Lockheed F-104G Starfighter
The Lockheed Starfighter was developed following a visit to the US Forces in Korea by Kelly Johnson. From discussions with the pilots it appeared they wanted a fairly small and light aircraft with high performance.
After studying a number of proposals the Lockheed L286 design was selected, equipped with the Wright J79 jet engine.
This design was proposed to the USAF in November 1952. These showed such interest that a "General Operating Requirement" was written for a lightweight fighter.
Lockheed received an order in March 1953 for the construction of two prototypes, designated XF-104. The mock-up was finished in April 1954. The first prototype was completed early 1954, but was fitted with the Wright J65 engine (a licensed version of the Armstrong Siddely Sapphire jet). The first flight was made on March 4, 1954. The second prototype had the more powerful J65-W6 with afterburner and was also equipped with the M61 pom.
During tests with the gun, the second prototype was lost in April 1954; The first prototype crashed in July 1957.
The first pre-production machines, designated YF-104 were mainly used for testing and evaluation and compared with the prototypes the machines were longer and featured the new General Electric J79 engine GE3; further the landing gear was adjusted and the air intakes were modified.
The first aircraft was delivered in December 1955.
During this tests problems with the afterburner were reported and also the airframe was reinforced. The development was delayed due to the requirement that Sidewinders had to be used.
The first production version was the F-104A, which was equipped with a General Electric J79-GE3B jet engine.
- The prototype, equipped with a Wright J65 jet (the selected J79 wasn't available jet).
- pre production version. 17 examples were built for testing and evaluation by the USAF.
- first production version, desinged as air defense fighter. 153 examples were built.
- GF-104A: desingsation of aircraft used for testig the J79 engine.
- NF-104A: three modified aircraft with an extra 6LR-1212/AR-2 rocket engine of 27 KN. Further an enlarged wing and tail. Used for training of astronauts.
- Trainer version of the F-104A interceptor, with enlarged rudder and fins; no armament and a smaller internal fuel capacity; 36 examples were built.
- 77 examples of the fighterbomber version; equipped with the newer General Electric GE7 engine. Also this type had air refuelling capacity..
- trainer version of the F-104C to train for TAC tasks. 21 examples built..
- 30 examples of a version of the F-104D, built for Germany to train future future F-104G pilots. Equipped with the same engine as the F-104G, but lacked the radar and operational equipment.
- An improved, strengthened and larger version of the F-104C wiht the larger tailsection of the F-104B and F-104D and en strengthened undercarriage and the new J79-GE11A jet engine. 1320 examples built. There were two basic version, to know the FB (fighter bomber) and the AWX (All-Weather Interceptor).
- F-104G-CCV: developed by MBB for manoeuvrability tests (CCV = Computer Controlled Vehicle). The information obtained was used for the development of the Tornado and the Eurofighter.
- RF-104G: 183 examples of a special recce version. Just aft the nose gear a camera-bay was added containing three KS-67A camera’s. The gun was removed. The Dutch and Italian aircraft were modified mid seventies for use with the Orpheus recce pod.
- Unarmed trainer version of the F-104G. 220 examples built.
- TF-104G-M:(nineties) Uprated Italian version more equivalent to the F-104S.
- 210 examples of a Japanese version of the F-104G, developed and built for the JASDF.
- Trainer version of the F-104J, with limited capacity for armament. 20 examples built.
- Three examples of a demilitarized NASA version to be used for the training of astronauts and high speed research.
- civil version built in 1977 for record flights [crashed in 1978].
- FIAT developed an built this improved version of the F-104G. Because the more powerful General Electric GE-19 was used the air intakes were modified and extra fins and improved avionics were added. The F-104S could be equipped with the Sparrow missiles. 246 Examples were built; two F-104Gs were modified as prototype.
- Modified F-104A with F-104G tail section, used as protottype to test an develop the avionics of the CF-104.
- Canadian version of the F-104G, equipped with a General-Electric J79 GE7 as used in the F-104C. 200 examples were built.
- Trainer version of the CF-104 with limited armament; 38 Examples built.
|Length:||16,6 m||Wingspan:||6,6 m|
|Height:||4 m||Wing area:||18,2 m2|
|Empty weight:||6345 kg||Max. start weight:||- kg|
|Max. speed:||1754 km/hr||Climbing speed:||14630 m/min|
|Cruising speed:||8221 km/hr|
|Range:||1740 km||Service ceiling:||15240 m|
One General Electric J79-GE-11A rated 4536 kg thrust; With afterburner 7076 kg thrust
In TF-104G: one instructor plus one pupil
|Armament:||One Vulcan 20 mm canon; AIM-9 sidewinders; About 1800 kg bombs. TF-104G and RF-104G no canon.|