About the eurofighter and F15... info
I made this to a diffrent toppic, since it so long. It's an intresting little story from a book I love, a story about the times when the F15 was new to the IAF, and the Mirage III was the old, slowly being phased out king....The book was written by a Mirage pilot. I think this story has a little somthing about how planes have their own identety, and it's sad to see them grow old and obsolete, and also somthing about what experience means in a dog fight....So enjoy.
| The King is dead. Long live the King- |
The Mirae- it is the King. Do not even dare to think otherwise. A beautifull plane, with long aerodinamic lines, all in accordance with the very best of Frances aircraft industries. A small, cramped, comfrtable cockpit raps around you like a glove. This plane is agile, fast, a ruthless bird of prey, a hotrod, a big boys toy.
The Mirage is King. For 15 years it has been ruling the air. Dominating every fight. The best fighter plane in the Middle East: bombing, strafing, shooting down migs, the terror of the Arab pilot. A plane harder to fly than any the IAF had before. It dosent forgive mistakes, kicks anyone who treats it poorly. Crude engine use while manuvering, and you will stall, maybe even loose an engine. Reckless low level flying will result in an uncontrolled kick....You have to know the plane and all its weakpoints and all its quirks. Treat it well. Do thatm and you have the most loveable fighterplane in the world.
The Mirage is King and I am king, we are kings. Someone ho pilots the Mirage, who fights in the Mirage, is a King. Running all around the theater of operations, moving fronts with the push of a button, writing history with the squeez of the trigger. We are the kings of the sky. Who else can gallop at 700 knots at low altitude, climp to 40000 ft in a minute, than accelerate to twice the speed of sound, yet can preform a dogfight with a mig 17 at 120 knots? Who else can drive two 500kg bombs into a black asphalt runway on the Nile Delta, a minute later engage 8 migs, make a kill, and come home safely?
The Mirage, pinnacle of the French aircraft industries, backbone of the IAF for 15 years. The king!
And than the F15 arrived!
New, American, modern, ugly, big, grey. Scary. Imaginary engine power, legendary turning rate, vertical climbing. Radar and weapons system we never dreamed about. Operation and warfare capabilities of the 21st centuery....This will be the new king.
The F15 is in standartization. First pilots are learning to fly it. A new, diffremt plane, diffrent warfare. They will train against us; and we will fly against them. We will learn to fight a better, modern plane.
February 1977. A joint training session is set up. First manuver: preperation for a Dogfight, presuit in a line. We will sit on his 6 and try to take pictures(Sherman edit: to proove they shot him down). He will try to throw us off him and forward. We ,eat at sector 15, low. Igal is flying the F15.
"Get behind me and in guns range"
I went in, and placed my sight on him.
It happend fast. Unbelievebly fast. First his altitude stabilizer turned like a door. I was surprised, never have I seen anything like it. But the plane was still flying straight. Than the whole planeturned on its axis, the nose went up, the tail went down, and like a huge platform it went up. And moved right next to me. And set on my 6. For 20 seconds!
Again. This time Ill be ready, and know what to expect. Ill be observent.
And the stabilizer turned. And the plane went upand above me. And wnet in on my 6.
I ulled with all my strength. I rolled like crazy. I put my engine on nutral, rolled to the right, powered up again. Nothing. A big F15 was easilu and indiffrently on my tail. Taking pictures and laughing. 20 sceonds is all it took him to go from complete disadvantage to complete advantage! The king is dead! Long live the King!
Winter 1981. Etzion Air Force Base, Eilat. I fly Kfirs. The Kfir is not the good old mirage. Similar in apearance, and the cockpit is similar: small, comfrtable, intmate, but its just not it. It is heavier, less agile, flys strange, akward.
I am passed my prime as well. I have been suffering from back aches for 2 years. 6 months on the grond helped, but now the pain is back and worse. Every flight is torture, every dogfight agony. I try to sit up right in the seat, and not move to look up or back. A lot of my actions are done by gussing, seeing where the opponent disapear and gussing where and when he will reapear. I am in pain, but I keep flying. Addicted t othe pleasure. Loving the great power the plane gives me. No one knows. My flying is reasonable, my abundent experience compensates for the physical limitations. The pains- they are my secret. I fly- and suffer, fight my friends with honor, fight the pain, and shake it off.
Than the F15 came.
They have been flying in the IAF for a few years. The Kfir, similar in preformance to the Mig 21, is used to train the F15 pilots. It is done in special sessions. They come to us, deply in Etzion AFB with their planes. There are joint briefings and debriefs. The training goes from easy to hrad:taking photos to familiarize with the F15s shape and size in our sights, persuit in a line, dogfight preps, and dogfights. This is where the diffrence lays. A one on one dogfight is useless. The Kfirstands no chance. A pair fight is also pointlss. So we put 3 Kfirs against 2 F15s.
-Its a very hard, very fast dogfight. Here there is no gradual building of an advantage, while manuvering and maintaining a battle image. This is all about fast passes, blink of the eye runs, surprise, mutual warning. Fast speed, sharp manuvers, exellent for a sore back....
There are 3 of us, and yet it is diffecult. They disappear upwards and a few seconds later comeback from a diffrent, unexpeted direction. Fly straight for three secondes, look down to check altitude or fule, and the radio sounds: " Kfir heading south, altitude 12, go home!", and a F15 pulls off your 6 and up.
The dogfights are short. Within two or three minutes all three of us are "shot down". Those who are "sent home" wait outside the dogfight and at the end regroup for another one.
This is the F15, the new king.
And so on the 24.4,1981, we found our selves fighting for our lives again. A Kfir threesome against a pair of F15s. A cloudy dusty day, the sky is grey and the sunlight is dim. The bright dessert colors seem to have faded to a lowly blue.
The two F15s run around us, in, out, diving, constantly everywhere. We do our best. keep our speed up for manuvers, wan eachother on time, trying to make a quick kill. We fight.
"3, heads up, comming at you from outside"
"Im rolling right and taking the one that got off you"
He is huffing and puffing. At full efforts.
"Roger, keep your speed up, notice your fule"
"Onf of the is rolling to the right and comming down at you"
My noumber 2 breaks with all hes got " Camt see, rolling right. Warn me."
"Any one got a visual on their noumber 2?"
But it's too late.
"Kfir heading east with nose up, now rolling on you back, go home!'
This voice was diffrent, and on the joint channel. Did he mean me? No. I am heading west and I am not on my back. But there are only two of us now.
"One of them is going up"
I see. Pull. Roll. Shut my engine, Trying to get him. Cant. My 6 is clear. Where are are they? I can't see anyone. There is my wingman.
"One of them is closing in on you!" I scream.
He rolls. The F15 pulls off.
I am breathing heavy, heart pounding, Im soaked in sweat, my back hurts. I swirve left and right in my seat. One hnd is the stick, other on the throttle. My head is constantly working. Max alertness. The pace is deadly. Amd yet I must consantly keep an eye on my fule, and the combat zone.
I turn right. F15 is trying to get his sights on me. I break hard. He goes up. My back hearts like heck.
I loewr the nose aand pick up speed. I have three seconds to do it. Turning. Someone comes infornt of me. Hiuummmmm...We passed. I turn to him, he left me. I turn back. Where is the other one? Contact! good! Right now he is infront of me, range is 1000. I have one second to shoot and kill.
I put my sight on him. On the righ wing is a training missile. I want to hear the sound that tells me its picking up the engine heat. He pulls. I correct. Another second or two and the other one wil lcomback. The range? the range is good, insdie the envlope.
The angel-good, wit hin the missiles proformance.
The missile is locked. I am about to press the trigger. Yes, I , in a obsolete Kfir, am going to launch a missile at a F15 and shoot it dowqn.
Son of a bitch! You lousy pr**k! How dare you! He saw me, knw my intention and that he cant brake on time. So to keep from getting shot down he stopped thefight. If he was a a real man he would wait for another few seconds. What, if a Kfir shoots you down your honor is offended?
But, "End Engagement "was declared, and he was truely out of fule, amd the dogfight was over. and welanded.
But I, when I was sitting on the 6 of the new king, with horrible pains to my back, but with my sight stabelised and ready to fire, I decided that was my last fight.
The king is dead.