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KY214 Squadron Members get up close and personal with the Strike Eagle

KY214 members where invited to come out to the Kentucky Air National Guard base at Louisville's Standiford Field to see and find out about the United States Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle. Members met on Thursday, April 15th from 3:30-5:30 at the operations building and then proceeded to the ramp to view noMembers of the KY214 Squadron received stickers from the Strike Eagle Demo Team with their logo on it.t only the F-15E but also some other fighter aircraft that were sitting on the ramp. Other CAP squadrons were present along with Boy Scouts and AFROTC cadets from the University of Louisville. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all that could attend. The Strike Eagle Demo Team was in town to participate in the Thunder Over Louisville Airshow which was held the following Saturday. If you weren't there you really missed a neat opportunity.

Major Mike Maeder, USAF was our host at the F-15E visit. He was very hospitable and answered tons of questions asked by those in attendance. He also offered a number of insights into the Strike Eagle that many of us were not aware of. Major Maeder provided a walk around of the entire aircraft and it's systems. Many were surprised to find out that the F-15 in various models has been around since the early '70s. Major Maeder stated that the F-15E was slated to be in service until around 2040. 70 years is pretty good for a fighter/attack aircraft! Now on to the photos!

L-R Peter Miller, Major Mike Maeder USAF, and Joe Bryant in the lobby of the KYANG Ops Buidling. Flightline @ SDF with two F-15Es and far left an FA-18 Hornet. Major Maeder explains something to Pete. The Strike Eagle is a BIG bird. This one is out of Seymour Johnson AFB, Major Maeders home. Major Maeder warned everyone to be careful or you might take home a Strike Eagle scar. In this picture Major Maeder talked about the reflective stripes on the side of the Strike Eagle making it easier (possible) to fly formation at night. The airman in the black jumpsuit (sorry I forgot your name) is in charge of this AC. All the maintenance crewmembers wore black flight suits. He was very knowledgeable about the F-15E and its systems. Here Major Maeder demonstrates the self contained steps in the Strike Eagle that are normally used in the field only. No they are not highly ornate bombs! These pods carry the pilots and weapons systems officers (WSO) gear since the F-15E has little room for anything other than people, fuel, electronics and ordinance. Major Maeder explains the hard points and how the F-15E carries a bunch of additional fuel. Major Maeder explains how the entire tail (stabilater) differs from the elevators on a normal GA aircraft. The entire surface moves. Joe inspects the huge jet exhausts on the F-15E which are made of ceramic material which cools very quickly. The 20mm gatling gun housed in the F-15E's fuselage. It is an M-61A1 20mm, six-barrel cannon with 940 rounds of ammunition. Major Maeder said it provided 5 seconds of firepower so bursts have to be very short. This bulge on the belly of the F-15E is where the ammunition is fed into the cannon. Major Maeder talks to some CAP cadets, a lone Cub Scout and Pete. Major Maeder in front of CAP members Martin Mattingly, Brian Howe and Mike Wendlegast. Profile of the Strike Eagle and some guy with some seriously white legs! Some U of L ROTC students listen about the FA-18 Hornet. The Hornet is used by the United States Navy and the Marine Corp as a fighter and attack aircraft. Awesome! KY214 team picture in front of the F15-E. L-R Major Keith Noe, Joe Bryant, Pete Miller and Greg Bell. Photo taken by Chris Nester. There was also a pair of F-16 Fighting Falcons (Vipers) on the tarmac across from the F-15Es. Strike Eagles on the ramp have a way of drawing a crowd. While there a P-51 Mustang taxied in a parked near the FA-18. Old school fighters rock! The Viper pilot invited me up for a look. Sorry I forgot your name. The cockpit view was awesome though. Thanks. As you can see the cockpit is "snug". The comm panel is right between his knees and each leg is inserted in basically a box on either side of the console. You can also see one of the multifunction displays on the left. The tail code on an Air Force jet tells you SJ (base is Seymour Johnson) and AF 87 is the year the aircraft was ordered and the larger numbers are the serial number. Another member of the ground crew said he came to Thunder because of its reputation as the best airshow fireworks show in the world.

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(Page added on 18-Apr-10)