I want to know what is the minimum speed that an F-16 can fly at without stalling.
I have searched the web, but found no exact information answering my question.
Most of them say that it depends on many factors, like payload and maneuvering. But, for simplicity, I want to know the stall speed of that plane flying in a straight path at a constant altitude.

If there is no exact answer, I want to know the regular stall speed, just an average value of that speed, for a clean F-16A weighing 18,000 kg flying in a straight & level path.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 11 at 12:53

I don't have exact data either, but we can easily make an estimate with data from Wikipedia. Note that I explicitly neglect high-lift devices which are present on the F-16, the variable angle of incidence (washout), as well as body lift which probably plays a significant role as well.

I estimate the aircraft weight to be around $150\,\mathrm{kN}$. The wing area is approximately $28\,\mathrm{m}^2$, and the NACA 64A204 airfoil used has a max $C_L$ of 0.8. Fill that in the lift equation $$L=\frac{1}{2}C_L\rho v^2$$

we get a speed of about $100\,\mathrm{m/s}$ which is about 200kts.

At the angle of attack of max $C_L$, the L/D is about 10, so the engine has to deliver $15\,\mathrm{kN}$ of thrust to maintain level flight. This angle of attack is approximately 6 degrees, and due to the probably positive angle of incidence between the fuselage and wings, the thrust angle is likely less than 6 degrees w.r.t. the horizon. This means that the vertical component of thrust is about $\sin(6°)\approx 0.1$ times smaller, or $1.5\,kN$. Given the error bars on my estimates (especially the aircraft weight), this does not warrant a recalculation because most of the weight is indeed carried by the wings.

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    $\begingroup$ 200 kts seems like a really fast stall speed, yes? Aren't most planes around 180kts on approach, and land even slower than that, yet are still above their stall speed? $\endgroup$ – abelenky Jul 8 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ @abelenky I agree. Then again, this is a high-performance airplane, and I neglected high-lift devices which significantly delay stall. $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Jul 8 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ I does not want the speed to be accurate but an approximated number. just a number. Any one have tested this or near this stall speed, this will be helpful $\endgroup$ – AAEM Jul 9 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Ahmed If you read my answer more carefully, you'll notice that the answer is highly dependent on weight. This can change significantly based on fuel and weapons carried. There's no "number", just different numbers for different weights, following roughly the relation given in this answer. $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Jul 10 at 6:52

For the F-16 A It is just 110 knots and angle of attack (AOA) is 25 - degrees (in CAT_1 configuration AtoA , if it is in CAT_3 Air - to-Ground then maximum AOA is just 16-18degrees ) , but this is minimum speed flying in straight path and constant altitude, (F 16 from Demo team Solo Turk have the record that minimum speed )but if you have positive rate of climb you could go only 100 knots, because jet hot exhaust pushed your jet upwards, being slower than that you start to sink, but not dropping off one wing like regular GA planes, just altitude drop with the wings leveled (mushing) , but if you put some roll in the same time you'd getting the spin along with the stall. The normal use of the jet by operational pilot ( armed) is to not go under 200knots minimum, best glide speed been 210 knots when the engines are off .

  • $\begingroup$ Also the FP Marker from the HUD symbology must be kept @ 7_degrees under HUD H. line, but here's is at 10-14degrees because of the weight and height at that point in time. $\endgroup$ – George Geo Sep 15 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ For the CAT1 the F16 is loaded only with Air to-Air missiles , full fuel in internal tanks and capacity to pull 9G's at the corner speed (plateau for the F16) . The CAT3 is Air to Ground loading, the max AOA is only 16-18 and max G 's it will be 5.5 - 6G' symmetrical. As I mentioned earlier, in straight line you go only at minimum 110knots, then start to sink but not dropping abruptly. I'm sure everyone here's knowing what is CAT1, CAT3., because I have hard time to believe that someone will stay in here to long if don't knows enough about F16.So final answer is 110 knot minimum at 25AOA. $\endgroup$ – George Geo Sep 17 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ Really @George Geo, really? "I'm sure everyone here's knowing what is CAT1, CAT3., because I have hard time to believe that someone will stay in here to long if don't knows enough about F16." You think ordnance categories of F-16, or any other aircraft for that matter, are common knowledge? $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Sep 18 at 6:20

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