The Energizer Bunny of single-engine fighters, still going strong at 45

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Happy 45th birthday to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which made its first official flight on this day in 1974.

The first flight of YF-16 was an unintentional takeoff at Edwards AFB in January 1974. Phil Oestricher was the test pilot. Photo Via Gen Dyn.

Now, with over 4,500 Vipers delivered to more than 26 countries, the F-16 is still in production, with F16V and Block 70 F-16s on the drawing board. Odds are, there will be at least some of the birds flying somewhere on active duty in 2074 when the type turns 100.

Of course, the same can probably be said of F15s and F-18s, which came from the same period.

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