Spangdahlem Air Base F-16 reaches 10,000 flying hours

On Jun. 24, 2024 the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter, designated as tail number 0358, reached 10,000 flying hours during a sortie at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
The achievement is a testament to the longevity of the fighter model as well as the hard work and dedication of dozens of Spangdahlem AB aircraft maintainers since the F-16 was first introduced to the base in 1987.

Noteworthy, tail number 0358 is not the first Spangdahlem F-16 to clock 10,000 flight hours. On Apr. 23, 2020 in fact, tail number 0343, an F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to Spangdahlem’s 480th Fighter Squadron, became the first block 50 F-16 in US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa and the second in the USAF to cross the 10,000 flight hours milestone.

Spangdahlem Air Base F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter reaches 10,000 flying hours
Tail number 0358

Tail number 0343 broke the USAF record for being the fastest F-16 to reach 10,000 flight hours.

The first F-16 to break that mark was tail number 0808 affectionately known as (“BOB”) at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Tail number 0358, tail number 0343 and tail number 808 are expected to continue service in the Air Force for decades to come.

Spangdahlem Air Base F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter reaches 10,000 flying hours
Tail number 0358

The F-16A

The first flight of the General Dynamics YF-16 was an unintentional takeoff at Edwards AFB on Jan. 20, 1974.

On Jan. 13, 1975 at Edwards AFB, Secretary of the Air Force John L. McLucas announced that the YF-16 had won the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) competition over the Northrop YF-17 for full scale development as the USAF’s next Air Combat Fighter.

Spangdahlem Air Base F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter reaches 10,000 flying hours
Tail number 0358

The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The F-16B, a two-seat model, has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. Its bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. During training, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit.

Multirole flexibility

US Navy EA-18G pilot explains why Ukraine should use F-16s just for SEAD missions and not for air-to-air missions
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-16CM Fighting Falcon – Wild Weasel 50th Anniversary, 2015

All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D.

Today the F-16 Fighting Falcon provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.

U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Albert Morel and Airman 1st Class Demi M. Ebert

F-16 model
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