Second Of Two YF-16s Restored To Its Former Paint Scheme And Configuration | Aviation

The YF-16 #2 at the unveiling ceremony on Jun. 1, 2024. (Image credit: Gherardo Fontana @gfontana767)

It took 4 years and over 10,000 hours of volunteer work to get the YF-16 #72-01568 to its original appearance.

On Saturday, June 1, 2024, the Fort Worth Aviation Museum unveiled the second YF-16 prototype, airframe #72-01568, that was given the same configuration the aircraft had when it carried out its first flight 50 years ago, on May 9, 1974.

The aircraft was given again its iconic paint scheme, the same sported by the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demo team to celebrate the 50 years of the Fighting Falcon (nicknamed “Viper” by its pilots all around the world).

The second YF-16 prototype (tail number 72-01568) was one of two built to compete in the Lightweight Fighter Program (LWF) in the early 1970s. It was designed and constructed in Fort Worth before being transported to California for flight testing against the YF-17. After winning the LWF competition, the F-16 was selected as the frontline multi-role fighter by the USAF and 29 other air forces globally.


The first YF-16 was revealed at a rollout ceremony in Fort Worth on Dec. 13, 1973, and made its initial flight on Jan. 20, 1974.

On that day, General Dynamics test pilot Phil Oestricher brought the YF-16 No.1 onto the runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for a high-speed taxi test up to 135 knots…


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