In my current novel, Search and Destroy, the F-15 Eagle makes a cameo appearance, designed to whet the reader’s appetite for my next novel where America’s first and last defensive weapon against space-based weapons. With only one successful flight to its credit (as well as the fictional account of Major Amelia Nakamura when she shot the Kosmos 1801 down in Clancy’s Red Storm Rising), the only remaining iterations of America’s foray into defending space sit available, but not used.
The F-15 was designed to launch a defensive attack on a weapon that threatened the US from space. To do that, it would fly at Mach 1.22 at a 65 degree-angle, carrying ASM-135 ASAT missile. The missile is only 18 feet in length and 2700 lbs, small enough to be carried on the centerline pylon of the F-15. The pilot climbs at a sixty-five degree angle at Mach 1.22, and launches the weapon below the path of its target which it destroys by smashing into it. During its first and only test, Major General Wilbert D. “Doug” Pearson flew the Celestial Eagle 76-0084, destroyed the Solwind P78-1 satellite orbiting over 375 feet above the planet. Continue reading ‘What’s a Space Plane?’