I’m proud to have served my country honorably in the Air Force during the Cold War.My service began four years after Vietnam ended, and continued through the early to mid eighties when Reagan was president. It was a very different Air Force then. Long before it went down caused by bleeding heart liberals.
The Air Force has had long and proud history dating back to it’s beginnings in 1947. When I served the Air Force was only thirty years old and America was at the height of the Cold War. The Berlin Wall was still up and being used, and Check Point Charlie was still active.
Recently I had someone ask me about the F-16 which I was a Crew Chief for during my tenure. The following is the answer to that question.
Having served in the Air Force and having up close and personal first hand experience with fighters I can tell you that the power they posses is awesome.
I was assigned to:
Tactical Air Command
56 Tactical Fighter Wing
4456 Aircraft Generation Squadron
72 Tactical Fighter Squardon
MacDill AFB Tampa, Florida during the early 1980’s. We won the Turkey shoot competition in 1984 and beat all other AMU’s (aircraft maintenance units).
We held the highest sortie rating on the line. On any given day we flew 30 to 40 sorties. Now multiply that by 20 working days per month.That’s 600 to 800 sorties, and that’s just our AMU not counting the other three. If you count all four AMU’s that would be 3,200 sorties per month. Massive defining beautiful sound of freedom. You could hear them from miles outside the base, and the ground in Tampa vibrated when they flew close to the ground or climbed in full afterburner.
The “A” and “B” models (F-16) could not accelerate but during an FCF but would gather enough kinetic energy prior to the 4 “G” pull up to FL 20 (flight level) or 20,000 feet, and it was very sluggish during the roll-out to upright, and it was very obvious from observation especially if you were in the cockpit.
However “Big Mouth” vipers or the newer F-16s have a greater T/W (thrust to weight ratio) than the old F-15 Eagles. The newer F-15E possess serious power and owns the skies.
I can tell you that I have personally witnessed an FCF (functional check flight which is required after an engine is repaired or replaced) after we put a new engine into my F-16. Captain Acosta (after getting clearance from the tower) rolled down the runway, pitched at about 70 degrees nose up ,accelerated to between 500 and 600 knots, shaking the windows in Tampa for miles and waking up anything sleeping, and leveled off at 20,000 feet ASL in less then 60 seconds.
This video does not do reality justice. It’s louder in person. But I wanted to share this video with my site visitors because for those who have never served it gives you an idea of what it likes up close and personal when they fly by you at high speed that is: