This article first appeared in the July-August 1972 Flight Test News.

The F-15 air superiority fighter MDC built for the U.S. Air Force made its first public appearance in St. Louis on Monday, June 26, with top military, government and industry officials looking on.

The public debut was part of a rollout ceremony held on the McDonnell Aircraft Company flight ramp. Invited guests witnessed the rollout which highlighted a program which began with a press briefing conducted jointly by MajGen Benjamin N. Bellis, F-15 system program director for the Air Force; Donald Malvern, MCAIR vice-president, F-15 general manager, and an official of Pratt & Whitney, builder of the plane’s engines.

A number of high-ranking Air Force officers and government officials attended. Representatives of firms supplying major subsystems for the F-15 also were on hand. Invited guests and members of the news media viewed the external configuration of the new airplane for the first time. The F-15 was scheduled to make its first flight in July.

The event was one of the highlights of the Air Force’s observance of its 25th anniversary year.

The F-15 – described as the fighter pilot’s fighter – is designed to out-perform and outfight any potential fighter threat of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. It will fulfill a vital need for U.S. tactical air forces to gain and maintain control of the sky in battle areas.

A twin-engine tactical fighter, the F-15 will have unprecedented maneuverability for air-to-air combat. This will be possible because of new lightweight, powerful engines and a revolutionary new wing design.

This article first appeared in the July-August 1972 Flight Test News.

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