F-16 Fighting Falcon (USA, 1978)

F-16 Fighting Falcon (USA, 1978)

The Fighting Falcon is the most successful aircraft in the category of multi-purpose fighters.



F-16, fighter aircraft, aircraft, multirole fighter aircraft, jet engine, Cold War, USAF, supersonic

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Fighting Falcon

Fighting Falcon

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole jet fighter aircraft. It was originally developed for the United States Air Force (USAF).

As a result of the development of microelectronics, newer and newer devices were integrated into the aircraft; today it can fire almost any kind of weapon. The F-16, with its excellent air-fight capabilities, is indisputably the most successful aircraft of its category (it has been procured to serve in the air forces of 24 countries).

The official name of the aircraft is the outcome of a 1976 tender (the “godfather” was sergeant J. A. Kurdell).

Technical data

Role: Multirole jet fighter aircraft
Manufacturer: General Dynamics; later Lockheed Martin
Designer: Harry J. Hillaker
Crew: F-16A/C/E: 1; F-16B/D/F: 2
Maiden flight: 2 February 1974
Introduction: 17 August 1978
Price: 18.8 million USD (1998)
Air victories / defeats: 71:(1)


Length: 14.8 m
Wingspan: 9.8 m
Height: 4.8 m
Wing area: 27.87 m2
Wing profile: NACA 64A204
Aspect ratio: 3.2

Mass data

Empty weight: 8,272 kg
Maximum takeoff weight: 16,875 kg


Engine: Pratt & Whitney F100–PW–220 or
General Electric F110–GE–100 afterburning turbofan jet engine with high bypass ratio
Thrust: F100: 64.9 kN / 105.7 kN; F110: 76.3 kN / 128.9 kN

Flight characteristics

Maximum speed: Mach 2.05
Combat radius: 550 km (with six 450 kg bombs, on a high-low-high mission)
Ferry range: 3,200 km
Service ceiling: 15,240 m
Rate of climb: 255 m/s
Wing loading: 430.7 kg/m2
Thrust-weight ratio: F100: 0.898; F110: 1.095
Fuel mass ratio: 0.26
Maximum overload: +9g


Radar: F-16A/B: AN/APG–66
F-16C/D: AN/APG–68
F-16E/F: AN/APG–80
Ejection seat: ACES II


Inbuilt armament: one 20 mm M61 Vulcan 6-barreled gatling cannon
Number of weapon stations: 9+2

Upper view


Missile launch


  • cockpit
  • engine
  • bubble canopy
  • cranked arrow wing
  • landing gear
  • inlet lip
  • weapon stations
  • spare fuel tank



The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a jet fighter originally developed for the United States Air Force. Since its first flight in 1978, it has been deployed in several armed conflicts. Produced by Lockheed Martin, it is still rolling off the assembly line.

With its afterburning turbofan jet engine, the aircraft can accelerate to more than twice the speed of sound at high altitudes. The plane measures 15 m in length and has a wingspan of 10 m. Its combat range is 3,200 km, with a service ceiling of 15,240 m. Its maximum takeoff weight is more than double its 8-ton empty weight, so the Fighting Falcon can carry an impressive range of weapons.

Besides the Vulcan machine gun there are 9+2 weapon stations for rockets and bombs. Through the development of microelectronics, ever newer devices have been integrated into the plane; today it can fire almost any kind of weapon.

With its excellent air-fight capabilities, the F-16 is indisputably the most successful aircraft in its category.

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