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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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

F-15 Streak Eagle 40th Anniversary Celebrated by Missouri Aviation Historical Society

By Carmelo Turdo
The Missouri Aviation Historical Society continued it's string of anniversary celebrations by marking the 40th anniversary of the F-15 Streak Eagle time-to-climb record-breaking flights flown between January 16 and February 1, 1975.  The pre-production McDonnell Douglas F-15 was stripped of paint and internal systems that were determined non-essential for the climb performance and single-pass approach and landing at Grand Forks AFB, ND.  Eight records were broken, three in one flight, previously held by the F-4 Phantom II and Soviet MiG-25 (which was often accused of using rocket boost during critical portions of the climb).  Missouri Aviation Historical Society President Dan O'Hara opened the meeting and welcomed members and guests:


Special guests at the meeting included the leadership from the St. Louis Science Center: President and CEO Bert Vescolani, Chief Institutional Advancement Officer G. Patrick Williams, Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Patti LaBrott and Commissioner Kent Schien.  Mr. Vescolani and Mr. Schien addressed the group, expressing their appreciation for what the Missouri Aviation Historical Society does for the aviation community and discussing the future programs, including the  acquisition of an F-15 Eagle fighter on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force for the St. Louis Science Center's budding air park.     

St. Louis Science Center President and CEO Bert Vescolani (L) and Commissioner Kent Schien

As an introduction to the Streak Eagle's flights, the following video (here in two parts) was shown to provide context for the meeting's discussion:

Following the video, several authorities on the program were present to give a presentation on the flights and provide expert and eye-witness accounts of ground and air activities.  Among them were Eric Garrison, son of McDonnell Douglas Test Pilot Charles "Pete" Garrison, John Roberts, Bob West, test pilot Joe Dobronski and other McDonnell Douglas retirees.  

Eric Garrison introduces the F-15 Streak Eagle presentation

John Roberts describes the flights

Eric Garrison with Joe Dobronski

Eric Garrison, Joe Dobronski, Bob West, John Roberts, Dan O'Hara
 and F-15 Aerodynamicist Jack Abercrombie

John Roberts cuts the 40th Anniversary cake

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