On this day in 1972 the McDonnel Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle had its first flight.
The design of the F-15 Eagles was selected in 1967 out of a list of proposals for a dedicated air superiority fighter for the United States Air Force. It first flew in 1972 and entered service in 1976. It had a secondary ground attack role that was largely unused but was integrated more closely in the F-15E Strike Eagle, which entered into service in 1989.
The F-15 is among the most successful modern fighters. It has over 100 aerial combat victories and no acknowledged combat defeats. It currently serves with the Israeli Air Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (manufactured under license by Mitsubishi as the F-15J and F-15DJ) and the Royal Saudi Air Force. It was also used by NASA in 1988 to test the Highly Integrated Digital Engine Control system.
The F-15 is still in production for foreign users and is scheduled to be produced until 2019, 47 years after the aircraft’s first flight. It is slated to be in service with the United States Air Force beyond 2025.