McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle: Supreme Heavy-Weight Fighter Paperback – Dec 1998
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The Aerofax format is to give you a paperback book with high glossy paper, great quality B&W and color photos, a ton of data and statistics. The development phase is covered very well, how the "Fighter Mafia" those within the Air Force wanted a pure fighter jet ("not one pound for air to ground" was their motto) and eventually got their way.
The improvement in engines, avionics and capability of the F-15 are all spelled out in very detailed text. Color photos show different camouflage schemes used by other nations.
Plenty of line drawings show the engines, radar, weapons and major parts of the F-15 to good effect. Some of the photos are a little small, but that is about the only complaint I have of the entire book. While not a perfect book for modelers, this does provide a wealth of material and information regarding the different versions of the plane. Despite the age of this book, I'd still recommend it to aviation buffs, fans of the F-15 Eagle and anyone who wants to learn a lot of the nuts and bolts of this plane.
The book is mostly focused on the 'C' variant of the Eagle and whilst it was published in 1997 it does go into the MSIP II upgrades, but it is dated before the AIM-9X, JHMCS, or AESA radars so if you want detailed info in those elements then you might need to supplement this. The book is written in a very methodical and technical sense and despite the aircrafts exceptional combat record the book is also critical of the Eagle where it felt that it needed to be (namely its size and internal fuel fraction) and hence provides a fair assessment of the aircraft. It is definately interesting reading and I have not found another book on the Eagle that covers this material in this way.
The pictures are well done and are almost always making a point about some feature that is being discussed in the text. This is not something that you often find in aircraft books which are often photo essays and is also a reason that I have come to like this series. However there are limited actual colour photos so if you are looking for colour profiles then you might want to supplment your reading, and I say supplement because to me this book is a terrific grounding for beginning your references to this aircraft.
So in the end this book is like a walk around on steroids. I say that this book is very well worth the money. Highly recommended.
The author aims high to discuss all these topics in one book, but fortunately for us, readers, hits the mark in an impressive way. 112 pages don't seem to be too much, but beware, the book is 8,5" x 11", printed with small letters - if you read it you feel like being bombarded with concentrated information. It's a good read, but not some light stuff for your leisure time on the beach - you need to be prepared to take on all these info, which includes tons of technical details.
The pages are packed with lots of photos and illustrations, most of them are black&white but there are many in color. They cover everything the text covers, leaving quite an impression. Reading the text and looking at the photos you can't help but wonder just how much work the author must have pushed into the writing of this book. Very impressive indeed.
Since the book was originally published in 1998, it cannot cover the latest 12-13 years of F-15 operations, but if you want to get a good and solid foundation for your F-15 knowledge, this is the book you have to read first - but only if you are a serious kind of F-15 fan.
Don't say I didn't warn you!