Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

F-104 Service

Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, California, USA (designed by Lockheed "Skunk" Works)
Models: model 083, 183, 283, 383, 483, 583, 683, 783
Designations: F-104, CF-104 (RCAF)
Name: Starfighter
First official flight: XF-104 serial number 53-7786 on March 4, 1954
Factory production period: 1953 - 1966 Lockheed, 1960-1979 (Foreign built)
Primary service period: 1958 - 1969 Lockheed, 1959-2004 (Foreign service)
Last official USAF flight: F-104C/D in July 1975 by the 198th TFS Puerto Rico ANG, Muniz ANGB San Juan
Last official military operational flight: F-104S ASA-M last operational flight October 31, 2004
Last military flight: F-104S ASA-M last military flight July 27, 2005 (311°Gruppo RSV in support of the Eurofighter tests)

F-104 Variants

United States
1954 model 083-92-01 XF-104 2  
1956 model 183-93-02 YF-104A 17 Total: 19
1956 model 183-93-02 F-104A 153  
1957 model 283-93-03 F-104B 26 Total: 179
1958 model 483-04-05 F-104C 77  
1958 model 383-04-06 F-104D 21  
1962 model 583B-10-17 F-104DJ 20  
1959 model 483-04-08 F-104F 30  
1961 model 583A-04-15 CF-104D 38 Total: 186
1960 model 683/683C/-10-19 F-104G 139  
1962 model 683C-04-10 RF-104G 40  
1962 model 583C/D/E/F/G/H/-10-20 TF-104G 220 Total: 399
1961 model 683B-07-14 F-104J 3  
1963 model 683 F-104N 3 Total: 6

Grand Total: 789

Other Nations
1961 Belgium: model 683 by SABCA F-104G 188 Total: 188
1961 Canada: model CL-90 by Canadair CF-104 200  
1963 Canada: model 683  by Canadair F-104G 140 Total: 340
1964 Italy: model 683 by FIAT F-104G 164  
1964 Italy: model 683 by FIAT RF-104G 35  
1968 Italy: model 783 by Aeritalia F-104S 246 Total: 445
1962 Japan: model 683 by Mitsubishi F-104J 207 Total: 207
1961 Netherlands: model 683 by Fokker F-104G 221  
1963 Netherlands: model 683 by Fokker RF-104G 129 Total: 350
1960 Germany: model 683 by Messerschmitt F-104G 260 Total: 260
Grand Total: 1790
Overall Total: 2579

F-104 Production

Prototype single seat interceptor fighter, produced 1954, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).
No arrestor hook, no stabilizing fin, nose wheel gear retracts rearwards, downward firing ejection seat
engine: Wright J65-B-3, no afterburner, later engine: Wright J65-W-7, 4750 kp / 45.4 kN / 10.200 lbs thrust with afterburner

serial number: 53-7786, 53-7787 construction number: 083-1001, 1002 2 Total: 2

Similar to XF-104, lengthened fuselage, engine upgrade. Later upgraded to F-104A standard, produced 1955-1956, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC)
first flight: February 17, 1956 s/n: 55-2955, Mach 2.0 on February 28, 1956, first fighter flying at Mach 2.0 + in level flight
Engine: J79-GE-3A, 6710 kp / 65.8 kN / 14.800 lb thrust with afterburner, diffuser engine inlet cone, BLC (Boundary Layer Control)
later modified with stabilizing fin, downward firing ejection seat, no arrestor hook, nose wheel gear retracts forward.
A forward-retracting nosewheel replaced the rearward-retracting unit of the XF-104, in order to provide improved ejection seat clearance out of the bottom of the aircraft.
A narrow dorsal spine was added to the upper fuselage. Two additional fuel cells were installed in the fuselage.
The air intakes were modified in shape and were fitted with half-cone centre bodies which had been omitted from the two XF-104s.
The fixed-geometry central intake shock cone had an internal bleed slot which exhausted some intake air through the fuselage for afterburner cooling and helped to reduce the aircraft's base drag. An AN/ASG-14T-1 fire control system was fitted, plus AN/ARN-56 TACAN. There were provisions for four underwing and one under-fuselage stores pylon.
With an empty weight increased only slightly to 12,561 pounds, the YF-104A maximum takeoff weight (clean) rose from 15,700 pounds for the XF-104 to 18,881 pounds.
With provision for four underwing and one fuselage stores pylon, the maximum takeoff weight was 24,584 pounds.

First time one aircraft (YF-104A) holds both the world altitude record of 27.813 m (91.246 feet) and the world speed record of 2.252 km/h (1.404 mph).

27.813 m (91.246 ft) world altitude record on May 7, 1958
Major Howard Johnson, 83rd FIS YF-104A 55-2969 at Edwards AFB

2.252 km/h (1.404 mph) world speed record on May 16, 1958
Capt Walter W. Irwin, 83rd FIS YF-104A 55-2969 at Edwards AFB

serial number: 55-2955 - 55-2971 183-1001 - 1017 17 Total: 17

F-104A Similar to YF-104A, engine upgrade, ventral fin, equipment upgrades, produced 1956-1958, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

F-104A, first production version
The F-104A (company designation Model 183-92-02) was the initial production version of the Starfighter. In a contract approved on March 2, 1956, the USAF ordered 146 production F-104A. This brought the total F-104A procurement to 170 aircraft, including the service test YF-104A.
As compared to the service-test YF-104As, production F-104A featured a strengthened airframe that was stressed for 7.33-G maneuvers. An aft-mounted ventral fin was fitted on the centerline to improve directional stability at high speeds and high altitudes. Various flap-blowing boundary layer control systems were fitted. The interim AN/ASG-14T-1 radar fire control system was installed, which was later replaced by the more capable AN/ASG-14T-2 fire control system.
Because of its boundary layer control system, the landing speed of the F-104A was only five percent higher than that of earlier fighters. The boundary layer system operated in connection with the wing flaps. When the flaps passed the fifteen-degree mark during extension, the bleed air valves began to open and reached the fully open position when the flaps are all the way down at 45 degrees. The highly-compressed air needed to operate the system was taken from the 17th compressor stage of the engine and ducted into the wing and out over the upper flap surfaces via a set of slots lined up along the trailing edge flap hinge line. This air flow reduced air turbulence in the boundary layer due to flow separation, thus decreasing the stalling speed and making lower landing speeds possible.
Full-span leading-edge flaps operated in conjunction with the trailing edge flaps for takeoff, landing, and low-speed maneuvering. The aileron system was interconnected with the flap system in such a way that when the flaps were fully up, aileron travel was limited to 65 percent. The entire horizontal stabilizer was pivoted aft of the fin mid-chord line and moved as a single unit. There was no elevator. A speed brakes was located on each side of the aft fuselage.
An automatic pitch control system provided advance warning of an impending stall. As the stall approached, the system energized a stick shaker to warn the pilot. Should the pilot ignore the warning and persist in maintaining the same attitude, the system would automatically apply a forward stick force.
The first 35 F-104A delivered to the USAF were involved in a protracted series of flight tests during which changes and improvements were progressively introduced on successive batches coming off the production line. The F-104A had originally been scheduled to replace the F-100 Super Sabres of the TAC beginning in 1956. However, by the time that the F-104A was finally ready for delivery, Air Force requirements had changed. The Starfighter's relatively low endurance and its lack of ability to carry a significant offensive weapons load made it no longer suitable for the TAC. Consequently the TAC lost all interest in the F-104A even before it was scheduled to enter service. This might ordinarily have been the end of the line for the F-104A. However, delays in the delivery of the Convair F-106 Delta Dart Mach 2+ interceptor to the Air Defense Command had at that time become worrisome, and the USAF decided to go ahead and accept the F-104A originally destined for TAC and assigned them to the ADC as a stopgap measure. The selection of the F-104A for the ADC was sort of curious, since it had not been originally designed as an interceptor and it lacked an adequate endurance and had no all-weather capability. However, its high climb rate made it attractive to the ADC and it was hoped that the Starfighter could fill in until the F-106 became available.
First to get the F-104A was the 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton AFB in California, which became operational with the type on February 20, 1958. Next to acquire the F-104A were the 56th FIS at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, the 337th FIS at Westover AFB in Massachusetts, and the 538th FIS at Larson AFB in Washington.

A total of 153 F-104As were built in seven production blocks- F-104A-1-LO to F-104A-30-LO. The last F-104A was delivered in December of 1958. The number built was far less than originally planned. Only 170 F-104A and YF-104A were ultimately acquired out of the 722 originally planned. Shortages of funds due to the needs of other programs accounted for some of the reduction, whereas the decision by TAC not to acquire the F-104A accounted for the rest of the shortfall.

The YF-104A had already set the world altitude and speed records. In December of 1958, an F-104A flown alternately by Lt William T. Smith and Einar K. Enevoldson over a two-day period at NAS Point Mugu, California set several time-to-climb records: 3000 meters (9842 feet) in 41.35 seconds, 6000 meters in 51.41 seconds, 9000 meters in 81.14 seconds, 15,000 meters (49,212 feet) in 131.1 seconds, 20,000 meters in 222.99 seconds, and 25,000 meters (82,020 feet) in 266.03 seconds.

As one might have expected, the F-104A was not very well suited for service as an interceptor. Its low range was a problem for North American air defense, and its lack of all-weather capability made it incapable of operating in conjunction with the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system. Service with the ADC was consequently quite brief, and the F-104A of the ADC was replaced by the end of 1960 by more heavily-armed all-weather McDonnell F-101B Voodoos and Convair F-106A Delta Darts.

The ADC's F-104A were then transferred in 1960 to three Air National Guard squadrons, the 151st FIS of the Tennessee ANG, the 157th FIS of the North Carolina ANG, and the 197th FIS of the Arizona ANG. These three ANG F-104A squadrons were called up for active duty during the crisis of 1961 and were deployed to Europe. Following the defusing of the Berlin crisis, these squadrons all returned to the USA by June of 1962 and reverted to state control. However, their F-104A were retained by the USAF and were transferred to two other ADC units, the 319th at Homestead AFB in Florida and 331st FIS at Webb AFB, Texas as part of the 32nd Air Division. For some odd reason, these two squadrons exchanged their all-weather F-102s and F-106s for these day-only F-104As, which would seem at first sight to make no sense.

These ADC F-104A remained in service for several years. From late 1967, 26 aircraft of the 319th FIS were retrofitted with the more powerful J79-GE-19, rated at 17,900 lb.st. with afterburner, which was the same type of engine fitted to the F-104S version developed for Italy. The last USAF squadron to operate the F-104A, the 319th FIS, was disbanded in December of 1969, marking the final end of service of the F-104A with active duty squadrons.

In 1960, after the decision to withdraw the Starfighter from ADC, twenty-four YF-104A and F-104A aircraft (exact ratio uncertain) deemed surplus to USAF requirements were modified as QF-104A radio-controlled target drones. They were painted pillar-box red overall and were operated by the 3205th Drone Squadron at Eglin AFB in Florida. These planes could be flown by onboard pilots or they could be flown by remote control from the ground or from other aircraft. Most of them were expended in missile firing tests. The unsuitability of the F-104A for air defense duties with the USAF led to the release of some F-104A for export. The air forces of Taiwan, Pakistan and Jordan were provided with several F-104A from surplus USAF stocks. Most of the other F-104A which had not been lost to attrition or transferred to foreign air forces went to the boneyards at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.

serial number: 56-730 - 56-882 183-1018 - 1170 153 Total: 153

RF-104A - 1954, reconnaissance version of F-104A, 18 cancelled (Model 383-93-04)
In 1956 the Air Force approved a November 1954 TAC proposal of a preliminary design for a reconnaissance version of the F-104.
The Air Force, however, cancelled all RF-104 work in January 1957, believing that forthcoming RF-101s (RF-101Cs in particular) would satisfy TAC requirements.

TF-104A - Trainer version of F-104A, cancelled in favor of F-104B

Developed from F-104A, 2-seater trainer, larger tail, produced 1956-1958, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).
The F-104B's first flight took place on 16 January 1957, less than a year after the two-seater's first mockup inspection.
It was an uneventful flight over California, from the Lockheed Palmdale plant to the nearby USAF Flight Test Center.
The first of an initial batch of six F-104Bs (serial number 56-3719) had been literally built by hand out of an F-104A airframe,
and the larger area vertical tail, the automatic pitch control system, and the fire control system of later F-104Bs were not installed.
The nose landing gear was relocated to the front of the wheel well and retracted aft instead of forward as on the A model.
It was unofficially designated YF-104B, although it was later brought up to production F-104B standards.
This airplane was later used to test Lockheed's downward-firing ejection seat that was initially fitted to the F-104A.

serial number: 56-3719 - 56-3724 283-5000 - 5005    
serial number: 57-1294 - 57-1313 283-5006 - 5025 26 Total: 26

Follow-on version from F-104A, tactical strike version, engine upgrade, produced 1958-1959, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC). 363 additional airframes were cancelled.

serial number: 56-883 - 56-938 383-1171 - 1226    
serial number: 57-910 - 57-930 383-1227 - 1247 77 Total: 77

Developed from F-104C, 2-seater trainer, produced 1958-1959, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC). 83 additional airframes were cancelled.

serial number: 57-1314 - 57-1334 483-5026 - 5046 21 Total: 21

Similar to F-104D, version for Japan, components built by Lockheed, assembled by Mitsubishi, produced 1962-1964, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

serial number: JASDF 16-5001 - 46-5020 583B-5401 - 5420 20 Total: 20

Similar to F-104D, version for West Germany, produced 1959-1960, Lockheed-Burbank, California (LCC).
It was a minimum-change version of the F-104D two-seat combat trainer.
It was powered by the G's J79-GE-11A turbojet, but lacked the all-weather NASARR fire-control system of the F-104G and was not combat-capable.
It did not have the G's strengthened airframe.

serial number: 59-4994 - 59-5023 483-5047 - 5076 30 Total: 30
German Air Force codes: BB+360 - BB+389

Similar to F-104D, RCAF designation, version for Canada, produced 1961, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).
Lockheed built 38 two-seat trainer versions of the F-104G Starfighter for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
These aircraft were similar to the TF-104Gs built by Lockheed for other NATO allies, but were powered by Canadian-built J79-OEL-7 engines.
They were given the Lockheed designation of Model 583-04-15, and were initially designated CF-113 in Canadian service.
However, this designation was later changed to CF-104D. No CF-104Ds were built in Canada.
The first CF-104D made its maiden flight on June 14, 1961. The last 16 aircraft on the order had slightly different equipment and were designated CF-104D Mk 2.
The CF-104Ds were initially given the serials 12631 through 12668, but effective June 2, 1970 they were reserialled as 104631 through 104668.
In 1971-1973, seven former Canadian Forces CF-104Ds were transferred to Denmark after having brought up to TF-104G standards.
In 1973, two other CF-104Ds were transferred to Norway.
Following their withdrawal from CAF service, six CF-104D were transferred to Turkey following an overhaul in Germany.

serial number: RCAF 12631 - 12668 583A-5301 - 5338 38 Total: 38

As F-104C, engine upgrade, various improvements, USAF serial number, all delivered to foreign users under MAP, produced 1960-1962, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

serial number: 61-2601 - 61-2623 683C-4001 - 4023 23  
serial number: 62-12214 - 62-12231 683C-4067 - 4084 18  
serial number: 63-13274 - Belgium, pattern aircraft 683-9001, BAF first flight August 3, 1961, 30 flights total 1  
serial number: No serial number assigned, static test airframe 683-2051, not delivered and used by Lockheed as fatigue failure test aircraft, it is NOT considered a production aircraft --  
serial number: MM6501 Italy - pattern airframe 683-6501 AMI first flight March 2, 1962 at Lockheed, Palmdale 1  
Germany - DA+101-DA+121, KF+101-KF+126
(30 with US serial number: 63-13230 - 63-13259)
683-2001 - 2050    
Germany - KF+127-KF+172
(9 operated with US serial number: 63-13260,
63-13262 - 63-13268, 67-14887)
683-2052 - 2097 96 Total: 139

As F-104G, reconnaissance version, all delivered to foreign users under MAP, produced 1962 - 1963, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).
Lockheed built 40 RF-104G, intended to be unarmed recce-planes. Only 24 were delivered in the RF-104G modification.
Some of these, including the 16 Norwegian planes, were delivered in F-104G configuration, fully armed.
ROCAF received 8 RF-104G from this lot.

The Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret (Royal Norwegian Air Force) was the very first Air Force which was equipped with MAP-supplied F-104G Starfighters. The KNL received sixteen Lockheed-built F-104G, plus three Canadair-built F-104G and two Lockheed-built TF-104G in 1963. The 16 Lockheed-built F-104G were MAP designated RF-104G, but all were equipped with the M61 Vulcan cannon and were fully F-104G configurated. They all served with No. 331 Skvadron at Bodo. Soon after delivery (often during their first overhaul) the typical RF-104G camera housing extension was replaced by F-104G standard panels.

serial number: 61-2624 - 61-2633 683C-4024 - 4033    
serial number: 62-12232 - 62-12261 mixed 683C-4034 - 4066 40 Total: 40

As F-104G, 2-seater trainer. USAF serial number, all delivered to foreign users under MAP, produced 1962-1966, Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

serial number: 61-3025 - 61-3030 583C-5501 - 5506    
serial number: 61-3031 - 61-3084 mixed 583D-5701 to 5755    
serial number: 62-12262 - 62-12279 583C-5507 - 5524    
serial number: 63-8452 - 63-8469 mixed 583D-5756 to 5779    
serial number: 63-12681 - 63-12684 583C-5525 - 5528    
serial number: 63-12685 - 63-12696 mixed 583D-5767 to 5785 (12 for Italy)    
serial number: 64-15104 - 64-15106 583D-5786 - 5788    
serial number: 65-9415 583C-5529    
serial number: 66-13622 - 66-13631 583F-5933 - 5942 26  
N104L (civil reg.) to the Netherlands as D-5702 583D-5702 1  
Belgium FC04 - FC12 583G-5101 - 5109 9  
Italy MM54250 - MM54261 583H-5201 - 5212 - assembled by FIAT 12  
Netherlands D-5801 - 5817 583E-5801 - 5817 17  
Germany KF+201 - KF+232 583F-5901 - 5932 32  
Germany (KF-233 - KF-242) 583F-5933 - 5942 10  
Germany KE+201 - KE+223 583F-5943 - 5965 - assembled by Messerschmitt 23 Total: 220

RTF-104G1 - proposed reconnaissance version for Luftwaffe, cancelled

As F-104G, version for Japan, produced 1961 Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

serial number: JASDF 26-8501 - 26-8503
(initially coded 16-8501 - 16-8503)
683B-3001 - 3003 3 Total: 3

F-104H "Stripped Starfighter"
The F-104H was a projected simplified version of the F-104G with less sophisticated and less costly equipment.
It was designed for export to nations which wanted a Mach 2-capable fighter but which could not afford the full-blown all-weather F-104G version.
An optical gunsight was to be fitted in place of the NASARR of the F-104G.

A two-seat version was also proposed, which was to be designated TF-104H.
Very little interest was expressed by anyone for the F-104H, and neither version ever got past the initial design stage.

As F-104G, version for NASA as chase aircraft, 8 other F-104's also converted for NASA duties, produced 1963 Lockheed Burbank, California (LCC).

NASA 811, 812, 813 683C-4045, 4053, 4058 3 Total: 3

F-104 Starfighter with NASA

F-104s were destined to serve NASA in the extreme regime of high-speed flight research.
Through the years, Dryden has used a variety of chase and support aircraft. First acquired in August 1956, F-104s were the most versatile work-horses in Dryden's stable of research and support aircraft, with 11 of them flying mostly research missions over the next 38 years.

In August 1956, the seventh YF-104A [55-2961] was transferred to NACA (later reorganized as NASA) as a JF-104A. It was initially numbered [818], but later renumbered with the civil registration [N818NA] (the "NA" standing for NASA). This plane was used by NASA for various test flight purposes until it was finally retired in November 1975.

In October 1957, NASA acquired two ex-USAF F-104A single seater [56-0734, 56-0749] for use in flight testing; [56-0749] crashed in 1962. Those planes were never assigned NASA s/ns. In December 1959, F-104B [57-1303] was transferred to NASA and assigned the NASA number of [819]. It served until 1978, when it was finally retired.

Between August and October 1963, Lockheed delivered three single-seat F-104G Starfighters to NASA, being designated F-104N (N for NASA) and were to serve as high-speed chase aircraft. Those three were the only purpose-built Starfighters produced by Lockheed for NASA-all other Starfighters operated by NASA were transferred from the USAF. Those F-104Ns were initially numbered [011/013]. [013] was lost on June 8, 1966, when it was involved in a mid-air collision with the second North American XB-70A Valkyrie during a General Electric-sponsored publicity photographic flight. The pilot of the F-104N, Joseph A Walker, was killed. The XB-70A pilot, Alvin S White, ejected with injuries, but his copilot, Maj Carl S Cross, went down with the Valkyrie and was killed. The two surviving F-104Ns were later given the civilian registrations [N811NA] and [N812NA].

In December 1966, NASA acquired another ex-USAF F-104A [56-0790] as a replacement for [N813NA]. It was assigned the number [N820NA], and was withdrawn from use on October 30, 1983.

Later, NASA also received some additional F/TF-104Gs from military sources. In 1975, NASA received two tandem-seat TF-104Gs and one single-seat F-104G, giving them civil numbers [N824NA/826NA], respectively. [N824NA] and [N825NA] were ex-Luftwaffe TF-104G two-seaters (bearing USAF s/ns [61-3065] and [66-13628]), whereas [N826NA] was originally a Fokker-built single-seat RF-104G for the Luftwaffe, but which had been serving with the Luftwaffe training unit at Luke AFB in Arizona (original German s/n was [KG-200]). After removal of their military equipment, they were used by NASA for various flight test purposes.
NASA Starfighters provided flight research data on everything from aircraft handling characteristics, such as roll coupling, to reaction control system research. With the approaching X-15 rocket-powered research aircraft program in the late 1950's, research pilots needed experience in flying with reaction control systems, which are key to spacecraft control and maneuverability. A NASA F-104 modified with a hydrogen peroxide thruster system provided the necessary experience for the soon-to-be rocket pilots.

Durability of Space Shuttle thermal protection tiles was investigated in flights aboard a Starfighter, flown on a special flight test fixture through rain in moisture impact studies.

Another important role for NASA's Starfighters included flying many safety chase missions in support of advanced research aircraft over the years, including the wingless lift body vehicles flown at Dryden during the late 1960's and early 1970's.

F-104 Starfighters proved most valuable to NASA as flight research and support aircraft for nearly 40 years, a distinction that few other aircraft share.

Tail number 826 flew the last of these missions on 31 January 1994. By then the 11 F-104s had accumulated over 18,000 flights at Dryden in a great variety of missions ranging from basic research to airborne simulation and service as an aerodynamic test bed.

Model CL-1200 Lancer - Proposed development of F-104G, cancelled

Grand Total: 789

Foreign built - Belgium:
License built version of the F-104G, produced Societe Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aeronautiques (SABCA), Gosselies, Belgium.

Germany KH+102 - KH+188
(4 operated by USAF with serial numbers:
63-13275 - 63-13278)
mixed 9002 - 9189 87  
Belgium FX1 - FX100 mixed 9016 - 9176 100  
Belgium FX27, duplicated serial number due to loss 9082 1 Total: 188

Foreign built - Canada:
License built version of the F-104A (mod G version) 56-0770, converted as prototype with RCAF s/n: 12700, later 104700
Reserialled as 104701 through 104900 effective June 2, 1970. Produced 1961-1963 Canadair Ltd., Cartierville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Canadian-built Starfighter was initially designated CF-111 by the RCAF, but this was later changed to CF-104. They were designated CL-90 by the Canadair factory.
The CF-104 was basically similar to the F-104G, but was fitted with equipment specialized for RCAF requirements.
It differed from the F-104G in being optimized for the nuclear strike role rather than being a multi-mission aircraft.
The F-104G was fitted with NASARR F15A-41B equipment which was optimized for both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes,
but the CF-104 was fitted with R-24A NASARR equipment which was dedicated to the air-to-ground mode only.
The CF-104 also differed from the F-104G in retaining the removable refueling probe that was fitted to the F-104Cs and F-104Ds of the USAF.
Another difference from the F-104G was the ability of the CF-104 to carry a ventral reconnaissance pod equipped with four Vinten cameras.
The 20-mm M61A1 cannon and its associated ammunition were initially omitted from the CF-104, and an additional fuel cell was fitted in their place.
In parallel with the production of the Starfighter by Canadair, Orenda Engines, Ltd. acquired a license to build the J-79 engine which was to power it.
The CF-104 was powered by a Canadian-built J79-OEL-7 rated at 10,000 lbs static thrust dry and 15,800 lbs static thrust with afterburning.

serial number: RCAF 12701 - 12900 1001 - 1200 200  

License built version of the F-104G. All delivered to foreign users under MAP, production 1963-1964 Canadair Ltd., Cartierville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

serial number: 62-12302 - 62-12349 6001 - 6048    
serial number: 62-12697 - 62-12734 6049 - 6086    
serial number: 63-13638 - 63-13647 6087 - 6096    
serial number: 64-17752 - 64-17795 6097 - 6140 140 Total: 340

Foreign built - Italy:
License built version of the F-104G. Fiat Aircraft Group became Aeritalia in 1969, then Alenia Aeronautica in 1990, production by FIAT, Turin, Italy.

Italy: MM6502 - MM6660 with gaps 6502 - 6660 105  
Netherlands: D-6652 - D-6700 with gaps 6652 - 6700 25  
Germany: KC+101 - KC+115 with gaps 6600 - 6620 15  

License built version of the RF-104G, production FIAT, Turin, Italy.

Italy: MM6631 - MM6660 with gaps 6631 - 6660 20  
Germany: KC+116 - KC+150 6621 - 6693 mixed 35  

More powerful version of the Starfighter with the new J79-GE-19 engine.
Fiat Aircraft Group became Aeritalia in 1969, then Alenia Aeronautica in 1990, production by FIAT, Turin, Italy

F-104S, S for "Sparrow", F-104G, engine and armament upgrade, 2 Fiat F-104G converted as prototypes, first flown in 1966, production 1968-1979 by FIAT, Turin, Italy
In total 246 F-104S were built, including 40 aircraft for the Turkish Air Force, and one aircraft that crashed before delivery (MM6766 on October 1, 1971),
of the 205 F-104S for the AMI, 143 aircraft were converted to F-104S ASA,
of these, 55 were modified to F-104S ASA-M.

The F-104G bought by AMI were insufficient to meet NATO requirement of 18 fighters for each squadron and due to the many crashes the situation got worse year after year. Furthermore the CI (interceptor) version of the F-104G without a gun and with just 2 AIM-9B as armament was seen as insufficient to defend the nation. So the search for a new and more powerful fighter started in the mid '60s.
AMI evaluated the F-4C, the Mirage III, the F-5 and a promised more powerful version of the Starfighter with the new J79-GE-19 engine.
The Phantom was the best fighter but it was a two seater in a period when there was no Weapon System Officer in the whole Italian Air Force, it was also very expensive so Italy chose to stay with Lockheed who offered a lot of work to the Italian industry in developing the new variant.
The new and more powerful engine needed more air so the air intakes were redesigned in order to increase airflow were moved aft 23 mm and their diameter were slightly increased.. The interior of intakes was made of steel to resist higher temperature while flying up to Mach 2.2. The trapezoidal auxiliary intakes of the F-104G were replaced by two much bigger rectangular ones that opened outward, especially during take offs on hot summers. In that configuration the Starfighter looked just like a canard.
Other external modifications were made to the cutting edge of the ventral fin and two larger fins were also added to the side of the original one, two additional outboard pylons were also added to the wings.
The "new" F-104 was called S because it was designed to carry and fire the AIM-7E "Sparrow" BVR missiles.
Two main versions of the F-104S were finally made: the Interceptor variant (CI) and the Strike variant (CB).
The F-104S/CI had a FIAR/NASARR F15G radar capable to guide the Sparrow missiles. The missile's guidance system was quite large and it was accommodated in the space used for the gun in the F-104G. So the CI was only armed with a maximum combination of 2 Sparrows and 4 Sidewinders. Theoretically it was a great improvement over the 2 Sidewinder of the G, but the need to carry auxiliary fuel (to the inboard pylons) tanks and the impossibility to use the ventral pylons (just as it was for Italian F-104G) limited the CI maximum armament to 2 Sidewinder to the tips and 2 Sparrows to the outboard pylons. During QRA duty F-104S/CI were usually lighter and standard configuration was just 1 Sidewinder and 1 Sparrow and tip tanks. F-104S/CI also had no central underbelly pylon.
The CI variant was used by:
9°Gruppo (from 1970)
10°Gruppo (from 1974)
12°Gruppo (from 1970)
21°Gruppo (from 1972)
22°Gruppo (from 1969)
23°Gruppo (from 1973)

The F-104S/CB had the FIAR/NASARR R21G-H radar and a radar altimeter for low level Strike missions, it kept the Vulcan M61A1 gun as its only air to air weapon and also had an additional internal fuel tank with a capacity of 462 liter. The F-104S/CB had a total of 9 pylons and was theoretically able to carry a wide range of external stores. By the way the tip were always used for the tanks as well the inner under wing pylons. Ventral pylons at "Butter line 22" were rarely used, almost only for display purpose, so bombs went more often to outboard wing pylons and to the center-line station.
The most seen configuration for this variant was with 2 or 4 tanks and a SUU-21 bomblet dispenser on the center-line station.

Turkey ordered 40 F-104S/CB and that was the only export contract for the type since the hoped for order from Taiwan never materialized.

In Italy F-104S/CB went just to 3 Squadrons:
102°Gruppo (from 1973) nuclear strike
155°Gruppo (from 1971) conventional strike
156°Gruppo (from 1970) anti shipping

Camouflage and marking of F-104S CI and CB were the same and remained the same as for the late F-104G. Total F-104S production was for 246 aircraft (including the 40 that went to Turkey).
Though it was possible to convert a CI into a CB and vice versa, it was rarely done since it was time consuming and expensive and could only be done by the producer (FIAT and later Aeritalia). During the '70s and '80s there was a shortage of F-104S CI and sometimes a few CB F-104 were loaned to a fighter Squadron by the Strike Squadron on the same air base in order to give fighter pilots enough hours of flight to remain combat ready.
During the crisis with Libya in the early '80s AMI found that there was no protection for the South West flank of Italy. Consequently, due to a shortage of fighters, a pooled fleet of F-104S/CI was sent to Trapani-Birgi in Sicily for QRA duty. Each fighter Squadron had to send 4-6 fighters for 3-4 weeks on a rotational basis. The detachment was called NODA and was intended just to fill the gap.
Later during 1984 some F-104S/CB became available since the 156°Gruppo converted to Tornados. So those airframes were sent to Trapani-Birgi were they re-formed as the 18°Gruppo CBO, the only fighter Squadron in the whole AMI that used F-104S/CB in the fighter role even though they were armed with just the gun and 2 AIM-9. By the way before going to 18°Gruppo those F-104S were converted into ASA. (written and copyright © by Pierpaolo Maglio)

serial number: Italy: MM6701 - MM6850 783-1001 - 1150    
serial number: Italy: MM6869 - MM6881 783-1169 - 1181    
serial number: Italy: MM6886, MM6887 783-1186, 1187    
serial number: Italy: MM6890 783-1190    
serial number: Italy: MM6907 - MM6946 783-1207 - 1246 206  
serial number: Turkey: 6851 - 6868 783-1151 - 1168    
serial number: Turkey: 6882 - 6885 783-1182 -1185    
serial number: Turkey: 6888, 6889 783-1188, 1189    
serial number: Turkey: 6891 - 6906 783-1191 - 1206 40 Total: 445

Foreign built - Japan:
License built version of the F-104G, production 1962-1967, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nagoya, Japan.

serial number: JASDF 26-8504 - 26-8507 683B-3004 - 3007    
serial number: JASDF 36-8508 - 36-8563 683B-3008 - 3063    
serial number: JASDF 46-8564 - 46-8658 683B-3064 - 3158    
serial number: JASDF 56-8659 - 56-8680 683B-3159 - 3180    
serial number: JASDF 76-8681 - 76-8710 683B-3181 - 3210 207 Total: 207

Foreign built - Netherlands:
License built version of the F-104G, production by Fokker Aircraft Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Netherlands: D-8013 - D-8343 with gaps 8013 - 8343 77  
Germany: KG+101 - KG+450 with gaps
(12 operated in US with serial number: 63-13229, 63-13261, 63-13269 - 63-13273, 63-13690, 63-13691, 65-12746, 65-12749 - 64-12754, 67-14893)
8101 - 8350 154  

License built version of the RF-104G. Production by Fokker Aircraft Co., Amsterdam, Netherlands

Netherlands: D-8101 to D-8119 with gaps 8101 - 8119 18  
Germany: KG+185 - KG+376 with gaps
(4 operated in US with serial number:
67-14890 - 67-14892, 67-22517
8085 to 8276 101 Total: 350

Foreign built - West Germany:

License built version of the F-104G. Production by Messerschmitt-Bolkow GmbH, Augsburg, West Germany. Manufacturer became MBB in 1969.

Germany: KE+301 - KE+510
(10 operated in US with serial number: 65-12745,
65-12747, 65-12748, 66-13524 - 66-13526,
67-14885, 67-14886, 67-14888, 67-14889
7001 - 7210 210  

Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB), Augsburg, West Germany

Germany: 26+41 - 26+54 7301 - 7314    
Germany: 26+55 - 26+90 7401 - 7436 50 Total: 260

Grand Total: 1790

F-104 Conversions


NF-104A 3 F-104A (56-756, 56-760, 56-762), 1963-1971, auxiliary rocket engine fitted, used in astronaut training

NF-104A aerospace trainer

In 1963, three ex-USAF F-104As (56-756, -760, and -762) were taken out of storage at Davis Monthan AFB and modified as NF-104A aerospace training aircraft. All of the military equipment was removed and the original F-104A vertical fin was replaced by the larger fin that was used on the F-104G. The wingspan was increased by four feet (to 25.94 feet) and a set of hydrogen peroxide control thrusters were mounted at the nose, tail, and wingtips. A 6000 pound thrust Rocketdyne LR121/AR-2-NA-1 auxiliary rocket engine was mounted on the tail above the jet exhaust pipe. This rocket engine could be throttled from 3000 to 6000 pounds of thrust, and the burn time was about 105 seconds.
The first NF-104A was delivered on October 1, 1963, with the other two following a month later. They were operated by the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, which was commanded at that time by Colonel Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager.
On December 6, 1963, the first NF-104A set an unofficial world altitude record of 118,860 feet for aircraft taking off under their own power. The official record at that time was 113,829 feet, set by the Mikoyan/Gurevich Ye-66A, an experimental version of the MiG-21 Fishbed. Later, the same NF-104A flown by Major R. W. Smith reached an altitude of 120,800 feet.
On December 10, 1963, the second NF-104A (56-762), with Chuck Yeager at the controls, went out of control at an altitude of 104,000 feet and fell in a flat spin to 11,000 feet. Yeager managed to eject successfully at that altitude, although he was badly burned on his face by the rocket motor of his ejector seat. The aircraft was destroyed in the ensuing crash. An investigation later showed that the cause of the crash was a spin that resulted from excessive angle of attack and lack of aircraft response. The excessive angle of attack was not caused by pilot input but by a gyroscopic condition set up by the J-79 engine spooling after shut down for the rocket-powered zoom climb phase. So it wasn't Chuck's fault.
In June of 1971, the third NF-104A, with Capt. Howard C. Thompson at the controls, suffered an in-flight explosion of its rocket motor. Although Thompson was able to land safely, the aircraft's rocket motor and half its rudder were blown away. Since the program was about to end in any case, this aircraft was retired.
The number one NF-104A is currently on display on top of a pylon in front of the USAF Test Pilot School.

QF-104A 24 F-104A, 1960-1972, radio-controlled target drones
JQF-104A 3 QF-104A, temporary conversion for test duties

Foreign Conversions

F-104S ASA 143 F-104S, 1985-1993, armament and avionics upgrades for Italy
F-104S ASA-M 55 F-104S ASA, 1995-2001, avionics upgrades for Italy
TF-104G-M 15 TF-104G, 1995-2001, avionics upgrades for Italy, first flight February 1997 of converted TF-104G into "M" version
UF-104J/JA 14 F-104J, 1987-1992, ex JASDF radio-controlled target drones
C.8 18 F-104G, 1965-1972, designation for Spanish F-104's. Assigned serial number: C.8-1 - C.8-18
CE.8 3 TF-104G, 1965-1972, designation for Spanish TF-104's. Assigned serial number: CE.8-1 - CE.8-3
RF-104G (T) 8 RF-104G, recon. upgrade (LORAN) with longer nose for Taiwan

Foreign Military / Civilian Service

F-104 Starfighters served in military service with Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and Germany

F-104RB "Red Baron", 1977, test pilot Darryl Greenamyer built an F-104 from spare parts with the help of American Jet Industries Inc., California, to set new speed records.
May have been built from static test airframe construction number: 683-2051
"Red Baron" was used to set the low-level speed record in October 1977 by world-famous air racer Daryl Greenamyer.
Greenamyer built his F-104 over a period of 12 years from parts gathered from various places, including a "borrowed" J79-17/1 turbojet from a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom,
which developed over 2,000 pounds more thrust than the standard J79-19 engine.
Greenamyer attacked the record at Mud Lake, near Tonopah, Nevada, and beat the previous low-level speed record by recording a top speed of 988.26 mph (1,590.41 km/h) after five passes over the dry lake.
He remained supersonic for most of the 20-minute flight, and rarely rose much higher than 100 feet above the lake bed.
Several months later, while practicing for an attempt on the world absolute altitude record, he was forced to eject when his landing gear failed to extend; a belly landing in the F-104 was considered too dangerous to attempt.

Any contribution is highly welcome, please contact the webmaster
source: http://www.uswarplanes.net
references: http://www.scramble.nl/wiki/index.php?title=Lockheed_F-104_Starfighter
compiled by: Hubert Peitzmeier
update: @ March 15, 2021