General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16F-16 Fighting FalconF-16C Fighting FalconF-16 FalconF-16CF-16sF-16 Fighting FalconsF-16A Fighting FalconGeneral Dynamics F-16General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (its aviation unit is now part of Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF).wikipedia
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General Dynamics

General Dynamics CorporationGeneral Dynamics Corp.Saco Defense
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (its aviation unit is now part of Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF).
General Dynamics' former Fort Worth Division, which manufactured the F-16 Fighting Falcon, was sold to the Lockheed Corporation in 1993, but GD re-entered the airframe business in 1999 with its purchase of business jet manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace.

John Boyd (military strategist)

John BoydCol. John BoydJohn R. Boyd
Based on his experiences in the Korean War and as a fighter tactics instructor in the early 1960s, Colonel John Boyd with mathematician Thomas Christie developed the energy–maneuverability theory to model a fighter aircraft's performance in combat.
Boyd inspired the Lightweight Fighter program (LWF) that produced the successful General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, which are still in use by the United States and several other military powers into the 21st century.

Lightweight Fighter program

Lightweight FighterLight Weight FighterAir Combat Fighter competition
As a result, in May 1971, the Air Force Prototype Study Group was established, with Boyd a key member, and two of its six proposals would be funded, one being the Lightweight Fighter (LWF).
It resulted in the development of the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop YF-17.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin CorporationLockheed-MartinLockheed
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (its aviation unit is now part of Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF). 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.
Lockheed products included the Trident missile, P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance airplanes, F-117 Nighthawk, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, C-130 Hercules, A-4AR Fightinghawk and the DSCS-3 satellite.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

F-4 Phantom IIF-4 PhantomF-4
The USAF also needed to replace its F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom II fighter-bombers.
The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

Fighter Mafia

In the late 1960s, Boyd gathered a group of like-minded innovators who became known as the Fighter Mafia, and in 1969, they secured Department of Defense funding for General Dynamics and Northrop to study design concepts based on the theory.
Aircraft in this generation included the F-14, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18.

Side-stick

side sticksidestickside yoke
The Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical 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 which helps to make it an agile aircraft.
The side-stick is used in many modern military fighter aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mitsubishi F-2, Dassault Rafale, and F-22 Raptor, and also on civil aircraft, such as the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Airbus A320 and all subsequent Airbus aircraft, including the largest passenger jet in service, the Airbus A380.

James R. Schlesinger

James Schlesinger[Energy Secretary] SchlesingerJames Rodney Schlesinger
To reflect this serious intent to procure a new fighter-bomber, the LWF program was rolled into a new Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition in an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger in April 1974.
Additionally, his support for the A-10 and the lightweight fighter program (later the F-16) helped ensure that they were carried to completion.

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

F-15 EagleF-15F-15C Eagle
Air Force F-X proponents remained hostile to the concept because they perceived it as a threat to the F-15 program.
Criticism from the fighter mafia that the F-15 was too large to be a dedicated dogfighter and too expensive to procure in large numbers, led to the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, which led to the USAF General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and the middle-weight Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Northrop YF-17

YF-17F-17Northrop YF-17A
GD and Northrop were awarded contracts worth $37.9 million and $39.8 million to produce the YF-16 and YF-17, respectively, with first flights of both prototypes planned for early 1974.
Although it lost the LWF competition to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the YF-17 was selected for the new Naval Fighter Attack Experimental (VFAX) program.

United States Air Force Plant 4

Air Force Plant 4PlantAAF Aircraft Plant No. 4
The FSD F-16s were manufactured by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas at United States Air Force Plant 4 in late 1975; the first F-16A rolled out on 20 October 1976 and first flew on 8 December.
It is home of the F-16 and F-35 fighter aircraft.

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

F/A-18 HornetF/A-18F-18
In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.
That summer, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger ordered the Navy to evaluate the competitors in the Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop YF-17.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning IIF-35F-35B Lightning II
To make more room for assembly of its newer F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, Lockheed Martin moved the F-16 production from Fort Worth, Texas to its plant in Greenville, South Carolina.
A number of design deficiencies were alleged, such as: carrying a small internal payload; performance inferior to the aircraft being replaced, particularly the F-16; lack of safety in relying on a single engine; and flaws such as the vulnerability of the fuel tank to fire and the propensity for transonic roll-off (wing drop).

34th Fighter Squadron

34th Tactical Fighter Squadron34th TFS34th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
The F-16 was given its formal nickname of "Fighting Falcon" on 21 July 1980, entering USAF operational service with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah on 1 October 1980.
With an operational history extending back to World War II, and including the Cold War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Desert Fox, Operation Noble Eagle, and the Afghanistan War, it had most recently operated F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft on air superiority missions prior to its reactivation as a F-35A squadron.

Air National Guard

United States Air National GuardANGU.S. Air National Guard
In addition to active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy.
F-4 Phantom IIs began to be received by the ANG in the late 1970s with the F-15A Eagle and F-16A Fighting Falcons coming into the active inventory and ANG's F-100 Super Sabres being retired.

Paris Air Show

Paris AirshowSalon de l'AéronautiqueLe Bourget
On 7 June 1975, the four European partners, now known as the European Participation Group, signed up for 348 aircraft at the Paris Air Show.
In particular, the American YF-16 and the French Mirage F-1E competed in turn before a critical audience.

Pratt & Whitney F100

F100F100-PW-200F100-PW-229
Another advantage of the YF-16 – unlike the YF-17 – was its use of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan engine, the same powerplant used by the F-15; such commonality would lower the cost of engines for both programs.
The Pratt & Whitney F100 (company designation JTF22 ) is an afterburning turbofan engine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney that powers the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway were seeking to replace their F-104G Starfighter fighter-bombers.
On 10 and 11 April 1994, the United Nations Protection Force called in air strikes to protect the Goražde safe area, resulting in the bombing of a Bosnian Serb military command outpost near Goražde by two US F-16 jets acting under NATO direction.

AN/APG-66

APG-66AN/APG-66V2AN/APG-66(V)
The fuselage was lengthened by 10.6 in, a larger nose radome was fitted for the AN/APG-66 radar, wing area was increased from 280 sqft to 300 sqft, the tailfin height was decreased, the ventral fins were enlarged, two more stores stations were added, and a single door replaced the original nosewheel double doors.

Fly-by-wire

fly by wirefly-by-lightdigital fly-by-wire
The Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical 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 which helps to make it an agile aircraft.
This was exploited by the early versions of F-16, giving it impressive maneuverability.

Royal Danish Air Force

Danish Air ForceAir ForceDanish
In 1980, the first aircraft were delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force by SABCA and to the Royal Danish Air Force by Fokker.
In a joint arms purchase four NATO countries: Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, and Belgium introduced the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon as their common strike fighter in January 1980.

M61 Vulcan

Vulcan cannonM61A1Vulcan
The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment.
It was also adopted as standard in the "teen"-series air superiority fighters, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Lockheed Corporation

LockheedLockheed Aircraft CorporationLockheed Aircraft
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.

Energy–maneuverability theory

Energy-Maneuverability (E-M) theoryEnergy-Maneuverability theoryenergy management theory
Based on his experiences in the Korean War and as a fighter tactics instructor in the early 1960s, Colonel John Boyd with mathematician Thomas Christie developed the energy–maneuverability theory to model a fighter aircraft's performance in combat.
Fighter jets, such as the F-16 have a T/W ratio close to 1, depending on fuel weight and armament.

Royal Netherlands Air Force

Dutch Air ForceDutchAir Force
The first Royal Netherlands Air Force aircraft was delivered in June 1979.
The Netherlands Air Force wants to replace its F-16 fleet in the next decade.