Military Aviation

F-15C #86-0156, the only Eagle to score two MiG-29 kills, retires to the National Museum of the US Air Force

On Apr. 25, 2023 F-15C #86-0156, the only Eagle to score two MiG-29 kills, has been retired to the National Museum of the US Air Force.

On Apr. 25, 2023 F-15C #86-0156, the only Eagle to score two MiG-29 kills, has been retired to the National Museum of the US Air Force, as the video in this post shows. According to Alert 5, Lt. Col. Matthew “Beast” Tanis belonging to the 104th Fighter Wing flew #86-0156 from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts to Dayton, becoming the last person to fly the jet.

The two MiG-29 kills were scored in 1999 During Operation Allied Force.

Tanis spoke with reverence of the feat performed by Col. Jeff “Claw” Hwang when he shot down two Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Air Force (FRYAF) MiG-29s.

Tanis said it was an honor to be able to fly the historic fighter jet to what he described as a “hall of fame” for the Air Force.

“This is like one of those sad things with your favorite car, you’re basically driving it to the garage to never fly it again,” Tanis explained to Dayton 24/7 Now.

Tanis added about flying the F-15C in general;

“There’s not a lot of limits to it, not a lot of things you can’t do and that makes it really, really fun. The F-15C is kind of the last jet created not fly-by-wire, so it’s bellcranks and pullies, so you’re connected to the stick. It’s obviously hydraulically actuated to move it but you feel it, and all the jets since don’t have that.”

According to Meghan Anderson, curator in the museum’s Research Division, this F-15C will likely replace the F-15A currently on display.

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15C Eagle 144th Fighter Wing, 194th Fighter Squadron, CA/80-004 – California Air National Guard – Fresno ANG Base, CA – 2016

She said there’s no timeline for when the this “MiG Killer” will be on display. It first needs cleaned and prepared for display.

The USAF is preparing to stand down the F-15C fleet after 50 years of vigilance. The Eagle has an outstanding combat record and a service life dating back 50 years — a remarkable lifespan for a fighter aircraft.

Those days are nearing their end as the retirement of the aircraft is fast approaching.

As we have already explained, some of the retired aircraft are being transferred directly to the Israeli Air Force where they are still flying today — the first active ramp-to-ramp transfer of aircraft.

One was transferred to NASA where it will be a part of their chase plane program helping capture research data for their airborne platforms.

However, most of the jets are retiring to Arizona. Commonly known as “the Boneyard,” the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, takes jets and mothballs them in the southwest desert.

Like legions of retirement age, Americans enjoy the low humidity and lack of snow or rain for their later years. It’s an environment that helps preserve the aircraft in the event they should be called back to service.

Photo credit: Ty Greenlees / National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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