Conceived as a response to lessons learned in the war in Vietnam, the F-16 has emerged as one of the most successful and popular aircraft in the history of the US Air Force (USAF). Known for its versatility as a multirole fighter, the F-16 achieved its greatest fame as the personal aircraft of the USAF elite demonstration team, the Thunderbirds. This aircraft was serving at Sheppard AFB as a ground maintenance training tool before being acquired by Yanks and detailed to represent the #8 aircraft of the Thunderbirds.
Born out of the Lightweight Fighter Program begun in the 1960’s, the F-16 quickly expanded beyond its role as an Air Superiority Fighter to become one of the most capable and versatile aircraft in the history of the USAF history and is often affectionately referred to as the “Viper” by pilots and crews.
Representing a great leap in aircraft design, the F-16 is able to be equipped with a variety of weapons systems capable of engaging targets in the air and on the ground while the pilot is assisted by an onboard flight control system referred to as “fly-by-wire” which grants the aircraft its famed maneuverability. These characteristics have contributed to the wide spread popularity of the design thus ensuring the F-16’s use by no less than 26 nations and its continued service well into the 21st century.
|DISPLAY STATUS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||CURRENT LOCATION|
|PURPOSE & TYPE||MATERIALS||ERA & DATE RANGE|
|Fighter||1975 to Present|
|MFG: General Dynamics
First Produced: 1973
Number Built: 4,500
Armament: General Electric M61A1 20mm six-barrel cannon and two wingtip Sidewinder or Sparrow air-to-air missiles; nine additional hardpoints capable of carrying up to 15,200 pounds of other stores.
|Wingspan: 32′ 8″
Wing Area: 300 ft2
Empty Weight: 18,900 lbs.
Gross Weight: 26,500 lbs.
Powerplant: P&W F-100-PW-200
Thrust: 27,000 lbs.
Cruise Speed: 600 mph
Maximum Speed: 1,500 mph
Range: 2,000 miles
Delivered: November 14, 1981
11/1981 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing (Pacific Air Forces), Kunsan AB Korea
3/1983 56th Tactical Fighter Wing (Tactical Air Command) Macdill AFB FL
2/1990 184th Tactical Training Group (Air National Guard)) McConnell, AFB KS
1991 6510th Test Wing (AF Systems Command) Edwards AFB CA
1993 412th Test Wing (AF Material Command) Edwards AFB CA
1994 412th Logistics Group (AFMC) Edwards AFB CA
Used for Ground Maintenance Training at Sheppard AFB TX
Stricken: April 1995
Acquired by Yanks Air Museum in 2011.