Make your own free website on




The YF-16 Prototype: General Dynamics built two YF-16s. The purpose was for simplified maintenance, with easily removable access panels, and several built in test systems were installed to pinpoint inoperative components. The first YF-16 was finished in a Red/White/Blue camouflage scheme and the second was finished in a cloud white and light blue camouflage. The first man to fly the YF-16 was Phil Oestricher, a General Dynamics test pilot. The two prototypes made many test flights for speed, maneuverability, and mid-air refueling. They also tested what weapons should be carried by the YF-16. Typically, sidewinders were selected. 

 The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The F-16B, a two-seat model, has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. Its bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. During training, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit.

All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D.

The F-16 is being built under an unusual agreement creating a consortium between the United States and four NATO countries: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. These countries jointly produced with the United States an initial 348 F-16s for their air forces. Final airframe assembly lines were located in Belgium and the Netherlands. The consortium's F-16s are assembled from components manufactured in all five countries.

Belgium also provides final assembly of the F100 engine used in the European F-16s. The long term benefits of this program will be technology transfer among the nations producing the F-16, and a common-use aircraft for NATO nations. This program increases the supply and availability of repair parts in Europe and improves the F-16's combat readiness.

USAF F-16 multi-mission fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm, where more sorties were flown than with any other aircraft. These fighters were used to attack airfields, military production facilities, Scud missiles sites and a variety of other targets.


Aviation Banner Exchange free banner exchange - Join now!

Aviation Banner Exchange (Click Here to Join)