autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Lights and Shadows Make an F-16 Fighting Falcon Look Like a Dangerous Nighttime Aggressor

Introduced in service in 1978, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is one of the oldest fighter planes around. It is also one of the most widespread, as the General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) machine is presently fielded by the Air Forces of close to 30 nations.
F-16 Fighting Falcon ready to take off 14 photos
Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon taking offRoyal 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 in Operation Inherent Resolve
Over the decades, more than 4,500 such airplanes were made, and that means there are plenty of images and videos of the thing around. This however does not diminish in any way the appeal the F-16 continues to have, and given U.S. Air Force (USAF) airmen’s talent for taking photos at just the right moment, continues to impress every time it’s shown.

The main photo of this piece was taken on a night back in August, just as a single-seat F-16C variant of the plane was preparing to take off from the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for a Red Flag-Nellis 21-3 mission.

The airplane is deployed with the 64th Aggressor Squadron, a unit tasked with acting as sparring partners for other pilots during training.

F-16 pilots like to call their planes Vipers, partially on account of various associations with a starfighter featured in the Battlestar Galactica sci-fi series. It can’t leave Earth’s atmosphere, of course, but the single afterburning turbofan engine (either a General Electric or a Pratt & Whitney, depending on configuration) is more than capable of taking these metal birds at speeds of Mach 2, and for distances of about 2,620 miles (4,217 km).

Packing guns, rockets, missiles, and a wide range of targeting systems, the F-16s were involved over the years in over 13 million sorties and some 19.5 million flight hours. There is no exact figure on the number of kills the family is responsible for, but it did see its share of action in the hottest places on the globe, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Syria.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-16 Fighting Falcons.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories