Edwards AFB Flight Test Nation 2009
F-16 Fighting Falcon/Viper
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, or Viper, as it is called by
it's crews, is part of the front-line fighter force for the United
States and some of it's allies. As a multirole fighter, it has
performed a variety of missions for the US and coalition forces in many
places. The first F-16 flight took place at Edwards on February 2,
1974. The first air combat in the F-16 was on April 28, 1981 over the
Bekaa Valley in the Middle East when an Israeli F-16 fighter shot down
a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter with cannon fire. On July 14, 1981, another
Israeli F-16 down a Syrian MiG-21. The F-16 is flown by the air forces
of 25 countries today.
Two F-16s based at Edwards opened the show by
breaking the speed of sound from 30,000 feet over Edwards. The back
seat of the two aircraft had General Chuck Yeager and the other was
General Joe Engle. Both were heavily involved in high speed aircraft
development at Edwards.
The F-16 demonstration flight was performed
by an F-16 from the 388th Fighter Wing based at Hill AFB in Utah. The
388th has quite a history going back to WWII as a bomber group before
becoming a fighter-bomber group, then a fighter wing.
NOTE: These image are NOT public domain, there are all
copyrighted. See copyright notice below.
Copyright notice: All images on this site are copyright
Van Gilder Aviation Photography. Images are not to be
reproduced, electronically or in print without expressed written
consent. If you wish to use any of the photos on this website,
contact us via e-mail.