General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16C Fighting Falcon

The F-16 is 25 years old, but remains a star performer. A fast and potent dogfighter, it is equally at home destroying enemy tanks at tree-top level. Engineers saw the F-16 as a lightweight, no-frills "hot rod". It gained weight with the addition of improved radar and weaponry, but is still smaller and more nimble than many top fighters. Officially named the "Fighting Falcon", it is affectionately known as the "Viper". Lockheed Martin acquired General Dynamics, who created the F-16, in 1993.

The F-16's pictured in this painting belong to the famous USAF aerial demonstration squadron the Thunderbirds. The squadron tours the United States and much of the world, performing aerial formation and solo flying in specially-marked F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft. The Thunderbirds flew their debut exhibition in June 1953 flying the F-84G Thunderjet. In 1982 the team switched from the T-38 Talon to the F-16A Fighting Falcon which they flew until 1992 at which time they upgraded to the F-16C model.