It’s not often these days that one can see a current photo of an original Misawa C/D-model Viper from the 1980s, much less one that is still operating. But this picture immediately drew this writer’s attention when he saw 14TFS F-16D 85-1571 in a beautiful afterburner takeoff pic in the livery of the 301st Fighter Wing’s 457th Fighter Squadron (AFRC).
F-16D 85-1571, one of the original 14th TFS “family models” from the 1987 era, lifts off during her career with the 457th Fighter Squadron at NAS JRB Ft. Worth (aka Carswell) (Courtesy Fightersweep.com)
Alas, a check of the F-16.net database confirms that 571 is no longer operational. After going to the 457th FS in October 1996 and serving well for over 17 years she was placed into storage in the boneyard on 20 December 2013: http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/airframe-profile/1927
But, after clicking on the picture and going to the Fighter Sweep.com story about movie actor Hugh Jackman (X-Men’s Wolverine character) getting an F-16 flight with the 301st Fighter Wing, the video showed that the tub he flew in was not the Samurai’s former 571 as suggested by the story’s intro pic but the Panther’s former F-16D 85-1513, which has been with the 457th FS since November, 2001: http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/airframe-profile/1869/
And this DV flight was only three days ago on 19 February 2016! Pretty good for an older Block 30! See the Fighter Sweep.com story and link to a video about the flight at:
We have to give a hat tip to the men and women of the 13th AMU back in the Cold War days for keeping their family model in good shape, and to the pilots of the 13th TFS who flew her safely. They enabled successor operators of F-16D 85-1513 to keep her flying like she does.
Fightersweep.com website, author page for Scott Wolff, accessed 22 Feb 2016 at: https://fightersweep.com/author/scott-wolff/