Rolled out on October 20, 1976 and first flight was December 8, 1976 by Neil Anderson. At some point the aircraft was fitted with an extended tail housing for a landing parachute.
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13 Dec 1976
Accepted by the USAF
Dead stick landing but was repaired.
29 May 1981
USAF 6516 TS
First General Electric powered F-16
Modified as F-16/101 with a General Electric F101 engine and first flight with this engine was on May 29th, 1981. This engine later led to the GE F110 engine installed from block 30 onwards.
Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio marked as 79-0317 and painted like the South Carolina ANG, 157th TFS. Anti-spin parachute support mounts were still on the aircraft. The USAF museum exchanged this aircraft for an F-16 that actually flew in the war as the museum prefers war veterans then early development aircraft.
Modified in Boyd, Texas in a little machine shop by F-16 crew chief instructors out of Sheppard AFB, Texas.
Travelling exhibit for USAF recruiting service. After a couple years the paint scheme was changed to the second photo you see on the left.
Painted as a T-bird and still used as a travelling exhibit for USAF recruiting service.
85th Test & Evaluation Squadron
"Skulls", 1977 - 1982
In the beginning there were no USAF crew chiefs on the acft. The AF did not own any acft when I started on the Test Team. We helped the civilian maintainers fly the tests. It was awsome. Every day was an adventure. You never knew if you were going to turn the wings backwards just to see what happened. There were no TOs. We worked from blue prints and General Dynamics instructions. Crew Chiefs were considered to be able to do everything on a jet except munitions. We had no specialists. One historical note is the these early F-16s did not have the ACES seat. They had a Stencil seat with red pads. Eventually we received drafts of the TOs that we had to try out and recommend changes to. That was fun. Take things apart just to see if you can put it back together from the draft TO instructions.