Edwards AFB Flight Test Nation 2009
F-16 Fighting Falcon/Viper

The 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.

Flight Test Nation 2009 Index


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