On This Day – First Flight of F-16 Fighting Falcon


On this day in 1974, the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon flew for the first time. The single-engine, very maneuverable, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter aircraft was originally developed for the United States Air Force and designed as an air superiority day fighter.

Since production was approved in 1976, more than 4,500 of this aircraft have been produced and it is still in service today. F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. In May 2013, Lockheed Martin stated it has enough orders to keep producing F-16s until 2017, with more orders possible.