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F-16 Viper Demonstration Team performs at the F-16 First Flight 50th Anniversary Event

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  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration Team performed at the F-16 First Flight 50th Anniversary Event, at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Jan. 20, 2024.

The anniversary event, hosted by Edwards AFB where the aircraft completed its maiden flight in January 1974, celebrated F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and pilot heritage.

“The event was put together in four months and I knew we had an event once the F-16 Viper Demo Team committed early on, which was very exciting,” said Tony Accurso, F-16 First Flight 50th Anniversary Event organizer. “Bringing the F-16 community and their families together to celebrate this incredible aircraft here at Edwards AFB is something I will cherish forever.”

The event included keynote speakers discussing the history of the F-16, demonstrations from the Viper Demonstration Team and Thunderbirds, as well as F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning, and the 50th anniversary commemorative F-16 tail flyovers. The design of the F-16 tail showcased at the F-16 First Flight 50th Anniversary Event mimics the paint scheme associated with the original F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet in the 1970s.

“Our team gets to represent the Viper to a worldwide audience, so getting to showcase the combat capabilities of the F-16 to the people who started it all 50 years ago is something we feel incredibly lucky to do,” said Capt. Aimee “Rebel” Fiedler, F-16 Viper Demonstration team commander and pilot.

The F-16 Viper Demonstration Team will be traveling to around 25 airshows during the 2024 season, demonstrating the F-16’s legacy as a pioneering multirole fighter aircraft, inspiring a new generation of pilots and maintainers, and celebrating the golden anniversary of the airframe.

“We want every generation of pilot and maintainer to feel proud of this machine and what it has accomplished over the 5 decades it has been in service,” said Fiedler.