Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Boeing Holds Reunion of F-15 Eagle Program Employees and Retirees in St. Louis

By Carmelo Turdo
Several hundred members of the F-15 Eagle Program Team, including both current employees and retirees from McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, gathered at the Building 100 Prologue Room to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the first flight of the F-15 on July 27, 1972. Engineers, test pilots and production workers mingled together and talked about old times and their contribution to producing a fighter aircraft that remains in first-line service, and is still in production, 40 years after its first flight.  Engineers discussed how they designed a high-performance fighter using slide rules and that new Texas Instruments hand calculator.  Test pilots, including Irve Burrows, who flew the first flight, along with Pete Pilcher and Joe Dobronski, told stories of early flights in a program that lost no pre-production aircraft to accidents.  Production workers and supervisors related how the first aircraft took thousands of man-hours to build.    Each attendee signed a large banner that will be hung in the F-15 production area, and many will travel to the National Museum of the Air Force for another celebration this week.  Friends of The Aero Experience, Jack Abercrombie, Bob Dighton, and Joe Dobronski are also members of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.  Here are some scenes from today's event:

Large model of the F-15E Strike Eagle in the Prologue Room

Aerodynamics Engineer Jack Abercrombie signs the banner

F-15 Program employees and retirees signed the banner

F-15 Program employees and retirees gather with Joe Dobronski

Test pilots Joe Dobronski, Pete Pilcher and Irve Burrows

Current F-15 Program Manager Roger Besancenez addresses the group

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