Viper Demo Team F-16 Venom Shows Black Snake Scales From Up Close During Refueling Op

Generally speaking, American fighter jets do not go out of their way to impress bystanders with intricate color schemes, and most of the time they opt for a shade of blue called dark azure, but mostly perceived as some sort of dull grey.
F-16 Venom with the Viper Demo Team during refueling op 8 photos
Photo: USAF/Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
F-16 Venom with the Viper Demo Team during refueling opF-16 VenomF-16 VenomF-16 VenomF-16 VenomF-16 VenomF-16 Venom
The exceptions from this unwritten rule are the planes flown by aggressor squadrons, which play the roles of bad guys and not only do they have to act like adversaries, but also look like them, and of course aerobatics teams.

Less visible in the skies above America and in the news than say the Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds, the Viper Demonstration Team does flaunt a unique paint scheme on its sole F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The plane is nicknamed by this small team Venom, and wears a color dress designed to replicate the scales of a snake. These painted features come in black, offset by yellow official markings and a pair of equally yellow eyes slapped on each side of the nose, right under the canopy.

The paint job was unveiled back in 2019 for the 2020 air show season, meaning many Americans got to experience it in the sky since then. It’s doubtful though many of them came as close to it as this recently-released USAF pic allows.

The photo was snapped at the end of September, when the plane was flying out of the Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina and met high up with a KC-135 Stratotanker flying out of Altus Air Force Base for a refueling op.

Given how this year’s air show season is over, this is probably the last chance you’ll get to enjoy the Viper Demo Team F-16 Venom in such a posture. The last outing of the team was in mid-November in Stuart, Florida, and for now, the calendar for next year is not known.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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