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Aircraft Review: F-15C Eagle by FACO Simulations

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Aircraft Review: F-15C Eagle by FACO Simulations

By Nick Garlick

After our last escapade in Paro, Bhutan, today I switch gears and take to the skies in a bird of prey—none other than the iconic F-15C Eagle by FACO Simulations. This Eagle isn't just any raptor; it's a legendary combat aircraft that made its mark as a direct response to the Russian MiG-25 Foxbat, which took the Western world by surprise when it entered service in 1967. 

The F-15 Eagle was envisioned as a cutting-edge, single-seat fighter with unparalleled visibility from the cockpit and stellar dogfighting capabilities. It was designed to dominate the skies with a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.17 to 1, allowing for sustained air superiority. The aircraft features a powerful pulse-doppler radar system capable of tracking high and low-flying targets without being confounded by ground clutter. This, coupled with an internal gun and the ability to carry an array of radar-guided and infrared missiles, makes the F-15 a formidable opponent in any aerial combat scenario.


Under the stewardship of McDonnell Douglas and with engines supplied by Pratt and Whitney, the F-15's development was fast-tracked. Spearheaded by George Graff and managed by Don Malvern, the aircraft took its maiden flight in July 1972. By 1974, it was already challenging the MiG-25 "Foxbat" for climb-to-altitude records, most notably with the "Streak Eagle," which set a record in 1975 by reaching 30,000m in just 207.8 seconds.



These feats underscore the F-15's capabilities, which have kept it in front-line service with multiple air forces for over 40 years. Today, it's an integral part of the air forces of the USA, Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. With the introduction complete, let's dive deeper into this F-15C from FACO Simulations and explore whether it's a "Golden Eagle" in the world of X-Plane 12. 


Installation Procedure
Upon completing your purchase from the org store, you'll find that FACO Simulations offers two distinct versions of the F-15C—one tailored for X-Plane 12 and the other for its predecessor, X-Plane 11. Unlike some developers, FACO Simulations opts not to include an auto-installer, which, frankly, is no big deal as the installation is straightforward. Simply download the zip file corresponding to your X-Plane version, extract its contents, and place the F-15C into your designated X-Plane Aircraft folder, a hassle-free experience.  

Once the F-15C was installed, my curiosity led me straight to the "manual" folder. Here, I found a PDF file aptly titled "F15_Quick Start Guide," and I must say, this guide is far from cursory. Spanning an impressive thirty pages, this comprehensive document wastes no time in diving into the essentials.




The guide begins with a brief introduction to the F-15C before gracefully transitioning into the finer details of control setup and general settings. It doesn't merely skim the surface; instead, it provides an in-depth look at the aircraft's complex display systems. This includes clear instructions on how to navigate the Multi-Function Displays (MFD) or Multi-Purpose Colour Displays (MPCD), as well as the Head-Up Display, offering a comprehensive understanding of the aircraft's capabilities. 




The guide goes the extra mile with detailed sections on data management and navigation. As well as this, you'll find in-depth explanations on operating the radar and autopilot systems, not to mention comprehensive guidance on weapons loadouts and their corresponding operations.





What truly elevates this guide are the well-presented, clear screenshots peppered throughout, each serving to visually reinforce the F-15C's features and functionality. In my view, this Quick Start Guide provides more than enough information to transition you from a cold and dark state to fully operational, empowering you to take this Eagle into combat with confidence!


When it comes to external features, FACO Simulations has done a commendable job in capturing the quintessential characteristics of the Eagle. From its twin-tail, high-wing layout to the slab-sided fuselage, large air intakes, and expansive cockpit canopy, the model faithfully mirrors its real-life counterpart. The aircraft features all the basic animations of a model for X-Plane, which includes: the opening and closing of the canopy to the operation of the landing gear and the deployment of the airspeed brake, and arrestor hook with all such animations operating smoothly throughout their range. When it comes to armaments, the model offers various weapons and fuel loadout options, all of which can be used across the different weapon stations. 


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However, it's worth noting that while the undercarriage and bay doors are adequately modelled, they do lack some of the intricate details seen on the actual aircraft. As for the ordnance stations, they feature explosive bolts on the hard points of the wings and fuselage, along with a reasonable representation of missile rails and cradles.


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The model includes five distinct liveries, all representing different USAF squadrons; from the 19th Fighter Squadron "The Gamecocks" to an aircraft from the 494th fighter squadron based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. While the textures on these liveries are generally satisfactory, they do falter a bit in resolution. That said, this becomes less noticeable when the model is viewed from a distance. A silver lining here is that the lower resolution textures are less likely to impact your frame rates, unlike models featuring 2K and 4K textures, which can sometimes be quite demanding on your system.


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Stepping into the 3D cockpit of the F-15C, one immediately notices how well it mirrors its real-life counterpart, capturing an era where analogue meets digital. The cockpit comes equipped with the familiar analogue instruments, further enhanced by multifunctional and radar displays.


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When it comes to design, the F-15C's cockpit is very much a product of its time, offering a bustling, cluttered environment that sharply contrasts with the sleek minimalism seen in contemporary fighters like the F-35, a feature that, personally, I find quite appealing, much like the included cockpit night lighting.


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Yet, as accurate and well-structured as it is, the cockpit doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of fine detailing. To draw a parallel, the level of detail falls short when compared to other modern X-Plane models, such as the F-16 from Delta Wing Simulations. Take the "Bang" Ejector seat as an example; it misses out on some nuances like seatbelt buckles and wiring. These omissions collectively contribute to a cockpit that, although functionally sound, lacks the intricacies that would make it truly immersive. In essence, it's a place that could feel rather flat and, dare I say, a bit uninspiring for prolonged stints.


When it comes to functionality, the cockpit certainly isn’t lacking. It features a custom-built radar system with capabilities like target tracking and locking. There is also a comprehensive Heads-Up Display (HUD) which offers a range of Air-to-Air modes, including Auto-Acquisition and missile lock warnings. Beyond its visual and functional aspects, the model comes equipped with a Control Augmentation System, essentially a Fly-By-Wire system, along with an accurate Multi-Function Display (MPCD) as previously mentioned. The model also boasts a functional Internal Navigation System (INS) for GPS-free waypoint navigation and allows for in-flight loading of X-Plane flight plans.


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When flying in X-Plane, the auditory experience is just as important as the visual one, and I'm pleased to say that the FMOD sounds included in this model are nothing short of delightful. From the tactile clicks of levers and switches to the mechanical sounds of the cockpit canopy opening and closing, the FMOD package nails it. But it doesn't stop there: the package also includes crisp tones for gunfire and missile launches, not to mention the various electronic bleeps, warbles, and even the verbal warnings from 'Bitching Betty.'


When it comes to the engines, originally by Pratt & Whitney and later by General Electric, the audio experience is faithfully recreated, covering the entire range from engine startup to shutdown. But for me, what sets this sound package apart is how it captures the unique auditory nuances of the F-15 engine under specific conditions. FACO Simulations have remarkably pinpointed the distinctive 'fifing' sound produced when the divergent and convergent nozzles on the engines are manipulated during particular engine management situations. It's a detail I've longed for and seldom found in other models, so hats off to FACO Simulations for getting it spot-on. While conveying the full auditory experience of the F-15 in a written review presents its challenges, to give you a taste of the real thing, here's what the actual F-15 Eagle sounds like in flight.



Flight Dynamics

Situated on Edwards Air Force Base's runway, the F-15C's engines hummed, ready for the ascent. "Knife1, clear for take-off, unrestricted climb," the radio announced. Brakes released, throttles pushed to Full Military Power (FMP), and the aircraft surged forward. A gentle pull on the stick, and the F-15 lifted gracefully into the sky, initiating a thrilling climb.


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Cruising at 35,000 feet, the F-15 demonstrated its impressive agility. It responded promptly and precisely to control inputs, executing a series of maneuvers that showcased its performance capabilities. The sound of its engines filled the air, a testament to the power contained within its sleek frame.


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Approaching the landing, finesse took center stage. Aiming for 160-180 knots, the touchdown was gentle, a testament to the F-15's robust design. The gear absorbed the impact seamlessly, concluding the flight with grace.


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In-Sim Performance
Frame rates, the age-old question that invariably pops up when discussing X-Plane or flight simulators in general. It's worth noting that frame rates are highly subjective, influenced by a host of factors ranging from your system's hardware to your chosen settings in X-Plane. To give you a ballpark idea, my setup includes an Intel 4790K processor, 32GB of RAM, and a GTX 1070 Ti graphics card.

Under these conditions, I experienced frame rates ranging from a comfortable 45 to an impressive 75fps across the aircraft's operational envelope. Even in scenarios that typically bog down performance, such as complex weather or high-detail areas, the impact on frame rates was negligible. In layman's terms, this model flies smoothly, even when the going gets tough.


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For anyone seeking a flight experience that offers both a rewarding challenge and accessibility, FACO's F-15 package is a prime candidate. Whilst it’s not a DCS-level simulation, it’s the perfect middle ground that invites a broad spectrum of virtual military pilots to the X-Plane skies.

The aircraft's systems are a highlight, masterfully modelled with attention to detail that rewards the serious virtual pilot. Complementing this is an excellent manual that not only enriches the flying experience but also provides thorough guidance for those looking to fully understand this machine.

And let's not forget the impressive frame rates and sound experience. Even on systems that aren't top-of-the-line, the FACO F-15 performs admirably. The FMOD sound package adds an immersive auditory layer, capturing the unique characteristics of the F-15C, from the roar of the engines to the nuanced auditory cues in the cockpit. All of this ensures a smooth and enjoyable flight experience that many X-Plane users will appreciate.



While there are certainly areas for improvement, such as higher-resolution textures and sharper 3D modelling along with a more varied selection of liveries, these are more like wishes for an already commendable package. Incorporating these features would transform this solid model into an exceptional one, further justifying its reasonable price point. If you share my passion for military aircraft, then FACO Simulations' F-15C is a compelling addition to your X-Plane hangar. It's tantalizingly close to being a 'Golden Eagle,' and with just a bit more refinement, it could easily ascend as the definitive F-15 model for both X-Plane 11 and 12.

So, what are you waiting for? Unleash this Eagle into your virtual skies and experience the blend of realism and performance that makes it stand out.

Until our next sortie, Pip Pip Tally Ho!





F-15C Eagle by FACO Simulations is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


F-15C Eagle

Priced at $39.95



  • Virtual Reality (VR) ready, to include HUD and controls
  • Realistic and functional custom-built radar with target tracking, locking, and target management
  • Realistic Heads Up Display (HUD) with several Air-to-Air modes including Auto-Acquisition
  • Control Augmentation System (A type of "Fly-by-wire")
  • Accurate Multi-Function Display (MPCD)
  • Windshield effects of rain and ice including a defrost system
  • Functional Internal Navigation System (INS) for waypoint navigation without GPS which also allows for X-Plane flight plans to be loaded in flight
  • Missile lock warning
  • Full FMOD sound integration with accurate audible warnings and tones
  • Fully animated and functional 3D cockpit
  • TACAN navigation
  • Stored radio frequency "channels" which can be used for quick frequency changes
  • Custom weapons
  • Custom effects
  • Cold'n'dark start-up
  • Integration with other popular addons



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac, or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 950 MB
Current version: 1.3 (January 12th, 2023)


Review System Specifications

Windows 10, Intel 4790K liquid-cooled, overclock to 5GHz, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070ti, Titanium HD Audio Card.



Aircraft Review by Nick Garlick
3rd November 2023
Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).




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