The F-15QA: an Eagle like we’ve never seen it displayed before
Filmed by Adam Landau and featured on This is Flight YouTube channel on Nov. 15, 2023, the cool video in this post shows the F-15QA flying demonstration at the Dubai Airshow 2023. The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Ababil made its debut at Dubai Airshow, making it the first digitally advanced F-15 variant to perform at an air show.
As the clip shows, the F-15QA even did tailslides and extreme high alpha maneuvers.
The aircraft was crewed by Boeing Test & Evaluation (BT&E) Experimental Test Pilot Jason “Mongoose” Dotter and BT&E Experimental Weapon System Operator Mike “Houdini” Quintini.
The most advanced F-15 production model
“This plane is completely different,” said Matt “Phat” Giese, BT&E chief F-15 experimental test pilot, in the article Watch an F-15 fighter pull 9 g’s appeared on Boeing News Now. “This is the most advanced F-15 production model, made with fly-by-wire controls and an advanced crew station to monitor the aircraft’s systems,” he said. “The F-15 is the single most dominant aircraft in the world.”
Attendees at this week’s Dubai Airshow had the chance to see a carefully choreographed flight demonstration as the F-15QA flew low and fast, pulling some serious g’s. That’s short for g-forces, the force pilots feel due to the aircraft’s acceleration.
Consistently been hitting 9 g’s
“In our practice flights here at Al Udeid, we’ve consistently been hitting 9 g’s in our tight turns and climbs,” Dotter said. “It really throws you around in there, but we have extreme confidence in this aircraft to perform the maneuvers the crowds will see in Dubai.”
Boeing used two of the jets recently delivered to the Qatari Emiri Air Force to showcase these capabilities. “It’s been an incredible journey with the QEAF and our in-country teammates in Qatar,” said Adam Zemianek, F-15QA program manager. “The partnership with our demo team to secure the jets, airspace and support equipment for the work-ups and air show was exceptional — the team prioritized safety throughout every stage of the demonstration, including concept development, simulation, practice and execution.”
The F-15QA at Dubai Airshow
The Boeing flight and ground crews prepared, launched and captured the demo rehearsal flights a total of 19 times at Al Udeid Air Base, starting at a minimum 2,000 feet (600 meters) and gradually working down to just 500 feet (150 meters).
Added Boeing’s Quintini, “I want the Dubai Airshow crowds to walk away and say, ‘Wow, that was a great show. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
The F-15QA Ababil
The F-15QA Ababil is an advanced version of the F-15 developed for Qatar, with AESA radar, a powerful EW suite, additional thrust and new flight control software, among other improvements. It was later ordered by the USAF, where it is known as the F-15EX Eagle II.
According to the video description, the upgrades to the aircraft, combined with the fact it is flying in a low-drag configuration with pylons and CFTs removed, make the maneuverability in this video possible. Most importantly, the new flight control software has no software alpha limits, enabling the abrupt pulls.
Photo credit: Adam Landau (screenshot from the video)