Air & Space Museum

Lockheed F-104C Starfighter

Lockheed F-104C Starfighter

When Kelly Johnson and his engineers at the secret “Skunk Works” designed the F-104 in 1952, they wanted a high-altitude interceptor with lots of speed, a high rate of climb, and a quick reaction time. Those objectives helped guide them to the classic shape of this Cold War fighter. The Air Force didn’t even know they needed an airplane like the F-104… Lockheed submitted their unsolicited proposal, THEN the Air Force wrote the operational requirements!

The F-104 Starfighter is a high-performance interceptor that served the U.S. Air Force during the 1950s and 1960s. Designed on feedback from U.S. pilots in Korea, the F-104’s lightweight design emphasized maneuverability in early models, but its high performance demanded precise, careful piloting, and it had a high accident rate. The F-104A set altitude records of 91,243 feet in 1958 and 103,395 feet in 1959. In 1958 Lockheed introduced a fighter-bomber version, the F-104C.

The one at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum is an F-104C fighter-bomber, one of two aircraft in the Wings collection that have flown in combat. It flew with the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base during the Vietnam War.

This airplane is on loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force.

Aircraft specifications:
Wingspan: 21 ft 9 in
Length:54 ft 8 in
Maximum speed: Mach 2.2, or 1,450 mph (2,334 km/h) above 40,000 ft (12.2 km)
Initial climb rate: 48,000 fpm (244 m/s)
Crew: One
Engine: General Electric J-79 turbojet
Thrust: 10,000 lbf (44.5 kN), 15,800 lbf (70.3 kN) with afterburner

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Saturday Apr 8
9:30AM TO 1:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Private Pilot Ground School Begins

Saturday, Apr 8 | 9:30AM to 1:00PM

Saturdays 4/8/23 – 5/27/23
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This 8-week Ground School will cover the subject areas of the FAA Private Pilot Aeronautical Knowledge Exam. 

This course is taught by Certified Instructors, and materials are included! Classroom ground instruction offers a great way to start training as efficiently and economically as possible, providing a significant cost savings versus one-on-one lessons.


Topics include:

  • Aircraft Systems
  • Aerodynamics
  • Airports and Airspace
  • Flight Physiology
  • Performance Calculations
  • Navigation
  • And More!


Non-Member | $350.00 per registrant

Member | $300.00 per registrant


Next Class: On Saturdays from April 8th to May 27th, 9:30am – 1:00pm

This class is currently being reserved for Flight Training Scholarship applicants. Remaining seats will be sold at a later date. To join the waitlist, please click here.


Please Note:

Students should bring a notebook and/or a personal device for notetaking.

Participants must be 14 years or older.

Saturday Apr 8
9:30AM TO 12:30PM
Exploration of Flight

Breakfast Fly-In

Breakfast Fly-In
Saturday, Apr 8 | 9:30AM to 12:30PM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight for monthly fly-ins featuring planes, pilots and breakfast!

Spend Saturday* morning watching aircraft fly in, enjoy breakfast from a local food truck and explore interactive exhibits and simulators.

Purchase Tickets

*Please note that this event is taking place on the 2nd Saturday of the month instead of the 1st Saturday.

Food Truck: Bruncholero
Please note: Food purchases are not included in admission.

Pilots – Fly in for free breakfast! For tie-down space, contact or 303.360.5360 ext 160.

*Weather permitting

Saturday Apr 8
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Cockpit Demo Day

Cockpit Demo Day
Saturday, Apr 8 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Get an up close look inside select aircraft at the museum and learn all about the history of the aircraft, instruments and controls!

Featured Aircraft in April:

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 MLD
  • LTV A-7D Corsair II
  • Alexander Eaglerock
  • Cessna U-3A (Wheelchair accessible)
  • Bede BD-5 (Wheelchair accessible)

Purchase Tickets

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Warbird Jet - Wings Museum