Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Review: Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle

Steve Davies
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle
Ramsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2003
Category: Aviation History

Rating: 5-Stars

There are many books that have been written about the F-15 Eagle, but fewer it seems that have focused on the F-15E Strike Eagle.  This is unfortunate, since while much attention has historically been focused on the air-to-air mission, it is the air-to-ground mission that ultimately contributes directly to the outcome of war - and where the majority of fighter jet losses will ultimately occur.

Steve Davies has therefore filled an important vacuum in the story of the F-15, detailing the development and deployment of the Strike Eagle version of this impressive aircraft.  As many of us are aware, transforming the air-to-air Eagle into an air-to-ground platform required an array of structural and avionics alterations, allowing the Eagle to carry far more payload and fuel that it was originally designed for.  Davies follows this evolution, providing the associated technical background, and then follows up with the deployment and operational history of this remarkable aircraft.  I particularly appreciated the operational perspective from U.S. and foreign pilots.  The additional weight made early versions of the Strike Eagle less nimble than its F-15C predecessors - but with the addition of an enhanced thrust version of the F100 engine, the Strike Eagle truly came into its own.  This is further supplemented by an appendice that lists the serial numbers for every Strike Eagle - foreign or domestic - that was delivered to date.

In summation, an impressive and well told tale.

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