Cutaway Thursday: Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

My all time favorite of the “Century Series” fighters, the first flight of the F-104 was this week, on 4 March 1954. Strangely, it had a relatively short career with the USAF but enjoyed far more success with NATO countries.



You can learn more here at the International F-104 Society’s webpage.


Filed under history, planes

3 responses to “Cutaway Thursday: Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

  1. someoldguy

    The F-104G and F-104S were much better than the early types rejected by the USAF. The G got a bad rep in Germany because of numerous crashes. But then they were doing things like launching them from the back of trucks and flying fast at tree top level in mountainous country. No terrain avoidance those days.


    • The Germans were still flying them in the late 70’s. They used to do “Bubble Checks” at our radar site, popping out of the valley before screaming 50 to 100 feet overhead at 500 knots.

      This is the plane they used to call “The Widow Maker”, if I’m not mistaken.


    • Italy didn’t retire their last F-104S’s until 2004.