Wings? We Don't Need No Stinking Wings!

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

The pilot of the tumbling Skyhawk managed to eject from his aircraft just as it disintegrated. Unfortunately the air to air impact also caused the right wing of the Eagle to be instantly, and most completely sheared off at roughly two feet from the fuselage.

At that moment, completely unaware of the critical damage to their F-15 fighter, pilot Ziv Nedivi and navigator Yehoar Gal, continued as leaking fuel and vapours along the wing masked the extreme and critical damage from being seen from their cockpit vantage points.



The F-15 then entered what seemed to be an uncontrollable spin, with Nedivi immediately slamming the throttles forward engaging the afterburners to increase airspeed. Amazingly the wingless Eagle, utilizing a combination of thrust and increased airspeed, regained some semblance of control. Basically an 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. Certainly never tested before...nobody is that crazy.  

Nedivi immediately diverted to the air base at Ramon, and completed the approach at over twice the normal approach speed to maintain the critical lift and whatever semblance of control possible.

At over 260 Kts, what remained of the F-15 Eagle touched down, shearing the tail hook completely torn off in the process.  Thankfully, Ziv, utilizing whatever breaking action he could, managed to bring the F-15 to a full and complete stop only 20 ft from the end of the runway.

Well done gentlemen...

 

 

 

 


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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