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F16 Fighting Falcon of the USAF
F16 Falcon single engine high performance combat aircraft
F16 Falcons are extremely capable combat aircraft. Able to withstand a 9G turn, it's likely the pilot will fail before the airframe does.
The first F16 took to the skies late in 1976, delivery to combat squadrons followed in Jan 1979. The Falcon was one of the first to use the now standard fly-by-wire control system whereby no direct mechanical link is provided, instead the pilot's controls comunicate with F16 's electronics which in turn move the aircraft's flying surfaces. This system allows for a sidemounted control stick instead of the conventional between the knees joystick that came as standard with combat planes since the beginning. Far from being a gimmick this allows the pilot better control during the high-G manouvers the plane can fly. Just think what your arm would feel like 9 times heavier that it is now!

F16 Falcon
Combat radius is in excess of 500 miles for Falcons, and being an all weather multi-role fighter it can hit both ground and air targets under virtually all conditions even zero visibility.
To simplify and cut the cost of development and production of the Falcon, some existing and proven systems from other USAF aircraft were adapted for it's use. Parts used in the earlier F15 Eagle and the old swing wing F111 fighter bomber found a home in the aircraft.
Unusually for an American operational warplane the F16 Falcon has a single engine instead of two. While cutting the cost of the aircraft and also maintainance time it does always increase the chance of a 'dead stick landing', where an Eagle or Hornet etc could usually be able to limp home on their remaining engine. It's a fact though that the F16 has proven reliable in the field.
F16 Falcon

Production and operation of F16's is not limited to the USA. A consortium of European countries both help build the aircraft and fly them in their squadrons. Countries include Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway. Israel and Portugal also operate the plane.
F16 Falcons have seen action in the Gulf war where they were the most widely used plane, and also more recently over the former Yugoslavia.
F16 Falcon
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