The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was designed and built by Lockheed as a single-engine supersonic interceptor that was widely used as a fighter-bomber during the Cold War. It was initially built as a day fighter by the company intended for the United States Air Force before it was evolved in the early 1960s into an all-weather multirole aircraft and was produced by various countries outside the United States.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
United States
1954 to: 1979
US$1.42 million (1962)
1x General Electric J79
15,600 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1260 knots
2,334 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
180 knots
Travel range:
1,420 Nautical Miles
2,630 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
58,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
48000 feet / minute
243.84metre / second
Take Off Distance:
1220 metre - 4,002.58 feet
Landing Distance:
1524 metre - 4,999.94 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
13,166 Kg
29,026 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
2,800 Kg
6,173 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
1,340 gallon
5,072 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
16.66 metre - 54.66 feet
Tail height:
4.11 metre - 13.48 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1 metre - 3.28 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
6.63 metre - 21.75 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets

The prototype aircraft designated as XF-104 had two examples fitted with Wright J65 engines. On February 17, 1956, a pre-production aircraft designated as YF-104A took to the air for the first time. It was used for testing the engine, equipment, as well as the performance of the aircraft. The F-104A was the initial production interceptor version. The Starfighter was also greatly produced outside the United States.

The F-104G was the most-produced variant of the Starfighter. It is a multi-role fighter-bomber with a total of 1,127 units produced. The single-seat fighter-bomber has an exterior length of 16.66 meters, an exterior height of 2.4 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1 meter. It has a tail height of 4.11 meters and a wheelbase of 4.58 meters. The wingspan is 6.63 meters and the wing area is 18.22 square meters. The version has an empty weight of 6,350 kg, a maximum payload of 2,800 kg, and a maximum takeoff weight of 13,166 kg. The fuel tank capacity is 1,340 US gal.

The F-104G is fitted with a General Electric J79 engine. It is an afterburning turbojet engine with a single-spool seventeen-stage axial compressor with one row of variable inlet guide vanes followed by six rows of variable stator vanes, cannular combustor, and three-stage turbine. It has a 10,000 lbf dry thrust and 15,600 lbf afterburning thrust. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,328 knots.

The combat range and ferry ranges are 360 and 1,420 nautical miles, respectively. It can fly up to 50,000 feet and has an initial rate of climb of 48,000 feet per minute. The F-104G could be loaded with a single 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan six-barreled Gatling cannon with 725 rounds, seven hardpoints with a capacity of 1,800 kg with provisions to carry combinations of four AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles and other bombs, rockets, or other stores.

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