Ejection Seats

This page shows and describes all the used ejection seats inside all F-104 Starfighter versions.

The F-104 Starfighter has been operated in many Air Forces all over the world and during the operations some changes have been applied to the ejection seat system.
Beneath an overview of the types used between the first flight and today. In general these are:

Model 551 downward ejection seat (modified by Lockheed)


C-1 downward ejection seat

F-104 A, B, C, D

C-2 upward ejection seat

F-104 A, B, C, D, J, DJ, F, G, TF (retrofit to A, B, C & D models in the early sixties)
Note: the MAP G’s had a modified parachute with a droug-gun in their C2.

Martin Baker Q7 seat (different versions)

F-104 G, S, ASA, ASA-M and TF-104G, G/M used in Italy, Denmark, Germany (also at Luke AFB in the USA), Turkey, Taiwan and Greece.
Note: Also the CF-104D 637 from the Norwegian Starfighter group at Bodø adopted later on Martin Baker ejection seats.


Aircraft Mechanic Inc. No 551 Seat

Inside both XF-104 prototypes some modified Aircraft Mechanic Inc 551 downward ejection seats were used. Two have been derived and modified substantially to fit inside the two XF-104 prototypes.



In the early F-104 Starfighters the Lockheed C1 downward ejection seat were used but these were soon replaced by the Lockheed C2 upward ejection seats. (Photos thanks to Theo Stoelinga and Lockheed)



First upward firing ejection seat was the Lockheed C2 seat, used on most Starfighters. (Photos thanks to Mark Wassenaar, Ioannis Mylonas and Ferry van der Geest)

Lockheed C2 29+11 SollingenC2-seat_CF104_IoannisMylonasC2_b_FerryvdGeest

LOCKHEED C2 (zero-zero) II

Some state that within certain Air Forces the Lockheed C2 ejection seats have been modified by replacing the explosive section by a more powerful version which should give the pilots more changes when ejecting a very low level.



To assure zero-zero ejection (from ground and above) operations the Italian Air Force decided to modify their Starfighters by replacing the original Lockheed C2 seats by Martin Baker MB IQ7A seats. Also the lateron developed F-104S got this seat as standard from production.



This version of the the Martin Baker seat has been implemented inside German and Danish F-104s and has similar specifications as the used IQ-7A version used in Italy but with some modification. Because the headrest and parachute packet were very bulky and resulted in poor visibility for the pilot sitting in the back of a two-seater F-104, the seats meant for the German Starfighters were smaller.


See also this interesting website about the F-104 ejectionseats: http://www.ejectionsite.com/frame_sg.htm

If you have any additional information or corrections please do not hesitate to contact us!