Amazing facts about the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a fighter jet developed by the General Dynamics which is now the Lockheed Martin, for the US Air Force. This aircraft is a single-seat supersonic multirole fighter jet which was designed to be the air superiority day fighter and gradually over the time and various modifications it converted into an All-Weather multirole aircraft.
The mass production of this aircraft was approved back in 1976 and since then nearly 4500 of these fighter jets have been developed. This aircraft is no longer being purchased by the USAF but is still being developed for exporting it to other countries air force.
The key feature of this fighter jet include a Bubble Canopy for providing the pilot with better visibility, a side-mounted control stick to allow pilot to have easy control for maneuvering, a seat reclined to 30 degrees for reduction of the G-forces on pilot’s body and lastly a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system to allow this aircraft to be one of the nimble fighter jets in the world.
This aircraft carries an internal M61 Vulcan Cannon along with 11 different locations for mounting other weapons and mission equipment.
The aircraft not only serves the active duty for the U.S. Air Force as Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units; it is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and also as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy.
Other than USAF, this aircraft is currently serving in the air force of 26 different countries.
For our readers today we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. So scroll down to have a joy ride of information down below.
The aircraft took its first flight back in 1974 during the presidential reign of Richard Nixon in America.
Nicknamed as Viper:-
Although the official name for this aircraft is General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, most of the pilots who have flown it nicknamed it as the “Viper’. The name Viper was given to it because of the aircraft’s similarity with the head of a Viper snake.
This aircraft is one of the mass-produced aircraft belonging to USAF. Since its first successful flight back in 1974 and the signing of the orders for mass production, nearly 4500 of these state of the art aircraft have been developed. They have not only served for the USAF but also for the Air Forces of nearly 25 of the world nations.
Designed under the Lightweight Fighter Program:-
During the era when F-15 was under development, air force knew that the F-15 was too expensive to serve all of the Air force’s purposes. They needed a smaller and less expensive fighter jet. For that very reason a program called “Lightweight Fighter” was introduced and the final product of that program was F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Introduced first ever Side Mounted Control Stick:-
F-16 is the first ever fighter jet in the world to be introduced with a Side Mounted Control Stick. This stick allows the pilot to rest their arm during the flight and also have better control of the aircraft in the high-G maneuverability.
Frameless Bubble Canopy:-
F-16 was also the first ever fighter jet to be introduced with a Frameless Bubble Canopy. This bubble canopy allowed the pilot to have a look down angle of 40 degrees on both sides with a 15 degree look down angle over the nose of the aircraft.
F-16 can pull 9-Gs.:-
F-16 was designed to pull 9-Gs. The aerodynamic design of this aircraft was designed to reduce the energy loss during the high-G maneuvers from the pilot making it a nimble aircraft.
Fly-by-wire flight control system:-
The F-16 was also introduced with first ever state of the art fly-by-wire flight control system which kept the aircraft highly maneuverable while keeping it pointed in the direction where the pilot wanted to go.
Can be serviced easily:-
The servicing of the F-16 is relatively easy as compared to other fighter jets. The reason is that nearly 80 percent of this fighter jet’s access panels can be accessed without a need of a ladder or a stand.
One of the Most respected Fighter aircraft:-
The F-16 with its following features have remained to be one of the most feared and respected aircraft in the world for more than 40 years.
- Thrust to weight ratio
- Extreme Maneuverability
- Pilot ergonomics
- Visibility for pilot
US Has Developed an Unmanned F-16 Variant:-
In April of 2017, THE USAF announced the news that they have developed F-16 drones. According to the statement from the USAF, these unmanned F-16s are able to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes with near absolute precision even when the missions do not always go according to the plan.
Two F-16s Were Called Upon To Intercept One Of The Hijacked Planes On 9/1:-
Back on September 11th, 2011 2 F-16s and their pilots stationed at the Andrews USAFB were called out for a mission to take out the United 93 Airliner headed towards the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The mission pilots were Col. Marc Sasseville and Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penny both entered their F-16s and few to take out the airliner.
At that time they were suddenly called upon for the mission and the F-16s were also not equipped with proper weaponry and only had dummy bullets from a training mission. Both pilots were also not tined to take out an airliner. Their plan likely involved neither of them surviving through it. Hours later, both of them received the news that the airliner has crashed near Pennsylvania. Both of these aircraft were then put in charge of escorting the POTUS and clearing the airspace.
While the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters are struggling to become the replacement for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, USAF still recognizes the value of these aircraft and has decided to maintain a fleet of them in updated condition to serve further for the Air Force. According to one certain program, Lockheed Martin has announced that this aircraft is still going to serve for the USAF for many more decades to come.