F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Note: Links in italics are external links)
The General Dynamics (as of 1992 manufactured by Lockheed Martin after they purchased the General Dynamics fighter division) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single seat, single engine multi-purpose fighter. Originally designed for air superiority, the Falcon has evolved and taken on additional roles including close air support and tactical strike. The aircraft first flew on 20 January 1974 (original YF-16) but did not become operational until January 1979. The F-16 is still being built and is in use in other friendly countries as well.
The F-16 is powered by one 28,982 lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 or one General Electric F110-GE-129 IPE 28,982 lb. thrust afterburning turbo fan which provides a high altitude maximum speed of Mach 2 and a sea level maximum speed Mach 1.2. It has a combat radius of 350 miles.
The F-16 C/D models were introduced in 1984. Improved radar systems and
avionics increased the F-16's range of missions. The new models also carry Hughes AGM-65 Maverick and the Hughes AIM-120 AMRAMM missiles as well as the LANTIRN night-navigation attack pod system.
The AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod or the newer AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Assault Pod manufactured by Raytheon is also in use.
The F-16 has an overall length of 49' 5" and a wing span of 32' 8". It is 16' 8" in height. It has a maximum weight of 42,300 lbs.
The aircraft carries a Martin Marrieta (G.E.) M-61A1 "Vulcan" 20 mm internal cannon with 512 rounds of ammunition, various air-to-air missiles, cluster and laser guided bombs, including the Texas Instruments PAVEWAY family of laser guided munitions and the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles. The F-16 also carries the 100 & 500 kiloton B-61 and 1 megaton B-43 nuclear bombs.
The F-16 evolved from a 1972 USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) prototype
program which sought a small, lightweight, low cost, air superiority day fighter designed
for high performance and ease of maintenance. A YF-16 prototype made the first scheduled
test flight on February 2, 1974. The F-16 achieved combat-ready status in October 1980
with the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah. The versatile F-16 has also been
purchased by 16 foreign countries including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway,
Turkey, Egypt, South Korea and Israel. The aircraft is produced abroad in Belgium, the
Netherlands, and Turkey, as well as in the United States. The first F-16 combat use was by
the Israeli Air Force in an attack on a nuclear reactor in Iraq in June 1981. By 1990,
more than 2,500 F-16s had been produced in the United States and overseas; nearly 1,600
for the USAF. Of these, 664 were -As. The famed USAF Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team has flown F-16s
since its 1983 season.
Click for larger view
Ah!! The glow of afterburner
Click on the thumbnails above for a larger photo
Primary Function: Multirole
Builder: General Dynamics Corp./Lockheed Martin
Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters).
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters).
Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters).
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms).
Range: More than 2,000 miles ferry range (1,740 nautical miles)
Unit cost: F-16A/B: $9.5 million; F-16 C/D: $12.8 million.
Crew: F-16A/C: one; F-16B/D: two.
Date Deployed: January 1979.
Inventory: Active force, 804; Air National Guard, 634; Reserve, 150
One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six AIM-9 infrared missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and the AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod or the newer AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Assault Pod.
Power Plant: F-16A/B -- one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan engine with afterburner; F-16C/D -- one Pratt &
Whitney F100-PW-200/220 or General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan engine with afterburner.
Thrust: F-16A/B, 24,000 pounds(10,800 kilograms); F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms).
Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at sea level).
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Detailed information for this aircraft available at The Encyclopedia of American Aircraft This link will take you directly to the F-16 section.
Visit the Skunk Works Home Page.
U.S. Fighter | Feedback