A look back at fighter county – 1970s

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History office The first F-15 Eagle was delivered into the U.S. Air Force’s inventory Nov. 14, 1974. It was the Air Force’s first pure fighter since the F-86 of the 1950s. The event was presided over by President Gerald Ford. (Photos courtesy of 56th Fighter Wing)
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The twin-engined F-15 Eagle was the first operational aircraft that could accelerate while in a vertical climb.
Maintenance problems initially plagued the F-15 Eagle and resulted in frequent changes to the programmed flying training schedule.
Capt. Charles DeBellevue posed with his jet after his fifth MiG kill. He went on to down six MiGs as an F-4 weapons system officer during the Vietnam Conflict and came to Luke AFB in 1974 for pilot training.
Drag chutes were used to shorten the landing roll of the heavy F-4 Phantom.
The U.S. Air Force’s decision to make Luke AFB its primary F-4 Phantom II training base resulted in the base receiving its first F-4 on May 7, 1971.
A new hospital opened at Luke AFB on Nov. 8, 1974, and replaced the temporary structure built in 1942.
The F-100 Super Sabre program ended on Aug. 30, 1971, after producing 3,054 graduates. One pilot who checked out in the jet was Maj. Gen. Barry Goldwater, former Arizona U.S. Senator and the namesake of the Barry M. Goldwater Range, which is southwest of Luke.
The F-104C Starfighter could reach speeds of well over twice the speed of sound.
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