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 IDF A-4 Skyhawk.

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

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

The F-15 entered what seemed to be an uncontrollable spin after the collision, and Nedivi decided to attempt recovery by engaging the afterburners to increase airspeed. Amazingly the combination of thrust and increased airspeed, allowed him to regain 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.

Nedivi quickly diverted to the air base at Ramon, and completed the approach at twice the normal speed to maintain the necessary lift and as much control as possible. At that hot of an approach, the Eagle's tail hook was completely torn off 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 though their plane was not, the crew still managed to walk away in one piece.

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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