Boeing has reported successful completion of the first flight of the F-15QA fighter. This fighter is the most advanced version of the F15. Boeing has developed this fighter the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The 90 minutes long test mission was conducted at the Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. During this test flight the aircraft demonstrated its next-generation capabilities .
“We are very proud of this accomplishment and looking forward with great excitement to the continued successes of this program,” said Col. Ahmed Al Mansoori, commander, QEAF F-15 Wing. “This successful first flight is an important milestone that brings our squadrons one step closer to flying this incredible aircraft over the skies of Qatar.”
Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese led Boeing’s flight test team. The team implemented a precise mission checklist to test the multi-role aircraft’s capabilities. The aircraft demonstrated its maneuverability during its vertical “Viking” takeoff. During this maneuver it pulled up to 9 Gs, or nine times the force of earth’s gravity. The aircraft also demonstrated successful checks of systems such as avionics and radar.
“This successful first flight is an important step in providing the QEAF an aircraft with best-in-class range and payload,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. “The advanced F-15QA not only offers game changing capabilities but is also built using advanced manufacturing processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture. In the field, the F-15 costs half the cost per flight hour of similar fighter aircraft and delivers far more payload at far greater ranges. That’s success for the warfighter.”
These trials were a part of the order placed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2017. The total contract value of the order is$6.2 billion contract. Boeing is required to develop and supply 36 F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled in 2021.
The F-15QA brings to its operators next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit; modernized sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities. It is installed with the world’s fastest mission computer. The developments in design have led to an increase in reliability, sustainability and maintainability of the aircraft.
Boeing is also developing the F-15 EX for the US Air Force which will use technologies and partnerships developed for the development of the F-15QA platform. In January, the US Air Force issued public notifications of its intent to award sole-source contract to Boeing for eight jets. Future plans call for induction of as many as 144 aircraft.