Our F-16 Scrapbook Series, Part 1: U.S. Operators
The first official flight of the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon occurred on February 2, 1974. An unplanned hop occurred a few days earlier, during taxi testing, but that’s a story to be told later. Originally designed as a “lightweight fighter” to complement the heavier McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, the single-engined fighter is still in production today. That encompasses more than 4,600 F-16s produced, and operated by more than two dozen countries. The F-16 has been built in at least six variants, in both single and twin seat configurations.
The United States is the largest operator by number, and here is a collection of U.S. operated aircraft. Three more scrapbooks will follow… covering non-U.S. operators, aggressor and special test operators, and a colorful look at special paint schemes worn by several jets from around the world.