TWAMD-80
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What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:29 pm

I was flipping through Aviation Week's 2004 Aerospace photo awards issue and I ran across a picture of an F-16 that was dubbed "viper" instead of "Fighting Falcon" or "Falcon". This isn't the first time that I have seen this, but it reminded me of it. I did a search of the forum and it didn't turn up anything. Any help would be apperciated!

TW
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N328KF
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:56 pm

"Viper" is a nickname for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, in the same sense that "Warthog" is a nickname for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, or "Aardvark" is a nickname for the F-111. It's a common-enough nickname that even laymen use it from time to time, and sometimes more often than the actual DoD-given name.
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NightHawk117
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:57 pm

Even though the F-16 is OFFICIALLY titled as the 'Fighting Falcon', the name 'Viper' is what the pilots and maintainers call it.

It's similar to the A-10 'Thunderbolt II'....even though most people know it as the 'Warthog'.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:00 pm

Like N328KF points out - in one of those instances of pilots dubbing their aircraft with another nickname (Thunderbolt II/Warthog, Lancer/Bone), F-16 pilots felt their maneuverable aircraft had resemblance to the Viper fighters on "Battlestar Galactica" (which, lest we forget, was on TV as the USAF began wide-spread introduction of the F-16) and thus dubbed them "Vipers."

Again, the official Air Force name remains Fighting Falcon, but most everyone I know of refers to it as the Viper.
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N328KF
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:16 pm

There are other instances, too. For instance, the F-15 was sometimes called the Starship...though I haven't heard that nickname in recent years, for whatever reason.
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TWAMD-80
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:18 pm

Interesting.... Thanks for the replies. I figured that DoD wouldn't rename the Fighting Falcon but I wasn't sure. That clears things up now.

TW
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L-188
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:20 pm

The Fighting Falcon was originaly planned to be named the Falcon, but Dassault screamed bloody murder over the fact that it was selling a line of buisness jets with that name, and that name was copyrighted, so the F-16 became the "Fighting Falcon".

The Viper nickname, I think became more prevelent after Lockheed bought the line from General Dynamics.
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vzlet
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:19 pm

This sounds almost silly now, but I remember the "Viper" nickname as being borrowed from the good-guy fighters in the 1970s "Battlestar Galactica" series.
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:15 am

The military has a long history of taking the manufacturers official name and calling the piece of equipment whatever seems appropriate.

Some examples include the already mentioned Aardvark (F-111), Warthog (A-10), and Viper(F-16), and we can add to this Snake (Cobra AH-1), Humvee (Hummer), Huey (UH-1 Iroquois, nee HU-1 prior to redesignations hence HUEY), the Pig (M-60 or M-240G GPMG..carry one to know why), and others. It is a sign of acceptance from the troops to name their equipment. It is also common amongst the US military to give something a name other than the official one just to maintain a level of independence and rebellion which seems to be in our nature.
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f4wso
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:38 am

The Battlestar Galactica lineage makes sense for the F-16. I had always thought it was because it looked like snake the way the fuselage overhung the intake.

It is hard to think of the B-52 as anything but a "BUFF" or an A-7 as a "SLUF".
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:43 am

I forgot about the Scooter...the Douglas A-4.

We also called the C-5 FRED and the M-561 was called the Gama Goat. Now theres a vehicle I'd like to have, as long as it was under warranty.
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SATL382G
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:19 am

Let's not forget the other F-16 names....

Electric Jet and Lawn Dart

Your choice, based your experience with and opinion of the aircraft.

My choice? Lawn Dart... Why? I was about 150 yards away when this happened...

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123004976

edit: BTW if you enlarge the picture in the article and look at the very start of the debris/impact trail you can just make out the training Sidewinder round sticking out of the ground, just like a LAWN DART.....

[Edited 2004-12-29 19:38:06]

[Edited 2004-12-29 19:38:46]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:55 am

The German Luftwaffe call the F-4 Phantom "Eisenschwein" (Iron Pig), the MRCA Tornado is the "Klappdrachen" (folding kite, can also mean folding dragon) and for the C-160 Transall I´ve heard "Trall" and "Trallala".
The UH-1D is the "Teppichklopfer" (carpet beater" due to it´s flapping rotor noise.

Jan
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:54 am

The Republic F-104 Thunderchief was called the Thud, and they called the EA-6Q the queer.

SATL...Usually they refer to the pilots who eject as lawn darts. Have you made the trip up to Warner Robins to see the Air Force museum? Sometimes you can catch General Scott there.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:08 am

In addition to the EA-6B being the Queer, carrier decks are home to Turkeys (F-14), Plastic Bugs (F/A-18A-D), Rhinos (F/A-18E/F), Hoovers (S-3s), and Hummers (E-2s).
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:23 am

We should not forget the infamous Vomit Comet, better known as the MH-53 Pave Low Helos. At least that was my name for the damn things.
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HaveBlue
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:28 am

DL021, there is the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and the Republic F-105 Thunderchief.

And the only thing I've heard referred to as the Vomit Comet is the NASA 707 used in parabolic flights for zero G training.

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NightHawk117
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:01 pm

HaveBlue,

Wasn't the 'Vomit Comet' a modified KC-135?


For an aircraft having many 'nicknames', try the F-117A. It is officially known as the 'Nighthawk'. But, it's had many colorful nicknames, such as...


Black Jet
Wobbly Goblin(although F-117 pilots claimed they have NEVER called it this)
Scorpion
Cockroach/Stinkbug
Shaba(was the Saudis nickname for them during Desert Strom)
Cubists' Nightmare
Iraqi Revenue Service
Skunk Jet
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HaveBlue
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:01 pm

NightHawk, very possibly and probably, but I was speaking generically.
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:16 am

HaveBlue....you are correct sir. The F-105 Thunderchief. Very embarrassing for me to have erred, I make the zero-meter-effective-range excuse that I have been sick in bed for two days and my self-edit feature is not in nominal operating range.

I remember when the 116th at Dobbins had Thuds and they still had battle damage from Vietnam. They would practice making repairs with Dr. Pepper cans cut open and flattened over the holes held in place with metal staplers. Now that was an airplane!

As for the big-giant-badass helicopter, you will see that I said that was my name for it. I only flew on them a few times and it was usually NOE and I was always sitting next to guys who were distinctly ill from the flying. I was not feeling so well myself, either. Its like riding a sideways rollercoaster that jumps up and down, while you are trying to hang on to all your crap, and not lose track of your barf bag. The crew chiefs always had plenty of those on hand and gave instructions to use them as they did not wish to clean the floors.

But the NASA KC-135A (since retired and one now a gate guardian the other sold for parts) turbojet hotrod was definitely my source of inspiration for the name.
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f4wso
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:07 am

MPC models put out a F-84 "Thunderchief" kit in Thunderbird markings in the late 1970s. It is one of my prized kits that is for the box art and not the plastic inside. They later reissued the kit with the proper title.

I saw the Georgia ANG flying the last few F-105Gs in July as they were transitioning to the F-4D. It was an awesome plane to see in the air.
Gary
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dl021
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:41 am

I was a kid when my Dad would take us over the Dobbins to see them take off and fly over. Those were some big, loud birds.

I remember when the Phantom came to town, and then when we got F-15's which were replaced by the Bones. Now we have the most important National Guard wing yet, E-8's, but they are pretty vanilla to look at and you have to go down to middle Georgia to see them.

I was lucky enough to have to rig up on the ramp several times for jumps out of the OV-10's from the NAS or 130's from Lawson and we got to see the Eagles up close. The CO let us sit in one of the birds once and that was a blast.
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HaveBlue
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RE: What Happened To The Fighting Falcon?

Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:02 am

No problem DL021, hope you feel better.
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