General Dynamics F-16 General
Aircraft
General Dynamics F-16
Type
Multirole Fighter
Crew
1 or 2
Main User
USA - Air Force
Click here for all pictures of the F-16 currently available
General Dynamics F-16 Program Milestones
Maiden Flight
February 2, 1974
Production Start
1976
Introduction
August 17, 1978
First User
USAF


General Dynamics F-16 Aircraft Dimensions
Wing Span
32 feet 8 inch (9,8 m)
Length
49 feet 5 inch (14,8 m)
Height
16 feet (4,8 m)
Wing Area
300 square feet

General Dynamics F-16 Weights
Empty Weight
18.238 lb (8.272 kg)
Loaded
26.463 lb (12.0003 kg)
Maximum Take-off Weight
42.300 lb (16.875 kg)

General Dynamics F-16 Powerplants
P&W F100-PW-220 with AB
23.770 lbf
GE F110-GE-100 with AB
28.985 lbf

General Dynamics F-16 Radius & Performance
Combat Radius
295 nm (550 km)
Ferry Radius
2.800 nm (4.800 km)
Service Ceiling
50.000 feet
Maximum Speed - Sea Level
Mach 1.2 (915 mph)
Maximum Speed - Altitude
Mach 2+ (1.500 mph)
Maximum Rate of Climb
254 m/s
Thrust to Weight - F100
0.898
Thrust to Weight - F110
1.095

F-16 Unit Costs
F-16 A/B
US$ 14.6 - Early 1990's
F-16 C/D
US$ 18.8 - 1998
F-16 E/F
US$ 26.9 - 2005
F-16I
US$ 70.0 - 2006


F-16 Operators
Bahrain (Royal Bahraini Air Force)
Belgium (Belgium Air Force)
Chile (Chilean Air Force)
Denmark (Royal Danish Air Force)
Egypt (Egyptian Air Force)
Greece (Hellenic Air Force)
Jordan (Royal Jordanian Air Force)
Indonesia (Indonesian Air Force)
Israel (Israeli Air Force)
Italy (Italian Air Force)
Netherlands (Royal Netherlands Air Force)
Norway (Royal Norwegian Air Force)
Oman (Royal Air Force of Oman)
Pakistan (Pakistan Air Force)
Poland (Polish Air Force)
Portugal (Portuguese Air Force)
Singapore (Republic of Singapore Air Force)
Republic of China (Republic of china Air Force)
South Korea (Republic of Korea Air Force)
Thailand (Royal Thai Air Force)
Turkey (Turkish Air Force)
United Arab Emirates (UAE Air Force)
United States (United States Air Force / Navy)
Venezuela (Venezuela Air Force)

F-16 Manufacturers // Licence
General Dynamics / Lockheed Martin
Fokker (Netherlands)
Korean Aerospace Industries (South Korea)
SABCA (Belgium)
Terma A/S (Denmark)
Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turkey)
Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk (Norway)

Accidents
A total of 500 aircraft have been lost due to crashes. This number includes 36 Dutch and 33 Belgium F-16's which crashed mainly due to pilot error or mechanical failure. Untill 2002 only 5 aircraft have crashed due to enemy fire. Two were lost during Operation Desert Storm, one during the war in Bosnia and two during Operaiton Allied Force. All aircraft lost belonged to the United States Air Force.
General Dynamics F-16
The F-16 "Fighting Falcon" is a single engine multirole fighter jet which is in use since the late 1970s. For many countries the F-16 seemed like the perfect replacement for older generation fighters like the F-104 "Starfighter", F-4 "Phantom" and F-100 "Super Sabre". The aircraft is build by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics and resulted from the increasing demand for a new high-tech aircraft for the United States Air Force (USAF). Its versatility was paramount for its succes as it served 24 countries with over 4000 sales, being the largest fighter program ever.

The aircraft featured renewing technology in many respects like a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, a side mounted control stick in order to ease control while manoevring and a 30 degrees reclined seat to reduce g-force effects on the pilot. Besides this, the F-16 also was the first aircraft ever to be able to sustain 9g. Its thrust-to-weight ratio is greater than one giving it excellent acceleration. (Back to aircraft database)


F-16 Design
With the design of the F-16, visibility and ergonomics were important factors as the aircraft should be able to fly under extreme conditions while incorporating a sense of comfort for the pilot. The cockpit is designed in a way that the pilot has an unobstructed view of the things going on in front of him which is vital in air-to-air combat. It features a frameless bubble canopy which has its support beams located behind the pilot. Furthermore, the operators seat is reclined approximately 30 degrees in order to reduce g-forces during turns while Head-Up-Displays (HUD) provide vital information in front of the pilot, increasing situational awareness.

The Generl Dyanmics F-16 was the first aircraft ever to incorporate fly-by-wire technology. This means that every flight control input from the pilot is send to a computer which then sends a signal to the relevant flight control actuator. This not only reduces pilot workload but also manages to actually fly the aircraft since it is static instable, meaning that the aircraft has a natural tendency to drift of course. The flight controls are moved by deflecting a side stick which is located on the right side armrest in stead of between the pilots legs.

The F-16A/B uses a fly-by-wire flight control system with no mechanical linkages between the flight surfaces and side stick. On the A/B versions, the flight controls system incorporated an analog computer and was later on replaced by a digital computer and implemented on the C/D models. On the F-16, computer control is necessary as a result of the inherent negative stability of the aircraft. Due to the lack of mechanical linkages the side stick featured some unusual characteristics as it originally did not move. Instead, the control stick sensed applied pressure and translated this into control surface deflection. However, it proved to be difficult for pilots to adjust to such a small amount of movement was given (approximately 6mm in either direction).

The onboard flight control computer makes thousands of calculations and corrections each second in order to keep the aircraft flying safely and comfortably. This also gives pilots the ability to focus on tasks necessary to fulfill their intended role. Due to the important managing role the flight computer has in operating the F-16, a common refrain heard from pilots is:

"You don't fly an F-16; it flies you"

F-16 Armament
The F-16 is equipped with an M61 Vulcan cannon located in the left wing root. Besides this, the aircraft is armed with two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on each wingtip attached to a specially designed rail. The more recent versions of the F-16 have the ability to be equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles also installed on the wingtips. It can also be equipped with various air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles or rockets and are carried on several hardpoints beneath the wing.

Air-to-Ground missiles Bombs
6 x AGM-45 Shrike 2 x CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition
6 x AGM-65 Maverick 2 x CBU-89 Gator mine
6 x AGM-88 HARM 2 x CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon
Air-to-Air missiles 4 x GBU-10 Paveway
6 x AIM-7 Sparrow (Click for more info) 6 x GBU-12 Paveway II
6 x AIM-9 Sidewinder 6 x Paveway (Laser Guided)
6 x AIM-120 AMRAAM (Click for more info) 4 x JDAM
6 x Python-4 4 x Mk 80 series
Rockets B61 Nuclear bomb
CRV7 2,75 inch (70 mm) Anti-Ship missiles
Guns 4 x AGM-84 Harpoon
1 x 20 mm (0.787 inch) 4 x AGM-119 Penguin

F-16 Variants

Intitially, the F-16A (single seat fighter) and F-16B (dual-seat fighter) were equipped with the AGP-66 Pulse-doppler rader and powered by the PW F100-PW-200 turbofan engine (14,670 lbf with afterburner capability).

Block 1 ( F-16A/B)
The Block one production model had, together with the block 5 and block 10 models, little differences between each. Block one had the nose cone painted black.
 
Block 5 ( F-16A/B)
After a certain number of Block one aircraft had been produced, it was discovered that the black nose cone became a visual identification cue at long range. The color was therefore changed into low visibility grey for the Block 5 aircraft of which a total of 197 have been produced. Also during the operation of Block 1 aircraft, it was discovered that rain water could accumulate within certain areas of the fuselage. Therefore, drainage holes were applied in the forward fuselage and tail fin area for all Block 5 aircraft.
 
Block 10 ( F-16A/B)
As the Soviet Union reduced transport of titanium during the 1970's, more aluminum was used for manufacturing the F-16. Also a new method of fuselage bolting was characteristic for Block 10 aircraft.
 
Block 15 ( F-16A/B)
The Block 15 aircraft incorporated the first major changes in F-16 design. It featured larger horizontal stabilizers, two additional hardpoints to the chin inlet, improved radar system and an increase in capacity of underwing hardpoints. Due to the addition of the hardpoints and the extra gain in weight, horizontal stabilizers were enlarged by 30%. In total, 983 Block 15 aircraft have been delivered up untill 1996.
 
Block 15 OCU ( F-16A/B)
After 1986 work had started on upgrading Block 15 aircraft to the OCU (Operational Capability Upgrade) standard. It featured implementation of the F100-PW-220 turbofan engine with digital control interface, ability to launch AGM-65, AMRAAM and AGM-119 Penguin missiles, cockpit upgrades and improved computers. Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) was increased to 37.500 lb. In total 214 aircraft received such an upgrade.
 
Block 20 ( F-16A/B)
Block 20 aircraft incorporated significantly improved onboard computers with processing speeds increased 740 times compared to that of Block 15 OCU. Besides this the aircraft had an improved AN/APG-66(V)3 radar and was capable of carrying the AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-84 Harpoon and AGM-88 HARM missiles as well as the LANTIRN pod.
 
Block 25 ( F-16C/D)
The aircraft is fitted with AN/APG-68 radar, has a precision night attack capability and is fitted with a digital controlled PW F100-PW-220E turbofan engine. A total of 209 aircraft have been delivered with the first taking place in September 1984 when the first Block 25 F-16C entered service with the USAF.
 
Block 30/32 ( F-16C/D)
The Block 30/32 aircraft were the first to be subjected to the Alternative Fighter Engine project. With this project, aircraft could be fitted with either traditional Pratt & Whitney engines or more powerful General Electric F110-GE-100 engines. Block 30 aircraft were powered by GE engines while Block 32 aircraft were powered by PW. The first Block 30 F-16 entered service in 1987. Major differences included enlarged inlets for the increased thrust produced by the GE engine and capability to carry the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-88 HARM missiles. Besides this, the aircraft were fitted with GPS and INS in order to allow the use of JDAM and other GPS aided munitions. In combination with the Grumman LITENING targeting pod, usablity and lifespan of this Block was extended significantly. Modification to the baseline Block 30 is commonly known as the F-16C++ version.
 
Block 40/42 ( F-16CG/DG)
Block 40/42 F-16CG/DG is a variant with improved all-weather/all-day operations and incorporates a LANTIRN pod giving the aircraft night capability. Because of this, these Block 40/42 F-16's are commonly called "Night Falcons". Furthermore, the Block features a strengthened undercarriage in order to support LANTIRN pods, improved radar and a GPS receiver. Weapon range was increases with JDAM, JSOW, WCMD and the EGBU-27. In total there were 615 aircraft delivered to 5 different nations.
 
Block 50/52 ( F-16U)
First aircraft was delivered in 1991. It was equipped with GPS/INS and carried a further batch of advanced missiles including the AGM-88 HARM, JDAM, JSOW and WCMD. Block 50 aircraft are powered by General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofans while the Block 52 aircraft use the F100-PW-229.
 
Block 50/52 Plus ( F-16C/D)
This specific Block F-16 was ordered by the Polish Air Force and are fitted with the latest avionics and provisions for CFTs. Operational readiness should be achieved by 2008 and deliveries will continue till 2012.