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F-16 Fighting Falcon Looks Like a Bird of Prey Feeding in the Misty Air

Aerial refueling operations are commonplace these days, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. Dating in its current form from all the way back during the Korean War decades ago, when F-84 fighter-bombers got their juice from converted B-29s, aerial refueling is also a must for today’s military operations.
F-16 Fighting Falcon refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker 13 photos
Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16F-16 Fighting Falcon taking off from Colombian AFB
This is why American pilots do this not only in the line of duty, but also as part of training exercises dictated by the need to make sure all pilots know what their doing during these operations. And we often get to see glimpses of such encounters thanks to the habit of U.S. Air Force personnel of taking photos.

Kind of like what we have here. What you’re looking at is an F-16 Fighting Falcon deployed with the 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, nestled beneath a KC-135 Stratotanker. The pic (click the main photo to enlarge) was taken by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hoover, and was destined to go straight into our photo of the day section.

The fuel transport plane belongs to the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and it is feeding the deadly bird of prey during an aerial refueling training mission that took place at the end of July in the skies over St. Louis, Missouri.

The Fighting Falcon, also known as the Viper among its pilots, needs little introduction. In service since the 1970s, it is one of the most widespread families of fighter jets, with over 4,500 of them serving the needs of around 25 countries.

The KC-135 Stratotanker is a long-time presence in the skies as well. Born in the late 1950s, it was made in roughly 800 units. The plane can carry 200,000 lbs (90,718 liters) of fuel for the needs of the airplanes it is meant to assist.

 
 
 
 
 

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