Eagle and Lightning

The same photographer recently took these two shots from the same aspect at Hill AFB in Utah, and they really contrast the two fighters, showing off the best of 1986 vs the best of today.

A McDonnell Douglas F-15C-41-MC [86-0155 / AF86-155] Eagle from the Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing takes off from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for a training mission with the 388th Fighter Wing, June 22, 2021. The 125th Fighter Wing is scheduled to receive F-35A Lightning IIs in the next few years and spent the week flying alongside the first operational F-35A unit, the 388th Fighter Wing, sharing tactics, techniques, and procedures to better each flying unit’s readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

An F-35A Lightning II from the 388th Fighter Wing takes off from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for a training mission, June 22, 2021. The 388th Fighter Wing’s mission is to employ combat power with the Air Force’s most advanced 5th-generation fighter, and works to do so alongside the Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing in a total-force partnership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner).

Constructed at St. Louis and delivered to the Air Force in 1986, 86-0155 has been assigned to the Florida Guard since 2006, flying from various bases in the Sunshine State on NORAD taskings, deploying to Europe in 2015 as part of the composite 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, in addition to its CONUS ADF duties. The airframe that rolled off the line just after, 86-0156, gained fame at the hands of Capt Jeffrey Hwang (48th FW, 493rd FS, RAF Lakenheath) when he shot down two JRV MiG-29s with AIM-120As26 March 1999 during Operation Allied Force.

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