This particular airplane belongs to the 8th Fighter Squadron headquartered at the said air force base and was coming in to land “after completing routine training” in the area. In doing so, either at dawn or dusk, it got hit by the rays of the massive sun hovering above New Mexico, making it look as if a piece of the Sun descended and snug itself inside the airplane’s cockpit.
This is not the only impressive still of an F-16 we’ve seen over the past year here on autoevolution, and it will probably not be the last one. The U.S. has over 1,000 of them in its arsenal, in the F-16C/D variant, spread across a number of air force units.
Each one can carry a multi-barrel cannon with 500 rounds, two 2,000-pound bombs, up to six AIM-9 and AIM-120 missiles, and two 2400-pound external fuel tanks that help it travel on a single outing for as much as 2,000 miles (3,200 km).
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the plane is powered by either a Pratt & Whitney or General Electric engine capable of giving the F-16 a top speed of 1,500 mph (2,400 kph) and a ceiling of about 50,000 feet (15 km).