The Air & Space Museum in Denver is open late today, Thursday, May 23 until 8:00 p.m! Learn more.

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

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Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Thursday May 23
10:00AM TO 8:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Air & Space Museum Open Late

Air & Space Museum Open Late
Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 10:00AM to 8:00PM

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 10:00 a.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!

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Saturday May 25
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight (Centennial Airport)

Backcountry Flying Showcase

Backcountry Flying Showcase
Saturday, May 25, 2024 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Expose yourself to the fun and challenges of backcountry flying! Meet pilots who enjoy escaping to Colorado’s backcountry and view featured aircraft on display including a Cessna 185, Cessna 180, Aviat Husky A1B and more!

Backcountry flying includes landing on grass or dirt strips, or dropping in to remote areas with a specially designed bush plane or seaplane. It can even include the challenging mountain flying that Colorado is famous for. Backcountry flying provides access to camping, hiking, fishing and more for those who enjoy being in the great wide open.

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Join us at 11:00 a.m. for a lecture on Mountain Flying from Bill Standerfer of the Colorado Pilots Association. This presentation is eligible for WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program credit.

Food Truck: Cazuelas Tacos de Fer
*Food purchases are not included in admission.

Tuesday May 28
Exploration of Flight (Centennial Airport)

Summer Camp: Space Exploration

Summer Camp: Space Exploration
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 to Friday, May 31, 2024

Based on a NASA graphic novel, campers will design a drag device system, learn about NASA telescopes, space worms, spiders and other creatures. Campers will create RoboTools, and build a cryogenic fluid management system.

Register Here

CAMP LOCATION: Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport (13005 Wings Way, Englewood, CO 80112). 

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