The F-15E Strike Eagles pilot who enters combat with most aircraft energy, either in the form of height or speed, will have the small advantage in manoeuvrability, but if the combat continues this advantage will be soon lost, superiority passing to the aircraft with most latent energy.
In simple terms this means the F-15 with the most excess thrust, a measure of the aircraft’s ability to accelerate and climb. This potential is described as specific excess power (SEP), and its highest value occurs at high subsonic speeds, at the foot of the drag curve. As the airspeed increases, supersonic drag begins to appear and intake pressure recovery falls as a result of shock waves (wave drag), reducing the thrust available.
In a sustained turn, when a F-15E pilot is endeavouring to get into the best position for a gun attack, the maximum rate of turn and the minimum turn radius are achieved when the drag generated in the turn is equalised by the available thrust.
The maximum rate of turn depends either on the available lift or on the maximum g forces the airframe can stand. However, it is difficult to sustain a maximum-rate turn without losing height. Everything depends on the thrust-to-drag and lift-to-weight ratios, key factors which must be taken into account in the design of an agile air-superiority fighter’s wing.
Eurofighter Typhoon versus F-15E Strike Eagle
CATEGORY |
Eurofighter Typhoon |
F-15 Eagle |
F-15E Strike Eagle |
Unit cost in USD millions |
80-125 |
30-50 |
100-105 |
Fuel economy in km/l |
0,84 |
0,41 |
0,38 |
Fuel economy in NM/g |
1,97 |
0,96 |
0,89 |
Fuel tank capacity in litres |
4500 |
6100 |
5950 |
Fuel tank capacity in gallon |
1188 |
1610 |
1571 |
Range on internal fuel in km |
3800 |
2540 |
2250 |
Range on internal fuel in miles |
2356 |
1574,8 |
1395 |
Range on internal fuel in NM |
2052 |
1371,6 |
1215 |
Powerplant/Engines |
2 × Eurojet EJ200 |
2 × Pratt & Whitney F100 |
2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-229 |
Dry thrust in kN |
2 x 60 |
2 x 78 |
2 x 78 |
Dry thrust in lbf |
2 x 13500 |
2 x 17500 |
2 x 17500 |
Afterburner in kN |
2 x 89 |
2 x 110 |
2 x 129 |
Afterburner in lbf |
2 x 20000 |
2 x 25000 |
2 x 29000 |
Max. Speed in Mach |
2,00 |
2,50 |
2,50 |
Max. Speed in km/h |
2450 |
3063 |
3063 |
Max. Speed in mph |
1522 |
1903 |
1903 |
Minimal thrust/weight ratio |
0,78 |
0,70 |
0,72 |
Normal thrust/weight ratio |
1,18 |
1,07 |
0,93 |
Maximal thrust/weight ratio |
1,67 |
1,62 |
1,84 |
Overall length in meters |
15,96 |
19,45 |
19,45 |
Overall length in ft |
52,35 |
63,80 |
63,80 |
Wingspan in meters |
10,95 |
13,05 |
13,05 |
Wingspan in ft |
35,92 |
42,80 |
42,80 |
Height in meters |
5,28 |
5,65 |
5,65 |
Height in ft |
17,32 |
18,53 |
18,53 |
Wing area in sq meters |
51,20 |
57,00 |
57,00 |
Wing area in sq ft |
550,91 |
613,32 |
613,32 |
Empty weight in kg |
11150 |
12700 |
14300 |
Empty weight in lb |
24530 |
27940 |
31460 |
Maximal take-off weight in kg |
23500 |
30800 |
36700 |
Maximal take-off weight in lb |
51700 |
67760 |
80740 |
Minimal wing-loading in kg/m2 |
220 |
236 |
255 |
Normal wing-loading in kg/m2 |
310 |
368 |
504 |
Maximal wing-loading in kg/m2 |
471 |
546 |
651 |
Rate of climb in m/sec |
315 |
254 |
254 |
Rate of climb in ft/min |
62024 |
50013 |
50013 |
First flight |
1994 |
1972 |
1986 |