The F-16s First Flight

On January 20, 1974, General Dynamics test pilot Phil Oestricher readied the first YF-16 for its first hop, a brief flight just a few feet above the runway. But the simulator Oestricher had trained in did not adequately portray control-stick forces, and he hadnt learned to judge how much aileron he was commanding. After liftoff, the YF-16 could barely be controlled, and Oestricher decided it would be safer to take off, try to regain control, and land. (0:45)

Latest Videos

Preview thumbnail for video'The F-16’s First Flight
The F-16’s First Flight (0:45)
Preview thumbnail for video'
"The Wandering Soul" (1:14)
Preview thumbnail for video'X-47B First Carrier Launch
X-47B First Carrier Launch (1:25)
Preview thumbnail for video'Osprey in Flight
Osprey in Flight (4:26)
Preview thumbnail for video'On the Prowl
On the Prowl (5:12)
Preview thumbnail for video'Helicopter Rescue at 14,000 Feet
Helicopter Rescue at 14,000 Feet (1:56)
Preview thumbnail for video'The XP-67 Moonbat
The XP-67 Moonbat (2:08)
Preview thumbnail for video'X-47B First Flight
X-47B First Flight (1:04)
Preview thumbnail for video'Marines Test the Joint Strike Fighter
Marines Test the Joint Strike Fighter (1:31)