05
Jul

104633 finally in Canada!! – updated!

Early this year we mentioned the sale of CF-104D N104 (ex 104633) to the KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence in Canada.
See article here: https://www.i-f-s.nl/news/cf-104d-n104-mark-sherman-sold/

Early this month the team welcomed the aircraft finally at the Aerospace Centre where it arrived June 2nd. Contact person D'Arcy Barker was proud to tell us this memorable moment and shared a pile of pictures with us as well. This CF-104D was held for quite some time in the USA before all paperwork had been finished. Not the most easy task to fulfil.. Nevertheless the aircraft is now back in the country where it flew its first operational flight back in 1962!

Although manufactured with c/n 5303 at Lockheed, USA (where all two-seaters were build) the aircraft was assembled again and delivered to the CF-104 training squadron 6STR-OTU at Cold Lake in May 1962. First with serial 12633 later after the restructuring of the Canadian Armed Forces it became 104633 around May 1970. Picture beneath shows the aircraft at Cold Lake around 1963 or 1964.

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When the Forces disbanded some Starfighter squadrons in Europe a number of aircraft were put in storage and finally were sold to the NATO Air Forces of Norway and Denmark. Also this CF-104D 104633 was part of the excess stock and was sold to Norway and delivered (via Prestwick) on July 20th, 1973 with 1110 hours flown already. In Norway the aircraft was used for many years until the Air Force replaced the F-104 Starfighters by the new F-16 jets from early 80s. The CF-104D 104633 was withdrawn from use at Sola Air Base officially on December 9th, 1982 with a total of 2487 flying hours. Picture beneath was taken at Rygge, June 14, 1975.

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In the USA some companies and organisations got interested in buying old MACH 2 capable Starfighters and soon after phase out the 104633 was sold to Bruce Goessling at Chino Combat Jet Aircraft Museum and was flown over (air cargo) to the USA. Soon after the aircraft was transferred to Jim Robinson of the Combat Jets Flying Museum in Houston where the aircraft was prepared for flying demonstrations with civil registration "N104JR" (JR for Jim Robinson). Picture beneath was taken in 1987.

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The first flight was made by ex NASA pilot Ed Schneider on November 11th, 1986 at Mojave Apt. Ed flew a few more testflights and even a demonstration during an air show at Kelly Air Force Base in 1988. In 1991 the Combat Jets Flying Museum moved from Houston to Hobby Airport where the aircraft received a silver overall and blue white red striped appearance, which it still carries today. In 1992 the aircraft was sold to the Experimental Aircraft Association at Oskosh, Winsconsin where it landed May 15th, 1992 and immediately grounded for inspections and validations.
In 1995 after having been in storage for a number of years, the aircraft was offered for sale. In April 1996 it was sold to Mark Sherman (Fuel Fresh Incorporated, Williams Apt) and in that month the aircraft was flown over the Williams Apt by Tom Delashaw together with Ben McAvoy. After a storage/maintenance period the aircraft flew again in March 1997 and after that day it was seen often as participant at Airshows (mostly static displays). Examples are Nellis AFB (April 1997), Luke (demonstration, April 4th, 1998), Scottsdale (October 21st, 2000), Mesa-Falcon Field (March 9th, 2003), Prescott (demonstration, October 2nd 2004), Phoenix (demonstration, January 2006) and Nellis AFB (November 10th, 2007). In November 2008 it made its last flight and was put in storage inside the hangar at Williams Apt in 2009. After a number of years the aircraft was finally offered for sale world-wide for 1.9 million US dollars in September 2015. Late 2021 it had not been sold and the price went down to 850.000 US dollars. Picture beneath was taken at Williams Apt, March 9th, 2006.

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As mentioned in January this year on our website, the KF Center for excellence, Canada, was able to buy the aircraft in November 2022. That month it was transported from Phoenix (where it was in storage) to Ephrata, Washington where it was held until all export paperwork had been finalized.
June 1st the official papers were signed and the aircraft started its journey to its new home in Canada where it was welcomed at Kelowna by a very happy and proud team the next day.

And what is next?
Paula Quinn stated that the team is now very busy restoring the aircraft bit by bit with the final intention to get the aircraf flyworthy again.
The plan is that it will be repainted back to its original RCAF paint job in order to recognize and pay tribute to the pilots who flew the CF-104 Starfighter during training in Cold Lake.

IFS: It will take time and needs some decisions to make, for example how to get approved ejection seats (possible modifications to Martin Baker seats just as the Norwegian Team did with CF-104D 104637). Of course we will keep you updated.

UPDATES
March 2024: Aircraft is currently receiving RCAF markings again after the civilians stripes had been removed. Below two pictures shared by D'Arcy Barker.

5 Comments

  1. Janssen Patrick

    This is very, very good news!
    Another zipper saved for the future and to be admired flying in the future.
    Too bad for us in Europe it is going to be flown in Canada (and perhaps also the US).
    Congrats to all involved in this adventure!

    104 regards from Belgium,

    Patrick “zip104” Janssen

  2. Derek Hamilton

    I was lucky enough to get a ride in the back seat of 12633 on a test flight after major maintenance. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

    1. Harry Prins Post author

      Thanks Derek, do you remember the date of that ride? Interesting to know because of the historical details on this CF-104D. Thanks!
      Harry

  3. Sandy Jamesen

    My Dad, USAF Capt. Roy (Bud) Jamesen was stationed in Cold Lake from 1965-1966. I’m sure he flew this as he trained RCAF pilots who were transitioning from 101 Voodoo’s

  4. Michael Vivian

    I remember the craft well. My son Brian and I started it at Chino when Ben McAvoy was putting it back together upon its arrival there from overseas. It’s in a good home now. Mike


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