F-16N Viper History

Although an Air Force jet, the Pacific Coast Air Museum’s F-16N is the Navy version of the famous and well used “hot rod” of the Air Forces of the NATO countries, the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The F-16N was developed as a “chase plane” and used in an aggressor role at Top Gun, Mirimar California, where it would play the role of the “bad guy” in air combat maneuvers (ACM) and training. The F-16 closely resembles the performance of the Warsaw Pact countries’ Mig-29, and so the F-16N was painted in Warsaw Pact colors.

Top Gun at Miramar was closing down due to budget cuts, and moving the operation to Fallon, Nevada. The Navy wanted to get rid of its only 22 F-16N’s and replace the aggressor role with the F-18 Hornet.

Five F-16Ns were assigned to museums. We are extremely fortunate to have obtained this aircraft, which joined our museum in January 1995. The Pacific Coast Air Museum has an excellent reputation with the armed forces, especially the Navy, and was given the opportunity to acquire this aircraft. Currently we are one of only three civilian museums in the world to have an F-16N Viper.

Because it needed such a long runway, it was not allowed to land at Sonoma County airport. It was dismantled at Miramar and trucked to Sonoma County, where Pacific Coast Air Museum members reassembled it. It was the highlight of its first display day, with many people getting the only chance anywhere to sit in an F-16.

Our “hot rod” will be a popular exhibit for years to come.

F-16N Viper Specifications

Dimensions & Weights

31ft (9.45 m) over missile rails


49ft 5.9in (15.09 m)


16ft 8.5in (5.09 m)

Wing area

300 sq ft (27.87 sq m)

Empty weight

17,780 lbs (8,065 kg)

Normal take-off weight

25,647 lbs (11,633 kg)

Maximum take-off weight

35,400 lbs (16,057 kg)


One: Pilot seated on a Douglas ACES II ejector seat.

Maximum speed more than

1,320 mph (2,124 km/h) or Mach 2 at 40,000 ft (12,190 m )

Service ceiling

Greater than 50,000 ft (15,240 m)


Combat radius greater than 575 miles (925 km), or more than 2,145 miles (3,890 km) for ferrying with internal and external fuel.

Powerplant and fuel system

One 11,340 kg (25,000lbs), Afterburning thrust General Electric F110-GE-100 engine


This armament is typical for F-16 C. The F-16 N, when flying training missions against friendly aircraft, might carry inert or “dummy” ordnance but not live ordnance.

Fixed:1 × 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barrel Rotary cannon with 511 rounds

Disposable: Various combinations of air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, rockets, guided bombs, unguided bombs, nuclear bombs, flares, mines, drop tanks, and electronics pods.

Electronics and operational equipment

Communication and navigation equipment, plus Westinghouse AN/APG-66 pulse-Doppler range and angle track radar (with look-down and look-up ranges of 56km (35 miles) and 74km (46 miles) respectively), Dalmo Victor AN/ALR radar-warning receiver, Sperry central air-data computer, SingerKearfott SKN-2400 (modified) inertial navigation system, Marconi heads-up display, Kaiser radar electrooptional display, Delco fire-control computer, Westinghouse ANI ALQ-1 19 and AN/ALQ-131 ECM pods and other electronic countermeasures equipment.

Crew Chief

Steve Aikins

Country of origin




b/n or serial number



Lightweight air-combat fighter


This aircraft is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida.


There’s always something great going on at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. We have Open Cockpit weekends once a month,  special events throughout the year, and regular hot dog lunches. We host school field trips, special group tours, birthday parties, and family get-togethers, all among our collection of historic aircraft and educational exhibits.