F-16 Aircraft Database

Airframe Details for F-16 #86-0048




F-16 Aircraft Profile

Aircraft: : 86-0048
LM Aero T/V 1V-1
Plant General Dynamics
Local C/N
Delivered USAF 86048
NF-16D Block 30F
Current USAF 86048
NF-16D Block 30F
Status [act]
In 1988, a contract was awarded to General Dynamics, Fort Worth Division to develop the VISTA (Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft). Calspan, a subcontractor to GD, installed a center stick and integrated the computers needed to perform variable stability flights. Wright Labs bought the aircraft in 1988 and from 1988 until 1992, the VISTA/F-16 program was being accomplished. There was no connection between thrust vectoring and VISTA/F-16.


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Aircraft History

Date Status Local S/N Airforce/Unit Version Name Info
23 Jul 1992 [act] 86048 NF-16D Block 30F
Modified to F-16/MATV - only flew 5 times with vector thrust engine.
Dec 1992 [sto] 86048 NF-16D Block 30F
In late 1992 the aircraft was put into flyable storage. Exact date and location still unknown.
Unknown [act] 86048 NF-16D Block 30F
Modified to F-16/VISTA and re-equiped with a P&W F100-229 engine.
Oct 1993 [act] 86048 USAF 416 TS NF-16D Block 30F
Feb 1996 [act] 86048 NF-16D Block 30F
Located in Buffalo, New York for testing F-22 flight controls. Testing was complete in May 1996 but the aircraft stayed in the region till atleast late 1997.
Oct 2000 [act] 86048 USAF 416 FTS NF-16D Block 30F
Thrust-Vectoring F-16
The F-16 VISTA (Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft) was designed to demonstrate the tactical utility of thrust vectoring in close-in air combat and the use of integrated control of thrust vectoring in flight. The aircraft has demonstrated a steady angle of attack of as much as 86 degrees and a transient angle of attack of up to 180 degrees. In other words, the aircraft can fly backwards for a brief time. The VISTA was later re-designated as the NF-16D, transferred to NASA and was used in the MATV and AVEN test programs.
Apr 2007 [act] 86048 USAF 416 FTS NF-16D Block 30F
Re-equiped with a GE F110-129 engine. Mostly used to train test pilots, but occasionaly used by the Air Force Research Lab and the Air Force Institute of Technology based out of Wright-Patterson AFB.
Apr 2015 [act] 86048 NF-16D Block 30F
Operated by Calspan.

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Abbreviations and symbols:
[act] Active [i/a] Instructional Airframe [sto] Stored (e.g. at AMARG)
[cld] Cancelled Order [msh] Involved in Mishap [w/o] Write-off
[con] Converted [o/o] On Order
[des] Destroyed (drone) [pre] Preserved (museum, gateguard) T/V LM Aero Type/Version (Construction) number
[emb] Embargoed [scr] Scrapped Photo Available



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