in the world. Do you like what happen in world war 2 in the pacific, you git ass kicked in the early days of the war! It is better be prepare than not all. China and Russia has stealth fighter also, what is Gate thinking! He is nuts! Build also F-22N for the Navy 576 of them, leave the F-35B for the marines and army for close air support.

    For Heavy bombing, develop the next generation bomber a long-range one with bomb pay load of 15 tons!

  • nonito d. cabato

    just build 1,000 F-22a block 35 increment 3.3 version or block 40 plus. build also 576 the navalized variant for the navy. for serious bombing buy 300 next generation bomber and 690 F-35B for CAS.

    don’t fight other nation war, it is there responsibility to do to so.. close all base and cancel foreign aid to other nation u been doing it for long time, it is enough

    your job is to defend the mainland unite states, other nation should do their part in defending their country!

  • guest

    Just a little history… The F-15 supercruised first… yes, that’s right… They tested some “special engines” at EAFB in the early 90’s, these engines were essentially the same that ended up in the Raptor (both GE and P&W variants in the 35k class) These motors could be put back into these F-15’s. Both a C and E model were used with these motors and they were extremely loud in the case of the GE motors. We wore double hearing protection near these two aircraft. I was there and I was working F-15 DT&E at the time.

    • dzoni


  • Guest

    I must ask… does anyone on here actually know anything about these plane’s? Because the comments I am reading are so ridiculous that I am forced to imagine they are written by middle school students, whom make capability assumptions based off air show visits…

    • Eagle Driver

      Yes, actually. Many of these posts are from people in the aerospace industry. And you, sir, are an idiot. I know more about both of these aircraft in my little pinky than you do. So respectfully, STFU.

  • Isaac

    The f-15 was in service since th 80’s or 70’s and was never shot down the f22 has a lot to live up to

  • Andy

    Hey remember Korean war, F9F Panther VS Mig 15 piloted by Soviets, Kill ratio for Panther was 5-0, Panther was 100 mph slower and turned wider. That is attributed to Superio Naval aviator training. Yessss HOORAW for US fighter pilots, best trained in planet….

  • prior service

    F-15 is a better fighter jet hands down. Seen them in action when I worked on them both (15 & 22) It was a horrible idea to produce the 22 in the first place, glad they stopped before wasting the already tight allowance given to the AF. Most of your “enthusiast” statements are fun observations based on your opinions yet have very little fact associated to them.
    -please note that all of us who do know the actual answers to these questions cannot (due to secrecy agreements) divulge the specific reasons as to why you are incorrect. Please just accept this for what its worth.

  • mjwildman

    I beg to differ, and even if Syrai shot 3 down which I doubt, the score would still be 105 to 3, damn good odds. I have yet to see a fighter jet thtat is truly a match for the F-15 Eagle. The baddest bird in the sky and almost 40 years old !

  • christopher worley

    it comes down to history. the germans had jets, rockets and tiger tanks. with kill ratio’s of 20 to 30 to one. but at Kursk the Russians sacrificed tanks in kamakazi attacks aginst german tiger and panther tanks. p-51 mustangs shot down me 262 jets at crazy rate why? you put enough guns in the way one will get you. I do not care how good your one is, you put 10,000 ww1 spads in the way and your super jet is toast. stalin said it pretty well quanity has a quality all it’s own. so what is solution? simple ! stop the crimes in military procurement. what do I mean? do the math 800 billion per year for military. if I bought 1,000 raptors at 75 million each that,s 7.5 billion out of 800 billion every year so there Nazi propaganda to cheat us is treason. you can buy 1,000 raptors every year for less than 1% of total military budget? who is fracking who? I wish American could add then they would be patriots! some one needs to do some math in medicare too that is even worse!

  • guest

    I believe that based on comparable advisary aircraft the P-51 Mustang would be a serious rival to the Eagle as the best fighter aircraft in history. Just FYI the F-15 with an USAF pilot at the controls in most aerial combat competition training , the Eagle defeats its advisary. The F-22 DEFEATS all challengers rather easily, turns tighter, accellerates faster, and doesn’t bleed energy as quickly as its opponents, which inturn means target acquistion is very quick!

  • chass

    The F-15 is a faster aircraft, intake design and stealth of the F-22 hinder top end. I dont think the F-22 will brake any time to climb records.

  • ivan

    perhaps checking out http://www.drboylan.com/xplanes2.hmtl will help to get a comparison
    viewpoint of the present to future of defense aviation.
    The actual weight to thrust ratio of present war planes is not published.
    The fuel to target ratio is a closer efficiency guess of a fighter bomber platform.