In fact, even if the aircraft conducted its first official maiden flight at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California, on Feb. 2, 1974, it took to the air by accident during a high-speed taxi test on Jan. 20, 1974: while accelerating speed, a roll-control oscillation caused a fin of the left hand-side wingtip-mounted dummy missile and the starboard stabilator to hit and scrape the ground. As a consequence, the aircraft lifted off.
General Dynamics test pilot Phil Oestricher, decided to continue the take off, flew the plane for about six minutes and eventually safely landed it back six minutes later.
Anyway, the celebratory video cockpit video was taken from a Norwegian F-16 flying at low altitude over one of Norway’s most beautiful regions, Lofoten (northern Norway.)
Some stunning sights!
H/T to Endre Lundre, Stefan Bøyum Schlömilch and Nils K Haugen for the heads-up