Military Aviation

F-16 Ghost performs first flight

Ghost paint scheme was chosen by a poll held by Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny, 57th Wing commander, on his social media account to add a new look to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet made its initial flight after receiving the first U.S. Air Force Ghost paint scheme, May 23.

As explained by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie, 57th Wing Public Affairs, in the article New F-16 Ghost paint scheme brings unique look to 64th AGRS, the design was chosen by a poll held by Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny, 57th Wing commander, on his social media account to add a new look to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS).

“I love this job, and I love what we do at Nellis Air Force Base, so I want to take any opportunity to boast about our fine men and women who do great work for their nation,” said Novotny. “Social Media gives me a chance to connect directly with the folks who have a similar passion for military aviation.”

Novotny decided to take a non-traditional route of determining a new paint scheme for the F-16. Facebook and Novotny’s followers would be the deciding factor for the new Ghost scheme.

Once the poll was concluded, the idea of the Ghost jet was handed off to the Mission First (M1) crew at the corrosion shop to make it a reality.

“We want a good product just like the commander does,” said Troy Blaschko, an aircraft painter with M1 assigned to the 57th Maintenance Group. “It means just as much to us as it does to the pilots and we’re really glad to be a part of it.”

M1 was tasked to take the idea from a two-dimensional graphic to a three-dimensional 20,300-pound fighter jet.

From there they had to mask, sand, wash, prime, paint and apply stencils to the aircraft for it to be completed.

The project started on Apr. 22 once the F-16 was towed into the corrosion shop from Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU). With a seven-man team on days and a six-man team on swings for M1, the jet was finished in just under one month.

Once the jet was finished, it was towed back to Viper AMU and back in the hands of its crew chief.

“It’s quite an honor [being the crew chief for the first Air Force Ghost paint scheme],” said Master Sgt. Corey Cain, 926 AMXS dedicated crew chief. “Once I learned about the crowd sourcing for the paint scheme, I was very excited for it. I knew an aircraft was going to receive this paint job but when they said it was going to be my jet, I was pumped.”

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-16C Fighting Falcon 57th WG, 64th AGRS, WA/83-1159 / 2016

Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Tabatha McCarthy / U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com


Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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