It's the fighter pilot's dream. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 is fast, amazingly agile and climbs like a rocket. It can "zoom-climb" to an astonishing altitude of 98,400 feet, and reach its normal operating ceiling of 59,000 feet -- flying at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound -- in just two minutes. With the best combat radar in the world, it can detect and destroy enemies way beyond the pilot's visual range. Despite its huge size, the F-15's maneuverability makes it a ferocious dogfighter when the encounters get close and dirty. That's why nearly 100 enemy aircraft have fallen victim to the F-15, while no Eagle has ever been lost in aerial combat.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:72 scale diecast replica of a USAF F-15C Eagle assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Wing Operations Group, 33d Fighter Wing "Gorillas", deployed to Eglin AFB, Florida. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 7 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: April 2005
Historical Account: "Eagles Nest" - In 1979, the 58th Fighter Squadron became the first squadron in the 33d Tactical Fighter Wing to receive the F-15 Eagle. The 58th proved the war fighting capability of the F-15 during its deployment to Germany for exercise Coronet Eagle. During the exercise, the 58th utilized 18 F-15s to fly 1001 sorties in less than three weeks. The unit repeated this deployment in 1982 utilizing 24 F-15s making it the first full F-15 deployment in history. Ten years later, the 58th participated in Operation Just Cause where forces successfully removed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power in Panama.
The 58th was once again called upon to prove its mettle in August of 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded the tiny country of Kuwait. Twenty-four F-15s under the command of Colonel Rick Parsons departed Eglin Air Force Base for King Faisal Air Base, Saudi Arabia as part of the build up of coalition forces in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In the early morning hours of January 17th, 1991, Operation Desert Storm commenced. Captain John J.B. Kelk claimed the first aerial victory by downing the first MiG-29. As the war progressed, the 58th flew 1,689 combat sorties and destroyed 15 other enemy aircraft. During the course of the war, the 58th accomplished feats that no other coalition member matched including; the most air-to-air kills, the most double kills, and the most sorties and hours flown by any F-15 unit in theater. The 58th also destroyed the most MiG-29s (a total of five) and had the only wing commander who had an air-to-air victory.