Here's the F-15 in the new transport cradle I built for it. Each cradle is made from a single 8 foot long Wolmanized 4x4 with two 4 foot 4x4 uprights and two 4 foot 4x4 outriggers. There are six 2.5 inch castors on each cradle. The high number of casters was required to make sure the cradle had the needed stability as well as the necessary weight capacity. On the cradles the cockpit is surprisingly easy to move, even for a single person.
I must admit that up until it was sitting in my driveway, I really
didn't believe that I'd managed to get an F-15 cockpit.
I'm quite sure that in the coming years, I'll be continually pinching myself to make sure it's all real.
Initially, I was concerned that the ejection seat rails were going to be too high to pass underneath the garage door frame. My friend Dave is currently in the process of unbolting the left hand rail.
What can I say? :)
Another pic of Dave working on that ejection seat rail....but wait!
On a hunch, I had Dave stop working on the rail. I told him to crouch
down and push the cockpit into the shop. As you can see from the picture,
it cleared that white strip (NOT the seal) by less than
an eighth of an inch!
Dave can now tell his friends that he's had a ride in an F-15C, just as long as he doesn't relate the circumstances...
Originally, I had thought that I was looking at removing the 50+ bolts that held the forward wind screen to the fuselage. However, it seems that this windscreen wasn't the original that came with the jet. After finding only four bolts to remove, the wind screen came right off. I found a white ink stamp underneath the frame that identified it as being for an F-15A.
The wind screen itself is over an inch thick and the whole assembly weighs in at about 100lbs.
This is a tilted picture of the nose gear well. The pair of black
conduits are waveguides for the radar system.
I was told by a nice Air Guard maintainer that the waveguides that I pointed out only share a pressure system with the radar. Here's a direct quote from the horse's mouth:
"In the Delivery section when you show the wheel well you describe the waveguides as being for the RADAR system. They are in fact used for the ICMS, although there is a connection with the RADAR system as they share pressurization. The waveguides shown go from the ECS bay area to the Band 2 antennas which are mounted below the forward fuselage between the lower TACAN/Radio 2 antenna and the lower IFF/Radio 1 antenna."
Thanks for the correction Dave!
A waveguide is basically a specially shaped hollow pipe that radio energy flows through, much like water through a pipe.
The blueish colored pipe in the lower right hand corner of the picture is a hot air pipe that leads up to a connector right below the front end of the wind screen. It's used for defrosting/defogging the glass.
The other mechanisms visible are related to lowering the nose gear as well as operating the forward nose gear door.
Here is a better view of the linkage that operates the forward nose gear door. The door itself is still in place.
In this long shot, you can see all the various lines and linkages that run through the nose gear bay.
My very own F-15C. I _still_ can't believe it!
Gene Buckle September 8th, 2000