Air Force

December 13, 2013

This week in history

Rick Griset
56th Fighter Wing History office

1973: YF-16 rolls out

General Dynamic (now Lockheed-Martin) rolled out the first YF-16 prototype aircraft 40 years ago today from its Fort Worth, Texas, plant. Tail number 72-1567 was to compete with the YF-17 in a fly-off. The winner would win the contract to replace the aging Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

The prototype was placed inside a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and flown to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for testing on Jan. 8, 1974. The aircraft was to fly a 90-minute maiden voyage Feb. 2. Prior to that flight, the aircraft had to pass a high-speed taxi test.

Phil Oestricher, General Dynamic test pilot, took the aircraft onto the runway for its high-speed taxi check Jan. 20. As the aircraft approached take-off speed, it experienced roll control oscillation. Those oscillations scraped the missile that was loaded on the right-side wingtip and the left-side stabilator.

As the aircraft began to veer off the runway, Oestricher decided to lift the aircraft off the ground. Otherwise, the aircraft might have crashed and ended the program and the competition between the YF-16 with the YF-17. After flying the aircraft for six minutes, Oestricher safely landed the prototype.
After the competition, tail number 72-1567 was rebuilt with twin canards. The rebuilt aircraft became the U.S. Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory’s Control Configured Vehicle.

The canards allowed the aircraft to maneuver in one plane without moving in another. For example, the pilot could turn without having to bank the aircraft. In 1981, the Air Force dropped the aircraft from its inventory. Today, you can see the original restored YF-16 prototype at the Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton, Va.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

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Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

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Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

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Courtesy photo

Helping people goal of CPTS Airman

Courtesy photo Airman 1st Class Scott Giles, left, 56th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, holds “trumpet in flight” at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Giles now helps new Airmen in-process to Luke Air Force ...
 
 

Air Force News – September 19, 2014

England The first wheelchair rugby game during the 2014 Invictus Games in London went to the United States as they grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it. USA Team beat Australia 14-4 to advance in the tournament. Cameroon Military leaders of 17 African nations and the U.S. gathered for the fourth annual African Air...
 
 

People First – September 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. AF survey...
 




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