The record-breaking F-104 Starfighter was created by Clarence L "Kelly" Johnson and his Advanced Development Projects engineering unit (the "Skunk Works") at the Lockheed-California Company in Burbank. Johnson received the Collier Trophy in 1959 from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his design work on the aircraft.
As the world's first Mach 2 production jet, the F-104 re-wrote performance books for speed, altitude and time-to-climb. The Starfighter's achievements include a world record of 103,395 feet (31,515 meters) set in 1959 and a time-to-climb record of 266.03
seconds to reach 82,020 feet (25,000 meters) in 1958. Development of the F-104 coincided with the need of the West German, Netherlands, Belgian and Italian air forces for a new NATO weapons system to fulfill their European defense role. The Starfighter's performance ultimately led to agreements for the aircraft to be built in those four European countries as well as Canada and Japan.
Lockheed and its licensees built more than 20 different models of the F-104 between 1954 and 1979. Principally flown by the armed forces of 15 nations as fighter interceptors, F-104's are also used as fighter-bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. By 1984, thirty years after its first flight, the F-104 was still in service with the air forces of 12 nations.
here is the two-place F-104D version which was built primarily for transition training of new pilots for the U.S. Tactical Air Command.
54.8 ft. (16.66 m) length.
13.5 ft. (4.09 m) height.
21.9 ft. (6.63 m) wing span.
13,073 lb. (5,930 kg) empty weight.
Prime Contractor: Lockheed California Company.
Maximum Speed: Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).
Date: First flight of prototype, 1954. In production until 1979.
Total Manufactured: 2,583.
Maximum Range: 1,400 nautical mi. (2250 km).
One General Electric J-79-GE-7 turbojet with afterburner.