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#1550 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
After much debate we have decided to go with the original equipment manufacturer for all aircraft types from now on and the first one to get standardized was the General Dynamics F-16. All Fokker and SABCA F-16s are now under the General Dynamics heading and GD will be used for all the A-D types. The E and F models will go under Lockheed Martin. I think this will be the most consistent format to follow for all aircraft produced under license by another manufacturer. The same goes for Mitsubishi F-15s and other aircraft which we will get to shortly. For now all the F-15s and F-16s have been standardized to the original manufacturer name. For ex., look at the photo below, it sure doesn't say Fokker on the tail. :wink

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-Ray

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#1551 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
Is the name also being standardised? i.e. Fighting Falcon. I've seen names like Viper and Night Falcon used, but I don't think that they are official designations. I also don't think that CG/DG and CJ/DJ variants are official USAF designations. Can any USAF/F-16 experts clarify?

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#1552 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
Good Decision Ray

It was quite puzzling for me when uploading. Thanks for putting this straight !

Frank

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#1555 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
CG/DJ aren't official designations, just a way of differentiating Block 40/42s from Block 50/52s to get the "new" Vipers past Congress. Or something like that!

I dare say there are exceptions to this but:

LANTIRN pods on the intake: CG/DG
HARM Targeting System pod on the intake: CJ/DJ (little white pointy thing on, IIRC, the starboard side)


Whilst they aren't official, I don't see anything wrong with including them.

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Robin


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#1556 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
Oh, as for the "names", I think Lockheed Martin used "Night Falcon" to market the F-16CG but don't think the USAF ever used it as an official name. Viper is just a nickname.

I have recently seen the F-16E/F called the "Desert Falcon" but don't know if that's official.

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Robin


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#1557 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
So is it:
a) General Dynamics F-16CG Fighting Falcon
b) General Dynamics F-16CG Viper
c) General Dynamics F-16CG Night Falcon
??????

I'm confused. Especially as I thought they were Lockheed Martin products.

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#1558 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
0 results for 'Viper' and 'Night Falcon' on Lockheed Martin's website.

'Desert Falcon' gets 8 results.

'F-16CJ' gets results, but 'F-16CG' gets nothing.

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#1563 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
There was a picture of an F-16 with a falcon on the tail and big "Night Falcon" lettering on the side in Aviation Week a few years ago. It had two pods on the side of the intake. It was a half-page photo and there was like a beam of light going down the tail, or side of fuselage, I can't remember exactly, but the title was there for sure. Maybe it has been dropped since.

The "Viper", I'm sure that is just a nickname and will never be carried here, except of course in the remarks section.

-Ray

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#1565 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
In my opinion, if the J or G suffix is just to denote that the aircraft is wired to carry a removable external pod then it should not be included as a separate aircraft type.

It would be worse than including F-14A TARPS and F-14B UPGRADE as separate designations. I say worse because at least those designations could (albeit with difficulty) be seen applied to the actual aircraft. Maybe F-16CJ/G are stencilled somewhere? If the aircraft has had the appropriate pod removed does it revert to being a vanilla F-16C?

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#1570 2007-12-03 GMT-5 hours    
L-M very definately published a photo of a Block 30 F-16 dressed up to look like a "Night Falcon" with the two LANTIRN pods on the air intake - and had "NIGHT FALCON" painted down the spine. Whether or not that constitutes an official designation, pass.

AFAIK, the reasoning for the appearance of the CG (and a similar reasoning later for the CJ) was because the USAF originally wanted to call the "Night Falcon", the F-16G, which would set alarms off in Congress as it'd be a "new" aircraft. Given that a LANTIRN Block 40/42 is a Block 40/42 no matter what you do the pods, the CG bit wouldn't change.



As for the Lockheed Martin reference, that's only true for post-1993 after General Dynamics sold the Viper line. :wink Hence it gets very confusing... 'tis easy sorted for USAF jets as the serial gives away the fiscal year and thus whether it's G-D or L-M - no year and you're up a particularly unpleasant creek without a paddle. It gets even worse when you consider some USAF Vipers were made in Turkey and some Dutch Vipers have been sold to Jordan and Chile... so, when it has new fancy paint on it, you can't tell who made it. Thus General Dynamics for the F-16A-D and Lockheed Martin for the F-16E/F makes it very simple!

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Robin


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#1613 2007-12-08 GMT-5 hours    
Hi,

I must admit this seems to have caused a lot of confusion at the other photo databases when CG and CJ started to appear in the titles. What may have been straight forward to start with has ended up in quite a mess and I think the opinion here is certainly the best, and is also, I believe the most accurate. A 'C model is a C, regardless of block. I suppose to start with, when the 'CG' denoted a target pod capable block 40/42 and the 'CJ' was a HARM capable block 50/52 it seemed a reasonable conclusion to draw but nowadays this has long ceased to be a accurate measurement. Earlier ANG block 30's have appeared with Litening targetting pods mounted where the LANTIRN can be carried by the 40's. Even HARM shooting block 50's have also been seen (Spangdahlem's jets come to mind) without the HTS and with targetting pods instead. Going back to the broad offical designations seems the best way to catalogue the images and avoiding the frustrating changes that are made to F-16 pics that are uploaded elsewhere. Like the idea of keeping the original manufacturer for each mark as well, unlike some Turkish '16s elsewhere!

Gary

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#1627 2007-12-10 GMT-5 hours    
Hi Gary,
We will definitely stick with the original OEM for all types and are in the process of converting others. It will take some time and the helicopters IMO are an even bigger mess to sort out.

So you are also suggesting that we stick with the basic A,B,C,.. models and get rid of the CJ, CG, etc.?

-Ray

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#1644 2007-12-11 GMT-5 hours    
Hi Ray,

I think so. It's the most straightforward method of subdividing the various models without things becoming to complex and difficult to police. As Robin says above, the CG/CJ designations were never actually adopted as official marks despite common usage. The various variants are covered by block numbers which I don't think are normally recorded in picture submissions anywhere so it's a banana skin that can be avoided.

You'd also have to be very careful when submitting and screening pics to retain whatever pattern you adopt. Would a ANG block 30 C model with a Litening pod count as a CG alongside a active duty block 40 also carrying a pod? Add into that mix a block 50 that could be catalogued as a CJ HARM shooter, but with a targetting pod instead - is that not a CG in that configuration? That's one can of worms that could be opened!

Although strengthing of the airframe on the block 40 was undertaken to carry the Lantirn system, the main feature of what is classified as a CG is a external targetting pod on the intake. Given the various permutations that will appear on pics - espically recent USAF shots - I could see maintaining consistency if the sub-models were used to be quite difficult.

Hope that's some help - it gives me a headache just thinking about it!

Gary

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#1647 2007-12-11 GMT-5 hours    
Hi again Ray,

I suppose I should have done this before posting above but I've just spent a little while going through USAF F-16C/D's in the database. I can see a lot of variation in there already. There's Aviano block 40's listed as C/CG/CJ, some Spangdahlem jets marked as C and others CJ, same with some of the Hill based jets plus a few Nellis odds. If you guys decide on a pattern to follow and want some help going through them, I have the time...

Gary

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#1649 2007-12-11 GMT-5 hours    
Thanks for all the input and suggestions Gary. I will have a discussion with the rest of the team soon and let you know how it goes.

-Ray

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