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Uploaded on Nov 17, 2006
The F-16 was only on a high-speed taxi test, but a control induced oscillation became so bad he opted to take it off.
Some of the sources say the YF-16 (control oscillation) did not have a computer, I do not think that is totally correct. I think it had a computer, however it was a very primitive computer and did not have any software to prevent oscillations.
After this mishap I think they upgraded the computer and software and did some other modifications to reduce the chances of control induced oscillations. I think also they developed computer flight simulators to get pilots used to flying by wire and the new style control stick. With most aircraft you can tell how far the controls are lagging behind because the controls are directly linked, however with flyby wire and some versions of hydraulic control there is some lag that can easily confuse a pilot into over controlling the aircraft. If you try to fly an airplane that has a lot of control authority lag, you have to dampen your control inputs, and that does not come naturally.
"Philip F. Oestricher was the first pilot to fly the YF-16. This occurred on 20 January 1974 during hi-speed taxi trials. He was a civilian employee of General Dynamics at the time" John G. Williams, a structural flight test engineer on the YF-16, recalls: During the first high-speed taxi test, a violent lateral oscillation had set in as a direct result of pilot-commanded oscillations (several maximum left/right commands) as the airplane reached rotation speed (~120 kt). Remember, this was the first airplane to have a fixed stick, and there was no opportunity for Phil to gain any feel for the airplane, until that high-speed taxi test. As the nose of the aircraft rose, the tailplane inadvertently scraped on the runway. The left wingtip missile and the right tail static probe also lightly contacted the runway. Phil chose to take off because the bird had begun to veer off to the left side of the runway, and he was faced with plowing through the desert or flying. Thankfully he chose to fly and possibly saved the entire program. After take off, Phil regained control and stayed up for six minutes, and landed uneventfully. Prior to the next flight, the stick sensitivity was reduced by 50% with gear down. Later, after complaints of not enough sensitivity, it was returned to the original."
"The prototype YF-16 (serial number 72-1567) was rolled out at Fort Worth on December 13, 1973. It was powered by a Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 (JTF22A-33) turbofan, rated at 23,830 with full afterburner. Maximum takeoff weight was 27,000 pounds. The YF-16 carried no radar, and the aircraft had analog flight controls with no computer software. The YF-16 was air freighted by C-5A to Edwards AFB on January 8, 1974. Its first flight was an unintended short hop around the pattern on January 21, 1974 at the hands of test pilot Phil Oestricher. During high-speed ground tests at Edwards, Oestricher had inadvertently scraped the tailplane on the runway as the nose was raised, and a violent lateral oscillation set in. He decided to take off and regain control in the air. He stayed up for six minutes and landed uneventfully. The scheduled first flight was delayed until a new right stabilator could be fitted. The first official flight took place February 2, 1974, again with Phil Oestricher at the controls. He reached 400 mph and 30,000 feet."
Good subject; poor video quality. Most of the films were shot using old-fashioned equipment, sometimes over exposed and washed out, under great vibration. The film and tapes were not that good quality when I got them and over the decades age and EM has deteriorated them some, and some quality was lost digitizing the recordings.
This real thing, not Hollyweird.
Most of the montage footage I posted is available, that has been better stored and has been enhanced and edited using high-end professional equipment and a lot of time. They have done an excellent job in restoring much of the footage
The footage is in different order and has different music, however it has much of the same footage.