General Dynamics early F-16
Remember decades ago when I was first time seen photos of F-16 in Yugoslav military magazine ‘Front’, its shape and design was remarkable of its time, more then any futuristic design was able to provide. The F-16 was originally conceived in the early 1970s as a lightweight air-to-air day fighter. Their goal was to create a simpler and smaller alternative to the heavy and unmaneuverable fighter aircraft of the time.
Its featured smooth blended-wing body with extra lift and control, for first time ever introduced fly-by-wire system, which that kept the design stable, improved response time and increased its agility.
An enhanced cockpit – including a 30 degree tilted back ejection seat, side-mounted throttle and control stick, head-up display, and bubble canopy – improved pilot survivability, visibility and control. Pilots of that period was not happy with side placed control stick, their complains was that in need, they can not took control with other hand.
In 1987, the F-16 production team in Fort Worth was also making history – producing 30 F-16s in just 30 days. F-16 has been much improved during the time to come and its still present important aircraft of many countries. Photos here are General Dynamics Public Release, in collection of authors of this site.