Top Aces - Commercial F-16 Operator
Top Aces is the only commercial F16 operator in the world. They have a large fleet of aircraft and have received huge military contracts for training pilots in their planes.
On a regular cadence, I like to take a look at the FAA's recent aircraft registration list. Anyone can download it and it is updated daily. Today I happened to see that there were 4 recent registrations of General Dynamics F-16A aircraft that were filed on 10/4/22 belonging to Top Aces Corp.
This certainly caught my eye. Normally what you'll see in the recent registrations file are normal day to day aircraft like Cessnas, Bombardiers, and Gulfstreams. Not that those aren't cool, but there's definitely a difference between a sea of private jets and a small handful of fighter jets.
I immediately started looking into what Top Aces Corp is. As it turns out they're a Canadian company that has recently been awarded a USAF contract worth upwards of $175M to train pilots on their fleet of aircraft. This makes Top Aces Corp the only commercial F16 operator. Looking further at their current fleet of planes according to the FAA and OpenSky, Top Aces is working with a wide variety of fighters including the F16s, Alpha Jets, TA-4Js, A4s.
I checked the ADSBexchange map to see if any of these planes have flown recently and, well, of course they have. There are some aircraft airborne at the time of writing. Some are in Arizona where Top Aces Corp is headquartered; some in Canada where Top Aces Inc is headquartered, and some flying in Germany. This is an international company and I think that explains the different business entity registrations.
I think this is interesting enough to be its own button in the RadarAtlas chrome extension so that if you have it installed you can track these planes with one click. Version 8.3.44 will have this button enabled and will be live in a day or two. Here's what the map looks like right now before the button is live to the general public:
To read more about the Top Aces company, check out their site here.