Delivering a complete package
If fighter aircraft had personalities, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle would be the guy you’d want beside you in a brawl. It exudes the persona of a tough, capable yet polite bruiser, possibly modelled on John Wayne. Of course I’m being a bit flippant here but that’s how it appears to me - there’s no doubt it can certainly hold its own in a fight. You only have to look at the stats to find that it has more than 100 victories to its name, with no losses in aerial combat. It has a top speed of Mach 2.5 and until quite recently was able to outperform and outmanoeuvre any enemy aircraft. It’s also a sturdy aircraft, one quite capable of flying home with combat damage that would have destroyed many less rugged aircraft - a factor reinforced by the midair collision in 1983 between an Israeli F-15D and an A4 Skyhawk, where the right wing was almost sheared off. Incredibly, the pilot was still able to fly it to a nearby airbase and land safely. That’s not the end of the story either, because it was repaired and later returned to service. What more could you ask of an aircraft?