YouTube - F-15 S/MTD
2- 29,000 lbs ea.
63 ft. 10 in.
42 ft. 10 in.
The F-15 S/MTD was a modified F-15B Eagle designed to test STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) and improved maneuverability.
S M T D stands for "STOL Maneuverability Technology Demonstrator." Later designations for the aircraft were F-15 ACTIVE which stands for "Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles" and F-15 IFCS which stands for "Intelligent Flight Control Systems."
The F-15 S/MTD had canards up front with the tail of an F-18 Hornet. It was fitted with an ALG system (Automatic Landing Guidance) plus the heavy-duty landing gear of the Strike Eagle. The canards could be used differentially for flight control. After 43 tests in this configuration the plane was further fitted with "vector thrust" exhausts which could operate as thrust reversers and move up or down by 20 degrees. Ninety five more tests were conducted in this configuration under the ACTIVE program.
The F-15 S/MTD program was judged a success, although the technology wasn't incorporated into production F-15's. So called fifth generation fighter aircraft were able to use the technology gathered through the programs.
An F-15B was used for the F-15 S/MTD program. It was not transferred to NASA, but its official status was "on loan." NASA received the aircraft frame only.
In further experiments the same airframe participated in Intelligent Flight Control Systems (IFCS) and Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) research.
Features and Innovations:
Exhaust vectoring of + or - 20 degrees from any plane.
A number of computer controlled flight systems made thousands of corrections per second in the flight controls to enable a combination of horizontal and vertical aircraft surfaces enhancing the performance of extreme maneuvers at walking to supersonic speeds.
With its canards angled to work as air brakes and reverse thrust vectoring, the F-15 S/MTD had the stopping and short take off abilities of a STOL aircraft.
The mission of the F-15 S/MTD program was the improvement of Air Base Operations when air field facilities experienced combat conditions.
The military wanted to test the abilities of aircraft with extremely high maneuverability to either withstand or circumvent battle damages to runways while remaining operational. The F-15S/MTD was instrumental in this program.
Much like a number of today's fighter aircraft, the F-15 S/MTD employed thrust vectoring with forward canards for increased maneuverability.
The F-15 S/MTD demonstrated abilities and performance superior to the standard F-15 jet fighter.