F-16 Falcon

usaf_16c.jpgThe General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multi-role jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as a lightweight day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.  Though no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.

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The Fighting Falcon is a dogfighter with numerous innovations including a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system that makes it a highly nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hard points for mounting weapons, and other mission equipment.  Although the F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, it is known to its pilots as the “Viper”, due to it resembling a viper snake and after the Battle star Galactica Colonial Viper star fighter.

In addition to USAF active, reserve, and air national guard units, the aircraft is used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been selected to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations.

General characteristics of the F-16 Fighting Falcon

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
  • Wing area: 300 ft² (27.87 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A204 root and tip
  • Empty weight: 18,900 lb (8,570 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 26,500 lb (12,000 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 42,300 lb (19,200 kg)
  • Power plant: 1× F110-GE-100 afterburning turbofan
    Internal fuel:

     

    • Dry thrust: 17,155 lbf (76.3 kN)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 28,600 lbf (127 kN)

F-16 Fighting Falcon Performance

  • Maximum speed:
    Combat radius: 340 mi (295 nm, 550 km) on a hi-lo-hi mission with six 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs

     

    • At sea level: Mach 1.2 (915 mph, 1,470 km/h)
    • At altitude: Mach 2+ (1,500 mph, 2,410 km/h) clean configuration
    • Ferry range: 2,280 NM (2,620 mi, 4,220 km) with drop tanks
    • Service ceiling: 60,000+ ft (18,000+ m)
    • Rate of climb: 50,000 ft/min (254 m/s)
    • Wing loading: 88.3 lb/ft² (431 kg/m²)
    • Thrust/weight: 1.095

F-16 Fighting Falcon Armament

  • Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon, 511 rounds
  • Hard points: 2× wing-tip Air-to-air missile launch rails, 6× under-wing & 3× under-fuselage pylon stations holding up to 17,000 lb (7,700 kg) of payload
  • Rockets:
    • 4× LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19× /7× Hydra 70 mm rockets, respectively) or
    • 4× LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19× CRV7 70 mm rockets) or
    • 4× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× Zuni 127 mm rockets)
  • Missiles:
  • Air-to-air missiles:
    • 2× AIM-7 Sparrow or
    • 6× AIM-9 Sidewinder or
    • 6× IRIS-T or
    • 6× AIM-120 AMRAAM or
    • 6× Python-4
  • Air-to-ground missiles:
    • 6× AGM-45 Shrike or
  • 6× AGM-65 Maverick or
  • 4× AGM-88 HARM
  • Anti-ship missiles:
    • 2× CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions
    • 2× CBU-89 Gator mine
    • 2× CBU-97 Sensor Fuzzed Weapon
    • Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser capable
    • 4× GBU-10 Pave way II
    • 6× GBU-12 Pave way II
    • 6× Pave way-series laser-guided bombs
    • 4× JDAM
    • 4× Mark 84 general-purpose bombs
    • 8× Mark 83 GP bombs
    • 12× Mark 82 GP bombs
    • 8× Small Diameter Bomb
    • B61 nuclear bomb
    • 2× AGM-84 Harpoon or
    • 4× AGM-119 Penguin
  • Bombs:
    • 2× CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions
    • 2× CBU-89 Gator mine
    • 2× CBU-97 Sensor Fuzzed Weapon
    • Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser capable
    • 4× GBU-10 Pave way II
    • 6× GBU-12 Pave way II
    • 6× Pave way-series laser-guided bombs
    • 4× JDAM
    • 4× Mark 84 general-purpose bombs
    • 8× Mark 83 GP bombs
    • 12× Mark 82 GP bombs
    • 8× Small Diameter Bomb
    • B61 nuclear bomb
  • Others:

     

    • SUU-42A/A Flares/Infrared decoys dispenser pod and chaff pod or
    • AN/ALQ-131 & AN/ALQ-184 ECM pods or
    • LANTIRN, Lockheed Martin Sniper XR & LITENING targeting pods or
    • Up to 3× 300/330/370 US gallon Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight/extended range/loitering time.

F-16 Fighting Falcon Avionics

  • N/APG-68 radar

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