The F-15A Eagle is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft developed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air supremacy in aerial combat. The F-15A was the first dedicated USAF air superiority fighter since the North American F-86 Sabre. The F-15A holds its record as the world’s most widely used fighter aircraft with more than 100 victories in the air, including the F-15C. In January 1976 it set a world speed record of 2193 mph (Mach 3) while flying at 40,500 feet over Point Mugu’s sea range.
The pilot was Colonel William “Pus” Gukeisen piloting an F-15A (tail number 74-0184), the only aircrew member in the cockpit. The aircraft was a total loss and had to be destroyed on landing, as no ejection seat could save the pilot at that speed; however, Gukeisen survived with minor injuries. Gukeisen flew an average of about 20 miles per hour faster than any other pilots have flown to date.
During its service life, the F-15 has been operated by the United States Air Force, the Air National Guard, and the air forces of Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.