The F-16 Fighting Falcon has earned the title of “Coolest Thing Made in South Carolina” after a contest that yielded more than 220,000 votes.
The F-16, made by Lockheed Martin at its Greenville facility, received the most votes in the final round of voting of the second annual South Carolina Manufacturing Madness contest presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, according to a news release.
“South Carolina is one of the most patriotic states in the nation and is proud to be the global home of the F-16,” said Sara Hazzard, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a prime example of the world-class products we make in South Carolina.”
Gov. Henry McMaster congratulated officials from Lockheed Martin at an awards event held at the State House on Wednesday, March 30.
Lockheed Martin started operations in Greenville in 1984 and employs 1,400 people at its South Carolina facility. The economic impact of the Lockheed Martin facility in Greenville averages $100 million annually, according to the release.
The competition’s other three finalists include side-by-side vehicles made by American Honda Motor Co. in Timmonsville, the Electrolux/Frigidaire single-door refrigerator and freezer made by Electrolux Home Products Inc. in Anderson, and the 7HA.03 gas turbine made by GE Gas Power, part of GE Vernova in Greenville.
These four products advanced to the final round after an initial field of 246 products were nominated. The top 16 vote-getters from the list of nominations advanced to the Manufacturing Madness bracket. From there, weekly voting trimmed the field in half until voters selected the winner from the final group of four.
Nucor Steel Berkeley won the inaugural Manufacturing Madness competition in 2022.