The F-16 Fighting Falcon Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft - An Engineer's Aspect


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Monday, November 16, 2009

The F-16 Fighting Falcon Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft

"The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter aircraft, is the world's most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and 2,000 operational with 25 other countries.

The F-16 and the F-15 Eagle were the world's first aircraft able to withstand higher g-forces than the pilots. The Fighting Falcon entered service in 1979. The last of 2,231 F-16 fighters for the US Air Force was delivered in March 2005. The first two-seat F-16D version was accepted by the US Government in January 2009." (

General Characteristics (from the official web site of the U.S. Air Force)
  • Primary Function: Multirole fighter
  • Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Power Plant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129
  • Thrust: F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds
  • Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
  • Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
  • Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
  • Weight: 19,700 pounds without fuel (8,936 kilograms)
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)
  • Fuel Capacity: 7,000 pounds internal (3,175 kilograms); typical capacity, 12,000 pounds with two external tanks (5443 kilograms)
  • Payload: Two 2,000-pound bombs, two AIM-9 and 1,040-gallon external tanks
  • Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)
  • Range: More than 2,002 miles ferry range (1,740 nautical miles)
  • Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
  • Armament: One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods
  • Crew: F-16C, one; F-16D, one or two
  • Unit cost: F-16A/B , $14.6 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars); F-16C/D,$18.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
  • Initial operating capability: F-16A, January 1979; F-16C/D Block 25-32, 1981; F-16C/D Block 40-42, 1989; and F-16C/D Block 50-52, 1994
  • Inventory: Total force, F-16C/D, 1,280