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Modellers Data File #37 - The F-15 Eagle (9781838045814) MA Publications


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Modellers Data File #37 - The F-15 Eagle (9781838045814)

MA Publications

 

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The need for a replacement to the F-4 was identified in the mid 1960s to counter the threat of existing and new aircraft that were being designed by the Soviet Union. Initially, the request was for an aircraft that had both air and ground capabilities and considerably heavier and faster than the F-4, however this was changed to focus on air superiority in both close and long range scenarios following analysis of air-to-air combat in the US Air Force in the 60s. With 4 manufacturers entering the competition to supply the USAF with an aircraft to meet their F-X requirement, the F-15 won with the decision being made in 1969. Powered by P&W F100 engines, it had a power weight ratio greater than 1, low wing loading to improve manoeuvrability, a radar that could identify low flying targets amongst ground clutter and operate beyond visual range and had all round visibility for the pilot improving visibility significantly compared to the F-4. Not least, one of the lessons learned was that a gun is necessary, so a Vulcan M-61 cannon was installed. With the first flight taking place in 1972 of the F-15A, the first of 483 F-15Cs flew in 1978 benefiting from additional internal fuel, ability to carry the ungainly conformal fuel tanks, the APG-63 PSP radar that could be reprogrammed to suit new weapons, stronger landing gear to cope with a greater maximum weight and new flight systems. In 1985, the F-15s coming off the production lines were to become part of the MSIP (Multi-stage Improvement Programme) that would allow ease of adaptation for developing weapons systems.

Whilst the US are the largest operator of the F-15, first blood was achieved with the Israeli Air Force in 1979 developing an enviable reputation against Syrian Migs over Lebanon and went on to use the air-ground capability in the 80s. During the Gulf War, the US followed up this success with their F-15s again in combat with MiG 21s, 23s, 25s and 29s. Of the 39 air-air victories scored by the US Air Force in the Gulf War, the F-15Cs had claimed 34 of them. Over 170 F-15Cs will remain in service for many years to come yet. More recent upgrades to the aircraft are a new AN/APG Radar that link to the helmet mounted sighting system as well as the latest evolutions in armament to ensure that the F-15 remains a potent weapon. As well as Continuing service with the US and Israeli Air Forces, the F-15 also continues to operate with Japan and Saudi Arabia.

 

The F-15E was developed in the 1980s for long range strike without requiring an escort. As well as retaining the capabilities of the single seat fighter conformal fuel tanks fitted with hard points enabled a wide variety of air-to-ground weapons to be carried. The F-15E has been further developed into the F-15I, K, S and SG. Further developments for Saudi Arabia and Qatar will include the SA and SQ, with a further upgrade in Israel being the IA. The USAF is currently purchasing new F-15s in the form of the F-15EX so there plenty of life left in the design yet.  

 

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This book is the 37th in the long line of books in the Modeller’s Datafile series, and arrives as a perfect-bound A4+ book in portrait format with 184 pages within the card cover.  If you’re familiar with the series, you’ll know the content is split between the real aircraft and modelling them, but here’s a more thorough breakdown:

 

Introduction

Chapter I

Flight of the Eagle - A Formidable Fighter

Chapter II

Wings of the Eagle - The F-15A to F-15D

Chapter III

Striking Eagles - The F-15E

Chapter IV

International Eagles - Israel, South Korea, Singapore, Saudi Arabia & Japan

Chapter V

Specialised Eagles - Test, Evaluation and Proposed Versions.

Colour Side Views

Eight pages of colour side profiles of various types and operators

Modelling the Starfighter

  • Digital Eagle - 1:48 Academy F-15 C/D (Alan Kelly)
  • Wolf Hounds Eagle - 1:48 Tamiya F-15C (Jos Jansen)
  • Tiger Lead - 1:48 Revell F-15E (Dawid Branski)
  • Updated Eagle - 1:72 Academy F-15C MISP (Danumurthi Mahendra) 
  • Eagle Strike - 1:48 Revell F-15E (Toby Knight)
  • Thunder Struck - 1:72 Great Wall Hobby F-15I (Marie Serelle)
  • Eagle School - 1:48 Hasegawa F-15D (Pascal Klasen)
  • Euro Fighter - 1.48 Great Wall Hobby F-15C (Christian Gerard)

Appendix I - Technical Diagrams

10 pages with pictures

Appendix II - Walkarounds

  • USAF F-15C
  • IDF F-15I Ra'am
  • JASDF F-15J
  • UASF F-15E

Appendix III - Understanding the Subject

4 pages of Aircraft Profiles

Appendix IV - F-15 Variants

2 pages concerning the different variants of the

Appendix V - F-15 Specifications

4 pages concerning the specifications 

Appendix VI- Kitography

Available accessories, kits & decals at time of writing

Startfighter Gallery

12 pages of colour photos of the Starfighter

Plans

3 Pages of 1/72 plans.

 

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There is a lot of text on the type during the first half of the book that cover the airframe beginning through prototype, the initial in-service details, followed by the subsequent upgrades to capabilities. After the US Aircraft there is more consideration to the other nations which then went on to use the type  The modelling side of the book begins now, and extends to 8 builds of mostly 1:48 kits, with two 1/72 kits for a little variation, that are carried out by various modellers, the names of whom you can see in brackets in the list above.  My only criticism of the book would be that it would be better to maybe have less more detailed builds of the main 1:48 kits as a couple are quite spares in modelling details. 

 

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The next section consists of a number of walk around photos printed on a cream background that shows the airframes in close-up detail, all of which is grist for the mill for us modellers, and includes some nice photos of the landing gear, airframe and sensors all in suitable sizes.

 

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The final sections are the Kitography, which I’ve always felt is a tiny bit redundant as things change so quickly in our hobby, as we now have helpful sites like Scalemates that are updated constantly.  It’s only three pages though, so nothing to fret about if that’s not your thing. lastly the Gallery section could be considered padding given the large number of photos available on-line now. 

 

 

 

Conclusion

It’s a good reference for the Eagle as a whole, and is a handy one-stop source of information for anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of the type.  There is a lot of information within and a lot of excellent photos in full colour, which one of the bonuses of a book about a modern fast jet over a WWII type.  Well worth a read, and it will be good source of reference down the line. As a modelling book I feel that more time devoted to modelling might help the perceived customer base more than the more numerous but less detailed builds included. Still overall recomended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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  • Thanks 1
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15 minutes ago, Hook said:

Looks worthwile - thanks! 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

Its the best one I have seen todate.

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