LOCKHEED F-104A "STARFIGHTER"
Designed as a supersonic air superiority fighter, the F-104 was produced in two major versions. Armed with a six-barrel M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon, it served as a tactical fighter, and equipped additionally with heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles, as a day-night interceptor. Development of the F-104 began in 1952 and the first XF-104 made its initial flight in 1954. On 18 May 1958, an F-104A set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph, and on 14 December 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of 103,395 feet. The Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb.
The USAF procured about 300 Starfighters in one- and two-seat versions. In addition, more than 1,700 F-104s were built in the U.S. and abroad under the military aid program for various nations including Canada, West Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center provided all program management and logistics support for F-104’s communications, fire control, gun and missile systems. The aircraft on display was delivered to the USAF in July 1958 and was delivered to the 538th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Larson AFB, Washington. Its additional assignments included Taichung AB, Taiwan before being assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California in 1963; it was retired in 1972. This Starfighter was moved to the Museum in 1987.
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