Home Automotive First Block 70 F-16 Has Flown From Lockheed’s New South Carolina Plant

First Block 70 F-16 Has Flown From Lockheed’s New South Carolina Plant


Lockheed Martin

The first new-build F-16 Viper in the advanced Block 70 configuration has completed its maiden flight. The milestone is especially significant as it represents the first time an F-16 built on Lockheed Martin’s new production line in Greensville, South Carolina has flown.

The inaugural flight comes two months after we got our first look at the new-build jet, which is a two-seat ‘big spine’ model. According to a company press release, the flight took place on Jan. 24 at 9:17 a.m. and was flown by Lockheed Martin test pilots Dwayne ‘Pro’ Opella and Monessa ‘Siren’ Balzhiser, who is the company’s first female test pilot. Total flight time was approximately 50 minutes, and the overall sortie is said to have included a variety of airworthiness tests, like engine, flight control, and fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.

“Today’s successful flight is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and commitment to our customers and their missions,” said OJ Sanchez, Vice President of the Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin, which includes the F-16 program. “This milestone demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to advancing this program…

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