|Year/Model:||1978 F-16B Fighting Falcon|
|Wingspan:||32 feet 8 inches|
|Length:||49 feet 5 inches|
|Height:||16 feet 1 inches|
|Gross Weight:||18,900 pounds|
|Maximum Speed:||915 mph - sealevel 1,500 (clean config)|
|Maximum Range:||725 statute miles|
|Owner:||On loan from US Navy|
S/N 78-0089 History:
In air-to-air engagements the F-16 is highly maneuverable and in the air-to-surface role the aircraft has demonstrated the capability to accommodate any guided and unguided weapon such as laser guided bombs and a variety of air-to-surface missiles. It carries internally a 20mm M61A1 gun for close-in air-to-air engagements. Besides, the F-16A/B is able to carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile while the F-16C/D can be armed with the medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. To deliver precision guided munitions the Falcon can accommodate the LANTIRN targeting/navigation pod system, as well as the LITENING and the most recent Sniper XR. The targeting and navigation pods have provided day and night, all-weather strike capability to the F-16 aircraft fleet all along its service life.
The two-seat F-16B Fighting Falcon was intended for training but retaining combat capabilities. The second additional seat was achieved through fuel load reduction which also reduced the F-16B combat range.
Beginning Summer 2004, US Air Force and five European Participating Air Forces (EPAFs) - Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal - operating the F-16 aircraft received the a new software packages called M3+ by the US Air Force and the corresponding EPAF version designated M3. The most notable new capabilities added to F-16s thru the M3/M3+ software packages were Link 16 data link and the helmet mounted cueing system (HMCS). USAF F-16 capabilities under M3+ encompassed AGM-158 long-range attack missile and Sniper XR targeting pod, while European F-16s gained the capability to deliver JDAM bombs.
The F-16B is a combat-capable, two-seat trainer version of the F-16A. The B model is essentially an A model with the second cockpit added in place of internal fuel cells.
The exterior dimensions of the two aircraft are the same with the exception of the second cockpit and longer canopy of the F-16B. The first flight was on Aug. 8, 1977, with production aircraft deliveries starting in 1978.
The B model was proposed as a "Wild Weasel" surface-to-air missile site attack aircraft but never proceeded past the demonstrator phase. The aircraft was also tested with the General Electric J79 jet engine in place of the more powerful and expensive Pratt & Whitney F100 engine used on the standard production aircraft. The F-16/79, intended for export, never entered quantity production in part because the users wanted the "real" aircraft (F100-powered) and not a lower performance substitute.