Going Vertical: F-22 Raptor Versus F-15 Eagle

An F-22 Raptor and an F-15 Eagle pull into a vertical climb over the Nevada Test and Training Range, July 16, 2010. Because the above doesn’t do the photo justice, click here to see the full size version courtesy of The Strategy Page.

— Greg Grant

(h/t: Stephen Trimble)

48 Comments on "Going Vertical: F-22 Raptor Versus F-15 Eagle"

  1. The Eagle looks like it’ holding it own pretty good. Now if the Raptor gave it a head start, then it’s a different story altogather. But the Eagle does look good.

  2. Beautiful. But don't the Russians have planes that can do this too?

    Let's have a JSF do something like this…or is it not ready? :/

  3. Who won? Who can go higher and faster?

  4. The F22's Pratt & Whitney F119 engine produces >35,000 lbf (180 kN) of thrust x2
    Max takeoff weight: 83,500 lb (38,000 kg)
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 9:1

    F15's Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 produces 29,000 lbf (129.6 kN) of thrust x2
    Max takeoff weight: 81,000 lb (36,700 kg
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.8:1

    My moneys on the F22. =]

  5. Is there any good to putting F119's on the F-15? Probably couldn't be done, but what-if?
    (Or JSF's F135…)

    Granted it still doesn't address the aging airframe issue

  6. Wigwam Jones | August 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |

    There's a spot of dust on the camera sensor. Upper right corner.


    God bless America.

  8. Anybody know what the F-22's Alpha is like?

  9. How about the EF2000?

  10. What were the climb stats for a clean F-14B or D?

  11. ZRH537 – Just for the record, the F-4 Phantom II did participate in Gulf War I. :)

  12. So as the eagle soars effortlessly upwards the F22 obviously has a high wing loading. This looks like an advertisement for the F15

  13. It ALL boils down to the Rules of Engagement. We had F-14's with 100+ mile missile-kill capability for years…yet the ROE was ALWAYS get an eyeball on it before a shot. As long as our leadership does not allow BVR (Beyond Visual Recognition) any US aircraft will be taken-out before they can 'go-verticle'. IF we can furball with the opposition, then dynamic capabilities come to play. Question is, how much does it cost to field ENOUGH Air Superiority aircraft to do the job. Remember, technology & quality only go so far…we beat the Krauts & Japs by outproducing them & overwhelming them. Right now we have an Administration that is killing our military capabilities with cuts & overuse of what forces we have. ROE should ALWAYS give U.S. Forces the advantage. Great Pic & God Bless Our Republic!

  14. Why don't we put thrust vectoring on new models of F-15's or F-16's? I know we experimented with it on the F-15 but what ever happened to that?

  15. The F-22 cancellation is a very risky decision. I cannot understand it. The price per unit was going down and China and Russia are triying to catch up its capabilities.

    Airforce-Magacine has today a good article "The China Gap":
    "The US may be in a military airpower race with China, but only one side is racing." http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/

  16. Lucky that the Russians never produced SU-37's. Thanks for BVR F-15's and possibly 22's would be toast.

  17. Does anyone know if the F15 Stealth Eagle will be marketed to the US, i think this would be a better option then the F35. The F15 is a proven airframe and the F35 seems to be full of bugs. and Second, i hate the F22 is cancelled, Does anyone think it will ever get put into production again. It bothers me to think that obabm has cancelled such a great plane when russia and china are pursuing there 5th gen fighter

  18. cost of the f-22 is way to much for so little gain over the F-15. I'm glad some Wash. wimp cancelled it

  19. OK, lets do the same demo with a F22 and a F35, then with a F35 and a F15. The F22 was canx because it gave us an "unfair advantage" over our mortal enemies. That is totally unacceptable to the nambypamby gutless flowerpower looney liberals. Build more F22's !!!!

  20. Some of y'all may not remember, the F-15 in it's "Streak Eagle" form held and perhaps still holds a lot of "time to climb" records internationally because of it's superior thrust to weight ratio. The F-16 used to at least ( don't know anymore) use the same engine, abeit one less than the F-15 and has the ability to accelerate vertically. So that tells you that while the F-15 is a larger airframe, it has two of those beasts of an engine.

    The other thing to remember is, what is the context of this picture, it might have been a photo op to make a really cool picture and not any contest between the two airframes. Who's to say, unless you were one of the pilots or the guy in the chase plane taking the picture. That being said, do I think the F-15 has the ability to out climb the Raptor….my first guess would be no, based on the "known" capabilities of the Raptor. However, it would be interesting and I've wondered if the AF would try and use a stripped down "Streak Raptor" to try and break any records set by the F-15 "Streak Eagle." Perhaps it's not in the cards because that might give too much capabilities intel away. I am not an expert, just supposition and pondering on my part.

  21. Some facts about F-15 which are mostly unknown by public:

    1. Few F-15s were downed by enemy fighters fire actually. Syrians claimed three air-air kills of Israeli F-15 in 1980s. So "105:0 kill ratio" claim for F-15 is BS. Also, few "Eagle" were lost due SAM fire.

    2. F-15 had never fought in air combat against 4-th generation aircraft of same class (e.g. Su-27). Most kills made by F-15s were obsolete 3rd-generation Soviet aircraft (Mig-19, Mig-21, few Mig-23) piloted by arabs. Also, F-15s enjoyed major advantage in BVR using AWACS/AEW early detection (enemies had not similar capabilities).

    3. It's not "greatest combat aircraft in history". At least, this statement can not be based on its combat history of conflicts with poorly equipped, poorly piloted and outdated air forces.

  22. unenthusiast | August 7, 2010 at 11:32 am |

    3. The perception that the F-15's opponents weren't good enough is partly a result of the quality of the F-15 and its pilots. Superior aircraft are bound to be fighting inferior opponents, by definition. "Greatest combat aircraft" is what lawyers call "puffery", I think. That means that it is essentially an opinion given about a subject in which there are not objective standards for measurement. No need to get your panties in a wad.

    Given its excellent combat record — even if we believe the Syrians — I think that one can make the argument that the F-15 is the "greatest combat aircraft" ever. But there are other aircraft that vie for the title.

  23. In 1992 at an air show in Oregon I saw an Su-27 outclimb an F-16 easily, left it for dead. Maybe the F-22 is better.

  24. The F-15 is the greatest fighter ever.

  25. BVR didn't exactly pan out for the Phoenix, which had a spotty record in GW1. I wonder if the Iranians had better luck with the Phoenix/F-14 combo.

  26. Seven more photos from this flight (plus an 8.5Mb version of the above) here:

    Nice shots of the Eagle and the Raptor over canyon country.

  27. I heard the F 15 is getting an upgraded engine. Anyone hear that as well? Right now we are about 25 years ahead of any other AirForce (Including the Chinese). Although I agree we need to keep pushing technology I think we can wait 5 years and spend the money to help with the current conflict we're in. That means helping with missions being performed today such as a focus on close air support rather than air superiority considering the Taliban don't have an air force.

  28. Still believe that our F22s, F35s, as well as our most updated/upgraded versions of F15s, F16s, F18s flown by US pilots would have NO problems encountering and defeating any air threat from most nations (including the ubiquitous MIG29 and MIG31 and SU27). Firmly believe both QUALITY and QUANTITY (both in terms of planes AND pilots) are CRUCIAL here and still have hopes the F22 will resume production at some point in the near future.

  29. Sounds like the enthusiast is a power in his own mind. Back your facts or shut up I'd say and stop be-litting something you have no true ideals about..

  30. "First of all that 105:0 kill ratio is air to air engagements
    Read more: http://defensetech.org/2010/08/05/going-vertical-
    Defense.org "

    F-15 were lost over territory which was controlled by Israel. Thats why no wreckage were found. Israel tried to hide these facts for propaganda reasons. It's cause of "F-15's zero losses" myth.

    Syrians claims about F-15 kills:
    29Jun81 1 FIS MiG-25PD(e) R-40R missile -> F-15 IDF/AF (kill)
    9Jun82 MiG-21bis Harra R-60 missile ->> F-15 IDF/AF (damaged)
    3Jul82 MiG-21bis >> F-15 IDF/AF (kill)
    4Dec83 MiG-23ML >> F-15 IDF/AF (kll)

    Syrian air force lost their fighter jets (which had kills) too. Thats why there not any camara records with f-15s kills.

    Yeah, F-15s had much better results and good looking combat histrory . But it got these results from engagements with obsolete fighter jets which were generation behind (3rd generation), or even were not air superiority fighters (Mig-25, Su-22…).

  31. Syrian air force combat victories: http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_270.sh

  32. Further production of the F-22 was cut due to the extremely high cost of the plane in combination with the economy heading towards a 2nd great depression. It's easy to say that "liberls" cut the Raptor but when each fighter cost well over $100M and you need money for other military needs what would you do? What would you do if you're the one who is responsible for making drastic cuts in order to save your country?

    If people really want to be angry, you should be mad at the way these companies build the planes in the first place! They do everything they can to spread-out the manufacturing of the F-22 and F-35 across the entire country making each fighter several times more expensive and politically impossible to cancel entirely. The F-22 fleet will fly 182 planes.

  33. @Trex, you mean Gates?

    Put down the Red Dawn tape and talk some sense instead of babbling.

  34. Hey The F22 is dumping fuel LMAO

  35. The F-22 and F-35 programs are already obsolete. The US Military needs to eliminate manned fighter jet programs altogether and replace them with much more maneuverable and less expensive unmanned vehicles. Manned fighter jets are a thing of the past and will not survive attacks from stealthy unmanned opponents!

  36. The F-22 was just too costly but does have important advantages over F-15 in a few areas. The F-35 needs a new engine for it to really compete but that is likely in the works now.
    Unmanned vehicles are good against less advanced militaries but it they can block/jam communications or have missiles that can home in on it signals then its of limited use.

    With the new passive radar systems in development, will make stealth aircraft less usable. Passive radar has a limited range of 450km max (due to curve of earth) but it is much harder to jam or use HARM missiles against or cruises missiles if it mobile and current stealth aircraft maybe easier to spot than normal one for same reasons active radar can not spot them.

  37. nonito d. cabato | January 11, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    the u.s. air force should continue buying the latest F-22A Block 35 with the increment 3.3 software version at a total of 864 planes or more. Must retire most of the legacy fighter, this aircraft has passed its operational life. They maintenance nightmare, the raptor is in production. This stupid Gates does not know about air combat, he is destroying the finest air force in the world. Do you like what happen in world war 2 in the pacific, you git ass kicked in the early days of the war! It is better be prepare than not all. China and Russia has stealth fighter also, what is Gate thinking! He is nuts! Build also F-22N for the Navy 576 of them, leave the F-35B for the marines and army for close air support.

    For Heavy bombing, develop the next generation bomber a long-range one with bomb pay load of 15 tons!

  38. nonito d. cabato | January 22, 2011 at 1:56 am |

    just build 1,000 F-22a block 35 increment 3.3 version or block 40 plus. build also 576 the navalized variant for the navy. for serious bombing buy 300 next generation bomber and 690 F-35B for CAS.

    don't fight other nation war, it is there responsibility to do to so.. close all base and cancel foreign aid to other nation u been doing it for long time, it is enough

    your job is to defend the mainland unite states, other nation should do their part in defending their country!

  39. Just a little history… The F-15 supercruised first… yes, that's right… They tested some "special engines" at EAFB in the early 90's, these engines were essentially the same that ended up in the Raptor (both GE and P&W variants in the 35k class) These motors could be put back into these F-15's. Both a C and E model were used with these motors and they were extremely loud in the case of the GE motors. We wore double hearing protection near these two aircraft. I was there and I was working F-15 DT&E at the time.

  40. I must ask… does anyone on here actually know anything about these plane's? Because the comments I am reading are so ridiculous that I am forced to imagine they are written by middle school students, whom make capability assumptions based off air show visits…

  41. The f-15 was in service since th 80's or 70's and was never shot down the f22 has a lot to live up to

  42. Hey remember Korean war, F9F Panther VS Mig 15 piloted by Soviets, Kill ratio for Panther was 5-0, Panther was 100 mph slower and turned wider. That is attributed to Superio Naval aviator training. Yessss HOORAW for US fighter pilots, best trained in planet….

  43. prior service | March 8, 2013 at 2:51 am |

    F-15 is a better fighter jet hands down. Seen them in action when I worked on them both (15 & 22) It was a horrible idea to produce the 22 in the first place, glad they stopped before wasting the already tight allowance given to the AF. Most of your "enthusiast" statements are fun observations based on your opinions yet have very little fact associated to them.
    -please note that all of us who do know the actual answers to these questions cannot (due to secrecy agreements) divulge the specific reasons as to why you are incorrect. Please just accept this for what its worth.

  44. I beg to differ, and even if Syrai shot 3 down which I doubt, the score would still be 105 to 3, damn good odds. I have yet to see a fighter jet thtat is truly a match for the F-15 Eagle. The baddest bird in the sky and almost 40 years old !

  45. christopher worley | June 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

    it comes down to history. the germans had jets, rockets and tiger tanks. with kill ratio's of 20 to 30 to one. but at Kursk the Russians sacrificed tanks in kamakazi attacks aginst german tiger and panther tanks. p-51 mustangs shot down me 262 jets at crazy rate why? you put enough guns in the way one will get you. I do not care how good your one is, you put 10,000 ww1 spads in the way and your super jet is toast. stalin said it pretty well quanity has a quality all it's own. so what is solution? simple ! stop the crimes in military procurement. what do I mean? do the math 800 billion per year for military. if I bought 1,000 raptors at 75 million each that,s 7.5 billion out of 800 billion every year so there Nazi propaganda to cheat us is treason. you can buy 1,000 raptors every year for less than 1% of total military budget? who is fracking who? I wish American could add then they would be patriots! some one needs to do some math in medicare too that is even worse!

  46. I believe that based on comparable advisary aircraft the P-51 Mustang would be a serious rival to the Eagle as the best fighter aircraft in history. Just FYI the F-15 with an USAF pilot at the controls in most aerial combat competition training , the Eagle defeats its advisary. The F-22 DEFEATS all challengers rather easily, turns tighter, accellerates faster, and doesn't bleed energy as quickly as its opponents, which inturn means target acquistion is very quick!

  47. The F-15 is a faster aircraft, intake design and stealth of the F-22 hinder top end. I dont think the F-22 will brake any time to climb records.

  48. perhaps checking out http://www.drboylan.com/xplanes2.hmtl will help to get a comparison
    viewpoint of the present to future of defense aviation.
    The actual weight to thrust ratio of present war planes is not published.
    The fuel to target ratio is a closer efficiency guess of a fighter bomber platform.

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