posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 08:26 PM
For a good, even-handed read on the Viper vs the Hornet, I recommend doing a search for the Jun 2003 edition of Flight Journal magazine. I recommend
typing in "F-16 vs F-18 John Tougas". An article was written by Commander John "Toonces" Tougas about his experience flying the F-16 as a Navy
exchange pilot with the USAF. John and I are good friends and we served together for nearly 3 years. He arranged for me to fly the Super Hornet. He
prefered the Hornet as that is what he was comfortable with and I prefered the Viper for similar reasons.
There are a couple of inaccuracies in his article. The Viper HUD is certified as the primary flight instrument and has been for many, many years. The
Block 40 and 50 F-16 have color displays and the seat is actually reclined at 30 degrees. The other evaluations are a matter of personal taste.
In any case, I have flown against the Hornet in all the fighters I have flown and Toonces' assessment is correct. The Hornet is a good slow-speed
fighter (as are the F-15, F-5 and MiG-29[the MiG-29 is kind of like an F-18 on steroids]). Fighting against the Hornet in the F-16 meant I had to be
wary of his slow-speed, nose-pointing capability. I had to drive the fight to my advantage in sustained turn rate and my ability to out accelerate and
out climb the F-18. It was a tough fight and each pilot had no room for mistakes.
I hope you find the article. We did give Toonces a large ration of grief regardless.