An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 4th Fighter Wing takes off from Philadelphia International Airport for a flyover at the Saints-Eagles football game game on Nov. 21. (Photo submitted by Connor Ochs)

Photos of the Week: It’s the Little Things

“Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.” – Leonardo da Vinci

More than most fields, details are of supreme importance in aviation. From the way an aircraft is designed, to how it is assembled, to how it is maintained, to how it is flown, the small stuff really matters.

When McDonnell Douglas designed the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet in the 1980s, the details were important. They wanted to build a fighter that was equally capable of handling air or ground targets, that could fight night or day in any weather.

The photo below from Connor Ochs of an F-15E leaving Philadelphia International Airport gives us a good look at some of those details:

A second seat for a weapons systems officer who controls ground strike capabilities while the pilot controls the aircraft and monitors for aerial threats.

Two conformal 750-gallon fuel tanks that hug the fuselage to lower drag.

By the way, the “SJ” on the vertical stabilizers means this aircraft is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C.

But as da Vinci noted, the details are only important as building blocks to something bigger.

And while aircraft are pretty big, relatively speaking, they are still extremely small parts of our world, and sometimes it’s enough to sit back and enjoy them as details themselves.

Tom Trautman did and caught a breathtaking view of a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane with the largest celestial object in our solar system, otherwise known as the sun. That kind of photo takes timing, skill and experience to do just right.

You might say it’s all in the details.

Thanks, Connor and Tom!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III comes in for landing during sunset. (Photo submitted by Thomas Trautman)

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