The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multi-role,
single-engine fighter aircraft
developed by General Dynamics for the US Air Force.
Designed as a light fighter, it later evolved into a multi-role aircraft.
Thanks to its thrust-to-weight ratio and formidable maneuverability the F-16 was selected by the air forces of 25 nations.
Nicknamed the “Viper” by pilots at Hill Air Force Base (AFB),
the F-16 is a true dogfighter and distinguished for its ability to sustain g-force turns as high as 9Gs.
Range is also a good index of what this airplane is capable of.
The F-16 is the first production fighter aircraft intentionally designed to be aerodynamically unstable,
also known as “relaxed static stability” (RSS), to improve maneuverability.
The Viper is also one of the first fighter that has a four-channel fly-by-wire flight control system (FLCS)
to counter the tendency to depart from controlled flight and avoid the need for constant trim inputs by the pilot.
The F-16 “Block 60” is powered by the General Electric F110-GE-132 turbofan engine
with a maximum thrust of 32,500 lbf (144.6 kN).
BTW, the Block 70 is the most advanced of all F-16s. There are 27 countries in the world who fly these planes,
with the latest to join in two months time will be Romania.
The Block 70 F-16 will have the 5th generation fighter radar capabilities, some of which are greater detection and tracking ranges,
multiple target track, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, and auto-target classification.
In the 60s aerodynamic studies demonstrated that the “vortex lift” phenomenon could be harnessed
by highly swept wing configurations to reach higher angles of attack, using leading-edge vortex flow
off a slender lifting surface. As the F-16 was being optimized for high combat agility,
General Dynamic’s designers chose a slender cropped-delta wing with a leading-edge sweep of 40°
and a straight trailing edge.
The first flight of the YF-16 was completed on January 20, 1974, by test pilot Phil Oestricher
at the Air Force Flight Test Center at the Edwards base in California.
The first supersonic flight was completed three days later.