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The F-16 Fighting Falcon: A Creation Of The ‘Lightweight Fighter Mafia’

F-16

This is not a boring documentary … watch and learn about the history and development of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

“The latest technology available … The ultimate dog fighter … the culmination of 60 years of fighter development … it can handle almost any kind of mission.”

What are we talking about? That’s how the F-16 Fighting Falcon is described in this documentary of the fourth-generation fighter.

This production, which starts out like a commercial for the F-16 is actually incredibly informative because it provides a history of the development of jet fighters in the post-World War II era.

We don’t want to give away the good stuff but perhaps the most interesting bit of info involves a famous pilot’s scientific approach to air combat and his formation, along with other scientists and researchers, of the Lightweight Fighter Mafia. You’ll need to watch to find out more (don’t worry; this won’t be on the test.)

The General Dynamics, which is now Lockheed Martin, helped develop and build the F-16. At the time, the Cold War and the Soviet Union were still the biggest threat facing the U.S. Russian MiGs still presented a formidable opponent when it came to dogfighting.

The F-16 became popular and a viable aircraft because it was economical to produce and had excellent aerodynamics. Acceleration, climb rates, endurance and turning ability made the Fighting Falcon an outstanding aircraft. It made its debut in 1978 and over 4,500 have been built with over 25 foreign countries employing the F-16.

The Fighting Falcon has endured as an effective modern-day fighter thanks to improvements that have kept it up to date for the computer-controlled missions of today. It is indeed capable of handling “almost any kind of mission.”

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Written by Wendell Barnhouse

Wendell Barnhouse is a veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience as a writer and an editor. For the last 30 years, he wrote about college sports but he has had an interest and curiosity about aviation since he was in grade school.

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