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  • I cleared final. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Do not crash. Do not

  • crash. do not crash. Oh man, it's fun while it lasted.

  • Hi, I'm Matthew Burchette, and this is an F-16 Viper version of Behind the Wings.

  • You know, now we're actually here on the flight line at Buckley Air Force Base in

  • the Colorado Air National Guard Area, 140th Wing, 120th Fighter Squadron.

  • Go Cougars. And I'm here with Lieutenant Colonel Craig "Lobo" Wolf.

  • How are you? It's nice to meet you.

  • Nice to meet you, as well.

  • So tell us a little bit about what Buckley does and, especially, what you do.

  • I'm a part of the 120th Fighter Squadron.

  • You are an actual fighter pilot.

  • Yes, believe it or not.

  • Wow, that is cool. I just touched a fighter pilot.

  • Don't quite look Top Gun-ish, but I've been doing this since 1994.

  • Buckley Air Field and the Colorado guard was

  • here long before that. Started out at Lowery Air Force Base in 1923, and then

  • moved out here and it was a National Guard base all the way until 2000, when

  • it became an active duty base.

  • So we're standing right here in front of a Viper can we go take a look at it?

  • Yeah, let's go take a look. Awesome.

  • Hello. Oh, that's really cool. So this is what they consider a big mouth.

  • That's true. So the version that we fly here is the General Electric engine. And, with the

  • big inlet, it allows more air to be sucked in and then turned into speed.

  • Everything that a fighter pilot likes.

  • Exactly.

  • Speaking of speed, what is the top speed on one of these little guys?

  • The book will tell you about 2.2, but,

  • once you start adding on all the targeting pods and external tanks and

  • whatnot, it gets it pretty dirty, and we have some speed limitations.

  • Okay, so it's like when I put my bike rack on my car.

  • Exactly.

  • Looking at the size of this thing, you guys are carrying nukes aren't you.

  • Well, Matthew, now I know you know better than that. However, I'm glad you asked because this

  • is our most frequently asked question when

  • people get a tour at an air show of the F-16. And they're like, "Wow, is that a bomb?"

  • No, this is an external fuel tank.

  • Yep, 370 gallons.

  • Yep.

  • This is considered a drop tank, I mean you can drop these, if you need to?

  • Right, so the drop tank is exactly that. We prefer not to drop them. However, if

  • they're in the event of an emergency, and we wanted to increase our range and make

  • the airplane a little more streamlined, we can drop them. And then, in a combat

  • situation, if you were engaged defensively, and you wanted the

  • airplane to be more maneuverable and lighter, than you would drop them at that point.

  • It's just a simple push of the button and both tanks fall away.

  • Okay, very cool.

  • Alright, so this is the cool stuff right here, the AIM-9 and the AIM-120.

  • Now, this is like the close in kind of weapon, yeah?

  • The AIM-9 is a heat-seeking missile and does have a shorter range.

  • It's hard to see, but it does have a little seeker in there,

  • infrared, and it looks out for that heat source.

  • And we kind of aim it, and then it goes after where it sees that heat source.

  • That's cool.

  • The F-16 truly is kind of a jack of all, because we can mix

  • it up with the different missiles, the different bombs. We do have the speed to

  • get from point A to point B, but you know we don't always have the same amount of

  • on-station time or the amount of firepower,

  • but we kind of get a jack of everything, the master of none.

  • Well, this was really cool. Thank you for walking us around this really cool bird.

  • What does it take to actually fly one of these things? It can't be easy getting ready.

  • So, Matthew, the airplane itself is actually really easy to fly, but as you..

  • So he says.

  • Yeah, but using it as a weapon is the challenge. So the next step

  • is to do the mission planning, and then we'll do the flight briefing.

  • Okay.

  • And then, from there, we'll go down and get our life support equipment on and our

  • safety and egress stuff. And then we'll walk out to the airplanes. We get started

  • up working with maintenance to generate the airplanes, and then it will taxi on

  • out, take off, go down to the bombing range, what would it do the tactical mission.

  • Oh, very cool.

  • Come back. We'll land, and then we'll go in, and we'll

  • debrief the mission and learn something from it.

  • Alright, so all of that is happening right now?

  • Yeah.

  • Can we go see?

  • Yeah.

  • We're going to go see.

  • Did you see how close that was?

  • Yeah, that was like 1,000 meters.

  • Oh alright, well, it looks scary from here. I'm a civilian.

  • What do you expect? Alright, so we're here at Airbursts Bombing

  • Range, which is south of Fort Carson. And the F-16s are flying over.

  • Pretty soon, we're actually going to have A-10s. You know what, why don't we get out here

  • and take a look at some of this stuff, if we can. Do you think we can go out there?

  • Yeah, let's call and make sure the range is all safe, and then let's go check it.

  • Alright, I like it.

  • So now the mission is over, these guys have dropped the bomb, they've

  • hit the target. So they're flying back to Buckley, which means we got to

  • jump in the car and race them back to Buckley. We will lose that race, but then

  • it's debrief and all that kind of stuff.

  • Right, that's where it's time for us to go back

  • and try and figure out why this isn't sitting in the target.

  • Well, you know what, we're going to head back to Buckley, and we're going to sit in

  • on the debrief and see what went right, see what went wrong.

  • Controlled area. It says "Squadron Vault." That's where the debriefings take place.

  • Let's go check that out.

  • Actually, Matthew, that's where the classified squad

  • debriefs takes place, so we're not going to go watch that.

  • Alright. Well, then, what do you do after a mission then, if you're not in there?

  • Well, after the classified debriefing then, it's on to the unclassified debriefing.

  • Let me show you.

  • Alright, you're not going to beat me up are you?

  • No.

I cleared final. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Do not crash. Do not

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B1 US fighter matthew mission drop viper squadron

F-16 Viper | Behind the Wings

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    Henry 楊 posted on 2020/06/07
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