I think I saw the documentary that came from. Apparently, the ground crew wouldn't believe it was an air accident, they assumed it was damaged during taxiing. The pilot couldn't see the extent of the damage in flight from all the smoke, so he has a bit of a shock to find the wing had completely gone after landing.
Certainly says a lot for the aircraft, 2 wings, 1 wing, makes no odds! I bet all F15 pilots felt pretty good after seeing that feature of the aircraft - one which they may not have tried during training.
It is incredible that the F-15 remain both airborne and controlable enough to land safely.
Is the F-15 one of those inherently unstable designs that demand active computerised flight control inputs and would that have been a possible reason for the pilots ability to still fly it?
Whats the date today? No can't be that. Look, I fully accept my limitations when it comes to all things flying but please. I just do not believe it. The photo of the ac just about to land has the ac stable and level ffs. was there not fuel in that wing? how could an ac remain stable with such traumatic damage? how is it that footage of ac losing wings shows them immediately start spinning?
Either Flashy has set me up for a massive Wahhhhhh, or the Flash himself has overdone it on the jungle juice.
The consensus there seems to be that:
a) this happened.
b) so long as sufficient speed maintained lift is generated by the aircraft body.
c) images are faked by 'The History Channel' for their documentary.
Why do the images not match up? The three images on the left side from the bottom up show a clean break where the wing used to be. Yet the images on the ground show quite large jaggardy bits sticking out. And why the History channel? Most of the Sky 'lucky escape" stuff is on Discovery. Someone is tampering with images so why not just add the History channel logo?
I read about this some time ago, However the images dont quite add up, though I can imagine if they are from the telly then they might have been doctored for even more dramatic effect. One point to note is the number of Drop Tanks, both on the wing/wings and on the Centre Pylon. Some shots have them, notable the bottom left distant shot, tanks are clearly visible. Top left hard to say but doubtfull. The shots on the right that look like still photos show no tanks (OK they might have whipped em off triple quick post landing ?. I reckon that there was probably no original flying footage of the incident so the TV bods "created" some.
This was most certainly a genuine incident that occured a while ago (sometime in the 80's I think) when the F-15 (a twin stick B) collided whilst conducting Dissimilar Air Combat (DACT) against another type (F-16 I vaguely remember). The aircraft remained airworthy due to the lift provided by the remains of the inboard wing strake and was landed successfully. I seem to remember that the story included an interesting CRM debate after the collision when the aircraft initially departed. The student was a refresher pilot of higher rank than the instructor. The stude called to eject but the instructor said stay with it as there seemed to be some control authority remaining. After some argument, they elected to do the latter. Luckily, the F-15 is not an inherently unstable design which is why it stayed flying. Right now, you would'nt be able to do this with a Gripen, Rafale, FA-22, Typhoon, JSF etc. However, some work is being conducted on future FBW software for to allow for the it to 'reconfigure' control laws in flight to allow for battle damage etc.
I have to agree with Birdie however, some of the pics during recovery/landingdo not seem to add up (clean break/tanks/no-tanks etc). However, I've seen the ones of the jet stationary on the ground before and they're genuine.
2 other big factors helped the F 15 out. The fuselage actually produces a remarkable amount of the lift and the F-15's hydraulic system can self-diagnose leaks and isolate them. Therefore there was enough fluid left to operate the other controls.
IIRC the F-15 is not fly by wire, the first operational aircraft to use it being the F-16. MM is right- there would have been no way that the computers of 1970s vintage could have figured out WTF to do and the a/c would have ended up helping to redecorate the Negev desert. (I believe that the F-15A/B had a whopping total of about 64K of processing power on board.) However I don't think the F-15's inherent stability becomes much of a factor when a wing decides to go walkabout.
A marvellous job to recover the aircraft, but I'm sure the captain's no claims bonus was fcuked.
Israeli pilots do seem inclined to try to get the AC home regardless of damage. I've got a book entitled "Combat air reports from the Arab-Israeli wars" in it, they cite numerous incidents of pilots nursing their shot-up AC home, usually F4 Phantoms.
Lets face it, theres a strong incentive not to bale out over enemy territory, and with their postage stamp sized country, they must spend the majority of their flight time in unfriendly skies.
I also saw the same program on sky , i remember the pilot saying that he had to land at a much higher
speed than usual .The ground crew and the pilot couldnt believe the damage and the A/C could still fly
Program was on a few years ago . The Israelis do have some fantastic pilots and what an aircraft the F-15 is .
"On May 1st. 1983, a simulated dogfight training took place between two F-15D's and four A-4N Skyhawks over the skies of the Negev. The F-15D (# 957, nicknamed 'Markia Shchakim', 5 killmarks) was used for the conversion of a new pilot in the squadron. Here is the description of the event as described in "Pressure suit":
At some point I collided with one of the Skyhawks, at first I didn't
realize it. I felt a big strike, and I thought we passed through the jet
stream of one of the other aircraft. Before I could react, I saw the big
fire ball created by the explosion of the Skyhawk. The radio started to
deliver calls saying that the Skyhawk pilot has ejected, and I understood
that the fire ball was the skyhawk, that exploded, and the pilot was
There was a tremendous fuel stream going out of the wing, and I understood
it was badly damaged. The aircraft flew without control in a strange spiral.
re-connected the electric control to the control surfaces, and slowly gained
control on the aircraft until I was straight and level again.
It was clear to me that I had to eject. When I gained control I said :
"Hey, wait, don't eject yet!". No warning light was on and the navigation
computer worked as usual; I just needed a warning light in my panel to
indicate that I missed a wing..." The instructor ordered me to eject.
The wing is a fuel tank, and the fuel indicator showed 0.000 so I assumed
that the jet stream sucked all the fuel out of the other tanks. However, I
remembered that the valves operate only in one direction, so that I might
have enough fuel to get to the nearest airfield and land.
I worked like a machine, wasn't scared and didn't worry. All I knew was
as long as the sucker flies, I'm gonna stay inside. I started to decrease
the airspeed, but at that point one wing was not enough. So I went into a
spin down and to the right. A second before I decided to eject, I pushed
the throttle and lit the afterburner. I gained speed and thus got control
of the aircraft again. Next thing I did was lowering the arresting hook.
A few seconds later I touched the runway at 260 knots, about twice the
recommended speed, and called the tower to erect the emergency
recovery net. The hook was torn away from the fuselage because of the
high speed, but I managed to stop 10 meters before the net.
I turned back to shake the hand of my instructor, who urged me to eject,
and then I saw it for the first time - no wing !!!
The IAF (Israeli Air Force) contacted McDonnel Douglas and asked for
information about possibility to land an F-15 with one wing . MD replied
that this is aerodynamically impossible, as confirmed by computer
simulations... Then they received the photo....
After two months the same F-15 got a new wing and returned to action.
McDonnel Douglas attributes the saving of this aircraft to the amount of
lift generated by the engine intake/body and "A Hell of a good Pilot"."
If it ,or they were british, the sun would have slated the pilots, they would have been grounded and sacked and the americans would now be making a film called top gun 2 with the a/c being american and being flown by Jenifer Anniston.
The F15 is fitted with a zero/zero seat (X2 in the case of this D model) meaning a safe ejection can be carried out from zero airspeed and zero height. Ie- sat still on the ground.
With regard to the apparent discrepancies. From what I remember of the original documentry (first saw it in the late eighties/early ninties I think), the air video footage was a reconstruction using very basic CGI to mask out the wing from a real F15, the ground shots are genuine.
2 other big factors helped the F 15 out. The fuselage actually produces a remarkable amount of the lift and the F-15's A marvellous job to recover the aircraft, but I'm sure the captain's no claims bonus was fcuked.