The U.S. Air Force is pushing to more than double the life of its stalwart F-15 Eagles with a series of upgrades.
“About two and a half years ago, the U.S. Air Force wanted fatigue tests on C models,” says Brad Jones, F-15 mission systems director for Boeing, which makes the aircraft.
As the F-15 fleet aircraft approached their life expectancies for total flight hours, the Air Force wanted see how far the service could delay fleet retirements, Jones said during a recent briefing with reporters.
The design service life for the aircraft is 8,000 flight hours and the lead-the-fleet aircraft have flown more than 10,000 actual flight hours and counting, Boeing says.
Boeing is now working on full-scale fatigue test certifications to push F-15C/D models to 18,000 equivalent flight hours (EFHs) and F-15E models to 32,000 EHFs. “Structural fatigue improvements in current-production F-15s provide longer life and reduced maintenance requirements,” Boeing says.