Air & Space Airshow Spotter's Guide
You know how to tell a Viper from a Hornet, but does your airshow-newbie friend? Here are recognition tips, bite-size histories, specs and info links for the airplanes most likely to appear at airshows this year.
- By airspacemag.com
- AirSpaceMag.com, April 01, 2012
Illustrations by Harry Whitver
How to recognize: Single vertical tail, cropped delta wing, half-moon air intake beneath cockpit.
Claim to fame at airshows: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform precision formation aerobatics to demonstrate the agility of the front-line fighters.
Claim to fame in service: More than 4,300 F-16s have been built and the type is flown by the military services of 24 nations.
Mission: Roles of the Fighting Falcon range from air combat to Homeland Security patrols.
Performance and specifications: At altitude, the F-16 can reach speeds of Mach 2 or more than 1,500 mph, with a maximum weight of 48,000 pounds. Its range is 1,740 miles.
Main variants: Current versions of the F-16 include the Block 50/52 and the Block 60, each of which improves the avionics, sensors and weapons, and situational awareness compared with previous models.
See the gallery at top for more airplanes.