Footage taken with a GoPro camera mounted in the cockpit of a Pakistan Air Force F-16 BM Block 15 piloted by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) test pilots, shows the fighter jet gaining more than 4 km (13,000 feet) in altitude in only 45 seconds.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon belonging to the Pakistan Air Force No. 11 Squadron — the Arrows — was piloted, according to The Aviationist, by TAI test pilots Murat Keles (front seat) and Murat Ozpala (rear seat).
The video shows the fighter jet taking off and gaining speed for a few seconds before executing a hair-raising vertical ascent to more than 4 km in altitude in 45 seconds, beginning from the moment it started rolling on the tarmac.
The time during actual flight that it takes to reach the 4 km altitude was 20 seconds of dizzying ascent.
The jet ascends so rapidly, vertically into the clouds and beyond, that the viewer can actually sense the extreme G-forces that the pilots were subjected to during the incredible ascent.
Watch as the airfield from which the jet took off shrinks and vanishes as the jet gains altitude.
The video was posted to YouTube on July 7, 2015, by Murat Ozpala, the rear seat pilot, who shot the video. The video has since been viewed more than 300,000 times.
“It was my great pleasure to sit behind the very first SOLOTURK Mr. Murat Keles… I experienced the most of the famous and wonderful maneuvers of SOLOTURK display with him… Special thanks to my dear friend and collegue Mr. Murat Keles for sharing these very demanding, honorable and wonderful moments with me…”
Keles, according to his colleague Ozpala, is the first pilot of the Turkish Air Force aerobatics team, formed in 2011.
The website Foreign Policy notes that although the General Dynamics F-16 is capable of hair-raising feats as an interceptor, it is “far from being the most advanced interceptor prowling the skies today.”
To prove that point, RT couldn’t resist offering the Russian MiG-29 for comparison. The news site posted the video below as a taste of the experience of takeoff as seen from inside the cockpit of a Russian MiG-29, boasting that the “MiG-29’s rate of climb is even faster than the F-16’s, at 330 m/s against 254 m/s.”
The MiG-29 was flown by Polish Air Force Pilot Captain Adrian Rojek during the Fairford Airshow in 2013.
The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) upgraded the Pakistan Air Force’s fleet of 1980S F-16 B Block 15 to F-16 BM Block 15 to extend their service life and make them to carry more advanced weapons.
[Image: YouTube/Murat Ozpala]