Manufactured by Lockheed
The futuristic F-104 made its first flight less than nine years after the end of World War II and was the world’s first production aircraft capable of sustained speed at twice the speed of sound (Mach 2). Because of its relatively small size, slender fuselage and small wings, the F-104 was dubbed, “The Missile With A Man In It”. A powerful J-79 turbojet engine, advanced air intake design, slim fuselage and thin wings were the keys to the Starfighter’s record-setting speed and altitude performance.
The F-104A & B were single and two-seat interceptors flown by the USAF’s Air Defense Command. The F-104C & D were single and two-seat fighter bombers flown by the USAF’s Tactical Air Command. The F-104 also served with the Air National Guard, NASA and 14 foreign air forces.
The F-104C on display saw combat on its two deployments to Southeast Asia in the mid-1960s and was retired in 1975.
- Role/Category: Fighter
- Wingspan: 21 feet, 11 inches
- Length: 54 feet, 9 inches
- Height: 13 feet, 6 inches
- Weight: 19,500 lbs., Maximum Take-Off Weight – 27,850 lbs.
- Powerplant: One General Electric J-79-GE-7 A providing 15,800 lbs. of thrust in afterburner
- Speed: maximum – 1,450 mph (1,259 knots) or Mach 2.2 at altitude normal cruise – 593 mph (515 knots)
- Ceiling: 59,000 feet
- Crew: One pilot
- Armament: One M-61 20mm cannon
- Payload: two bombs or rocket pods on wing pylons, two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on wingtip rails, or one Mk-28 thermonuclear weapon on a fuselage pylon.