Lockheed F-104F Starfighter

Last revised December 11, 1999






For some odd reason, the designation F-104E was never assigned, and the next designation in the series was the F-104F. The F-104F was the initial training version of the multi-role Starfighter designed for service with European air forces.

Before European production of the F-104G could get underway, it was felt that the Luftwaffe should get some two-seat trainer Starfighters that could be used to train Luftwaffe instructors. The result of this project was the F-104F (company Model 483-04-08), which 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 considered as being combat-capable. It did not have the G's strengthened airframe. It was equipped with Martin-Baker upward ejector seats. 30 examples were built for the Luftwaffe. The first example was accepted at Palmdale in October of 1959. However, they were initially used in the United States and carried standard USAF markings and were provided with USAF serial numbers (59-4994/5023). They were used to train an initial cadre of German instructors. After this task was completed, they were handed over to the Luftwaffe's Waffenschule 10 based at Norvenich in Germany, at which time they were given Luftwaffe serial numbers (BB360/BB389). In January of 1968, these Luftwaffe serial numbers were changed to 2901/2930.

The F-104F Starfighter trainers were withdrawn from Luftwaffe service in December of 1971, being superseded by the combat-capable TF-104G two-seater.

Sources:

  1. The Lockheed F-104G/CF-104, Gerhard Joos, Aircraft in Profile No. 131, Doubleday, 1969.

  2. The World's Great Interceptor Aircraft, Gallery Books, 1989.

  3. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, Steve Pace, Motorbooks International, 1992.

  4. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987.

  5. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  6. The World's Fighting Planes, William Green, Doubleday 1968.

  7. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  8. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, John Fricker, Wings of Fame, Vol 2, Aerospace Publishing Ltd, 1996.