#1123 F-16C Fighting Falcon

F-16C Fighting Falcon
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£10.00 €11.69 $12.67
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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F-16C Fighting Falcon
The Thunderbirds
Nellis AFB, Nevada
US - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1123 - F-16C Fighting Falcon, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Since their first aerial demonstration in 1953, the Thunderbirds, the Air Force\'s official air demonstration squadron, have traveled throughout the United States and to 62 countries around the world. They have logged thousands of performances before hundreds of millions of people. Presidents, prime ministers, foreign dignitaries, celebrities and countless fans have turned out to meet and watch the team, giving the Thunderbirds the unofficial title of America\'s \"Ambassadors in Blue.\" Naturally, the most visible part of the Thunderbirds team is the aircraft. The squadron currently flies the Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon, the tenth different aircraft flown by the team. After starting out in the F-84G Thunderjet in 1953, the squadron switched to the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak in 1955. Both of the F-84s were subsonic, but in 1956 the squadron moved into its first supersonic aircraft, the F-100C Super Sabre. The switch to the Sabre made the Thunderbirds the world\'s first supersonic demonstration squadron. The F-100C was traded for the F-105B Thunderchief in 1964. The transition was short-lived as the Thunderchief flew only six official air demonstrations. Instead of cancelling the entire 1964 schedule, the squadron returned to the F-100, this time using the \"D\" model, capable of mid-air refueling. After five more seasons in the Super Sabre, a total of 1,111 shows were performed in the two models, making it the most used aircraft in the squadron\'s history. In 1969, the squadron flew the F-4E Phantom Il for the first time during the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony and continued flying it until moving to the sleek T-38A Talon in 1974, and then switching to the F-16A Fighting Falcon in 1983. At the end of the 1991 season, the team traded their F-16A for the far superior Block 32 F-16C. In late 2008, the team received their current aircraft, the more advanced Block 52 F-16C. Many awards adorn the walls of the squadron\'s museum at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, the unit\'s home since 1956. Plaques presented by various civic organizations and foreign militaries are on display for thousands of visitors who tour the squadron each year. Among the awards is the coveted MacKay Trophy, presented to the squadron in 1959 for its Far East tour as the Air Force\'s most meritorious flight of the year. There are also seven Air Force Outstanding Unit awards and mementos presented by foreign and American leaders. The squadron also earned the honor as the first official Bicentennial organization in the Air Force in 1976, and is the only flying unit so recognized.
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