F-16 Fighting Falcon News

First female-pilot to fly the F-16I

April 28, 2004 (by Adi Vaknin) - Major D. , an IAF MANAT (Flight Test Center) test-engineer flew the F-16I Sufa on Tuesday (27/4/04). It was for the first time that a female-pilot was at the controls of this F-16 variant.

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Roll-out of the first F-16I 'Sufa' (#253) for Israel at LMTAS' Fort Worth facility on November 14th, 2003. Note the CFTs, dorsal spine, GBU-31 JDAMs, and the numerous bulges and fairings for undisclosed equipment. [LMTAS photo]

Major D. also flew all other fighters in the IAF inventory. For this flight she has gone through a two week ground conversion course.

She said the flight was great and she added that the real beauty of the Sufa is that the interface between the advanced systems and the ergonomics makes you feel like the plane is reading your mind.