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F-16 Fighting Falcon | by John. Romero
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F-16 Fighting Falcon

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as a lightweight, daytime Visual Flight Rules (VFR) fighter, it evolved into a successful multirole aircraft. The F-16's versatility is a paramount reason it has proven a success on the export market, having been selected to serve in the air forces of 25 nations. The F-16 is the largest Western jet fighter program with over 4,400 aircraft built since production was approved in 1976. Though no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, advanced versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993,

 

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 under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hardpoints for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It was also the first fighter aircraft deliberately built to sustain 9-g turns. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing power to climb and accelerate vertically — if necessary. Although the F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", it is known to its pilots as the "Viper", due to it resembling a cobra snake and after the Battlestar Galactica starfighter. It is used by the Thunderbirds air demonstration team.

 

Performance

 

Maximum speed:

 

At sea level: Mach 1.2 (915 mph, 1,470 km/h)

At altitude: Mach 2+ (1,500 mph, 2,414 km/h)

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

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: approx 40 lb/ft²[142] (430 kg/m²)

Thrust/weight: 1.095

 

Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan gatling gun, 511 rounds

Hardpoints: 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× AGM-84 Harpoon or

4× AGM-119 Penguin

Bombs:

 

2× CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition

2× CBU-89 Gator mine

2× CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon

Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser capable

4× GBU-10 Paveway II

6× GBU-12 Paveway II

6× Paveway-series laser-guided bombs

4× JDAM

4× Mark 84 general-purpose bombs

8× Mark 83 GP bombs

12× Mark 82 GP bombs

B61 nuclear bomb

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Taken on July 31, 2009