Let's listen to the story of what could be the most modified F15 ever: F15 serial number 71-0290
In case you missed the first two parts:
The F-15 known as serial number 71-0290 rolled off the assembly lines and into history in 1973 as the sixth F-15 ever produced and the first two seater F-15. Intended to be used as a trainer for the then all new F-15, this model was given the designation TF-15. That may have been enough to make it a notable Eagle, but almost from its beginnings this airplane was destined for research and discovery. In the late 1970s the development teams at the Langley Research Center began exploring the concepts and benefits of thrust vectoring. These studies looked at 2D thrust vectoring along with thrust reversing and as early as 1982 a model of an F-15 with 2D nozzles was produced. Shortly thereafter, aircraft 71-0291 was fitted with 2D nozzles and canards and flown as a proof of concept. Based on this a contract was awarded to further study these enhancements and this became known as the STOL/MTD or Short Takeoff and Landing/Maneuver Technology Demonstrator.
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