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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Celebrates F-15 Eagle 40th Anniversary

By Carmelo Turdo
The Missouri Aviation Historical Society joined with McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle Program retirees yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first F-15 Eagle flight conducted on July 27, 1972.  About 60 attendees were treated to a set of 16mm movies highlighting McDonnell Douglas programs throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including the F-15.  Jack Abercrombie, aerodynamicist on the F-15 development team, gave a presentation on the aerodynamic refinements made during the flight test program.  Among the honored guests were Irve Burrows, McDonnell Douglas Chief Test Pilot who flew the Eagle's first flight, and test pilots Joe Dobronski and Larry Walker who flew subsequent flights throughout the program.  Also in attendance were engineers who contributed greatly to the final configuration of the F-15.  Due to the diligence of the McDonnell Douglas and U.S. Air Force F-15 Program Team, the flight test program achieved its objectives without losing a single aircraft or crew.  Special thanks to Dan O'Hara, President of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society and Alan Hoffman, Partner with the Husch-Blackwell law firm that hosts these monthly meetings.  Here are some scenes from the celebration:

F-15 Eagle 40th Anniversary Cake and Models

F-15 Display by the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

F-15 Display by Joe Gurney

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Program Teammates

Chief Test Pilot Irve Burrows Cuts the Cake

Test Pilots (L-R) Joe Dobronski, Larry Walker and Irve Burrows

Engineer Bob Dighton with Pilots Larry Walker and Irve Burrows

Aerodynamicist Jack Abercrombie Discusses Design Changes

Title Page of Jack Abercrombie's Presentation
Jack Abercrombie's presentation and his other articles on the F-15 and St. Louis aviation history can be found on the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum's web site:

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