The F-16 Fighting Falcon was produced by General Dynamics who became Lockheed who then merged with Martin Marietta to become Lockheed Martin. The F-16 entered service in January 1979 as a multi-role jet fighter that evolved into an all-weather multi-role aircraft capable of sustaining 9-g turns. The F-16 is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain so the U.S. and 25 other countries added it to their inventory. The Fighting Falcon is referred to by its pilots as the “Viper” and will remain in USAF service until 2025.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is an annual event held at RAF Fairford. This show is considered by many as the greatest air show on earth with huge numbers of aircraft and thousands of aviation enthusiasts. On day one of the event over 110,000 people attended to see the 320 aircraft present. The RNLAF sent F-16AM J-055 ex FMS 86-0055 from the 313 Squadron to put on a display wearing the special scheme that had been applied for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. J055 joined the RNLAF in 1988.
General specifications F-16 Fighting Falcon
Primary Function – Multi-role fighter
Manufacturer – General Dynamics Corp. / Lockheed Martin Corp.
Initial Unit cost - F-16C/D, $20 million plus
First Deployed - January 1979 (F-16A)
Crew – 1 x F-16C / 1 or 2 x F-16D
Length - 49 ft, 5 in (14.8 m) Height - 16 ft (4.8 m) Wingspan - 32 ft, 8 in (9.8 m)
Power Plant - F-16C/D 1 x Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or 1 x General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust - F-16C/D / 27,000 lb (12,150 kg)
Speed - 1,500 mph (Mach 2 @ altitude)
Ceiling - Above 50,000 ft (15 km)
Maximum Takeoff Weight - 37,500 lb (16,875 kg)
Range - Greater than 2,425 mi (2,100 nm / 3,900 km)
Combat Radius F-16C 851.6 mi (1,370 km / 740 nm) w/ 2 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 U.S. gal external tanks
391.3 mi (630 km / 340 nm) w/ 4 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 340 U.S. gal external tanks
230.2 mi (370 km / 200 nm) + 2 hr. 10 min. patrol w/ 2 x AIM-7 + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 lb U.S. gal external tanks
1 x M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon with 500 rounds
External stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles
Conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions
Electronic countermeasure pods.