YF-16 and FSD Aircraft

The second YF-16 prototype (#01568) during LGB tests, with two converted Mk.82s. The pods contain telemetry equipment (confirmation anyone ?). [USAF photo]


  • Anonymous on 2004-Jul-27 17:38:44 Anonymous said

    Kurt Plummer

    IMO, you're instead looking at two Mk.83 (GBU-16) or .84 (GBU-10) weapons with the earlier PI CCG (narrow chord, longspan, canards) but the unusually, the later PII (folding, narrow chord, fin) tail group.

    There is only one pod and it is actually an ATLIS-I or II (French 'AutoTeLepointeur Imaging System' or close) laser designator pod used, in conjunction with a helmet sight, to prove the utility of single pilot 'precision attack' as far back as 1978 I think it was.

    The idea was the pilot spotted a general (builtup) target area by eye and then used the helmet reticle to quickly slew the pod to this proximal bearing before refining the targeting cursors and magnification on the REO display (the YF-16 may have used other) before initiating laser designation and dropping his LGB.

    Designation was then maintained through impact via a 3-4G 'wheel' of turn around the target 'basket' periphery created by the ballistic requirements of the LGB. It worked, in daylight, but 'proved' only that LGB attacks were almost as vulnerable as conventional ones without a boosted weapon or secondary buddy designator to keep the engagement farther out from the target terminal defenses.

    The helmet fast-cue was excellent however.

    The other unique items are not pods but ejector-launch shoes, fitted to the main gear doors for testing of conformal AIM-7 Sparrow heavy AAM launch/carriage (close to the CL removes some assymetric
    handling and drag problems).

    There was also a dedicated midwing station (not the conventional 3/7) tested for raillaunch of same, neither being adopted for use.

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