The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1958 until 1967. It continued in service with the Air National Guard until it was phased out in 1975. Subsequently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continued to fly a small fleet. NASA F-104s flew in support of the X-15 and XB-70 projects. F-104s continued supporting the spaceflight programs until they were retired in 1995 and replaced by F/A-18 Hornets.
An updated Starfighter sold well among the NATO air forces of Germany, Canada, and Italy: these high-speed fighter-bomber variants continued in service until the mid-1980s. The last Italian Air Force examples were retired in 2004. The later-model Starfighter versions gained a reputation for being challenging to fly. Many air forces using F-104s eventually replaced them with the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
200 Canadian-built versions, built under license by Canadair and optimized for nuclear strike, with NASARR R-24A radar with air-to-air modes and cannon deleted (the cannon was restored after 1972), additional internal fuel cell, and Canadian J79-OEL-7 engines with 10,000 lbf (44 kN) /15,800 lbf (70 kN) thrust.
38 dual-control trainer versions of CF-104, built by Lockheed, but with Canadian J79-OEL-7 engines. Some later transferred to Denmark, Norway and Turkey.
By kjfitz @ 2007-06-10 10:27:35