Vipers!

This is special to me, I loaded bombs on B-52s, and F-105s and at the end of my career I got to rock the back seat of an F-16 in my retirement flight over Mt St Helens. On this day in 1974 the F-16 Fighting Falcon flew for the first time. The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is the single-engine multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved.

The Fighting Falcon has key features including a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of G-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system helps to make it a nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. I am a proud member of the 9-G club. I thought I was going to die. Squeezed to the max while the pilot (who I helped become one) laughed. He remains a close brother.

The F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, but “Viper” is commonly used by its pilots, due to a perceived resemblance to a viper snake as well as the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Starfighter. In addition to active duty U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations.

Men listen up. Don’t be stupid, this comes to the delight of florists everywhere. We are looking at Friday February 10th at 6:00pm for our annual Legion-Auxiliary Valentine Dinner at the Hut. The Legion will provide the meat dish and Auxiliary/spouses the sides and desserts

The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for January, except when it is below freezing, are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of coffee. And meetings are the first and third Thursday evenings (Feb 2 & 16th).  I look forward to Commander and Vice Commander’s updates from the State Convention. They and I have been too busy to catch up so I hope to bring you that after the February meeting.

Keep your eye on the weather in case things must be postponed. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also, keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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