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Colorful F-16 Fighting Falcon Makes Rare Appearance in the Skies Over the U.S.

Whenever we get to see an American fighter plane in the sky, even in something as trivial as a photo, we can’t help to be amazed at how beautiful and potent these machines look. But if you’ve been watching our coverage of USAF gear lately, you might have noticed one thing: most of the American flying machines have one not-so-spectacular thing about them: the dull grayish color they wear all over.
F-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe Foss 8 photos
F-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe FossF-16 Fighting Falcon painted in honor of Joe Foss
Generally speaking, air forces go to great lengths to camouflage their airplanes, either from eyes in the sky when parked and vulnerable on the ground, or from eyes and spotlights on the ground, while in the air. This habit gave birth to some impressive overalls on some flying weapons platforms but, as said, that’s not the case with the American ones.

The gray hue chosen for most of them is there on purpose, as it helps the machines better blend in with their surroundings. Contrary to what you may think, even if the sky is blue, turns out gray is somewhat more difficult to distinguish with the human eye against the terrain, sky, and even water.

There are exceptions to that rule, and some units choose to adorn their aircraft with logos, paintings, mottos, and so on. The guys over at South Dakota’s 114th Fighter Wing went a step further, and last year painted an F-16 Fighting Falcon in light blue and white and even slapped an armed cartoonish wildcat on its tail.

The special paint job was commissioned in September last year, as the unit was celebrating its 75th anniversary. The paint scheme was chosen in honor of South Dakota native and Medal of Honor recipient Joe Foss, one of the most important figures of the state’s Air National Guard.

It is that exact plane we see in the main image of this piece (and the gallery containing pics released last year), flying accompanied by two others from the same unit, as it was heading for the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-22 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, at the beginning of April.

Seeing this plane, with this paint job, up in the air, is not something that happens every day, so we just had to include this pic, released by the USAF last week, in our Photo of the Day section.

 
 
 
 
 

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