Lockheed F-104G/S Starfighter

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Lockheed F-104G/S Starfighter

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Citat:A pair of US Air Force F-104A Starfighter pilots bank over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge circa 1959. The aircraft were assigned to the 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the first operational Starfighter unit, and based at Hamilton AFB, near Novato, California. Nine months after delivery, twelve 83rd FIS Starfighters were airlifted to Taiwan to augment the Nationalist Air Force during the Quemoy Crisis. The F-104A was designed to carry two wingtip-mounted AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles along with an early version of the M61 20 mm gun internally. However, the initial version of the gun proved unreliable and was deleted before delivery. An improved M61 was installed in 1964. Lockheed built 153 of the Mach 2-capable F-104As between 1956 and 1958.
Citat:A formation of three US Air Force F-104C Starfighters is shown in this photo from about 1959. Seventy-seven F-104Cs were delivered to Tactical Air Command between September 1958 and June 1959 from the Lockheed facility in Burbank, California. The F-104C was the fighter-bomber variant and featured an improved fire control radar along with two wingtip pylons (shown here carrying early model AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles), two underwing hardpoints, and the ability to carry one Mk 28 or Mk 43 nuclear weapon on a centerline pylon. The F-104C also had a removable inflight refueling probe. The Starfighter was unofficially—but widely known—as the Zipper for its Mach 2 top speed.
Citat:Three F-104A Starfighters were modified in 1963 for the US Air Force astronaut training program conducted by the then-Aerospace Research Pilot School at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. Redesignated NF-104, the aircraft (Air Force serial numbers 56-760, 56-762, and here, 56-756) were fitted with a 6,000 pound thrust Rocketdyne AR-2 auxiliary rocket engine in the tail, two-foot long extensions to the wings, and the enlarged tail surfaces later fitted to the F-104G. In the stratosphere where the F-104’s aerodynamic surfaces lost effectiveness, hydrogen peroxide thrusters in the nose, tail, and wingtips allowed the pilot to control the aircraft in pitch and yaw. After suffering damage during a flight, this aircraft was retired in 1971.
Citat:A NASA pilot in a Lockheed F-104N Starfighter flies chase on what is probably another NASA crew in a Lockheed YF-12 interceptor, circa 1969. Between August and October 1963, Lockheed delivered three single-seat F-104G Starfighters to NASA, being designated F-104N (N for NASA) to serve as high speed chase aircraft. Those three were the only Starfighters purpose built for NASA—all other agency Starfighters were transferred from the US Air Force. On 23 October 1987, famed NASA test pilot Bill Dana made the last official NASA F-104 flight in this aircraft, its 4,370th sortie. This YF-12 was transferred to NASA in 1969 for high speed research. Both aircraft were based at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California. The YF-12 was retired to the then-Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in 1979.

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Citat:The first of two XF-104 prototypes (left) and the first of seventeen YF-104A pre-production aircraft (right) sit on the ramp at the US Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California, circa 1956. Christened Starfighter, the F-104 was the first operational fighter capable of sustained speeds above Mach 2 and was the first aircraft ever to hold the world speed and altitude records simultaneously. The aircraft was frequently described as "The missile with a man in it," and many F-104 pilots called the aircraft Zipper because it could, well, zip...

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