The F-104 was originally designed as a supersonic superiority day fighter. It was produced in two major versions: a tactical fighter armed with a six-barrel M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon; and a day-night interceptor equipped additionally with heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles. It also had a limited ground-attack capability.
Development of the F-104 began in 1952 and the first XF-104 made its initial flight on 5 March 1954. On May 16, 1958 an F-104A a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph, and on December 14, 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of 103,395 feet. The Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb. The USAF procured 300 Starfighters, in addition, more than 1,700 F-104s were built for various allied nations. The F-104 saw combat during the Vietnam War.
This two-seat F-104D, S/N 57-1331, was last flown by the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, CA in support of the X-15 program. Only 21 F-104Ds were produced for use by the USAF. Eglin AFB, FL had 22 F-104As assigned here. They were converted to QF-104 target drones, all flew out of Eglin AFB, FL.
Manufacturer Lockheed Aircraft Corp
Thrust One General Electric J79-GE-3,7,11,or19 Turbojet engine rated at 15,800 lbs of thrust w/afterburner
54 ft 8 in
Height 13 ft 6 in
Wingspan 21 ft 11 in
Weight 12,760 lbs Empty / 27,853 lbs Max
Speed 1,320 mph Max / 1575 mph Cruise
Range 1,800 miles w/tanks
Ceiling 58,000 ft
Armament One — M61 20mm cannon on A and C models only and two AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air missiles on all models; nuclear or conventional bombs
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force