Taming the Viper

At Luke Air Force Base, young pilots learn to fly the F-16

Major Brandon “Cracker” McBrayer, an instructor pilot at Luke, merges with a MiG-29 adversary in a flight simulator. One Viper pilot equates flying the F-16 to "driving a Ferrari, whittling a piece of wood, and playing Stratego—all at the same time." (John M. Dibbs)

YF-16 Test Flight

(John M. Dibbs)

A YF-16 on a test flight over Edwards Air Force Base in California in 1974, the year the fighter was introduced. While the YF-16's official first flight was February 2, 1974, during an earlier flight, on January 20, the test pilot decided to take off while performing a high-speed taxi test after the aircraft experienced roll oscillations.


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