General Dynamics F - 16 Fighting Falcon
[ F-16 tour ] [ F-16 versions ]

[General info] [Features] [Engine] [Flying controls] [Cockpit] [Canopy] [AN/APG 66/68 Radar]
[Design] [Structure] [Aces II] [Landing gear] [Pilots outfit]

Nation: USA
Manufacturer: General Dynamics Corp, Lockheed Martin
Type: multirole class A fighter
Year: Winner of competention February 1972
Firts prototype (s/n 72-01567) started 13th December 1973
Second prototype YF-16 (s/n 72-01568) started 9th May 1974
Until January 1975, 11 F-16A, 4 F-16B
Officially chosen 7th June 1975
First definitive model F-16A flown 8th Decemder 1976
First definitive model F-16B flown 8th August 1977
Engine: F-16A/B: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200.
F-16A/B: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-220E.
F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129 SOUND
Thrust: F-16A/B, 23,830 pounds(10,794 kilograms)
F-16A/B MLU, 23770 pounds (10,767 kilograms)
F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms)
Versions: (Detailed)

31 ft (9.45 m) 32 ft, 8 in (9.8 m)
47 ft 8 in (14.52 m) 49 ft, 5 in (14.8 m)
16 ft 5 in (5.01 m) 16 ft (4.8 m)
  18 ft 31 in (5.58 m )
  7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
  13 ft 11 in (4 m)
Wingspan: (over missile launchers)
Wing aspect ratio
Tailplane span
Whell track
Weight: F-16A/B: 33,000 lb (14,968 kg) /full loaded/
F-16C/D Block 50/52: 42,300 lb (19,187 kg) /full loaded/
F-16C: F100-PW-229/F110-GE-229 ... 8,433 kg (18,591 lb)/8,581 kg (18,917 lb) /empty/
F-16D: F100-PW-229/F110-GE-229 ... 8,645 kg (19,059 lb)/8,809 kg (19,421 lb) /empty/
Max internal fuel (JP-8) F-16C: 3,249 kg (7,162 lb)
F-16D: 2,687 kg (5,924 lb)
Max external fuel (JP-8) 3,208 kg (7,072 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)
Maximum speed: 1,319 mph (2,123km/h) at 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
Ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
Radius of action: 676 - 866 n miles (1,252 - 1,604 km)
Ferry range: 1,961 - 2,276 n miles (3,632 - 4,215 km)
Crew: version A, C: 1; B, D: 2 or 1
Armament: General Electric M61A1 20mm six-barrel cannon and two wingtip Sidewinder or Sparrow air-to-air missiles; nine additional hardpoints capable of carrying up to 15,200 lbs of other stores.

AN/APG-66/68 pulsed-Doppler radar


AN/ALQ-178 internal ECM

AN/ALR-56M threat warning receiver [F-16C/D Block 50/52]
AN/ALR-69 radar warning system (RWR)
AN/ALR-74 radar warning system (RWR) [replaces AN/ALR-69]

AN/ALE-40 chaff/flare dispenser


The General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin Fighting Falcon [ versions ] is considered by many to be the most agile modern fighter. Less than half the weight of the F-14, it carries a larger payload; less than one-fourth the cost of the F-15, it has superior maneuverability. In addition, advanced avionics and electronics give it excellent air-to-ground precision. The F-16 can deliver a crippling ground strike and still maintain a credible air threat.

In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

In designing the F-16, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the F-15 and F-111 were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight. The light weight of the fuselage is achieved without reducing its strength. With a full load of internal fuel, the F-16 can withstand up to 9 G's -- nine times the force of gravity -- which exceeds the capability of other current fighter aircraft.

The cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision, and greatly improved vision over the side and to the rear. The seat-back angle was expanded from the usual 13 degrees to 30 degrees, increasing pilot comfort and gravity force tolerance. The pilot has excellent flight control of the F-16 through its "fly-by-wire" system. Electrical wires relay commands, replacing the usual cables and linkage controls. For easy and accurate control of the aircraft during high G-force combat maneuvers, a side stick controller is used instead of the conventional center-mounted stick. Hand pressure on the side stick controller sends electrical signals to actuators of flight control surfaces such as ailerons and rudder.

Avionics systems include a highly accurate inertial navigation system in which a computer provides steering information to the pilot. The plane has UHF and VHF radios plus an instrument landing system. It also has a warning system and modular countermeasure pods to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats. The fuselage has space for additional avionics systems.

All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D.

The Falcon’s versatility is still being explored. The variety of stores it can carry and wide range of missions it can undertake with great effectiveness are staggering. The F-16 has proven itself capable of air superioority, „Wild Weasel," strike, and reconnaissance missions without any structural modofications. The simple addition of the proper external pods or ordnance is all that is required. There is even an experimental GPU-5 external gun pod which contains a 30mm cannon firing the same shells as the A-10’s famous tank-busting Avenger.

Service Life
The Falcon Up Structural Improvement Program program incorporates several major structural modifications into one overall program, affecting all USAF F-16s. Falcon Up will allow Block 25/30/32 aircraft to meet a 6000 hour service life, and allow Block 40/42 aircraft to meet an 8000 hour service life.
In view of the challenges inherent in operating F-16s to 8,000 flight hours, together with the moderate risk involved in JSF integration, the Department has established a program to earmark by FY 2000 some 200 older, Block 15 F-16 fighter aircraft in inactive storage for potential reactivation. The purpose of this program is to provide a basis for constituting two combat wings more quickly than would be possible through new production. This force could offset aircraft withdrawn for unanticipated structural repairs or compensate for delays in the JSF program. Reactivating older F-16s is not a preferred course of action, but represents a relatively low-cost hedge against such occurrences.

The Air Force will soon be flying only Block 40/42 and Block 50/52 F-16s in its active-duty units. Block 25 and Block 30/32 will be concentrated in Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units.

The Fighting Falcon forms the backdone of the USA - Qty.: 2500+ - US tail code marking



Model/Block (detailed)
Air Combat Command - ACC
[Tactical Air Command - TAC]


Air Education and Training Command - AETC


Air Force Materiel Command - AFMC


Air Force Reserve Command - AFRC
[Air Force Reserve - AFRES]


Air National Guard - ANG


United States Air Forces in Europe - USAFE


Pacific Air Forces - PACAF


US Navy - USN


National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA




Desert Storm - Iraq
F-16 was used in the Persian Gulf war of 1991 in larger numbers than any other fighter, with 249 F-16A's and C's seeing action. The US ANG had two units flying the F-16A, while all the regular USAF were flying the C models. Many of the F-16s in Gulf were Block 40 models. However, since LANTIRN targeting pods were still in short supply, and since the F-15E force had higher priority, only 72 of the F-16s used during Desert Storm were fitted with LANTIRN pods (most of them carrying only the navigation pod). With out the targeting pod, the three squadrons of block-40's were unable to drop laser guided bombs. The majority of the F-16 force was forced to fly during daylight hours.

Operation Northern Watch & Operation Southern Watch
Following Desert Storm, a no-fly zone was established over Iraq in April 1991 and designated Operation Southern Watch. The no-fly zone was the airspace below the 32nd parallel. At the same time Operation Southern Watch was initiated Operation Provide Comfort started in the North. This was an effort to protect the Kurds which were being slaughtered by Saddam's forces and not allowed into Turkey. When Provide Comfort ended it was renamed Operation Northern Watch which began on January 1st, 1997. It was the 36th parallel that was the line of division for Northern Watch, all Iraqi airspace north of this parallel. The no-fly zones were regularly patrolled by the USAF and eventually air forces of various nations.

Operation Allied Force - Balkan
Even more than in operation Desert Storm, operation Allied Force was dominated by the F-16. This time not only USAF F-16s participated, but also F-16s from European air forces. A wide variety of missions were flown with the F-16 including CAP, strike, reconnaissance, SEAD, etc. The operation started at 19:00 hr on March 24th, 1999 and lasted until June 10th.

Noble Eagle
Operation Noble Eagle was a direct result of the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001.

Operation Enduring Freedom
The offensive against whom was behind the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001, Taliban - Afghanistan.

Operation Iraqi Freedom
F-16 played a major part in this conflict. Many lessons were learned for the F-16 from the USAF's many recent operations. The F-16 was a much more formidable weapon then the last war in Iraq. The operation began with an air campaign, targeted at destroying the Iraqi defense capabilities, or what was left of them.

The F-16 also serves in the air forces of :



Model/Block (detailed)
Royal Bahraini Air Force - RBAF


Belgian Armed Forces/Air Component - BAF


Fuerza Aerea de Chile
Chilean Air Force - FACh


Royal Danish Air Force - RDAF


Al Quwwat al Jawwiya Ilmisriya
Egyptian Air Force - EAF


Elliniki Aeroporia
Hellenic Air Force - HAF


Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara
Indonesian Air Force - TNI-AU


Cheil Ha'avir
Israel Defense Force/Air Force - IDF/AF


Aeronautica Militare Italiana
Italian Air Force - AMI


Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Malakiya al Urduniya
Royal Jordanian Air Force - RJAF


Royal Norwegian Air Force - RNoAF


Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Sultanat Oman
Royal Air Force of Oman - RAFO


Pakistan Fiza'ya
Pakistan Air Force - PAF


Si³y Powietrzne Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej
Polish Air Force - POLAF


Força Aérea Portuguesa
Portuguese Air Force - PoAF


Republic of China / Taiwan
Chung-kuo Kung Chun
Republic of China Air Force - RoCAF


Republic of Singapore Air Force - RSAF


South Korea
Han-guk Kong Goon
Republic of Korea Air Force - RoKAF


KongTup Arkard Thai
Royal Thai Air Force - RTAF


The Netherlands
Koninklijke Luchtmacht
Royal Netherlands Air Force - RNlAF


Turk Hava Kuvvetleri
Turkish Air Force - TuAF


United Arab Emirates
Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
United Arab Emirates Air Force - UAEAF


Fuerza Aéra Venezolana
Venezuelan Air Force - FAV



Design Features

Cantilever mid-wing monoplane of blended wing-body design and cropped delta planform. The blended wing-body concept is achieved by flaring the wing/body intersection, thus not only providing lift from the body at highangles of attack but also giving less wetted area and increased internal fuel volume. Basic wing is NACA 64A-204 section with 40o sweepback on leading-edges. The tail unit is a cantilever structure with sweptback surfaces. Optional extension of fin root fairing houses ECM equipment in some aircraft and a brake parachute in other aircraft. Ventral fins three-quarters along fuselage. Wing, mainly of aluminium alloy with 11 spars, five ribs and single upper and lower skins, is attached to fuselage by machined aluminium fittings. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque all-metal structure of frames and longerons built in three main modules: forward (to just aft of cockpit), centre and aft. Nose radome built by Brunswick corporation.Highly swept vortex control strakes along the fuselage forebody increase lift and improve directional stability at high angles of attack. The tail unit fin is a multispar, multirib
aluminium structure with graphite epoxy skins, aluminium tip and glass fibre dorsal fin and root fairing. Tailplanes constructed of graphite epoxy composite laminate skins mechanically attached to a corrugated aluminium substructure. Each tailplane half has an aluminium pivot shaft and a removable full-depth bonded honeycomb leading-edge. Ventral fins are bonded aluminium skins.


The development of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan began in August of 1968 when the USAF awarded contracts to both P & W and General Electric for the development of engines to be used in the projected F-X fighter, which was later to emerge as the F-15 Eagle.
In 1970, Pratt and Whitney was declared the winner of the competition and was awarded the contract for the engine for the F-15. The engine was to be designated F100. Two versions of the engine were planned, the F100 for the USAF and the F401 for the Navy. The latter engine was intended for later models of the F-14 Tomcat, but was cancelled when the size of the planned Tomcat fleet was cut back in an economy move.

The F100 is an axial-flow turbofan with a bypass ratio of 0.7:1. There are two shafts, one shaft carrying a three-stage fan driven by a two-stage turbine, the other shaft carrying the 10-stage main compressor and its two-stage turbine. For the F100-PW-200 version, normal dry thrust is 12,420 pounds, rising to a maximum thrust of 14,670 pounds at full military power. Maximum afterburning thrust is 23,830 pounds.

The F100 engine was first tried in service with the F-15 Eagle. The Air Force had hoped that the F100 engine would be a mature and reliable powerplant by the time that the F-16 was ready to enter service. However, there were a protracted series of teething troubles with the F100 powerplants of the F-15, compounded by labor problems at two of the major subcontractors. Initially, the Air Force had grossly underestimated the number of engine powercycles per sortie, since they had not realized how much the F-15 Eagle's maneuvering capabilities would result in abrupt changes in throttle setting. This caused unexpectedly high wear and tear on the engine, resulting in frequent failures of key engine components such as first-stage turbine blades. Most of these problems could be corrected by more careful maintenance and closer attention to quality control during manufacturing of engine components. Nevertheless, by the end of 1979, the Air Force was being forced to accept engineless F-15 airframes until the problems could be cleared up.

However, the most serious problem with the F100 in the F-15 was with stagnation stalling. Since the compressor blades of a jet engine are airfoil sections, they can stall if the angle at which the airflow strikes them exceeds a critical value, cutting off airflow into the combustion chamber which results in a sudden loss of thrust. Such an event is called a stagnation stall. Stagnation stalls most often occurred during high angle-of-attack maneuvers, and they usually resulted in abrupt interruptions of the flow of air through the compressor. This caused the engine core to lose speed, and the turbine to overheat. If this condition was not quickly corrected, damage to the turbine could take place or a fire could occur.

Some stagnation stalls were caused by "hard" afterburner starts, which were mini-explosions that took place inside the afterburner when it was lit up. These could be caused either by the afterburner failing to light up when commanded to do so by the pilot or by the afterburner actually going out. In either case, large amounts of unburnt fuel got sprayed into the aft end of the jetpipe, which were explosively ignited by the hot gases coming from the engine core. The pressure wave from the explosion then propagated forward through the duct to the fan, causing the fan to stall and sometimes even causing the forward compressor stage to stall as well. These types of stagnation stalls usually occurred at high altitudes and at high Mach numbers.

Normal recovery technique from stagnation stalls was for the pilot to shut the engine down and allow it to spool down. A restart attempt could be made as soon as the turbine temperature dropped to an acceptable level.

When it first flew, the YF-16 seemed to be almost free of the stagnation stall problems which had bedeviled the F-15. However, while flying with an early model of the F100 engine, one of the YF-16s did experience a stagnation stall, although it occurred outside the normal performance envelope of the aircraft. Three other incidents later occurred, all of them at high angles of attack during low speed flights at high altitude. The first such incident in a production F-16 occurred with a Belgian aircraft flying near the limits of its performance envelope. Fortunately, the pilot was able to get his engine restarted and land safely. The F-16 was fitted with a jet-fuel starter, and from a height of 35,000 feet the pilot would have enought time to attempt at least three unassisted starts using ram air.

When the F100 engine control system was originally designed, Pratt & Whitney engineers had allowed for the possibility that the ingestion of missile exhaust might stall the engine. A "rocket-fire" facility was designed into the controls to prevent this from happening. When missiles were fired, an electronic signal was sent to the unified fuel control system which supplied fuel to the engine core and to the afterburner. This signal commanded the angle of the variable stator blades in the engine to be altered to avoid a stall, while the fuel flow to the engine was momentarily reduced and the afterburner exhaust was increased in area to reduce the magnitude of any pressure pulse in the afterburner. Tests had shown that this "rocket-fire" facility was not needed for its primary purpose of preventing missile exhaust stalls, but it turned out to be handy in preventing stagnation stalls. Engine shaft speed, turbine temperature, and the angle of the compressor stator blades are continuously monitored by a digital electronic engine control unit which fine-tunes the engine throughout flight to ensure optimal performance. By monitoring and comparing spool speeds and fan exhaust temperature, the unit is able to sense that a stagnation stall is about to occur and send a dummy "rocket-fire" signal to the fuel control system to initiate the anti-stall measures described above. At the same time, the fuel control system reduces the afterburner setting to help reduce the pressure within the jetpipe.

The afterburner-induced stalls were addressed by a different mechanism. In an attempt to prevent pulses from coming forward through the fan duct, a "proximate splitter" was developed. This is a forward extension of the internal casing which splits the incoming air from the compressor fan and passes some of this air into the core and diverts the rest down the fan duct and into the afterburner. By closing the the gap between the front end of this casing and the rear of the fan to just under half an inch, the designers reduced the size of the path by which high-pressure pulses from the burner had been reaching the core. Engines fitted with the proximate splitter were tested in the F-15, but this feature was not introduced on the F-15 production line, since the loss of a single engine was less hazardous in a twin-engined aircraft like the Eagle. However, this feature was adopted for the single-engined F-16.

These engine fixes produced a dramatic improvement in reliability. Engines fitted to the F-16 fleet (and incorporating the proximate splitter) had only 0.15 stagnation stalls per 1000 hours of flying time, much better than the F-15 fleet.

In recent years, the USAF became interested in acquiring an alternative engine for the F-16, partly in a desire to set up a competitive process between rival manufacturers in an attempt to keep costs down, as well as to develop a second source of engines in case one of the suppliers ran into problems. In search of a source for an alternate engine for the F-16 and for the Navy's F-14 Tomcat, in 1984 the Department of Defense awarded General Electric a contract to build a small number of F101 Derivative Fighter Engines (DFE) for flight test. The DFE was based on the F101 used in the B-1 but incorporated components derived from the F404 engine used in the F/A-18. The Navy decided to adopt the DFE as a replacement for the Tomcat's TF30 turbofan, but the USAF announced that they were going to split future engine purchases between Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. GE was given a contract for full-scale development of its new engine, which was to be designated F110.

The General Electric F110 is similar in size to the Pratt & Whitney F100. The F110 has a three-stage fan leading to a nine-stage compressor, the first three stages of which are variable. The bypass ratio is 0.87 to 1. The annular combustion chamber is designed for smokeless operation, and has 20 dual-cone fuel injectors and swirling-cup vaporizers. The single-stage HP turbine is designed to cope with inlet temperatures as high as 2500 degrees F (1370 C). Blades are individually replaceable without rotor disassembly. An uncooled two-stage LP turbine leads to a fully-modulated afterburner. When afterburning is demanded, fuel is injected into both the fan and core flows, which mix prior to combustion.

All F110s ordered by the USAF were for the F-16 fleet, with the F-15 retaining the F100. The choice of engines for the Fighting Falcon began with the Fiscal Year 1985 Block 30 F-16C/Ds. About 75 percent of the F-16s purchased from that time on by the USAF were powered by the GE engine, with the remainder being powered by the P & W engine. However, it is not intended that individual units operate with F-16s powered by two different engine types, since that would create a spare parts and logistics nightmare. The choice of engines for the F-16 is made at the Wing level.
In an attempt to address some of the reliability problems of its engine, Pratt & Whitney developed the -220 model of its F100 turbofan. It has the same thrust as the -200, but is much more reliable, having improvements which radically lowered the number of. unscheduled engine shutdowns. Many older -200 engines were rebuilt to the -220E standard, becoming directly interchangeable with new-build -220 engines.

In an attempt to make the F100 more competitive with the General Electric F110, Pratt & Whitney introduced the more powerful F100-PW-229 version in the early 1990s. This engine is rated at 29,100 pounds of thrust with full afterburner. It has a higher fan airflow and pressure ratio, a higher-airflow compressor with an extra stage, a new float-wall combustor, higher turbine temperatures, and a redesigned afterburner. It has about 22 percent more thrust than previous F100 models. The first F-16s powered by the -229 engines began to be delivered in 1992. However, the degree of mechanical changes introduced in the -229 make it impractical to rebuild -200 or -220E engines to -229 standards.

On the export market, the higher thrust of the F110 made it the engine of choice through the mid to late 1980s. The more powerful F100-PW-229 finally gave P&W the chance of re-entering the export market. In 1991, South Korea chose the F100-PW-229 for its license-built F-16s, maintaining engine commonality with F-16Cs and Ds that were purchased earlier from the USA.

The F100-PW-200+ is intended for foreign air forces which operate significant numbers of F-16s that are powered by -200 and -220E engines, but which are denied access to the more powerful -229. It combines the core of the -220 with the fan, nozzle, and digital control system of the -229. It develops around 27,000 pounds of thrust with afterburning.


Flying Controls / Cockpit

Leading-edge manoeuvring flaps are programmed automatically as a function of Mach number and angle of attack. The increased wing camber maintains lift co-efficients at high angles of attack. These flaps are one-piece bonded aluminium honeycomb sandwich structures actuated by a Garrett drive system using rotary actuators. The trailing-edges carry large flaperons (flap/ailerons), which are interchangeable left with right and are actuated by National Water Lift integrated servo-actuators. The maximum rate of flaperon movement is 80o/s. Interchangeable, all-moving tailplane halves. Split speed-brake inboard of rear portion of each horizontal tail surface to each side of nozzle, each deflecting 60o from the closed position. National Water Lift servo-actuators for rudder and tailplane.




moving the gear handle up retracts the landing gear once the aircraft is airborn.

2.AOA(Angle of Attack) Indicator
The AOA indicator is an instrument that shows the angle of attack of the aircraft. In order to genirate lift, the jet needs to have a positive angle of attack or fly at a positive angle into the relative wind (airflow).

3.Airspeed Indicator
The airspeed indicator shows the aircraft's airspeed in hundreds of knots. when the red needle is on the "4", you going 400 knots.

4.MDF (Multi Functional Displays)
Two displays on either side of the centre console in the cokpit that can show all radar modes including combat and navigation, as well as other vital information.

This system detects radar contacting your aircraft and detemines its type, strength and bearing.

6. HUD (heads-up-display)
A glass panel in front of the cockpit that shows important navigation and weapons information.

7.ICP (Integrated Control Panel)
Panel used for weapons release, landing, navigation and Communications.

8. Oil Pressure Indicator
The Oil pressure indocator dipsays engine oil pressure, ranging from 0 to 100 psi (pounds per squar inch).

9.RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) Indicator
The RPM indicator displays the engine revolutions per minute.
RPM is expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100%

10. Nozzle Position Indocator
This instrument dispalys the position of the engine nozzle.
the indicator wil be mostly open at at idle, closed at Mil power (100% thrust), and fully open at full afther burner.

11. VVI (Vertical Velocity Indicator)
The vertical Velocity Indicator is an instrument that shows your rate of climb or descent in feet per minute.

12. ADI(Attitude Direction Indicator)
The instrument that displays the aircraft pitch and control.

The F-16C/F users "fly-by-wire" Technolgy on an F16 the stick does not control cables that are linked to the surface, but tather inputs to a computer which in turn controls servos or hydaulics for the flaps and rudder, ect...

14. HIS (Horizontal Situation Indocator)
The HSI is a round moving dial that shows the aircraft's compass heading. When the aircraft turns, the dial moves to indicate the change in aircraft heading.

The altimete shows the height of the aircraft sbove MSL(Mean Sea Level)

16. Eject Handle

17. Trottle

 Cockpit of F16A


 Cockpit of F16C

 Cocpkit of F16A

Throttle quadrant

  HUD F16 C/D and F16 A

Antenna locations

Exterior lighting


F-16A cockpit schema


Laurence J. Bement NASA Langley Research Center Presented at the The 38th Annual SAFE Symposium October 9-11, 2000 Reno, Nevada


Through-canopy crew egress, such as in the Harrier (AV-8B) aircraft, expands escape envelopes by reducing seat ejection delays in waiting for canopy jettison. Adverse aircraft attitude and reduced forward flight speed can further increase the times for canopy jettison. However, the advent of heavy, high-strength polycarbonate canopies for bird-strike resistance has not only increased jettison times, but has made seat penetration impossible. The goal of the effort described in this paper was to demonstrate a method of explosively fracturing the F-16 polycarbonate canopy to allow through-canopy crew ejection. The objectives of this effort were to:

  1. Mount the explosive materials on the exterior of the canopy within the mold line,
  2. Minimize visual obstructions,
  3. Minimize internal debris on explosive activation,
  4. Operate within less than 10 ms,
  5. Maintain the shape of the canopy after functioning to prevent major pieces from entering the cockpit, and
  6. Minimize the resistance of the canopy to seat penetration.

All goals and objectives were met in a full-scale test demonstration. In addition to expanding crew escape envelopes, this canopy fracture approach offers the potential for reducing system complexity, weight and cost, while increasing overall reliability, compared to current canopy jettison approaches.

To comply with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and permit public disclosure, this document addresses only the principles of explosive fracturing of the F-16 canopy materials and the end result. ITAR regulations restrict information on improving the performance of weapon systems. Therefore, details on the explosive loads and final assembly of this canopy fracture approach, necessary to assure functional performance, are not included.


Many current fighter aircraft use canopy jettison approaches to clear an uninhibited path for crew egress. This approach uses pyrotechnic (explosive or propellant-actuated) devices to first activate latch release mechanisms to free the canopy assembly from the airframe, and then jettison the assembly with piston/cylinder thrusters or small rocket motors mounted at the forward edge of the assembly. The canopy pivots around aft hinge points. Seat ejection catapults are not initiated until the canopy has pivoted far enough to insure that the seat and canopy will not collide. How quickly the canopy assembly is jettisoned depends on aircraft attitude and forward velocity. A pitch-down attitude with a flight vector to produce a load on the canopy would resist jettison. Also, if the aircraft has a low forward velocity, there would be a minimal aerodynamic assist on the canopy. Some aircraft, such as the F-15, employ a backup approach to canopy jettison by using frangible acrylic canopies and designing the seat to "punch through" to insure egress. The Harrier (AV-8B) aircraft, a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, utilizes an interior-mounted explosive cord to fracture acrylic canopies to assure an immediately available, unrestricted through-canopy egress path to reduce crew ejection time. However, on activation, this explosive cord creates explosive pressure waves and peppers the crew with highvelocity fragments from the explosive's metal sheath and from the 3/8th-inch width explosive holder. The crewmembers also face potential harm from the fractured pieces of canopy material. Canopy jettison approaches introduce a higher degree of complexity over through-canopy egress. The advent of using polycarbonate canopies to resist bird strikes eliminated the possibility of either "punching through" the canopy or applying the Harrier approach. However, current projections of thickness and weight of these canopies indicate that thrusters and rocket motor jettison approaches are reaching capability limits. Furthermore, canopy release and jettison approaches require 3 to 4 mechanisms, such as latch actuators, thrusters and rocket motors. For redundancy, each of these mechanisms requires two inputs.

A reliable method of severing polycarbonate to allow through-canopy crew egress would reduce egress time to expand escape envelopes, simplify aircraft systems and potentially reduce system weight.

The goal of the effort described in this paper was to demonstrate a method of explosively fracturing the half-inch thick polycarbonate portion of the F-16 canopy to allow through-canopy crew egress.

The objectives for canopy fracturing were to:

  1. Mount the explosive materials on the exterior of the canopy within the mold line
  2. Minimize visual obstructions
  3. Minimize internal debris on explosive activation
  4. Operate within 10 ms (the seat requires at least 30 milliseconds from catapult initiation to reach the canopy)
  5. Maintain the shape of the canopy after functioning to prevent major pieces from entering the cockpit
  6. Minimize the resistance of the fractured canopy to seat penetration

The approach for this development, initiated in references 1, 2 and 3, was to utilize augmented shock wave severance principles. Parallel explosive cords, as shown in figure 1 in which the cords are proceeding into the plane of the paper, are initiated simultaneously. The severalmillion psi pressure generated by the explosive cords transfers into the polycarbonate and the resulting incident and reflected explosive pressure waves augment to induce the material to fail in tension. The preliminary effort began with evaluations on commercial grade polycarbonate. Then the F-16 canopy was selected for evaluation, since it is the first production polycarbonate canopy, and service-scrapped canopies were available. Small (6 X 6-inch plate) specimens were cut from flat stock and canopies for testing. The evaluation progressed to small-scale (18 to 30-inch dimension), "mini-panels" to determine the performance of complete fracture patterns. Finally, three full-scale canopy tests were conducted.


This section describes the polycarbonate material and F-16 canopy tested, as well as the explosive and the explosive holder used in the tests.

Polycarbonate - Polycarbonate is a long-chain, organic compound. It has no clear melting point, similar to glass. It simply gets softer under elevated temperatures until it can be shaped, and finally, the viscosity becomes low enough to allow flowing. However, it has a temperature/cycle memory. Each time it is cycled to a formable point, and with time at temperature, portions of the organic chains are broken and it becomes more brittle. Commercial grade (tinted blue) has no limit on the number of thermal cycle exposures allowed during production or in later assemblies. Thicker plates are built up by fusing smaller thicknesses at elevated temperatures. The polycarbonate used in reference 1 was made up in this manner. In contrast, military grade (yellow) polycarbonate is available only "as cast" with no thermal cycles. It has the highest resistance to impact fracture.

F-16 canopy - The F-16 canopy, as shown in figure 1, reference 2, is drape-molded to produce a single piece, compound curvature shape. It is a three-layer laminate. The inboard, half-inch thick layer is polycarbonate, created from military grade flat stock. The 0.050-inch thick inner layer is polyurethane, which is used to bond the polycarbonate to an outer 1/8-inch thick layer of acrylic. The canopy is bolted to a metal frame for the aircraft assembly. The U.S. Air Force supplied 10 scrap canopies that were rejected following flight service. These canopies were manufactured by TEXSTAR PLASTICS of Grand Prairie, TX, and by Sierracin Corporation of Sylmar, CA. Surprisingly different properties were observed between the two manufacturing sources; the TEXSTAR canopy could be easily cut with a saber saw, while the Sierracin unit could not. The Sierracin material softened around the saw and "gummed" it up, which indicated that softening occurred at a significantly lower temperature. The final full-scale canopy fracture demonstrations were conducted with TEXSTAR units.

Explosive material and holder - The preliminary tests, described in references 1 and 2, employed a lead-sheathed, pentaerythritoltetranitrate (PETN) mild detonating cord. For the remaining tests, a plastic explosive (DuPont trade name "detasheet," containing PETN with nitrocellulose and a binder) was obtained from the inventory of the U.S. Navy. It was selected for use, because of its flexibility, both in sizing the quantity used and in conforming to compound curvature of canopies. It works like "Silly Putty," easily molded, and has sticky, cohesive/adhesive properties. The material was installed in grooves cut in acrylic strips, which were in turn bonded to the test specimens. The explosive cords and holders were bonded into place, using transparent Dow Corning room temperature vulcanizing silicone compound (RTV) 3145. The explosive quantity was established by the size of the groove. The acrylic holder replaced a similar area removed from the canopy's outer acrylic layer within the moldline. Note: these explosive materials were used for the experimental development, but are not recommended for this application, due to a relatively low melting point and thermal stability. Other, more stable materials are available.

Explosive pattern - As shown in figure 2, the layout (grooves) for the explosive severance pattern for the first full-scale test was on the top centerline, forward and aft of crewmember, and around the lower extremity. The goal was to create a "French-door" opening. The initiation sites (2 for redundancy) were located at aft hinge points, which also is the closest access between the canopy and aircraft with the canopy open. On initiation, the explosive propagates upward and forward from these sites at a velocity of 22,000 feet/second. Common initiation points at intersections must be used to assure that the explosive propagation fronts remain in parallel to maintain shock wave augmentation for long-length applications.


The development proceeded from small plates to panels to the full-scale canopy. Small plates - References 1 and 2 describe tests on small (6 X 6-inch) plates cut from commercial and military grade polycarbonate stock, as well as from F-16 canopies. The plates were tested with two edges clamped to simulate conditions within the canopy.

Panels - The same references also describe "mini-panel" tests with which experiments were conducted to determine the performance of the "French-door" severance pattern and of crack propagation. Explosive patterns were placed close to the edges of the panel. Additional minipanel tests were conducted in which the panel was framed by 1/8th-inch skin thickness aluminum to simulate the stiffness afforded by the aircraft installation. Also, tests were conducted where the explosive patterns were placed well away from the edge of the panel.

Full-scale tests - All three tests were documented with high-speed video cameras. The first test, as described in reference 2, used 2 lead-sheathed explosive cords that were placed in grooves cut into the exterior layer of acrylic in the pattern shown in figure 1. The cords were bonded into place with RTV-3145. The canopy was placed, unsupported, on a flat surface as shown in the figure. The ambient temperature was approximately 75o F.

The second test was conducted with two grooves cut into separate acrylic strips, filled with plastic explosive, and installed into slots from which the acrylic was removed from the canopy. The strips were bonded to the canopy using RTV-3145. Prior to installation of these strips, the 0.050-inch thick polyurethane middle layer was cut with a razor blade to negate its post-fire residual strength. Modified explosive patterns were used at the intersection sites of the severance paths. The objective was to independently sever these sites to allow end-to-end crack propagation. Again the canopy was unsupported on a flat surface. The ambient temperature was approximately 90o F.

The third full-scale test, figure 3, was conducted with a three-cord configuration of plastic explosive in acrylic strips and modified intersection charges. (Note: These intersection charges have been masked to meet ITAR regulations.) Prior to installation of these strips, using RTV-3145 as a bonding agent, the 0.050-inch thick polyurethane middle layer was cut with a razor blade to negate its post-fire residual strength. To simulate the aircraft installation, the canopy was fastened to a rigid frame. The canopy was attached to wooden beams that were contoured to fit the interior of the canopy-mounting interface. The beams were then fastened to a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood. The test was conducted at approximately 85 degrees.


Small plates - The small-plate tests (references 1 and 2 and figure 1) revealed that the commercial grade polycarbonate in thicknesses to 1 inch were easily fractured with the two-cord explosive arrangement. However, the same test configurations had little effect on military grade material. A 0.063-inch thickness layer of polyurethane, between the explosive and polycarbonate, was required to efficiently couple explosive shock waves to sever a 0.9-inch thickness, military grade plate. In all small-plate tests (F-16 and military grade plate stock), this polyurethane inner-layer remained completely intact after the explosive firing.

Panels - The mini-panel tests were much simpler and less expensive than full-scale tests. The tests conducted with both lead-sheathed explosive cords, references 1 and 2, and subsequently with plastic explosive in acrylic holders, exhibited completely successful explosive propagation. The panel tests were somewhat misleading. The small, relatively flat panels were able to flex inboard on the desired cutting planes to provide an additional tensile force on the interior surface. Also, since the explosive patterns were close to the edges of the panels, internally initiated cracks easily propagated across the panel. However, subsequent tests with an aluminum frame and highly curved sections, which stiffened the panel, and with the explosive patterns placed at least 6 inches from the edge of the panel, complete severance could not be achieved. Tests with additional charges at the pattern intersections "punched out" those sites. Tests on highly contoured, stiff canopy sections, with a 3-cord explosive pattern and with the ends of the pattern free, achieved complete severance. Finally, it was observed that the 0.050-inch thick polyurethane middle layer, which remained completely intact after the explosive firing had considerable residual strength.

Full-scale tests - The assembly of the explosive into the canopy in all three tests was completely successful. No explosive propagation failures occurred. These tests also demonstrated that the acrylic strips could replace the outer layer of protective acrylic in the canopy installation. In the first test (reference 2), approximately 9% of the parent strength remained in lengths between pattern intersections. However, no fractures occurred at the intersections. Since the parallel-cord configuration could not be maintained at these sites, the shock waves could not augment and severance could not occur. The canopy was effectively held together by these sites. Considerable deflection was observed as the explosive impulse pressed the canopy downward, and the unsupported sides on the flat surface slid outward.

In the second test, the additional charges in the intersections "punched out" those sites and assisted fracture. Total severance was observed across the aft transfer path, but, again, the residual strength of the running lengths, particularly the top/centerline path, remained too high. Similar deflections to those in the first test were observed.

The results of the third full-scale test (figures 4 and 5) left the canopy essentially intact, as had been observed in the first two tests. Little deflection was observed in the high-speed video. The intersections had been punched out, and the aft transverse path was totally severed, as observed in the previous test. A major, totally severed crack occurred diagonally across the right-hand panel, figure 5. This piece was easily pulled out by hand, figure 6, as were the remaining portions, as shown in figure 7. Complete severance occurred on every fracture line.


This paper describes a successful development of a unique 3-parallel-cord, augmented shock wave approach to explosively fracture a tough, polycarbonate F-16 aircraft canopy to allow through-canopy crew egress. A variety of lessons were learned in material evaluations, smallscale and mini-panel tests, and full-scale system tests.

Polycarbonate has a thermal memory that must be recognized and controlled. To maintain high strength and fracture resistance of military grade material, thermal elevations to significant softening point levels must be minimized. That is, to assure repeatable explosive fracture properties, processes to create canopies into final shape must be consistent.

Small-scale and mini-panel tests revealed that it's a long way from testing small pieces to a fullscale test. Tests on full-scale canopies, which are much stiffer and which require greater distances of the explosive patterns to the edge of the canopy, exhibited much higher resistance to fracture. Special patterns (not presented here, due to ITAR regulations) had to be developed to both maintain explosive propagation and punch out the intersections of fracture paths.

All objectives of the effort were met. The explosive materials can be installed on the exterior of the canopy within the mold line. The 3-cord explosive pattern is less visually obstructive than the pattern employed by the Harrier. Installing the explosive on the exterior eliminates inboard explosive debris or explosive pressure. The fractured canopy material beneath explosive intersections can be managed by positioning the intersections outside the crew envelope, or by structural containment. Explosive fracture is complete in less than 10 milliseconds; the explosive materials have detonated completely in less than 1 millisecond. The canopy maintains its shape after functioning, thus preventing major pieces from entering the cockpit. The residual strength of the fractured canopy is small; the seat can easily thrust aside the severed pieces of the canopy during egress.

The incorporation of this technology into future crew-escape applications offers a variety of improvements over canopy jettison systems. Heavier, stronger canopies can be used. Reducing delay times for canopy jettison can expand crew escape envelopes. System reliability can be increased; this is a passive system that has no mechanical interfaces that can improperly function, and fewer initiation inputs (2 for redundancy) are required. Canopy jettison systems require one or two latches, each with a release device, and two thrusters or rockets, totaling 6 to 8 inputs. Canopy fracture should weigh and cost less. It should have lower maintenance costs. It will be a single, one-time installation of explosive material, which will last the lifetime of the canopy.

Pilot`s outfit

CWU-27/P Nomex Flying suit
This is exactly the same flight suit worn by United States Air Force and Navy aircrews all over the world. These flight suits are absolutely genuine, first quality from the military production line. They are manufactured to military specification MIL-C83141A.

Some companies sell cheaper piece-dyed flight suits, but we require military-specification, producer-dyed fabric and zippers made from NOMEX® fiber and thread made from KEVLAR® fiber.

Even though these flight suits have already been inspected to tough government standards, we inspect them again ourselves. And we reject nearly one of every ten because they just weren’t good enough. You won’t find seconds or military rejects here. Air Force Sage Green and new Khaki.


Pleated action back
Round collar
Zipper sleeve pocket with cover
Zipper chest pockets
Zipper thigh pockets
Knife pocket
Zipper leg pockets
Nametag Velcro®
One-inch Velcro® waist tabs
Velcro sleeve tabs
Two-way front zipper
Zipper leg closures

GS/FRP-2 Nomex Flying gloves
The fire-resistant flyer's glove (MIL-G-81188) is designated for use in warm-to-moderate temperature zones and provides protection in the event of aircraft fire. They are used by all aircrew members (fig. 4-2).

The gloves are snug fitting and designed to provide maximum dexterity and sense of touch. If properly fitted they should not interfere with the operation of the aircraft and use of survival equipment. The gloves are available in sizes 5 to 11. Since the fabric is stretchable, the sizes will accommodate any size hand. The gloves are constructed of soft cabretta gray leather (palm and front portion of fingers), and a stretchable, sage green, lightweight knit Aramid fabric (entire back of hand). The cloth portion of the gloves will not melt or drip, and it does not support combustion. The fabric does begin to char at 700° to 800°F.

The fire-resistant flyer's glove normally corresponds to the aircrew member's glove size. Determine the proper size glove on a trial fit basis. The glove must fit snugly.

It is the aircrew member's responsibility to clean the gloves. Repairs or other maintenance actions are performed at the organizational level or above, and are limited to restitching seams. The gloves are laundered as follows:

1. Put on the gloves and wash with a mild soap in water not over 120°F as if washing hands. When the gloves are clean, rinse and remove them from your hands. Squeeze, but do not wring the gloves to remove excess water. Never use a bleaching compound.

2. After removing excess water, place the gloves flat on a towel and roll the towel to cover the gloves. Ensure that the gloves do not contact each other and are not exposed to hot air or sunlight.

3. Letting the gloves come in contact with each other may harm the soft leather palms. The exposure to hot air or sunlight could cause the gloves to shrink.

CSU-13B/P Anti-G Garment
the CSU-13B/P anti-g garment (MIL-A-83406B) provides protection against high g-forces experienced in high performance aircraft.

The anti-g garments consist of a fire-resistant aramid cloth outershell which houses a bladder. They are cut away at the buttocks, groin, and knees. The outershell has waist and leg entrance slide fasteners, adjustment lacing areas with lacing covers, and leg pockets with slide fastener closures. The CSU-13B/P also has a knife pocket on the front left thigh, and thigh take-ups with slide fasteners. The bladder system is constructed of polyurethane coated nylon cloth and covers the abdomen, thighs, and calves. The bladder system is fitted with a hose for connecting directly to the aircraft anti-g system.

Gentex CRU-60/P Connector
The Gentex CRU-60/P Connector meets the requirements of U.S. Air Force MIL-C-38271B. The CRU-60/P is the standard restraint harness connector, and connects the aircraft oxygen supply hose from panel mounted oxygen regulators to demand breathing masks.

The CRU-60/P is normally secured to a dovetail mounting plate (USAF Drawing No. 57B3657) which is attached to an airman's parachute harness. The dovetail design of the mounting plate assures positive locking and prevents flailing during an ejection.

The CRU-60/P is designed to connect to a standard three pin bayonet oxygen mask hose connector (Type MS27796). The aircraft sypply end of the CRU-60/P mates with an MS22058 type connector and incorporates an omni-directional disconnect to assure proper alignment of disconnect forces during an ejection. This quick disconnect fitting also provides a disconnect warning feature. When disconnected from an aircraft oxygen supply hose the warning valve immediately closes, causing a noticeable resistance to inhalation, thereby alerting the pilot that disconnection has occurred.

The CRU-60/P has a bail-out oxygen attachment nipple which mates with a bail-out bottle supply tube fitting (Type MS21964-20)

HGU-55/P Helmet
The Lightweight HGU-55/P (CE) features an optional field modification kit to fully integrate the helmet system with the complete manworn COMBAT EDGE pressure breathing for G system (PBG) that is used to reduce the probability of G-induced loss of consciousness (GLOC) during high performance flight. The Lightweight HGU-55/P (CE) helmet assembly is a high performance head protective system, with enhanced CG and maximum stability. HGU-55/P helmets are designed with greater cut back across the top frontal opening and at the 3 and 9 clock positions to provide improved peripheral vision for aircraft personnel in high performance fighter/attack aircraft.

The Lightweight HGU-55/P (CE) helmet utilizes a urethane-coated nylon bladder installed between the Thermoplastic Liner (TPL®) and the energy absorbing liner in the rear of the helmet. A PBG feed tube connects the bladder to a quick-disconnect mounted on the exterior shell of the helmet. The quick-disconnect interfaces with the PBG supply hose and connector from the COMBAT EDGE MBU-20/P Oxygen Mask. During the PBG phase, the bladder inflates to provide automatic mask tensioning at high G, to hold the mask in position under pressure.Specially contoured polycarbonate visors, in clear and neutral gray, are provided to interface with the low-profile COMBAT EDGE MBU-20/P Oxygen Mask.

Leather nametag

SRU-21/P Survival Vest

AN/APG-66/68 Radar

The AN/APG-66 is a pulse-doppler radar designed specifically for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft. It was developed from Westinghouse's WX-200 radar and is designed for operation with the Sparrow and AMRAAM medium-range and the Sidewinder short- range missiles. APG-66 uses a slotted planar-array antenna located in the aircraft's nose and has four operating frequencies within the I/J band. The modular system is configured to six Line-Replaceable Units (LRUs), each with its own power supply. The LRUs consist of the antenna, transmitter, low-power Radio Frequency (RF) unit, digital signal processor, computer, and control panel.

The system has ten operating modes, which are divided into air-to-air, air-to-surface display, and sub-modes. The air-to- air modes are search and engagement. There are six air-to-surface display modes (real beam ground map, expanded real beam ground map, doppler beam- sharpening, beacon, and sea). APG-66 also has two sub-modes, which are engagement and freeze.

In the search mode APG-66 performs uplook and downlook scanning. The uplook mode uses a low Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) for medium- and high-altitude target detection in low clutter. Downlook uses medium PRF for target detection in heavy clutter environments. The search mode also performs search altitude display, which displays the relative altitude of targets specified by the pilot.

Once a target is located via the search mode, the engagement sub-mode can be used. Engagement allows the system to use the AMRAAM , Sidewinder , and Sparrow missiles. When engaging the Sidewinder , APG-66 sends slaving commands that slaves the missile's seeker head to the radar's line-of-sight for increased accuracy and missile lock-on speed. An Operational Capability Upgrade (OCU) was developed to modify the APG-66 to use the AMRAAM missile. The OCU is designed to provide the radar with the necessary data link to perform mid-course updates of the missile. The Sparrow 's semi-active homing seeker is facilitated in the engagement mode by a Continuous Wave Illuminator (CWI). The CWI also permits APG-66 to be compatible with Skyflash and other missiles with similar semi-active homing seekers.

Target acquisition can be manual or automatic in the track mode. There are two main manual acquisition modes, single-target track and situation awareness. The situation awareness mode performs Track-While-Scan (TWS), allowing the pilot to continue observing search targets while tracking a specific target. While in this mode, the search area does not need to include the tracked target's sector.

Four Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) modes are available for automatic target acquisition and tracking. In the first ACM mode, a 20 x 20-deg Field Of View (FOV) is scanned. This FOV is equal to that of the Head Up Display (HUD). Once a target is detected, the radar performs automatic lock-on. The second ACM mode's FOV is 10- x 40-deg, offering a tall window that is perpendicular to the aircraft's longitudinal axis; this proves especially useful in high-G maneuvering situations. A boresight ACM mode is used for multiple aircraft engagement situations. The boresight uses a pencil beam positioned at 0-deg azimuth and minus 3-deg elevation to "spotlight" a target for acquisition. This is especially useful in preventing engagement of friendly aircraft. A slewable ACM mode allows the pilot to rotate the 60- x 20-deg FOV. The automatic scan pattern gives the pilot up to 4 sec of time. This mode is designed for use when the aircraft is operating in the vertical plane or during stern direction conversion.

The slant range measurement to a designated surface location is generated by the Air-to-Ground Ranging (AGR) mode. This real-time mode acts with the fire-control system to guide missiles in air-to-ground combat. AGR is automatically selected when the pilot selects the appropriate weapons deployment mode.

Terrain in the aircraft's heading is displayed via the real beam ground map mode. The radar provides the stabilized image mainly as a navigational aid in ground target detection and location. An extension of this mode is the expanded real beam ground map. The expanded real beam ground map provides a 4:1 map expansion of the range around a point designated by the pilot via the display screen's cursor.

Doppler Beam Sharpening (DBS) is available to further enhance the higher resolution of the expanded real beam ground map. This mode, which enhances the range and azimuth resolution by 8:1, is only available from the expanded real beam ground map mode.

In the Beacon mode the system performs navigational fixing. It also delivers weapons relative to ground beacons and can be used to locate friendly aircraft that are using air-to-air beacons.

The high-clutter environment of the ocean surface is countered in the sea mode. There are two sub modes in the sea mode. The first sub-mode, Sea-1 is frequency-agile and non- coherent to locate small targets in low sea states. The second sub-mode, Sea-2, is fully coherent, with doppler discrimination for the detection of moving surface crafts in high sea states.

The freeze sub-mode can only be accessed through the air- to-ground display modes. It pauses the display and halts all radar emissions as soon as the freeze command is received via the controls. The aircraft's current position continues to be shown on the frozen display. This mode is useful during penetration operations against stationary surface targets when the aircraft needs to prevent detection of its signals, yet continue to close in on the target.

The system's displays include the control panel, HUD, radar display, with all combat-critical controls integrated into the throttle grip and side stick controller.

The modularity of the LRUs allow for shortened Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) since they can simply be replaced, involving no special tools or equipment. The MTTR has been demonstrated to be 5 minutes, with 30 minutes for replacement of the antenna unit. APG-66 has also demonstrated a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of 97 hours in service, but the manufacturers contend that it has achieved 115 hours. A cockpit continuous self-test system monitors for malfunctions. The manufacturers claim that the system's Built-In-Test (BIT) routine can isolate up to 98% of the faults to a particular LRU in the event of a malfunction.

A new version of the AN/APG-66, designated the AN/APG-66(V)2 is being installed in F-16A/B aircraft as they are modernized in the Midlife Update program. The equipment is lighter and provides greater detection range and reliability for the modernized F-16s.



 The ACES II (Advanced Concept Ejection Seat) is considered a smart seat since it senses the conditions of the ejection and selects the proper deployment of the drogue and main parachutes to minimize the forces on the occupant. The seat is a derivative of the Douglas Escapac seat.
Removal from the aircraft is by a three part pyrotechnic sequence. A gun catapult provides the initial removal of the seat from the aircraft. A rocket sustainer provides zero/zero capability to the seat. To prevent the seat from tumbling when the aircraft is in a roll maneuver or there is a center of gravity imbalance, another (smaller) rocket called a STAPAC is attached to a gyroscope. This senses the motion and attempts to keep the seat from spinning by automaticly providing a correcting force.
Once clear of the aircraft, the pitot - static system on the seat measures the conditions and selects one of three operating modes depending on the conditions present at egress.

Mode 1 - Low speed (<250 knots) and low altitude (<15 000 feet) operation.
The main parachute deploys as the seat clears the rails. Drogue parachute remains undeployed to prevent line tangle.

Mode 2 - Moderate speed (250-650 knots) and low altitude (<15 000 feet) operation.
Drogue parachute deploys as the seat leaves the rails. Main parachute deploys 0.8 to 1.0 seconds after the drogue. Drogue chute is then released to prevent line tangle.

Mode 3 - High speed (250-650 knots) and high altitude (>15 000 feet) operation.
Drogue parachute deploys as the seat leaves the rails. The pitot - static system senses the conditions and delays the main parachute until mode 2 conditions are met. Then the main parachute deploys after 0.8 to 1.0 seconds. Drogue chute is then released to prevent line tangle.

Landing Gear
Menasco hydraulically retractable type, nose unit retracting aft and main units forward into fuselage. Nosewheel is located aft of intake, to reduce the risk of foreign objects being thrown into the engine during ground operation, and rotates 90o during retraction to lie horizontally under engine air intake duct. Oleo-pneumatic struts in all units. Goodyear mainwheels and brakes; Goodrich mainwheel tyres, size 25.5 × 8-14, pressure 14.48 to 15.17 bars (210 to 220 lb/sq in) at T-O weight less than 11,340 kg (25,000 lb). Steerable nosewheel with Goodrich tyre, size 18 × 5.5-8, pressure 14.82 to 15.51 bars (215 to 225 lb/sq in) at T-O weights less than 11,340 kg (25,000 lb). All but two main unit components interchangeable. Brake by wire system on main gear, with Goodyear anti-skid units. Runway arrester hook under rear fuselage.

Tail code markings

Code Aircraft Unit, Location and Command

AK F-16 C/D, A/OA-10 354th FW, Eielson AFB, Alaska (PACAF)
AL F-16 C/D 187th FW, Montgomery, Ala. (ANG)
AV F-16 C/D 31st FW, Aviano AB, Italy (USAFE)
AZ F-16 A/B 162nd FW, Tucson, Ariz. (ANG)
CC F-16 C/D 27th FW, Cannon AFB, N.M. (ACC)
CO F-16 C/D 140th FW Buckley ANGB, Colo. (ANG)
DC F-16 C/D, C-21, C-22 113th FW, Andrews AFB, Md. (ANG)
FM F-16 A/B 482nd FW, Homestead AFB, Fla. (AFRES)
FS F-16 A/B 188th FW, Fort Smith, Ark. (ANG)
FW F-16 C/D 122nd FW, Fort Wayne, Ind. (ANG)
HA F-16 C/D 185th FG, Sioux City, Iowa (ANG)
HAFB F-16 Ogden ALC, Hill AFB, Utah (AFMC)
HI F-16 C/D 419th FW, Hill AFB, Utah (AFRES)
HL F-16 C/D 388th FW, Hill AFB, Utah (ACC)
IA F-16 C/D 132nd FW, Des Moines, Iowa (ANG)
LF F-16 A/B/C/D 56 FW, Luke AFB, Ariz. (AETC)
LR F-16 C/D 944th FW, Luke AFB, Ariz. (AFRES)
MI F-16 C/D, C-130E 127th FW, Selfridge ANGB, Mich. (ANG)
MO F-16 C/D, 366th WG, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho (ACC)
MY F-16 C/D, A/OA-10A, 347th FW, Moody AFB, Ga. (ACC)
NM F-16 C/D 150th FG, Kirtland AFB, N.M. (ANG)

NY F-16 C/D 174th FW, Hancock Field, N.Y. (ANG)
OH F-16 C/D 178th FW, Springfield, Ohio (ANG)
OH F-16 C/D 180th FW, Toledo, Ohio (ANG)
OK F-16 C/D 138th FG, Tulsa, Okla. (ANG)
OS F-16 C/D, A/OA-10A, 51st FW, Osan AB, Korea (PACAF)
OT F-16 A/C, USAFAWC, Eglin AFB, Fla. (ACC)
OT F-16 A/B/C/D 79th TEG, Eglin AFB, Fla. (AFMC)
PR F-16 A/B 156th FW, San Juan, Puerto Rico (ANG)
SA F-16 A/B 149th FG, Kelly AFB, Texas (ANG)
SC F-16 C/D 169th FG, McEntire ANGS, S.C. (ANG)
SD F-16 C/D 114th FG, Sioux Fall, S.D. (ANG)
SI F-16 C/D 183rd FW, Springfield, Ill. (ANG)
SP F-16 C/D, A/OA-10A, 52nd FW, Spangdahlem AB, Germany (USAFE)
SW F-16 C/D 20th FW, Shaw AFB, S.C. (ACC)
TF F-16 C/D 301st FW, NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas (AFRES)
TH F-16 C/D 181st FW, Terra Haute, Ind. (ANG)
VA F-16 C/D 192nd FG, Richmond, Va. (ANG)
VT F-16 C/D 158th FW, Burlington, Vt. (ANG)
WA F-16 A/B/C/D, 57th WG, Nellis AFB, Nev. (ACC)
WI F-16 C/D 115th FW, Madison, Wis. (ANG)
WP F-16 C/D 8th FW, Kunsan AB, Korea (PACAF)
WW F-16 C/D 35th FW, Misawa AB, Japan (PACAF)

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