What does "block" mean?

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TBNL

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 19:00

Hello guys!

I've a question, and I wondered if somebody could help me with that. You can read it in my name: What does "block" means. I read that al versions of the F-16 have al "block". Does it has something to do with how well the plain is designed?

Can you give me as soon as possible an answer? Thanks!!!

TBNL
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Raptor_DCTR

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 20:10

TBNL... block is a designation given to each design series of the F-16. There are blocks 5, 10 and 15 which were all A/B models (A being single seat B is the two seater) these included tails #'s up until roughly 1983. This is where the block 25, 30, and 32 models started and ran until roughly the late 80s. Then came the block 40 and 42's. Beginning in the early 90's the block 50 and 52's came out.

The easiest way to distinguish the earlier block 5, 10, and 15 A/B models in my opinion is to look at the stabs. The earlier models had a sharoly angled corner on the outside rear corner of the stabs. On subsequent blocks this corner is cut off. Now, the biggest difference between each block is it's capabilities. More or less it's avionics package. Each block being much more capable than the previous block.

Of course with every airframe the Air Force fields, each block has been modified and upgraded numerous times to prolong the service life of the F-16. You won't find many F-16 block 15 or below in the active Air Force although I'm pretty sure that some are still used at Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB for test and eval purposes, but most of these aircraft I think are used by guard units.

Most of the block 25s are also relegated to National Guard units. There are a couple of active squadrons fly them here at Luke AFB. Most of the combat aircraft used today are blocks 30 through 50. Another thing, as with the blocks 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52, blocks 30, 40, and 50 are equiped with Pratt&Whittney engines. Blocks 32, 42, and 52 fly with General Electric engines.

The purpose of this is two fold 1. It is cheaper with two competing engine manufacturers and you also usually get the best product although most of us will tell you that GE is by far the better engine 2. It is an insurance policy. For instance, if the whole fleet of F-16s was equipped with Pratt engines and Pratt found a safety problem and had to ground the whole fleet to fix the problem... your screwed. By having two different engines ensures this doesn't happen.

There is a lot more on this subject and I hope someone else can add some insight but I hope that helps you with your question.
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Lieven

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 20:53

Hi Raptor_DCTR,

Thank you for the lengthy reply.

TBNL, you can also find some more info in these older topics:
  • <a href="f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-935.html">F-16 Blocks</a>
  • <a href="f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-315.html">Newbie questions: blocks / tail numbers</a>
Last edited by Lieven on 09 Jul 2006, 10:03, edited 1 time in total.
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RoAF

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 21:04

Viper Tomy gave a nice answer. But still, he forgot about the 40 and some Block 1 airframes. Those were the first series examples built. Gums should know a lot about them, he was there.
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checksixx

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 21:19

Raptor_DCTR wrote:Most of the block 25s are also relegated to National Guard units. There are a couple of active squadrons fly them here at Luke AFB. Most of the combat aircraft used today are blocks 30 through 50. Another thing, as with the blocks 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52, blocks 30, 40, and 50 are equiped with Pratt&Whittney engines. Blocks 32, 42, and 52 fly with General Electric engines.


I think you were probably typing too fast. An even number block has a GE engine, an odd number has a Pratt engine.

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Guysmiley

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Unread post27 Mar 2006, 23:09

checksixx wrote:
Raptor_DCTR wrote:Most of the block 25s are also relegated to National Guard units. There are a couple of active squadrons fly them here at Luke AFB. Most of the combat aircraft used today are blocks 30 through 50. Another thing, as with the blocks 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52, blocks 30, 40, and 50 are equiped with Pratt&Whittney engines. Blocks 32, 42, and 52 fly with General Electric engines.


I think you were probably typing too fast. An even number block has a GE engine, an odd number has a Pratt engine.

-Check


They're ALL even numbers. :D What you meant I'm sure is that the X0s are GE and the X2s are Pratts.
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checksixx

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Unread post28 Mar 2006, 01:53

Yup...even I type to fast! Thanks.

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Raptor_DCTR

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Unread post28 Mar 2006, 03:03

thanks Guy......I can never remember which block has which engine. I know it's one or the other though......avionics troop, not engines

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