104637 flew after 33 years


28 September 2016, really a day to remember for all time, again an F-104 took off from European ground.
It was 33,5 years ago that CF-104D 104637 shut off its engine to start an unsure future.

Built in 1963 for the Canadian Armed Forces it was transferred to the Norwegian Air Force 10 years later in 1973 and 10 years after that it flew its last mission on April 1st 1983.
All Starfighters were withdrawn from use, replaced by F-16s and put aside, being scrapped, put preserved on poles or send to museums.
Years ago the remaining CF-104D 104637 became the teddybear of a lot of old F-104 related retired and enthusiast personell at Bodo Air Base.

A plan was made to see if this bird could become airborne again which was of course not an easy job as we have seen the last years.
On September 10th, 2007 the engine first ran again (succesful) and the first afterburner test was on October 12th that year.
After lots of work to the airframe, seats etc. and the enormeous courage, endurance and professional attitude of the team the result was a successful first flight of the CF-104D 104637 yesterday at the end of the afternoon. It was flown by Norwegian testpilot Eskil Amdal who really made history.
The aircraft flew about 50 minutes and was escorted by a Norwegian Air Force F-16B (with Helge Andreassen in the backseat).

For those who want to see some videos you might find some on facebook but also on youtube like this one:

and NRK tv : https://www.nrk.no/nordland/her-flyr-eskil-_the-widowmaker_-for-forste-gang-pa-33-ar-1.13152617?

And taken by Helge Andreassen during the flight : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdMioGFmUqM

And also from the CF-104  cockpit: https://www.nrk.no/nordland/filmet-den-unike-starfighter-flygningen-fra-f16-fly-1.13156073

Beneath some photos provided by the team (starfighter.no) and as banner a wonderful photo of the Starfighter taken by Helge Andreassen from the F-16.



  1. Olly

    Just incredible! Out of interest had the test pilot ever had everperience with the 104?

  2. Peter Dirscherl

    Great to see this iconic airplane flying in our continent!!!
    Many happy landings!

  3. Helge Andreassen

    Hello. The aircraft had to be flown by a professional testpilot for the first flight . Eskil Amdal has been testing RNo.AF F-16’s for years. He went through USN test pilot school years ago. In addition , among many other types, he flys Spitfire. There is still more testing to be done, Eskil will perform those as well.

  4. Filippo Culotta

    And the surprises do not end there! The Starfighter it still surprises you with its spectacular and legendary performance. I was lucky enough to live with the F-104G in the 154th group and then with the F-104S in the 22th group of the Italian Air Force as a specialist maintenance worker of Radar Nasarr F-15A, R-21G, IR Sight and Sparrow Armament System. I sincerely thank all the editors of this site for the opportunity they give us to be able to relive many unforgettable moments spent together at the Starfighter. Sincerely, marshal Filippo Culotta.

  5. Al Barkl

    I was crew chief on 71 3075 TF 104 G at Luke A F B Ariz 1966 to Dec 1974 .wonder where that plane ended up?

    1. Harry Prins Post author

      Hi Al, that particular aircraft was sold to Taiwan in 1983 with 3319 flying hours. It got Taiwanese serial 4173 and flew operational until it retired in 1997 (14 years used) and was scrapped in 1998.

  6. Al Barkl

    At Luke it had the highest hours of all the TF ,s.I have A 1/48 scale TF I put those no,s on it & my name as crewchief.Sad it was scraped,I have pic,s of it with me along side.I recieved many O sqwak inspections from U.S.A.F. & Lockheed for that plane.I loved working for Lockheed!!!In the Air Force I was jet engine trouble shooter on the flight line when we got 104 ,s ran everyone many times on the run up pad.thanks for answering back,I kinda figured my plane was scrapped,Sad


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