The F-16, also known as the Fighting Falcon, made its debut flight in February of 1974.  The design emerged from the NATO fighter design competition in the early 1970s, with production of the F-16 beginning in 1976.  Known for its multirole as a jet fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon was first developed as a day fighter for the United States Air Force.


Also referred to as a dogfighter, the design of this aircraft incorporated a number of newly advanced designs that allowed better visibility, easier control of the aircraft when maneuvering and a 30-degree reclining seat that reduced the effect the g-forces experienced by the pilots.



The Fighting Falcon was also built so it could be flown in any weather condition.  The F-16 Falcon could reach a maximum speed in excess of 1,300 miles per hour, which equates into Mach 2.05.  The use of advanced aerodynamics, along with advanced avionics, enhanced the new flight control system incorporated into this aircraft which greatly improved its ability to perform tight maneuvers.  The actual aircraft housed only the pilot, but training aircraft are equipped to hold two individuals, both the pilot in training and the instructor, whose seat is located behind the pilot.

The Falcon, designed to be a computerized attack bomber, houses computerized flight controls and carries a video-gun that records every moment of every aerial engagement.  This aircraft is also capable of being refueled while in flight.  Each jet aircraft is loaded with side-winder missiles on the wingtips, a pair of extra fuel tanks inboard, and practice bomb racks on the outer stations.



Eventually, the F-16 Falcon would be used by the US Air Forces aerial team in their flight formation demonstrations and referred to as the F-16 Thunderbird.  The aircraft is scheduled to remain in the U.S. Air Force service until at least 2025.  To date, over 4,400 F16’s have been manufactured and used in 25 other nations by their air forces.