The F-16 on display (S/N 81-0663) was one of the first F-16s to be received by the Thunderbirds in 1982 when they transitioned from T-38s to F-16s. The Thunderbirds continued to fly this aircraft until 1992 when they converted to F-16Cs. It was then modified to operational condition and assigned to the Air Education and Training Command to train pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. In 1996 the Thunderbirds repainted it in Thunderbird colors at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The museum placed it on display in October 1996.
The F-16 evolved from a 1972 USAF Lightweight Fighter prototype program which sought a small, lightweight, low cost, air superiority day fighter designed for high performance and ease of maintenance. It achieved combat-ready status in October 1980. Many foreign nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt and Israel, have purchased the F-16.
Armament: One 20mm M-61A1 cannon and various combinations of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 of 23,830 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Maximum speed: 1,345 mph
Cruising speed: 577 mph
Range: 1,407 miles
Ceiling: 55,000 ft.
Span: 32 ft. 10 in.
Length: 49 ft. 6 in.
Height: 16 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 29,896 lbs. loaded
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