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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Lockheed Martin Takes New F-16 Show to Paris

June 6, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin will debut a new F-16 aerial demonstration at this year's Paris Air Show, continuing the Fighting Falcon's long tradition of bringing new technology, marketing approaches and orders to Le Bourget.
"We believe we have put together a dynamic, high-energy aerial demonstration that other fighters would have a difficult time matching, in terms of the management of energy and the number of maneuvers we perform within the allotted time and show boundaries, " said M. B. "Duke" Johnston, director of Test and Evaluation for Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems. The updated aerial demonstration is different in several ways from previous routines flown by Lockheed Martin test pilots. It opens with a maximum power takeoff, like previous F-16 shows, and then features a series of maneuvers that begin with relatively low dynamic intensity but rapidly build as the show continues. The routine culminates in a cluster of maneuvers that reach maximum-g, including the F-16's signature rapid-reversal Falcon turn and 360-degree, 9-g turn. The demo includes more than a dozen maneuvers flown in four minutes.

The aerial routine is intended to show maneuvers that have practical value in combat and to demonstrate the maximum performance of the aircraft. "We have some crowd-pleasers in the show, but we have kept the operational flavor that has been characteristic of our F-16 flight demonstrations, " Johnston said.

Lockheed Martin test pilots Bland Smith and Troy Pennington will be performing on alternate days during this year's Paris show. This is Smith's fourth appearance at Paris, and Pennington's first. The aircraft they will be flying is a block 50 F-16 obtained from the U.S. Air Force inventory at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. The new flight routine takes full advantage of the Block 50 version's 29, 000 pounds of thrust, hight hrust-to-weight ratio and outstanding acceleration. Lockheed Martin also plans to exhibit an F-16A/B Mid-Life Update MLU) aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force inventory, on static display. Thisis the MLU version's first appearance at Paris.