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At Edwards Air Force Base, AVweb's Glenn Pew had the chance to take a quick look around the cockpit of an F-16 Viper F-16 folks never use the official name of "Fighting Falcon" courtesy of military test pilot Desmond Brophy.
If you're wondering what test pilots are doing in a relatively senior and proven airframe, the answer lies in continuous improvement and the fact that the airframe itself is far from the only thing that changes the flight characteristics of a modern fighter. These aircraft are inherently unstable, and, though they are flown by pilots, it's computers that keep them in the air. When changes are made to the hardware, software, or weapons systems that give these aircraft their edge, test pilots are sent up to evaluate the effects of those changes on the aircrafts performance, capability, and controllability.
But enough with the big picture click the "play" button for your guided tour of the front office.
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