Wings? We Don't Need No Stinking Wings!

On May 1st 1983, during an Israeli Air Force dissimilar air combat training session in the Negev, an IDF F-15D collided with an A-4 Skyhawk.

The pilot of the Skyhawk managed to eject from his aircraft as it disintegrated. Unfortunately the impact also caused he right wing of the Eagle to be sheared off roughly two feet from the fuselage.

This was unknown to the crew, pilot Ziv Nedivi and navigator Yehoar Gal, as leaking fuel and vapours along the wing masked the extreme and critical damage from being seen.

The F-15 entered what seemed to be an uncontrollable spin after the collision, and Nedivi decided to attempt recovery and engaged burners to increase airspeed. Amazingly his combination of thrust and increased airspeed, allowed him to regain some control of the aircraft. Basically and unprecedented procedure of turning the F-15 into a lifting body type asymmetric platform with lift generated by the large horizontal surface area of the fuselage, the stabilators and remaining wing areas.

Nedivi quickly diverted to the air base at Ramon, and completing the approach at twice the normal speed to maintain the necessary lift and some semblance of control. At that hot of an approach, the Eagle's tail hook was torn off completely during the landing.

Ziv managed to bring his F-15 to a complete stop approximately 20 ft from the end of the runway...and even thought their plane was not, the crew walked away in one piece.





1 comment

  • Rt

    There is virtually no lift generated bystabilizers. There is however lift generated by the ody of the aircraft, and most importantly from the air intakes, especially at full throttle.

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