Facebook
Twitter

F-104 Starfighter

F-104 Starfighter Tragedies and Triumphs American History Social Studies

The F-104 Starfighter was made by Lockheed and was the product of requests from pilots who fought in the Korean War.  They wanted a jet which could effectively engage in aerial missions with Soviet MiGs.

The Federation of American Scientists provides more details about the F-104:

Because of its physical appearance and performance, the F-104 has often been called the "missile with a man in it." The design was a product of the Korean War, and was unique in several respects.

The encounters with the MiG-15 in Korea caused a strong outcry among Air Force fighter pilots for a cheap, lightweight, maneuverable, high-performance fighter to confront future Soviet fighters. The result was the F-104, a fighter that overemphasized rate of climb and brute speed.

Intended as a point defense interceptor, range was sacrificed for rate of climb. Range, however, could be extended using external tanks and in-flight refueling. It used an exceptionally small wing span of only 21 feet, and provided low speed lift through air bled from the engine and vented over the wing.

Designed as a supersonic superiority fighter, the F-104 was produced in two major versions. Armed with a six-barrel M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon it served as a tactical fighter and, equipped additionally with heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles, as a day-night interceptor. The USAF procured about 300 Starfighters in one- and two-seat versions.

In 1952, C.L. "Kelly" Johnson designed the F-104, and the first XF-104 made its initial flight in 1954. It was the first aircraft to fly at twice the speed of sound and held numerous airspeed and altitude records. On May 18, 1958, an F-104A set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph, and on December 14, 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of 103,395 feet. The Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb. Using an accelerated loft technique, some F-104s have been flown to higher than 90,000 feet.

It wasn’t just the U.S. which owned these planes.  They were also built for, and used by, several other countries, including:  Canada, West Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Federation of American Scientists.

PD

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"F-104 Starfighter" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Apr 19, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/F-104-Starfighter>.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips