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Watch as MTV Meets USAF During the Cold War in “Eyes of the Eagle”

Wait…The Air Force Made a Music Video? They Sure Did and It’s Awesome

Official US Air Force photograph

The United States Air Force (USAF) made the promotional film “Eyes of the Eagle, Wings of the Dove” during the 1980s. The Cold War was in full voice, and the Air Force was flying all over the world in all kinds of aircraft. The film depicts many of the aircraft in use at the time. The soundtrack, credited to Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller, might be a bit 1980s MTV-ish, but it’s the visuals in the film that will catch and hold your attention. The film was uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm.

Official US Air Force photograph

McDonnell Douglas F-15A and F-15B Eagle fighters, Northrop T-38 Talon trainers, and Lockheed C-141 Starlifter transports are featured in the film. McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II fighters, Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter fighters, Sikorsky HH-53 Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopters, and Boeing B-52D Stratofortress strategic bombers also appear along with plenty of wing wipers, BB stackers, wrench turners, and ground pounders. Much of the footage in the film was shot at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) near Glendale in Arizona and at Edwards AFB in the high desert of California.

Official US Air Force photograph

Captain Connie Engel, a pioneer during the 1980s, appears in the film. She was the first woman to solo in the Cessna T-41C Mescalaro and T-37 Tweet trainers, doing so before earning her USAF Pilot wings in 1977. She later became the first woman to lead a two-ship formation as well as the first female T-38 instructor. She also flew a T-38 as a chase aircraft during the Space Shuttle program.  Engel’s husband Rich and her daughter Lindsey have all worn Air Force Blue and USAF Pilot wings.

Official US Air Force photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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