Iowa ANG commemorates Aviation History month part 6: F-16 Falcon

  • Published
  • By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

F-16 Fighting Falcon was flown by the 185th Fighter Wing from December 1991 to November 2002.

The gold F-16 on display at the Iowa Air National Guard in Sioux City, Iowa, has been painted to replicate a 185th 50th anniversary paint scheme as it appeared in 1996. The gold jet on display is painted to look like F-16C 85-1565The real tail number of the A model on display is 82-0928

According to the National Museum of the Air Force The F-16 evolved from a 1972 USAF Lightweight Fighter prototype program which sought a small, lightweight, low cost, air superiority day fighter designed for high performance and ease of maintenance. It achieved combat-ready status in October 1980.

The plaque in front of the aircraft in Sioux City reads:

The F-16 was built combining technology from two existing aircraft with simplified the airplane and reduced size and price, maintenance costs and weight. The F-16 is able to withstand up to nine Gs exceeding the capability of other current fighter aircraft. The F-16 utilizes a quad redundant fly-by-wire system to transfer electrical signals to mechanical movement of flight controls. Two separate and independent hydraulic systems power actuation of the control surfaces and other utility function. The cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision and greatly improved vision over the side and rear. The seat-back angle is at 30 degrees, increasing pilot comfort and gravity force tolerance. The 185th flew the F-16C/D from 1992 to 2002.

General characteristics

Primary function: multirole fighter

Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.

Power plant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129

Thrust: F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds

Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)

Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)

Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)

Weight: 19,700 pounds without fuel (8,936 kilograms)  

Maximum takeoff weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)  

Fuel capacity: 7,000 pounds internal (3,175 kilograms); typical capacity, 12,000 pounds with two external tanks (5443 kilograms)

Payload: two 2,000-pound bombs, two AIM-9, two AIM-120 and two 2400-pound external fuel tanks

Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)

Range: more than 2,002 miles ferry range (1,740 nautical miles)

Ceiling: above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)

Armament: one M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods

Crew: F-16C, one; F-16D, one or two

Unit cost: F-16A/B , $14.6 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars); F-16C/D,$18.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)  

Initial operating capability: F-16A, January 1979; F-16C/D Block 25-32, 1981;  F-16C/D Block 40-42, 1989; and F-16C/D Block 50-52, 1994

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