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Jet Fighter Planes Index



Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Jet Fighter Plane

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was conceived in 1951 as a replacement for the F-86 Sabre, this great looking fast and high flying jet fighter initially gained the nickname "the missile with a man in it", suffered a poor safety record resulting in a unacceptably high pilot fatality rate, and soon acquired the additional nicknames of "The Flying Coffin" and "Widowmaker". Even highly experienced pilots found the Starfighter very demanding and unforgiving, and all too often lethal.

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Jet Fighter Plane


Chuck Yeager was nearly killed flying a Starfighter spending many months in hospital with severe burns following the loss of control of his NF-104A, consequently the aircraft only served with the USAF from 1958 to 1967 and with the Air National Guard until 1975, selling the aircraft under these circumstances proved difficult and Lockheed had to resort to bribery to to get unscrupulous foreign officials to buy the aircraft for their armed forces. The last operational F-104 Starfighters were operated by the Italian Air Force until 2004 by which time a total of 2,578 F-104s had been produced. It is interesting to note that the F-104 design was the basis for the Lockheed U2 Spyplane.

Lockheed F-104G Armament:

  • Single 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan Gatling gun
  • Seven hard-points: 7 with a capacity of 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) of ordinance which may include:
  • Missiles: 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder
  • Other: Various bombs, rockets, and other stores
Lockheed F-104G Specifications:
  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 54 ft 8 in (16.66 m)
  • Wingspan: 21 ft 9 in (6.36 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 6 in (4.09 m)
  • Empty weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 29,027 lb (13,170 kg)
  • Engine: Single 15,600 lbf (69 kN) General Electric J79-GE-11A afterburning turbojet
  • Maximum speed: 1,328 mph (1,154 knots, 2,125 km/h)
  • Combat radius: 420 mi (365 NM, 670 km)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 48,000 ft/min (244 m/s)

    Lockheed F-104g Starfighter

    Lockheed F-104g Starfighter

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