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Notable appearances in media[edit | edit source]

The Starfighter was featured in music and film. The German controversy over the Starfighter's contract and its toll on pilots inspired a rock concept album by Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, called Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters. It repeated the commonplace grim joke in Germany that the cheapest way of obtaining a Starfighter was to buy a small patch of land and simply wait.[1] After Kai-Uwe von Hassel succeeded Strauss as minister of defence, his son Oberleutnant Joachim von Hassel died in a Starfighter crash. This event was the topic of the Welle: Erdball song, "Starfighter F-104G".

Stock footage of F-104s was used when a U.S. Air Force F-104 intercepted the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek first season episode, "Tomorrow is Yesterday". In the remastered version of the episode, the stock footage was replaced by computer-generated imagery. The 1964 movie The Starfighters, about the training and operations of F-104 crews was subsequently featured in episode No. 612 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The film starred future U.S. Congressman Robert Dornan.

An F-104G Starfighter in the guise of an NF-104A was featured in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. The appearance was based on an accident involving Chuck Yeager in an NF-104A on 10 December 1963.

Italian Air Force F-104 Starfighters starred in several episodes of the 1989 Italian public television RAI Due fiction series, "Aquile", narrating the story of an improbable group of Italian Air Force cadets going through the training in the Accademia Aeronautica of Pozzuoli (Naples).[2]

Nicknames[edit | edit source]

The Starfighter was commonly called the "missile with a man in it"; a name swiftly trademarked by Lockheed for marketing purposes. The term "Super Starfighter" was used by Lockheed to describe the F-104G in marketing campaigns, but fell into disuse. In service, American pilots called it the "Zipper" or "Zip-104" because of its prodigious speed. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force called it Eiko ("Glory"). A less charitable name appeared, "The Flying Coffin" from the translation of the common German public name of Fliegender Sarg. The F-104 was also called Witwenmacher ("Widowmaker"), or Erdnagel ("ground nail") – the official military term for a tent peg.[3] The Pakistani AF name was Badmash ("Hooligan"), while among Italian pilots its spiky design earned it the nickname Spillone ("Hatpin"), along with Bara volante ("Flying coffin"). In the Canadian Forces, the aircraft were sometimes referred to as the "Widowmaker",[4] or the "Lawn Dart".[5]

The engine made a unique howling sound at certain throttle settings which led to NASA F-104B Starfighter N819NA being named Howling Howland.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Bashow 1990, p. 93. Quote: "...just buy an acre of land anywhere in Germany, Sooner or later..."
  2. "Aquile" IMDb. Retrieved: 17 May 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bashow 1986, p. 16.
  4. "Cold Lake Airforce Museum." Cold Lake Airforce Museum. Retrieved: 8 August 2010.
  5. "CF-104 Starfighter." canadianmilitary.page. Retrieved: 24 September 2010.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Bashow, David L. Starfighter: A Loving Retrospective of the CF-104 Era in Canadian Fighter Aviation, 1961–1986. Stoney Creek, Ontario: Fortress Publications Inc., 1990. ISBN 0-919195-12-1.
  • Bashow, David L. "Starwarrior: A First Hand Look at Lockheed's F-104, One of the Most Ambitious Fighters ever Designed!" Wings, Vol. 16, no. 3, June 1986.
  • Bowman, Martin W. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press Ltd., 2000. ISBN 1-86126-314-7.
  • Coggins, Ed. Wings That Stay on. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 978-1-56311-568-4.
  • Donald, David, ed. Century Jets. Norwalk, Connecticut: AIRtime Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-880588-68-4.
  • Drendel, Lou. F-104 Starfighter in action, Aircraft No. 27. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-89747-026-5.
  • Fricker, John and Paul Jackson. "Lockheed F-104 Starfighter". Wings of Fame, Volume 2, 1996, pp. 38–99. London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-69-7.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Great Book of Fighters. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3.
  • Higham, Robin and Carol Williams. Flying Combat Aircraft of USAAF-USAF (Vol.2). Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-8138-0375-6.
  • Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses, USAF, USN, USMC, Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961–1973. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-115-6.
  • Jackson, Paul A. German Military Aviation 1956–1976. Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-904597-03-2.
  • Jagan, Mohan P.V.S. and Samir Chopra. The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965. New Delhi: Manohar, 2006. ISBN 81-7304-641-7.
  • Jenkins, Dennis R. "Hun Heaven, The Super Sabre Dance." Wings Magazine, Vol. 35, No. 12, December 2005.
  • Jenkins, Dennis R. and Tony R. Landis. Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58007-111-6.
  • Käsmann, Ferdinand C.W. Die schnellsten Jets der Welt (German language) Planegg, Germany: Aviatic-Verl., 1994. ISBN 3-925505-26-1.
  • Kinzey, Bert. F-104 Starfighter in Detail & Scale. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: TAB books, 1991. ISBN 1-85310-626-7.
  • Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of USAF Aircraft and Missile Systems: Vol. 1, Post-WW II Fighters 1945–1973. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1978. ISBN 0-912799-59-5
  • Kropf, Klaus. German Starfighters. Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-85780-124-5.
  • Matricardi, Paolo. Aerei militari: Caccia e ricognitori, Volume 1. Milan: Mondadori Electa, 2006. No ISBN.
  • Nicolli, Ricardo. "Starfighters in the AMI". Air International, Volume 31, No. 6, December 1986, pp. 306–313, 321–322.
  • Pace, Steve. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1992. ISBN 0-87938-608-8.
  • Pace, Steve. X-Fighters: USAF Experimental and Prototype Fighters, XP-59 to YF-23. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1991. ISBN 0-87938-540-5.
  • Reed, Arthur. F-104 Starfighter – Modern Combat Aircraft 9. London: Ian Allan Ltd., 1981. ISBN 0-7110-1089-7.
  • Sgarlato, Nico. "F-104 Starfighter" (in Italian). Delta editions, Great Planes Monograph series, February 2004.
  • Smith, Philip E. and Peggy Herz. Journey Into Darkness: the Gripping Story of an American Pow's Seven Years Trapped Inside Red China During the Vietnam War. New York: Pocket Books, 1992. ISBN 0-671-72823-7.
  • Stachiw, Anthony L. and Andrew Tattersall. CF-104 Starfighter (Aircraft in Canadian Service). St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada: Vanwell Publishing Limited, 2007. ISBN 1-55125-114-0.
  • Thompson, J. Steve with Peter C. Smith. Air Combat Manoeuvres: The Technique and History of Air Fighting for Flight Simulation. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-903223-98-7.
  • Thompson, Warren. "Starfighter in Vietnam". International Air Power Review. Volume 12, Spring 2004. Norwalk, Connecticut, USA: AirTime Publishing. 2004. ISBN 1-880588-77-3.
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  • USAF Class A mishap rates through the end of 2007. Kirtland AFB, New Mexico: USAF Safety and Inspection Center, 2007.
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  • Weal, John. "Jagdeschwader 'Richthofen': Phoenix Twice Risen". Wings of Fame, Volume 1, 1995, pp. 142–165. London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-68-9.
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External links[edit | edit source]

F-104 Starfighter
A U.S. Air Force Lockheed F-104A-10-LO Starfighter
Role Interceptor aircraft, fighter-bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
First flight 4 March 1954
Introduction 20 February 1958
Retired 2004 (Italy)
Status Retired, except for private operators
Primary user United States Air Force

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