On June 1st, 2024 the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Fort Worth, TX unveiled the #2 General Dynamics YF-16 prototype, 72-1568, restored to appear as it did on August 9th, 1979. As previously reported by Vintage Aviation News, a passionate team of volunteers, dedicating over 5,000 hours of their time, painstakingly restored the YF-16. Their unwavering commitment, coupled with the generous support of Lockheed Martin, Cowtown Aerocrafters of Justin, PPG Industries of Grand Prairie, and Pronto Logistics of Arlington, has successfully brought the aircraft back to its original configuration. Gary Daniels chronicled the restoration and was there to witness the unveiling of the completed aircraft.

Gerry Asher (left) and Lanny Parcell met when they were teenagers. Both had successful careers in the aviation industry. Today, Lanny is the owner of Cowtown Aerocrafters. Lanny describes his company as “a group of friends dedicated to high-quality aircraft restoration and preservation”. [Photo by Gary Daniels]
Since the static aircraft does not have a Pratt & Whitney F-100 engine inside the fuselage, Gerry Asher fabricated an engine inlet façade to give the appearance that an engine is in the airframe. [Photo by Gary Daniels]
With the concealing wall pulled away and the YF-16 #2 was revealed, guests moved into the hangar to see the aircraft as it appeared 50 years ago. [Photo by Gary Daniels]
Texas Congresswoman Kay Granger talks with Fort Worth Aviation Museum restoration team members. Congresswoman Granger was instrumental in getting the aircraft back to Texas. Jim Hodgson said, “If Kay had not been involved, we would not have the airplane.” [Photo by Gary Daniels]
The Light Weight Fighter program was the brainchild of USAF Colonel John Boyd, General Dynamics engineer Harry Hillaker, and a group within the USAF nicknamed the “Fighter Mafia”. The Hillaker family held a family reunion at the YF-16 #2 unveiling ceremony. [Photo by Gary Daniels]
The Fort Worth Aviation Museum’s staff and restoration team (in white, grey, and yellow shirts), and the Cowtown Aerocrafters’ team (in red shirts) standing with Congresswoman Kay Granger applaud their achievement. More than 10,000 volunteer and vendor hours were required to bring the YF-16 #2 prototype back to its former glory of 50 years ago. [Photo by Gary Daniels]