The F-15B was the two-seat training version of the F-15A. It retained the basic airframe of the F-15A without extensive structural alterations and without any changes in the overall dimensions. Initially designated TF-15A, the F-15Bs differed from the F-15A primarily in having a second seat underneath a larger canopy. In order to accommodate the second seat, the Internal Countermeasure Set (ICS) was removed and the fuel capacity was decreased slightly. The F-15A and F-15B are in other respects completely identical and carry the same armament and have essentially the same performance characteristics.
There were 2 two-seat Eagles included in the initial Category I test batch.
Serial First Flight Role 71-0290 July 7, 1973 First two-seater. 71-0291 October 18, 1973 Last category I test ship.
The first TF-15A (71-0290) was slotted between the seventh and eighth aircraft. The designation TF-15A was shortly changed to F-15B. Since then, every seventh F-15 was built in the two-seat configuration.
TF-15A 71-0291 was given a red-white-and-blue Bicentennial color scheme in 1976 and undertook a long round-the-world sales tour. One of the stops was at the Farnborough air show in Britain. In later years, 71-0291 served as the F-15E Strike Eagle demonstrator and was used to test the Eagle's proposed FAST conformal fuel tanks.
Production of an initial batch of 30 F-15A/B fighters was announced on March 1973. The first Eagle to be delivered to an operational USAF unit was TF-15A 73-0108, formally accepted by the 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron of the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona on November 4, 1974 in a ceremony presided over by President Gerald Ford. This wing served as the Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for F-15 operations during the initial phases of the introduction of the Eagle into service. A total of 58 F-15Bs were built.
71-0290 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-3-MC Eagle Later modified as part of STOL and Maneuver Technology Demonstrator program (Agile Eagle) 71-0291 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-4-MC Eagle Used for evaluation of FAST Pack conformal fuel tanks and LANTIRN pod. Also became development aircraft for F-15E Strike Eagle 73-108/110 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-7-MC Eagle 73-111/112 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-8-MC Eagle 73-113/114 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-9-MC Eagle 74-137/138 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-10-MC Eagle 74-139/140 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-11-MC Eagle 74-141/142 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-12-MC Eagle 74-143/157 cancelled contract for McDonnell Douglas F-15A/B Eagle 75-080/084 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-13-MC Eagle 75-085/089 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-14-MC Eagle 75-090/124 cancelled contract for McDonnell Douglas F-15A/B Eagle 76-124/129 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-15-MC Eagle 76-130/135 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-16-MC Eagle 76-136/140 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-17-MC Eagle 76-141/142 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-18-MC Eagle 76-1524/1525 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-16-MC Eagle For Israel, Peace Fox II 77-154/156 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-18-MC Eagle 77-157/162 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-19-MC Eagle 77-163/168 McDonnell Douglas F-15B-20-MC Eagle 0166 used as test vehicle for Integrated Flight Control/Firefly III program