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General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Restoration staff move the General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 6, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 6, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 6, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 6, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- General Dynamics NF-16A AFTI cockpit view in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

The US. .Air Force used this highly modified fighter for more than 20 years to test new ideas in flight control, electronic targeting, and cockpit design. A one-of-a-kind aircraft, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 made more than 700 flights in 10 different research programs between 1978 and 2000.

AFTI F-16 programs developed targeting lasers and computers, and new autopilot and ground-avoidance systems which allowed pilots to fly faster and lower while seeking and attacking targets. Other AFTI advances included digital flight controls, a voice-activated maneuvering system that allowed the pilot to "point" the aircraft in unusual flight attitudes, and touch-sensitive cockpit displays. The aircraft's last project tested new technology that reduced the F-35 Lightning II’s weight and increased its maneuverability.

One of the AFTI program's most significant achievements was the first-ever use of all-electric "power by wire" flight controls, with no hydraulic or mechanical backups to move the aircraft's control surfaces. This milestone won the AFTI team the 2000 Aerospace Industry Award for Engineering, Maintenance, and Modification.

In 2001 the AFTI F-16 was retired and transferred to the museum.

Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.

 

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