Saturday, 3 November 2012

F-16 FIGHTING FALCON


The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft .The F-16 is a single-engine, very maneuverable, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter aircraft. The F-16 was designed to be a cost-effective combat "workhorse" that can perform various kinds of missions and maintain around-the-clock readiness. It is much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and uses advanced aerodynamics and avionics. including the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire (RSS/FBW) flight control system, to achieve enhanced maneuver performance. Highly nimble, the F-16 can pull 9-g maneuvers and can reach a maximum speed of over Mach 2.
The Fighting Falcon includes innovations such as a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick, and reclined seat to reduce g-force effects on the pilot. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon in the left wing root and has multiple locations for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It was also the first fighter aircraft purpose built to sustain 9-g turns. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing power to climb and accelerate vertically.
Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations. Due to the slow pace of F-35 development, the USAF will spend $2.8 billion to upgrade and retain 350 F-16s. The more versatile multirole F-16s are being retained as the USAF reduces more focused platforms such as the A-10.

THE F-16'S OFFICIAL NAME IS "FIGHTING FALCON", BUT "VIPER" IS COMMONLY USED BY ITS PILOTS, DUE TO A PERCEIVED RESEMBLANCE TO A VIPER SNAKE AS WELL AS THE BATTLE STAR GALATICA

Design
It includes
# The F-16 has a cropped-delta planform including wing-fuselage blending and forebody vortex-control strakes(leading edge extension); a fixed-geometry, underslung air intake to the single turbofan jet engine; a conventional tri-plane empennage arrangement with all-moving horizontal "stabilator" tailplanes.
It is with bird-proof bubble canopy; and a tricycle landing gear configuration. . Split-flap speedbrakes are located at the aft end of the wing-body fairing, and an arrestor hook is mounted underneath the fuselage.
Several later F-16 models, such as the F-16I, also have a long dorsal fairing "bulge" along the "spine" of the fuselage from the cockpit's rear to the tail fairing, it can be used for additional equipment or fuel.
The F-16 was designed to be relatively inexpensive to build and simpler to maintain than earlier-generation fighters. The airframe is built with about 80% aviation-grade aluminum alloys, 8% steel, 3% composites, and 1.5% titanium.
The F-16 was the first production fighter aircraft intentionally designed to be slightly aerodynamically unstable, also known as "relaxed static stability" (RSS), to improve maneuverability. Most aircraft are designed with positive static stability, which induces aircraft to return to straight and level flight attitude if the pilot releases the controls. This reduces maneuverability as the aircraft must overcome its inherent stability in order to maneuver. Aircraft with negative stability are designed to deviate from controlled flight and thus be more maneuverable. At supersonic speeds the F-16 gains stability (eventually positive) due to changes in aerodynamic forces.

Cockpit

One feature of the F-16 for air-to-air combat performance is the cockpit's exceptional field of view. The single-piece, bird-proof polycarbonate bubble canopy provides 360° all-round visibility, with a 40° look-down angle over the side of the aircraft, and 15° down over the nose (compared to the more common 12–13° of preceding aircraft); the pilot's seat is elevated for this purpose. Furthermore, the F-16's canopy lacks the forward bow frame found on many fighters, which is an obstruction to a pilot's forward vision.
The pilot flies primarily by means of an armrest-mounted side-stick controller (instead of a traditional center-mounted stick) and an engine throttle; conventional rudder pedals are also employed. To enhance the pilot's degree of control of the aircraft during high-g combat maneuvers, various switches and function controls were moved to centralised "hands on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)" controls upon both the controllers and the throttle. Hand pressure on the side-stick controller is transmitted by electrical signals via the FBW system to adjust various flight control surfaces to maneuver the F-16.
The F-16 has a head-up display (HUD), which projects visual flight and combat information in front of the pilot without obstructing the view; being able to keep his head "out of the cockpit" improves a pilot's situational awareness.



 Arnaments
Early models could be armed with up to six AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM), including rail launchers on each wingtip. Some F-16s can employ the AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range AAM; more recent versions can equip the AIM-120 AMRAAM. It can also carry other AAM; a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, rockets or bombs; electronic countermeasures (ECM), navigation, targeting or weapons pods; and fuel tanks on 9 hardpoints – six under the wings, two on wingtips, and one under the fuselage; two other locations under the fuselage are available for sensor or radar pods



Variants
F-16 models are denoted by increasing block numbers to denote upgrades. The blocks cover both single- and two-seat versions. A variety of software, hardware, systems, weapons compatibility, and structural enhancements.
F-16A/B
The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initial production variants. These variants include the Block 1, 5, 10 and 20 versions. Block 15 was the first major change to the F-16 with larger horizontal stabilizers. It is the most numerous F-16 variant with 475 produced.
F-16C/D
The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with beyond-visual-range (BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 were later C/D versions 


F-16E/F
The F-16E (single seat) and F-16F (two seat) are newer F-16 variants. The Block 60 version is based on the F-16C/D Block 50/52 and has been developed especially for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
F-16IN
For the Indian MRCA competition for the Indian Air Force, Lockheed Martin offered the F-16IN Super Viper. 
F-16IQ
In September 2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed the United States Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 F-16IQ aircraft along with the associated equipment and services to the newly reformed Iraqi Air Force. Total value of sale is estimated atUS$4.2 billion
F-16V
Lockheed Martin unveiled plans for a new variant of F-16 (which carries a V suffix, referencing to its Viper nickname) at the 2012 Singapore Air Show.


SPECIFICATION
Primary Function
Multirole fighter
Builder
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant
F-16C/D:
one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or
one General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust
F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms)
Length
49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Height
16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan
32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Speed
1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)
Ceiling
Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Maximum Takeoff Weight
37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)
Combat Radius [F-16C]
  • 740 nm (1,370 km) w/
    2 2,000-lb bombs + 2 AIM-9 + 1,040 US gal external tanks
  • 340 nm (630 km) w/
    4 2,000-lb bombs + 2 AIM-9 + 340 US gal external tanks
  • 200 nm (370 km) + 2 hr 10 min patrol
    w/ 2 AIM-7 + 2 AIM-9 + 1,040 US gal external tank