The LOCKHEED MARTIN F-16 Fighting Falcon (VIPER)

In January 1972 the Lightweight Fighter Programme asked for designs from several American manufacturers. They were told to tailor their specifications toward developing a lightweight superiority fighter. General Dynamics and Northrop were asked to build prototypes. These were to be strictly technology demonstrators. Northrop produced the twin-engine YF-17 and General Dynamics came up with the compact YF-16 with one engine. The Lightweight Fighter competition was completed in 1975. On 13th January 1975 the USAF announced that the YF-16’s performance had made it the winner of its Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition.


General Dynamics was selected a finalist in the USAF’s programme to demonstrate superior dogfighting capabilities in a lightweight, low cost fighter prototype. This eventually led to production of the F-16. Since its small beginning with an initial USAF order for 650 aircraft, the F-16 has become one of the largest and most successful military aircraft in aviation history.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. In the air combat role, the F-16’s maneouverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential enemy fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In the air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly over 500 miles, deliver its weapons accurately, defend itself, and return to base. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during bad weather or at night. With a full load of internal fuel the F-16 can withstand up to 9G’s. The bubble cockpit canopy gives the pilot unobstructed vision forward and upward and much improved vision over the side and rear.
The F-16 first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered to the 388th TFW at Hill AFB, Utah in January 1979. The two-seat version, the F-16B, has two cockpits each about the same size as the single ‘A’ version cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space is reduced.
The F-16C and F-16D are improved versions of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ and have the latest cockpit control and display technology. A consortium between the US and four NATO countries built the F-16: Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. These countries jointly constructed an initial 348 F-16’s for their air forces. Current USAF plans are for the Block 40/42 and 50/52 F-16’s to equip the USAF’s active units and Block 25/30/32 aircraft to equip Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Multirole fighter

Builder: Lockheed Martin Corp.

Power Plant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129

Thrust: F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms)

Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)

Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)

Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)

Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)

Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)

Range: More than 2,000 miles ferry range (1,740 nautical miles)

Armament: One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods.

Unit cost: F-16C/D, $20 million plus

Crew: F-16C: one; F-16D: one or two

Date Deployed: January 1979

Inventory: Active force, 444; Air National Guard, 305; Reserve, 60.

In January 1972 the Lightweight Fighter Programme asked for designs from several American manufacturers. They were told to tailor their specifications toward developing a lightweight superiority fighter. General Dynamics and Northrop were asked to build prototypes. These were to be strictly technology demonstrators. Northrop produced the twin-engine YF-17 and General Dynamics came up with the compact YF-16 with one engine. The Lightweight Fighter competition was completed in 1975. On 13th January 1975 the USAF announced that the YF-16’s performance had made it the winner of its Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition.
General Dynamics was selected a finalist in the USAF’s programme to demonstrate superior dogfighting capabilities in a lightweight, low cost fighter prototype. This eventually led to production of the F-16. Since its small beginning with an initial USAF order for 650 aircraft, the F-16 has become one of the largest and most successful military aircraft in aviation history.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. In the air combat role, the F-16’s maneouverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential enemy fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In the air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly over 500 miles, deliver its weapons accurately, defend itself, and return to base. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during bad weather or at night. With a full load of internal fuel the F-16 can withstand up to 9G’s. The bubble cockpit canopy gives the pilot unobstructed vision forward and upward and much improved vision over the side and rear.
The F-16 first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered to the 388th TFW at Hill AFB, Utah in January 1979. The two-seat version, the F-16B, has two cockpits each about the same size as the single ‘A’ version cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space is reduced.
The F-16C and F-16D are improved versions of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ and have the latest cockpit control and display technology. A consortium between the US and four NATO countries built the F-16: Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. These countries jointly constructed an initial 348 F-16’s for their air forces. Current USAF plans are for the Block 40/42 and 50/52 F-16’s to equip the USAF’s active units and Block 25/30/32 aircraft to equip Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units.

Back to Top History Key Dates:

January 1972 Lightweight Fighter Project specifications issued.
20 January 1974 Maiden flight of YF-16.
13th January 1975 LWF Competition completed. USAF selects the YF-16.
June 1975 Four NATO countries select the F-16A/B.
December 1976 First flight of F-16A.
January 1979 First F-16As delivered to 388th TFW USAF.
3 July 1982 First flight of F-16XL.
19 June 1984 First flight of F-16C.
October 1986 USAF launches F-16A/B ADF conversion programme.
22 October 1991 First flight of F-16C Block 50.
December 1992 Lockheed Martin purchases General Dynamics Tactical Military Aircraft.
27 December 1992 First air-to-air victory by USAF F-16, over Iraq.
4th December 1996 USAF F-16’s top 5 million flight hours
30th March 1999 3,035th F-16 delivered from Fort Worth factory.
28th July 1999 New Zealand becomes the 20th F-16 customer. (Order later cancelled)
28th April 2000 Lockheed Martin delivers the 4,000th F-16
March 2001 Final USAF aircraft delivered.

OPERATORS

U.S. Air Force (F-16A/B/C/D)
U.S. Navy (F-16N/TF-16N)
Bahrain – Air Force (2 Sqns with F-16C/D)
Belgium – Air Force (6 Sqns with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Denmark – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Egypt – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B, 6 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Greece – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Indonesia – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Iran – Air Force (Order cancelled)
Israel – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, 7 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Jordan – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
South Korea – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Netherlands – Air Force (9 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Norway – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
New Zealand – Air Force (Order cancelled)
Pakistan – Air Force (3 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Portugal – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Singapore – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Taiwan – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Thailand – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Turkey – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
UAE – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16C/D on order)
Venezuela – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B)

COMMENT:

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon (VIPER) is a good design in the FS2004. It has got very good textures. In this package you will find many diferent textures for the figther. You would not find many diferences, but they are, if you look closely to the plane, you will find that the diferent types of misils in the bottom part of the plane change depending on the type of texture you put. The main panel is not so well done. The vitual panel… is a little bit better done but much better than the main one. Once outside the plane’s cockpit,the outside textures are very well detailed, so I have to give my congratulations to Kirk Olsson for this amazing plane.

Rating 10/10



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