The Thunderbirds are a popular draw at air shows and events across the globe, and the jets they fly are a well-known and celebrated part of military aircraft history. Here’s a few things to know about the planes and demonstration you may not get to see this weekend.
1. THE F-16: The Thunderbirds fly F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, which cost more than $18 million (in fiscal 1998 dollars) and weigh 19,700 pounds, without fuel. The jets have a wingspan of 32 feet, 8 inches and an engine thrust of 27,000 pounds. The planes, built by Lockheed Martin, can reach speeds of 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude). There have been more than 4,500 F-16s built since the first one was assembled. The Thunderbirds fly the Fighting Faclon, but other F-16 jets were often known as the "Viper."