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Lockheed F-104-G Starfighter 64-17756


Although not popular with the USAF, the F104 (in it's C variant) flew in Vietnam in 1965. It saw most service, however, with European air forces in it's G variant. This example with it's distinctive dark colour scheme flew in the Royal Danish Airforce.

The F-104 achieved many nicknames throughout it's sometimes controversial career. Initially "The missile with a man in it", after some high profile Lufwaffe crashes it became "The flying coffin" (Fliegender Sarg), Witwenmacher ("Widowmaker") and even "Tent peg" (Erdnagel). These were harsh, as a statistical study in Bowman, Martin W. "Lockheed F-104 Starfighter" 2000 shows that the F-100 had a worse safety record.

Operationally, it mounted an M61 20mm Vulcan cannon (Gatling gun) in the fuselage, up to 2,000lbs of bombs on a central pylon, 2 x 1,000lbs of bombs on underwing pylons and 2 x Sidewinder AA Missiles on the wingtips. It could reach 1,450 mph and a max ceiling of 58,000 ft


Midlands Aircraft Museum, Coventry Airport, Baginton,England. March '07 & March '08

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