Last updated on April 22, 2020
On April 13th 2020 Boeing began flight testing the latest F-15QA multirole fighter aircraft variant due to equip the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
The most cutting edge F-15 ever
The F-15QA is Boeing latest iteration of the tremendously popular F-15 fighter aircraft. The 90-minute initial test flight was much more than a traditionally conservative flight envelope routine as the aircraft, shortly after taking off, began to undergo a series of extreme maneuvers – a full power vertical climb followed soonafter after by 9g maneuvering.
According to Boeing, taking the trusted airframe through much stress on the aircraft’s first day in the air was only natural on account of the level of expectations and confidence in the proper functioning of the new flight controls systems, avionics and radar. All of it generating the critical data needed by ground crews monitoring the flight in real time on the ground.
The new aircraft, part of a $6.2 billion package signed with the US Department of Defense in 2017 will allow Boeing to supply the Qatar Emiri Air Force with 36 aircraft beginning in 2021.
The program has followed an evolutionary approach to bring F-35-style innovative technological improvements to an already dominant F-15 Eagle platform. Minimizing project technology risks, the new F-15 variant will carry more armement and fuel while introducing more powerful on board computers, fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit with wide screens, a modernized sensors suite, a powerful phased-array radar, and advanced electronic warfare capabilities.According to Business Insider :
” The F-15QA features new outer wing hardpoints for increased payload, AN/APG-82(V)1 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) for both the pilot and the Weapon Systems Officer (WSO), 10×19-in Large Area Displays (LADs) and low-profile Head-Up Display (HUD) in both cockpits, digital fly-by-wire and General Electric F110-GE-129 engines. “
This evolutionary approach to aircraft design brings tremendous benefits to Boeing as it intends to integrate some of these subsystems to the up and coming F-15EX due to be delivered to the US Air Force.