Early 60s Lockheed decided to take one of the aircraft out of their TF-104G production line to use it as a customer demonstration aircraft. The jet-fighter market was growing and Lockheed sold already a number of aircraft to NATO and wanted to gain interest of other nations as well. They also managed to get a lot of media attention, especially during the test-rides by Jacky Cochran in April till June 1963 and by Tony and his 18-year old daughter Toni Le Vier end May 1963. The aircraft was nicknamed “Free World Defender” and carried a special logo. As already mentioned the aircraft was used by Jacqueline Cochran. She managed to set three women’s world speed records in May-June 1964. On 11th May 1963, she averaged 1429.3 mph over a 15/25 km course and on the 1st June she flew at an average speed of 1303.18 mph over a 100-km closed-circuit course. Finally at 3 June she flew at an average speed of 1127.4 mph over a 500-km again closed-circuit course. In 1965 the aircraft was given back to the productionline and thanks to the Dutch Prince Bernard the aircraft went to the Dutch Air Force. So it joined the Dutch TF fleet as last one on 30 May 1965 receiving serial D-5702. This ended the civil career of this two-seater.
To complete the history of this aircraft, it was flown by the Dutch Air Force after being withdrawn from use in August 1980. On 25 August 1980 it was delivered to the Turkish Air Force, arriving in Turkey the next day. The 5702 was operated first by 4th Wing at Murted AB and later by 9th Wing at Balikesir AB. Then it was phased out in 1989 and went into storage at Eskisehir. It was likely scrapped late 1993 or early 1994. Photo shows the aircraft at Andrews AFB in September 1963, thanks to Stephen Miller.
This was a famous Starfighter used for record flying in the 70s. It was build and flown by Darryl Greenamyer. He had flown Starfighters in the past and was convinced that this aircraft was capable to break any existing flight speed record. It was build around the phased out company production fuselage 2051 (used for production testing). The aft-section was obtained from a crashed Luke CCTW TF-104G (identity unknown), found on a scrapyard in Ontario. The Horizontal tail came from Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson scrapyard. The wings also belonged to a former Luke CCTW aircraft. This one-seat F-104G had also been written off after a crash (accident). The powerplant, on ban from the US-NAVY, was a US NAVY Phantom J79-GE10 engine which was tuned on a tested rate of 19,000 pound of thrust uninstalled.
On 2 October 1977 Darryl Greenamyer broke the record by flying average 1010 mph. Sadly this record became un-official due to a tracking camera malfunction.. This was very frustrating.
Then on the 24th that month Darryl did a new attempt and flew an FAI 3 km official record flight of 988.26 mph average. Sadly he did not break the 1000 mph this time but it was fast enough!!!
Next step was to break the world altitude record. On February 26th 1978 the aircraft crashed due to a malfunctioning gear while he made his fourth practice run/flight. Darryl ejected safely but this was the end of the Red Baron aircraft. Complete story is soon to be found inside a seperate article on this website.. stay tuned.
See also: http://www.angelfire.com/indie/aerostuff/F-104SpeedRecord.htm
F-104A (c/n 1038 56-750) – Project “N62556″This F-104A Starfighter was build in 1957 and this same year it made its first flight. On 25th of November 1957 it was delivered to the USAF. The first user was the ARDC (Aircraft Research Development Centre) at Edwards which used this single seat Starfighter until January 1962 for various flying tests and experiments. In January the aircraft was transferred to the USAF Test Pilot School (TPS) also located at Edwards AFB. This school used the aircraft for 1 and a half year teaching test-pilot students all about this demanding aircraft. The 6512TG (Test Group) at Edwards received the aircraft in June 1962 where it was redesignated official to JF-104A. The next month the 6512 OMS (Organizational Maintenance Squadron) at Edwards obtained this aircraft as instructional airframe. They owned the Starfighter until the AFSC (Aircraft Flight Test Centre) took it over from the school in September 1964. One month later the aircraft was redesignated back to F-104A and stayed in use with this unit until its retirement late 1967. The aircraft was put on store and moved to the MASDC in January 1968. It received storage code “FB015”. After the USAF found out that the aircraft was no longer a candidate for export it was dropped from their inventory in October 1971. To get rid of this “old piece of alluminium” the USAF sold it to DELCON which converts old aircraft into alluminium scrap for recycling. They received the aircraft on 25th of January 1974 but did not scrap it. They put it in storage until they were able to sell the aircraft to a company called Consolidated Aircraft. They brought the aircraft over to Tucson Arizona. Mid 70s it was bought by Darrell Greenamyer and Al Hanson for use in obtaining parts from it in support of their “Red Baron” F-104 project. Late 80s Starfighter enthousiast and IFS member Steve Alex bought the aircraft when it was already located at Mojave. Steve kept the Starfighter on this location and in 1991 he met Scott Vetter who was very interested in the aircraft. At the end Scott bought the 104 from Steve that year and brought the aircraft over to his home location at Canton Michigan. Scott still has 1 major goal……..becoming the first owner of a flying F-104A Starfighter in the world!! The photo was taken by Scott Vertter in October 2001 under restoration. More information about the project can be found at the website: http://www.mif-104.com/
One of the initial Lockheed Starfighter test aircraft at Edwards late 50s was F-104A 56-763. It was built and finalized on 18 July 1957, accepted by the US Air Force on 26 August 1957 and eventually delivered on August 29th. It went to Edwards to serve various test projects as a flying testbed for G.E.’s J79 engine, and later as a chase aircraft during other test programs like the X-15, SR-71 Blackbird, & XB-70A Valkyrie. It was scheduled to receiF-104A (c/n 1051 56-763) North America Eagle Race Car ve a tail booster rocket and become an NF-104 aircraft, but funding cuts prevented this from occurring. After its career ended it was put in storage at Davis Monthan AB on 4 February 1970 where it was parked next to brother “56-755”. Its operational storage period ended officially on 22 October 1971 but the aircraft stayed at the boneyard for 2 more years. Then the aircraft went to DELCON, a company in the Davis Monthan district specialized in scrapping aircraft. It arrived at this company in January 1974 but for an unknown reason it was not scrapped, but sold to someone interested buying a Starfighter. It departed Davis Monthan on 18 March 1974 and disappeared. Nobody knew where it was until its fuselage was seen again at the Aerospace JunkYard, California, formerly Consolidated Aircraft in May 1992. (It’s our understanding that it was used by this company for template purposes for NATO aircraft.) IFS member Steve Alex bought this fuselage in September 1996 and stored it a while in California. On 13 October 1997 it arrived at his home in Bangor, Maine, USA. At that time he started to work on the fuselage but soon found an interesting customer. Land speed driver Ed Shadle showed some interest in buying the fuselage to build up a new racecar. He bought it in 1998 and had it shipped to Washington state. Ed established the North America Eagle Land Speed Challenger Project and the Starfighter fuselage was seen with the team for the first time in October 1998.
It took millions of man-hours to convert this fuselage into a serious racecar by adding a new vertical stabilizer and rear suspension for a trailing axle. The engine is a J79-11 for testing, but has a more powerfull J79 engine with special enhancements to increase thrust for the record attempt. For more information about the North America Eagle project visit their wonderful website on : http://www.landspeed.com
UPDATE: On August 27th, 2019 the famous female race driver Jessy Combs was sadly killed during a run with this race car at Oregon. In November 2019 the local Sheriff released the findings after completing an investigation around the crash. He stated the front wheel failed when Jessi’s jet-car reached around 550 miles per hour probably due to hitting some object on the surface. Jessy must have been killed instantly before the car caught flames. Jessy will be missed….
This two seat Canadian Starfighter was once flown by the Canadian Armed Forces since its delivery on 1 May 1962. It served the testsquadron at Cold Lake for many years and when the Canadians wanted to decrease their operational F-104 fleet they sold this aircraft to the Norwegian Air Force on 23 May 1973. On 14 September that year it arrived in Norway receiving serial “4632”. It served 334Skv at Bodo until its retirement on 19 November 1982 and put in storage at Sola Air Base and lateron Flesland Air Station. In November 1988 it was bought by Northern Light Aircraft Corporation and brought over to the USA by C-130 Hercules on the 30th that month. The company spent a lot of hours to service the aircraft, which got civil registration “N104NL” and on 16 May 1989 it made its first flight at Mojave Apt. It was used for a lot of testflights (instruments testing for companies) and payed funflights until it was grounded in June 1993. In December 1993 it was offered for sale. In 1994 it was sold to Thunderbird Aviation and it was transported to their headquarters at Deer Valley on 11 April 1994. This company gave the aircraft a intensive service treatment removing all the paintwork and checking the complete airframe and avionics. It got a new civil registration, “N166TB”, which was more in line with the registration of their other aircraft. Soon after the aircraft flew again and the company received a number of interesting contracts from the US Air Force. From 29th of August 1995 till mid January 1996 it flew several test flights from Edwards Air Force Base in California. Soon after the company stopped their flight test facilities and the aircraft was sold to Rick Svetkoff who started a Starfighter demonstration team. It was bought in January 1996 and after a number of inspections in Deer Valley it was flown over from Deer Valley to Clearwater, Florida on 6 February.At Clearwater the aircraft received some necessary overhaul and made some taxy runs in October 1996. The real first flight was in March 1997 with Tom Delashaw on the controls. Then the aircraft went to Lakeland for a repaint on the 10th of March, making it ready for its first demonstration season. The team got a number of sponsors and fuel etc was obtained via the demonstration invitations on several air shows at for example Ft Lauderdale, McDill, Louisville, Andrews, Michigan, Dayton, Oskosh etc… On 20 May 1997 its civil registration was changed from “N166TB” to “N104RB”. this registration was not choosen because of the famous red baron Starfighter but it was named after the owner and his wife (Rick and Barbara). The aircraft was prepared for its new blue-white STARFIGHTERS color scheme which was applied around spring 1998. It has been in use until 2017 and put in storage. In March 2019 the aircraft was donated to the Royal Air Museum, located at Bonifay, Florida. The aircraft will stay in storage at Starfighters Inc. for now. The photo was taken during the Oceana Air Show on 9 September 2006 by Michael de Boer.
This two seat Canadian Starfighter was once flown by the Canadian Armed Forces since its delivery in May 1962. It served the testsquadron at Cold Lake for many years and when the Canadians wanted to decrease their operational F-104 fleet they sold this aircraft to the Norwegian Air Force on 20 July 1973. It received serial “4633” and served 334Skv at Bodo until its retirement on 9 December 1982 and put in storage at Sola Air Base.In 1983 or 1984 it was sold to a company named Combat Jet Aircraft Museum (CJAM), based at Chino. The new owner of the aircraft was Bruce Goessling. Soon after it was sold to Jim Robinson of the Combat Jet Flying Museum at Houston Texas, taking over the activities to make it flyworthy again. That big day was 11 November 1986 when NASA Starfighter pilot Ed Schneider made its first flight, at Mojave Apt. The aircraft had received already the civil registration “N104JR”. On 15 May 1992 it was sold to the EAA, Experimental Aircraft Association, at Oskosh, Winsconsin and soon after it was grounded early 1993. After years of storage the aircraft was offered for sale in December 1995 and bought by Mark Sherman in April 1996. It was flown over that same month from Oskosh to Williams Apt by Tom Delashaw with Ben McAvoy as passenger. At Williams it was put in storage and it got maintenance. In March 1997 it was planned to make its next flight again and until now the aircraft is still flying around in the USA now and then, still owned by Mark Sherman. Photos show (1) aircraft after it had arrived in the US full alu dope at Dear Valley in February 1995..Photo (2) shows the lucky owner Mark Sherman with his “N104JR” aircraft. Then photo (3) shows the 104 as “N104” during the Nellis Air Show in May 1997 and last photo (4) shows the aircraft at Mesa Falcon, Florida on 9 March 2003. This beautiful shot was taken by Greg Hofen.
This two seat Starfighter was once flown by the Canadian Armed Forces since its delivery in May 1962. It served the testsquadron at Cold Lake for many years and when the Canadians wanted to decrease their operational F-104 fleet they sold this aircraft to the Norwegian Air Force on 23 May 1973. It arrived in Norway on 14 June 1973 and received serial “4637” and served 334Skv at Bodo until its retirement on 1 April 1983. Then it was put in storage at Sola Air Base. A few month later it went to Bodo where it was used for aircraft towing instructions and put aside early mid 90s. When the aircraft was put on display inside the Bodo Air Museum a group of people got interested in this aircraft and made some plans to get it back into the sky. The aircraft was in a very good shape and it was decided to put the aircraft back under control of 331Skv at Bodo. This was a logistical decision to get more professional attention within the Air Force to support the project. The group was named “Friends of the Starfighter” and was officially founded in Bodø on 16 january 2003. Very interesting to know that also Rick Svetkoff and Tom Delashaw were in Bodo to celebrate this “start” of the 637 project. During the preparation of the aircraft the team received a lot of help, including from the Italian and Danish Air Forces for the needed parts. In September 2007 the team made good progress by a first succesfull run of the J79 engine. In the summer of 2008 the first runway taxy-trials were performed. In November 2011 the registration “LN-STF” was reserved for the Starfighter. It’s first flight was made on September 28th, 2016, piloted by Norwegian Air Force testpilot Eskil Amdal. He stayed with the team as the only registered pilot to fly the aircraft for next test and other flights. On June 7th, 2017 the 2nd testflight was made and the 3rd testflight on November 18th that same year. On June 9th 2018 he was one of the stars at the air demonstration at Sola, followed by a demonstration at Aalborg open house that same weekend. After that it flew to Leeuwarden Air Base to participate in the 322 squadron 75 anniversary celebrations. He flew back to Torp (airshow storage) on June 26th. It is great to see the aircraft in such a good flying condition.
The CF-104 Starfighter 104759 was delivered to the Canadian Armed Forces on 17 May 1962 and went to Cold Lake for flight testing. In 1965 it went to Europe to serve the Canadian operational squadron within 1st Wing. When the Canadian phased out a number of aircraft this 104759 was sold to Norway on 23 May 1973 to serve 331Skv at Bodo. Lateron it transferred to sistersquadron 334Skv. After it was withdrawn from use on 22 November 1982 it was stored at Sola Air Base. A few years later it was seen within the collection of the Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo in June 1989. It was seen there for the last time late May 1995. In August 2000 it was seen again, now inside a new museum building at Gardermoen AB. It could be found preserved until it was sold to Barry Johnson of the Air Defence Museum at Bagotville in Canada. It was first seen in Canada in September 2005 and it was sold in August 2006 to Rick Svetkoff of the Starfighters Demo Team who needed an extra single-seat airframe for the 2007 season. The 104759 arrived in St Petersburg in November 2006. The photo was taken by Mike Robinson early 2008 when it just had received its blue-white color scheme. From (effective date) 10 August 2007 the aircraft received official registrationnumber “N104RN”.
The CF-104 Starfighter 104850 went to Europe after being delivered to the Canadian Armed Forces. There it was flown until it was phased out due to shortcuts (fleet-reduction program). The aircraft was sold to Norway on 23 May 1973 and it arrived at Bodo Air Base 19 November 1973. The aircraft received serial “850” and joined the fleet of 334Skv.
On 6 December 1982 it was withdrawn from use when the squadron was replacing the Starfighters by F-16 jets. The 104850 was stored inside “bunker 5” at Sola Air Base with 3400 airframe flight hours. It was treated well and eventually sold (or exchanged) by IFS member Steve Alex in Bangor Maine, USA. On 15 July 1994 a Norwegian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft arrived in Maine, USA to bring over this toy. The aircraft was stored in a big hangar at Bangor Maine and received maintenance and the paint was removed. After the 104 was flyworthy again it was sold to Rick Svetkoff (The Starfighters Demo Team) in July 1997. The aircraft also had received a civil registration “N104JT” (named after Jet Tech which was the name of Steve’s company) In July 1997 the aircraft was brought over to the Starfighters Demo team in St Petersburg and that same month the team made 2 full engine runs. Soon after Tom Delashaw made a succesfull first flight with this completely bare metal aircraft. It was ready for participation in the Eglin Air Base airshow on 2 November 1997. Here it flew together with the CF-104D “N104RB” and still wearing the bare-metal color scheme.
After the first season was very succesfull both aircraft received a stunning blue-white “STARFIGHTERS” colorscheme which still is used today. Its civil registration had been changed to “N104RD” (We believe the D was for Delashaw). The photo was obtained from Tom Delashaw from his own collection.
In 2006 the Classic Aviation Aircraft Museum at Hillsboro Apt. got into a position to obtain a well preserved ex Taiwanese F-104G Starfighter somewhere parked in a garden of a university in Taichung. it was a very nice opportunity to get an F-104G flyworthy again within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price. Their owned Belgium aircraft needed too much time and money to get airworthy. Together with their TF-104G this would make a nice couple for flying demonstrations. The Starfighter is a Canadair licensed build F-104G delivered under MAP regulations to Denmark on 23 November 1964. It got serial R-699 (using last digits of USAF serial 63-12699). When it arrived in Denmark the aircraft had clocked 12.55 flying hours due to test and acceptance flights. It was flown by 723 Eskader, based at Aalborg until 1 January 1984 when the F-16s started to replace the aircraft of this squadron. The R-699 was transferred to sistersquadron 726 Eskader that day. On 30 April 1986 the aircraft was withdrawn from use and it was officially given back to the USA due to the MAP regulations. It was decided to transfer them to Taiwan which signed the contract on 18 February 1987. In Taiwan the aircraft received serial “4420” and flew with various squadrons until it retired after November 1995. It went to Taichung where it was used as instructional airframe at the Feng Chia University, first noticed in August 2000. Lateron the aircraft was phased out and put on display in the garden. Soon after the people from the Classic Aviation Aircraft Museum managed to get this aircraft for their museum plans. Until the contract was signed by the Taiwanese authorities the people at the university decided to cocoon the aircraft to protect it against the weather until it was taken by the Americans. On 18 October 2006 the aircraft was officially handed over to the museum via an official ceremony. Immediately the aircraft was dismantled and shipped to the USA where it arrived at the Seattle harbor on 19 November 2006. From there it went straight on to the main headquarters of the Classic Aviation Aircraft Museum where they started the technical maintenance and other treatments. Photo was taken in November 2006.CLASSIC AIRCRAFT MUSEUM, INC. LOCATION: Premier Jets Hanger (Hillsboro, OR Airport), 3005 NE Cornell Road PO Box 91430, Portland, OR 97291-0430. (503) 640-2927 Website: http://www.classicaircraft.org/
Early 2001 the company Premier Jets Inc decided to try and buy a two-seater Starfighter to replace the single-seater ex Belgium F-104G. First of all because the F-104G project toke more effort then expected and also because a two seater is much better to fly on a commercial point of view. In 2001 they managed to get a TF-104G from the Turkish Air Force which arrived in the US in November 2001. With this aircraft they also got a tail from another F-104 as spare. We are speaking about TF-104G 5926 which was first used by the German Luftwaffe (WS10 training squadron at Jever followed by JaBoG 33 at Buchel and finishing with JaBoG 34 at Memmingen) as 27+96 and sold to the Turkish Air Force with 3025 clocked flying hours on 21 January 1986. In Turkey it flew first with 9th Wing at Balikesir (9-926) and later with 8th Wing at Diyarbakir (8-926). It was used until 1994 and put in storage at Diyarbakir. It was seen in storage for the last time in September 2000 and in November 2001, as mentioned above, it was brought over to Premier Jets Inc. at Hillsboro Apt, USA. Immediately the aircraft got a civil registration “N104TF” and was stripped and received major maintenance. It was strange to see number “5906” on the tailfin (see bottom photo), meaning that this tail once belonged to aircraft 27+77 which had been sold to Greece…. The company Premier Jets Inc is currently named “Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum (CAAM)”. Photo was taken inside the CAAM hangar on 11 September 2005.CLASSIC AIRCRAFT MUSEUM, INC. LOCATION: Premier Jets Hanger (Hillsboro, OR Airport), 3005 NE Cornell Road PO Box 91430, Portland, OR 97291-0430. (503) 640-2927. Website: http://www.classicaircraft.org/
On 6-8-2021 the registration N104TF has been cancelled – aircraft is no longer planned to become fly worthy.
This ex Italian Air Force Starfighter was delivered December 2011 / January 2012 to the Starfighters Inc Team in Florida and got its civil FAA registration in January 2012. In June 2014 the aircraft was still in storage awaiting conversion (see photo). In October 2015 it was seen wearing light grey primer overall, awaiting final paint.
This ex Italian Air Force Starfighter was delivered December 2011 / January 2012 to the Starfighters Inc Team in Florida and got its civil FAA registration in January 2012. Early 2014 it was painted in a light grey overall scheme with white company logos meeting specific mission requirements. It is currently being prepared for making it operational again. (Photo thanks to Luigino Caliaro)
This ex Italian Air Force Starfighter was delivered December 2011 / January 2012 to the Starfighters Inc Team in Florida and got its civil FAA registration in January 2012. Early 2014 it was painted in a fragmented grey white blue overall scheme meeting specific future mission requirements. It is currently being prepared for making it operational again. (Photo thanks to Luigino Caliaro)
This ex Italian Air Force Starfighter was delivered December 2011 / January 2012 to the Starfighters Inc Team in Florida and got its civil FAA registration in January 2012. Early 2014 it got its new splinter camouflage paint and waits further modifications and maintenance before becoming airworthy again. The aircraft has received a nickname within the team as Maximus (Maximo for short).
This two seat ex Jordanian Air Force Starfighter arrived back in the US in 1990. It was bought by Northern Light Aircraft Inc at Dannely Field and got registration N65354. Soon after the company stopped their flight test facilities and the aircraft was sold to Rick Svetkoff who started a Starfighter demonstration team. It was bought in September 1995 and brought over to Clearwater, Florida. After that it stayed in storage and received some initial treatment and maintenance for future project purposes but offered for sale soon after. In March 2019 the aircraft was donated to the Royal Air Museum, located at Bonifay, Florida. The aircraft will stay in storage at Starfighters Inc. for now.