Air & Space Museum
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.
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)
Engine: General Electric J-79 turbojet
Thrust: 10,000 lbf (44.5 kN), 15,800 lbf (70.3 kN) with afterburner
Air & Space Museum Open Late
Can’t make it to the museum during the day, or looking for a fun evening out? Experience Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in a whole new light! Our hours for ‘Open Late’ nights are from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Standard admission pricing applies. As always, admission is free for our members. Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore captivating aviation and space exhibits after hours. We look forward to seeing you!
Purchase your tickets now for a memorable night at the museum!
Member Tour of the Berlin Airlift Exhibit
Wings’ members are invited to attend a members-only tour of the new Berlin Airlift exhibit! This tour and Q&A, hosted by Wings’ Collections Manager, Stewart Bailey, will explore the history and significance of the Berlin Airlift. Members can expect to learn more about the stories behind the exhibit as well as get an inside view of how the exhibit was created.
This unique event will be held on Wednesday, February 21 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Air & Space Museum. While the museum will be open to the public until 8:00 p.m., this tour and Q&A is available exclusively to Wings Over the Rockies members and their guests (qualifying membership levels only). Members must pre-register for the tour at the link below.
Not a member? Become one today and sign up here!
Public Safety Day
Meet public safety heroes, including firefighters and search and rescue responders, and learn about their roles in keeping the community safe. Check out firetrucks, rescue vehicles, air ambulances and safety equipment up close. Bring the whole family out for a fun and educational day!
Food Truck: Fajita Junction
Get updates and special offers
Sign up for our newsletter, and stay up to date with all of the latest exhibits and events at Wings Over the Rockies.