The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Leveraging aerial combat experiences from the Korean and Vietnam wars, the F-16 was designed as a lightweight day fighter. It has since evolved into a successful all-weather, multirole aircraft.
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 maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a fly-by-wire flight control system that makes it a highly nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hardpoints for mounting weapons, and other mission equipment. Although the F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, it is known to its pilots as the “Viper”, due to it resembling a Viper snake.
In addition to USAF active, reserve, and air national guard units, the aircraft is used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 nations.
Learn more about the F-16 Fighting Falcon / Super Viper by clicking the link.