(Liz Klimas) We’ve seen the perspective of F-15 fighter pilots barreling at dizzying speeds through the air and what it looks like to take off — and land — on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean in an F/A-18. Now we’re getting a peek into what it’s like to fly an F-16 along with the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Fighter Squadron Flying Fiends.
The aircraft dubbed “Viper” by many pilots is actually formally nicknamed the Flying Falcon. It took on Viper because of its looks. F-16.net recounted Lt. Col. Pat “Gums” McAdoo thoughts on how it got this more unofficial nickname:
At end of runway, the F-16 did resemble a cobra or something as it approached you. However, I think Northrop had already taken that name for the YF-17.
We all voted, and Viper came in really high. Seems there was a series on TV that had ‘colonial Vipers’ flying off of Battlestar Galactica (a term later used for the Eagle).
In any case, the Generals didn’t want a plane ‘named after some snake’!
Falcon was a good name, and it fit in with the motif that the Eagle had created. Sort of a little brother, but still a ‘Bird of Prey’. In fact, GD had a great promo out in late 70′s called “Bird of Prey”, and it used the Falcon as the real world model.