Is this the end of the F-15 fighter jet ? The F-15 is one of the greatest fighter jets ever produce, and it would be a shame to see it go, but recent events have led to think the F-15 may be closer to retirement than ever before. Indeed, crucial structural flaws have been discovered after one of the jets broke apart during a simulated dogfight in November. As a result, the Air Force officials grounded the entire F-15 fleet, nearly 700 planes in all, fearing such a defect. The newest versions of the fighter jets were allowed to resume flying shortly afterward, but 440 of the older model F-15s have remained out of service. The Air Force plans to allow about 260 of the remaining grounded planes to return to duty today. But about 180 more will remain idle because of suspected structural flaws. “Many of them may never fly again,” a senior Air Force officer said. The officer, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity because results of the investigation are not due to be made public until today. Long the nation’s most sophisticated front-line fighters, the F-15 are gradually being replaced; many are up to 30 years old. The Air Force still relies on F-15s to protect the continental U.S. and to fly combat missions abroad. Newer model F-15Es are used in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and were the first of the grounded planes to resume flying after the mishap in November.

If you are looking for an exciting experience, look no further, air combat is for you. This is new and unique in Europe! You can become fighter pilot for a day. Engage your enemy during a laser air combat dogfight in France. This is a unique aerial combat experience, done over the vineyards of Bordeaux. After a full morning briefing about flying techniques and air combat, you will be the top gun pilot engaging in a real dogfight. Each aircraft is equipped with a laser targeting system and smoke system. Aim, shoot, and see your rival aircraft smoke as you hit the plane. This amazing experience is done near Bordeaux in France. This is organised by real fighter pilots who will teach you the basics and will be in the aircraft with you to guarantee your safety.

In the morning, you get a full briefing about flying techniques, presentation of the aircrafts, dogfight and aerial combat techniques. This is followed by lunch with the pilots. And then the flights and combats in the afternoon. Two flights per person. Each flight last between 40mn to 1hour depending on resistance and strength of participants. Live a unique and extraordinary experience as you engage in a real air combat experience. Each flight follows a mission designed from the start of the flight – see below the variety of missions you can choose from.

1st mission :

The planes take-off within 10s of each other. Tight formation flying (1 to 2m). Evolutions in formation flight. Follow your leader – one aircraft follows the other within 3s, in formation (enables to get practice for future combat maneuvers) – then switch roles
Offensive set-up: Plane 2 positions itself 100m and 45° behind Plane 1: fight is on. Learn to master trajectories and targeting. When Plane 2 is hit, switch positions.
Various offensive set-up are repeated.
Demonstration of a dogfight by the fighter pilots
Back to the airfield in formation flight

air combat fighter pilot

2nd mission:

The planes take-off within 10s of each other
Tight formation flying (1 to 2m)
Offensive set-ups: 2 set-ups are done per person
Face to face set-up
Back to the airfield in formation flight
For security reasons, controls of the aircraft are held by the fighter pilot when in Leader position.

This air combat experience is unique in Europe. You take the controls of the aircraft under the guidance of a professional military fighter pilot. Prepare for a unique mission. Another aircraft is your sight, get closer and engage. The dogfight can start! Each aircraft is equipped with laser guided systems and smoke systems. Target the aircraft, aim and shoot. The system will acknowledge if your fire hit the aircraft. If so, then smoke appears from the aircraft. It feels real. It looks real. This is truly amazing. The team is made of professional fighter pilots, some still active in the French Air Force. Most have been in real combat in Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Their experience is extensive and they have a real passion to share their know- how and experience. Want to know more ? Follow the link to get additional information about this fighter pilot experience.