Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Aircraft Profile
F-104A 56-0761 with tip tanks and pylon fuel
tanks. (photo, U.S. Air Force)


Boeing’s B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber is widely recognized as the longest-serving combat aircraft in the active inventory today. The original B-52 concept dated back to the late 1940s and early 50s. Nearly half a century after the first prototype took to the air the B-52, or ‘Buff’ as their pilots commonly refer to them, is still the backbone of the United States Air force’s bomber fleet. Although its position is undeniable, there’s another early 1950s designed aircraft that nearly went as far as the vaunted Buff. It was the incredible Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. The origins of the Starfighter program date back to the early days of the Korean War, when US pilots encountered for the first time the agile Soviet-produced MiG-15. The new Soviet fighter was more agile and maneuverable than the US first-generation of jet fighters, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. At every instance, the MiG out-turned and out-maneuvered the Americans planes. It was a testament to the sheer skills and tactics of the American pilots that they were able to achieve and later, maintain, air superiority over the Korean skies. As time went by, there was a sentiment among high ranking officials that a new aircraft was needed, not only to oppose and defeat the current Soviet fighters, but to tackle anything the Soviet Union might be able to put into the air over the next two decades. A completely new and radical airplane was needed, and Lockheed, again, was ready to meet this new challenge.

Lockheed chief designer Clarence “Kelly” L. Johnson and his team of engineers traveled to the Korean Peninsula in the summer of 1951 to have an up-close encounter with the US pilots engaging this new and mysterious Soviet aircraft. They went on a fact-finding mission, and found that the need for a new air superiority fighter was greater than previously expressed. After the trip, Kelly Johnson and his team came up with a long list of systems and specification requirements for their new fighter design, a list not yet requested by the Air Force brass in the Pentagon. The new fighter would need to have advantages over anything flying or planned to fly in the next twenty years – and that meant higher speed and operational altitude. From this basic concept cornerstone, the team began the research phase of the still-not-government-funded program. After extensive research into aerodynamics and avionics systems, Lockheed presented its concept for an advanced fighter to the Pentagon in December 1952, less than a year after Kelly Johnson’s fact-finding expedition to Korea. After a relatively short analysis period, the US government gave Lockheed the project go-ahead in January 1953. With the overall concept in hand, the team shifted its attention to gathering data for the project development. Here is where the team struck gold. Over at Lockheed’s secret Skunk Works Division, engineers had produced an amazing looking aircraft: the X-7 unmanned research plane. As is the case with many experimental planes, the X-7 was designed to test airframe and wing performance at extremely high speeds and altitudes. The X-7 was able to fly at speeds between Mach 1.7 and 3.0 and was capable of reaching altitudes above 80,000 ft; all requirements needed within the new fighter performance envelope. One particular aspect that intrigued Johnson was the X-7’s short and ultra-slim wing structure. The thin wings were utilized on the X-7 project because it was determined by engineers that a small wing profile would give the aircraft an improved aerodynamic characteristic while at supersonic speeds. The X-7’s missile-type fuselage, used to improve lift-to-drag ratio at these altitudes, was also extensively evaluated by Johnson’s design team. After less than a year of research, design and construction, Lockheed unveiled its new aircraft platform to the Air Force top generals: the XF-104, the F-104 first prototype. The F-104 was truly a revolutionary aircraft. It represented Lockheed’s vision of the role of the air superiority fighter in the mid-twentieth century. It also represented a triumph of aviation design and development.

The newly built F-104 had a fuselage structure nearly two-and-a-half times longer than its wingspan. The complete wing carry-through structure was housed in the centre fuselage and centered on the horizontal reference plane. The nose cone was somewhat inclined and the aft part of the fuselage was elevated slightly from the horizontal reference plane. During flight operations, the F-104 assumed a nose-up profile which corresponded to the aircraft’s minimum drag angle of attack. In order to accommodate this flight profile, the engine air inlets, the engine thrust line, and the cockpit, were canted slightly with respect to the longitudinal center of the airframe. The short, straight, wing appeared to possess better aerodynamic characteristics in supersonic flight than conventional, swept wing designs. The shortness of the wing also enabled the aircraft to reduce drag. In order to achieve a better low speed performance for the wing, Lockheed engineers installed wing-leading edge as well as trailing-edge flaps. The function of these flaps was to convert the thin airfoil into a highly cambered one for better take-off and landing operations. A newly designed Boundary Layer Control System (BLCS) was installed of the F-104. The BLCS allowed the aircraft’s wings to delay flow separation at full flap setting and helped to increase the aircraft’s lift capacity, using high pressure bleed air blown over the trailing edge of the wing. The F-104 was one of the few aircraft in aviation history with more engine thrust than aerodynamic drag. This margin of thrust gave the F-104 it’s high speed capability and altitude performance. It also invested the aircraft with an uncanny ability to ascend at a steeper angle and with a higher climb rate than anything else in the skies. The climb rate was one of Johnson’s primary concerns in developing the Starfighter. He and his team designed the F-104 with the ability to intercept targets at an impressive climb rate of 60,000 ft per minute, with a fully loaded aircraft. This rate could be achieved with speeds in excess of Mach 1.7, the original profile requirement, without the aircraft losing overall forward speed. Overall speed and climb rate for the F-104 could only be achieved with the utilization of a massive power plant. The F-104 was fitted with a General Electric J79 engine capable of generating 15,800 pounds of thrust at sea level. It was a massive structure that weighed 3,500lb and was 17′-3″ in length. The J79’s twelve-to-one compression ratio assured the aircraft high supersonic thrust with the advantage of relative fuel economy while in subsonic cruise mode. The Starfighter engine air intakes were a fixed geometry inlet scoop with a conical ramp mechanism designed to provide a ram effect at speeds above Mach 1.5. Five bladder-type fuel cells were installed around the fuselage to provide fuel storage capacity. These cells gave the F-104 a capacity to store 896 gallons of aviation fuel. Additional wing-tip tanks, as well as two wing pylons and three optional tanks added to the airframe could give the F-104 an additional 855 gal of fuel for extended missions. An optional tank was also developed for use in the M61 gun position in the event of an extended flight operation.

The F-104 was fitted with one of the most advanced flight control systems ever developed, at that time. The aircraft’s speed brakes and flying surfaces control systems were hydraulically enhanced. An electrical system operated the wing flaps and trim mechanism. The Starfighter’s primary control systems were a rudder, one-piece horizontal stabilizer, and ailerons; all hydraulically powered. Secondary controls consisted of leading and trailing wing flaps and speed brakes. These control systems were augmented by a stability system that enhanced flight stability at any altitude. The Starfighter was fitted with a retractable, tricycle landing gear housed in the centre fuselage. All three components of the gear, the wheels, tires, and retraction system; were powered by hydraulic oil. In the event of a hydraulic failure, the gear could be operated manually to either of it’s two (landing or retracted) positions. To shorten the aircraft’s landing run, the F-104 was fitted with a landing drag chute that could cut landing distances by about 25%. The chute structure was 18 sq ft in area and it was housed at the end of the fuselage. An emergency arrestor hook, similar to those used by navy pilots on carrier operations, was also provided for emergency landings. At the time of its conception, the Starfighter was fitted with the most advanced avionics package in the world. The main instrument panel housed all the flight instruments on the upper section. Engine operation controls were located on the upper right hand side. Radar display and weapons controls were found on the lower instrument panel, directly in front of the pilot. One master alarm light, located in the center of the instrument display, was augmented by a strip panel display, each position indicating a different aircraft function – this replaced the multiple alarms system utilized on other aircraft. One of the most advanced features integrated on the F-104 was the Position and Homing Indicator or PHI. The PHI system plotted the aircraft’s position with reference to the terrain below, freeing the pilot from the painstaking task of manual navigation plotting.

Over it’s life, the Starfighter was fitted with a vast array of offensive and defensive weapon systems. A General Electric, rapid fire M61 20mm Vulcan cannon, commonly known as a ‘Gatling’ gun, was installed on the F-104 for air defense purposes. The Vulcan weighted 300 lb and was 72″ in length. At the time, this Vulcan gun was the most advanced gun system in the world. It possessed six 20mm barrels and could fire at a maximum rate of 6,000 rounds per minute or 100 rounds per second. The gun design was so successful that it can still be found on the world’s most advanced fighter flying today: the F-22 Raptor. A center-line bomb rack could be fitted, for up to 2,000lb of ordnance. Wing pylon racks could support an additional 1,000lb of weapons. Later versions of the F-104 were fitted with the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, located on the wingtips. Another innovative feature of the Starfighter was it’s integrated fire control system. The F-104 radar system could supply guidance information to the onboard fire control system computer. Air-to-air and air-to-ground targets could be plotted over the horizon. The system also provided the pilot with cockpit displays portraying ground mapping information and low altitude navigation aids.

The first XF-104 test flight occurred on the Edwards Air Force Base facility on March 4th, 1954 with Lockheed’s chief test pilot, Antony “Tony” LeVier, at the controls. Testing of the aircraft by both the Air Force and Lockheed soon accelerated to a high rate. The first operational F-104A was handed over to the US Air Force on the morning of February 20th, 1958. Production of this amazing aircraft ran until mid 1979 and a grand total of 2,578 units were built in seven countries under license from Lockheed, which was at the time, the largest international cooperation venture in the history of the world. An amazing sixteen Starfighter major variants were developed by Lockheed.

Fourteen countries around the world fielded the Starfighter at one time or another. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, West Germany, Greece, Japan, Italy, Jordan, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, Turkey, and Taiwan all operated the F-104. The United States Air Force only purchased two hundred and ninety six of the type. The last in-service examples were retired from the Italian Air Force in October 2004 – more than 50 years after the prototype’s first flight. Today, only three F-104s remain flying in the United States. A truly incredible run for an amazing aircraft designed and built in the 1950s.


Requirement Specification: n/a
Manufacturers Designation: L-246 or Model 83, Model 183, 283, 383, 483, 583, 683, 783

Development History:
XF-104 Two prototypes. Wright XJ65 engine of 10,200lb thrust. Able to reach Mach 1.79. Short fuselage, plain engine intakes.
YF-104A Service test version. Longer fuselage, engine inlet shock cones added, YJ79 engine.
F-104A First production model. J79-3A engine, M61-A1 20mm cannon. Retrofitted with ventral fin
QF-104A Twenty four modified YF-104A/F-104As used as target drones 1959 – 1960.
NF-104A Rocket-boosted conversion of three F-104As, used for NASA astronaut training.
RF-104A Projected unarmed photo-recce version of F-104A. Not built.
F-104B Tandem two-seat trainer version of F-104A. Larger fin.
F-104C All-weather fighter-bomber for Tactical Air Command. Option for refuelling probe on left side of the fuselage, extra under-wing and centreline pylons, blown flaps, J79-7 engine.
F-104D Tandem two-seater trainer version of F-104C.
F-104DJ Version of F-104D for Japan. J79-IHI-11A engine.
F-104F Version of F-104D for West Germany. F-104D structure, F-104G avionics, C-2 ejection seats.
F-104G Upgraded F-104C all-weather fighter bomber aircraft with a strengthened fuselage, NASARR (North American Search and Ranging Radar) fire control system, inertial navigation, 5 stores pylons, J79-11A engine. Most retrofitted with Martin Baker ejection seats.
TF-104G Tandem two-seat trainer version of F-104G. No gun or centreline pylon.
RF-104G Tactical reconnaissance version of F-104G. KS67-A camera system in the nose.
RTF-104G Projected two-seat multi-sensor recce version of F-104G. Some for EW missions. Not built.
F-104H Projected export version of F-104G with NASARR deleted and simplified equipment. Not built.
TF-104H Projected tandem two-seat trainer version of F-104H. Not built.
CF-104 Canadian version of F-104G for attack and recce roles.
CF-104D Tandem two-seat trainer version of CF-104.
F-104J All-weather interceptor version of F-104G for Japan. J79-IHI-11A engine.
QF-104J Target drone conversion of F-104J.
F-104N Three F-104G operated by NASA as supersonic chase aircraft.
F-104S Upgraded F-104G for the Italian Air Force. All-weather interceptor adapted for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles. R-21G/H radar, 2 extra hardpoints under engine intakes, 2 additional ventral fins, gun deleted. J79-19 engine.
F-104S ASA Conversion of F-104S with new avionics and latest generation missiles. Fiat R21G/M1 radar, new IFF, improved weapons computer.
F-104S ASA/M Further upgrade of F-104S ASA and TF-104G with refurbished airframe, improved cockpit displays and updated navigation avionics.
F-104G/CCV One F-104G rebuild by MBB to test Control Configured Vehicle technology, with twin canards added.
CF-111 Initial CAF designation for CF-104.
CF-113 Initial CAF designation for CF-104D.
CL-1200 Lancer Projected advanced development of F-104, using F-104 fuselage but with new larger shoulder-mounted wing. Not built.
X-27 Designation of lightweight fighter version of CL-1200. Not built.
XF-104 53-7786, note lack of inlet shock
cones. (photo, U.S. Air Force)
83rd FIS F-104A 56-0791 in Taiwan in 1958.
(photo, U.S. Air Force)


Key Dates:
March 1952    Design studies for new fighter launched.
November 1952    Unsolicited proposal for L-246 design submitted to USAF.
12 March 1953    Order for 2 XF-104 prototypes placed with Lockheed.
28 Feb 1954    First prototype (53-37786) makes initial ‘hop’.
4 March 1954    Maiden flight of first prototype.
October 1953    Order for pre-series batch of YF-104As placed.
17 Feb 1956    First flight of first YF-104A (56-730).
27 April 1956    A YF-104A reaches Mach 2 for the first time.
14 October 1956    First production order for F-104A placed.
16 Jan 1957    First flight of first F-104B.
20 Feb 1958    F-104A enters USAF service.
7 May 1958    F-104A claims world altitude record.
24 July 1958    First flight of first F-104C.
16 October 1958    First F-104C delivery to USAF.
October 1958    West Germany selects F-104G as next generation multi-role fighter.
2 July 1959    Canada orders CF-104.
1960    F-104A withdrawn from USAF Air Defense Command service.
1960    Taiwan becomes first export customer for F-104A/B.
5 October 1960    F-104G first flight.
18 March 1961    Production CF-104 first flight.
6 September 1965    First air-to-air victory by Pakistani F-104A.
January 1966    Italy orders F-104S to replace F-104G
30 December 1968    First flight of first F-104S.
July 1975    F-104B/C retired from Air National Guard service.
1981    F-104S ASA upgrade launched
16 October 1987    West German Air Force retires F-104G from frontline service
27 October 2004    F-104S ASA/M retired from Italian service.
Front view of F-104A 56-0758.
(photo, U.S. Air Force)
The first F-104B, serial 56-3719.
(photo, U.S. Air Force)


Military Operators

Belgium – Air Force (4 Sqns with F-104G/TF-104G)
Canada – Air Force (12 Sqns with CF-104/CF-104D)
Denmark – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-104G/TF-104G, CF-104/CF-104D)
Germany – Air Force (7 Wings with F-104F, F-104G/RF-104G/TF-104G)
Germany – Navy (2 Wings with F-104G/TF-104G)
Greece – Air Force (2 Sqns with F-104G/TF-104G)
Italy – Air Force (7 Gruppi with F-104G/RF-104G/TF-104G, F-104S)
Japan – Air Force (7 Sqns. with F-104J/F-104DJ)
Jordan – Air Force (1 Sqn with F-104A/F-104B)
Netherlands – Air Force (5 Sqns with F-104G/RF-104G/TF-104G)
Norway – Air Force (2 Sqns with F-104G/RF-104G/TF-104G, CF-104/CF-104D)
Pakistan – Air Force (1 Sqn with F-104A/F-104B)
Spain – Air Force (3 Sqns with F-104G/TF-104G)
Taiwan – Air Force (4 Sqns with F-104A/B, F-104G/RF-104G/TF-104G)
Turkey – Air Force (4 Sqns with F-104G/TF-104G, F-104S)
USA – Air Force (F-104A/B, F-104C/D)

Government Agencies

NASA F-104A/B, NF-104A

Civilian Operators

‘Starfighters’ demo team CF-104/CF-104D
F-104C 56-0914 at the National Museum of
the USAF. (photo, U.S. Air Force)
Lockheed-built F-104G 63-13240 from
Luke AFB. (photo, U.S. Air Force)


Lockheed F-104A Starfighter
Type: Fighter-bomber
Crew: One
Dimensions: Length 54 ft 8 in (16.66 m); Height 13 ft 5 in (4.08 m); Wing Span 21 ft 9 in (6.62 m) without wingtip AAMs; Wing Area 196.1 sq ft (18.21 sq m)
Engines: One General Electric J79-GE-3A turbojet rated at 9,600 lb st (4354 kg) dry and 14,800 lb st (6713 kg) with afterburning
Weights: Empty Equipped 13,384 lb (6,071 kg); Typical Combat Take-off 17,988 lb (8,159 kg); Maximum Take-off 25,840 lb (11,721 kg)
Armament: 20-mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon in port forward fuselage with ? rounds, wingtip launch rails for AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Performance: Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 1,037 mph (1,669 kph) at 50,000 ft (15240 m); Cruising speed 519 mph (835 kph); Initial rate of climb 60,395 ft/min (18,408 m/min); Service ceiling 64,795 ft (19,750 m); Normal range 730 mls (1,175 km), Maximum range 1,400 mls (2253 km) with drop tanks.
Lockheed F-104G Starfighter
Type: All-weather multi-role fighter-bomber
Crew: One
Dimensions: Length 54 ft 9 in (16.69 m); Height 13 ft 6 in (4.15 m); Wing Span 21 ft 11 in (6.68 m) without wingtip AAMs; Wing Area 196.1 sq ft (18.21 sq m)
Engines: One General Electric J79-GE-11A turbojet rated at 10,000 lb st (4536 kg) dry and 15,600 lb st (7076 kg) with afterburning
Weights: Empty Equipped 13,966 lb (6,348 kg); Typical Combat Take-off 20,640 lb (9,362 kg); Maximum Take-off 29,038 lb (13,172 kg)
Armament: 20-mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon in port forward fuselage with ? rounds, wingtip launch rails for AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar missiles, four underwing hardpoints and one under-fuselage centre-line pylon for a maximum of 4,000 lb (1814 kg) of stores.
Performance: Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 1,328 mph (2,137 kph) at 35,000 ft (10668 m); Cruising speed 510 mph (821 kph); Initial rate of climb 48,000 ft/min (14,630 m/min); Service ceiling 50,000 ft (15,240 m); Normal range 1080 mls (1,738 km), Maximum range 1,630 mls (2623 km) with drop tanks.

Model Comparison:

Specs F-104A F-104B F-104C F-104G F-104S
Length 54′-8″ 54′-8″ 54′-8″ 54′-8″ 54′-9″
Height 13′-5″ 13′-5″ 13′-5″ 13′-5″ 13′-6″
Wingspan 21′-9″ 21′-9″ 21′-9″ 21′-9″ 21′-11″
Max. Weight 25,840 lb 24,912 27,853 29,038 31,000
Cruise Speed 519 mph 516 510 510 610
Maximum Speed 1,037 mph 1,145 1,150 1,146 1,450
Operational Ceiling 64,795′ 64,795′ 58,000′ 50,000′ 58,000′
Climb Rate (per min) 60,395′ 64,500′ 54,000′ 48,000′ 55,000′
Max Range 1,400 miles 1,225 1,500 1,630 1,815
WGAF F-104G 20+01 seen at Greenham
Common in June 1981. (photo, Anthony Noble)
Italian F-104G MM6542/3-40 seen at Honington
in June 1992. (photo, Anthony Noble)


Design Centre

Head of Design Team: Clarence ‘Kelly’ Johnson
Design Office: Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA, USA


Production summary:

Model Lockheed Co-Prod’n Canadair Fiat Fokker MBB Mess. Mits. SABCA Total
XF-104 2 2
YF-104 17 17
F-104A 153 153
F-104B 26 26
F-104C 77 77
F-104D 21 21
F-104DJ 20 20
CF-104 200 200
CF-104D 38 38
F-104F 30 30
F-104G 139 140 164 231 50 210 188 1122
RF-104G 40 12 35 119 194
TF-104G 220 48 268
F-104J 3 207 210
F-104N 3 3
F-104S (2) 245 245
Total: 741 48 340 444 350 50 210 207 188 2578

Production Details by Factory

Total Produced: 2578 a/c

Production List

To be added.

312 Sqn KLu F-104G D-8266 seen in November
1982. (photo, E. Groenendijk)
F-104S ASA-M MM6767/9-37 seen in December
2003. (photo, David Cenciotti)

More Information


‘Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (Crowood Aviation Series)’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Martin W Bowman with Matthias Vogelsang
Published by Crowood Press, Dec 2000 ISBN: 1 86126 314 7
* Full design, development and service history.

‘F-104 Starfighter in Action’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Philip Friddell
Published by Squadron/Signal Publications, Aug 1993 ISBN: 0 89747 299 3
* Good pictorial history.

‘German Starfighters: The F-104 in German Air Force and Naval Air Service’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Klaus Kropf
Published by Midland Publishing, May 2002 ISBN: 1 85780 124 5
* Detailed history of the F-104 in German service.

‘Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (Warbird Tech Vol.38)’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Jim Upton
Published by Speciality Press, June 2006 ISBN: 1 58007 069 8
* Well illustrated design and development history.

‘Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (On Target Profiles 1)’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Jon Freeman
Published by The Aviation Workshop, April 2003 ISBN: 1 90464 300 0
* Well illustrated coverage of F-104 colours and markings.

‘Wings of Fame, Volume 2’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, Mar 1996 ISBN: 1 874023 69 7
* Includes ‘Focus Aircraft’ 62-page feature on the F-104.

‘Lockheed NF-104A Aerospace Trainer (Air Force Legends No.204)’ [Order this book from Amazon USA]
by Scott Libis
Published by Steve Ginter, 1999 ISBN: 0942612973
* Fully illustrated history of the rocket-assisted NF-104A.

‘F-104 Starfighter (Photo Gallery & Profiles No.1)’ [Order this book from the Publisher]
by Alexandros Anestis and George Papadimitriou
Published by Periscopio Publications, 2006 ISBN: 0 9608345 54 5
* Close-up look for the scale modeller.


To be added.


(20 pages of good quality F-104 photos)

Cybermodeler Online: F-104 Starfighter
(Photo gallery, walkaround, US markings diagrams etc)

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
(Very detailed profile covering all variants and operators – no photos or drawings)

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
(Good profile of development, variants, service use and derivatives)

F-104 Starfighter il ‘Cacciatore di Stelle’
(Photos and details of Italian F-104 use)

(Home page for Yahoo Groups F-104 Starfighter discussion group)

Warbirds of India – F-104 Starfighter
(Pakistani F-104s and details of the surviving aircraft)

Lockheed/Canadair F-104A Starfighter
(Canadian CF-104 use and Canadian Aviation Museum exhibit history – 13 page pdf)

Wings Palette: Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
(120+ F-104 colour profile drawings)

International F-104 Society
(Lots of F-104 info: news, versions, operators, database, forum, photos, books etc)

Starfighters F-104 Demo Team
(US-based airshow demonstration team flying three CF-104s)

Harry’s Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Site
(Lots of F-104 info and photos)

(F-104 in Norwegian service)

916 Starfighter
(Comprehensive data and photos on the F-104 in German service)

First Dutch Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Website
(Photos, patches, articles, links etc)

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Walkaround
(Close-up photos of F-104G/D/TF-104G/F-104S variants)

F-104 Starfighter
(Global Security detailed profile of the F-104)

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
(Listing of F-104s held in US aviation museums)

F-104 Starfighter
(NASA Dryden photos of F-104s)

319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
(USAF F-104 unit in 1960s – photos etc)

wikipedia: F-104 Starfighter
(Well-written profile)

wikipedia: Canadair CF-104
(Short profile)

wikipedia: Aeritalia F-104S
(Good profile of Italian-built versions)

wikipedia: Lockheed X-7
(short X-7 profile)

wikipedia: Lockheed CL-1200
(CL-1200 Lancer profile)

National Museum of the USAF
(F-104 photos)


Flight Simulator Models:
To be added.

Scale Models:
To be added.

Scale Drawings:
To be added.


To be added.

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Manufacture

Production Summary

Belgian AF TF-104G FC06 seen in April 1981.
(photo, Joop de Groot)


Lockheed Aircraft Company
(Lockheed, Burbank, CA, USA.)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
XF-104 2 Burbank, CA 1953-1954
YF-104A 17 Burbank, CA Oct 1954-1956
F-104A 153 Burbank, CA 1956-Dec 1958
F-104B 26 Burbank, CA 1956-Nov 1958
F-104C 77 Burbank, CA 1958-June 1959
F-104D 21 Burbank, CA 1958-1959
F-104DJ 20 Burbank, CA 1962-1964
CF-104D 38 Burbank, CA 1961
F-104F 30 Burbank, CA 1959-1960
F-104G 139 Burbank, CA 1960-1962
RF-104G 40 Burbank, CA 1962-1963
TF-104G 220 Burbank, CA 1962-1966
F-104J 3 Burbank, CA 1961
F-104N 3 Burbank, CA 1963
Total: 741    
(Canadair Ltd, Cartierville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
CF-104 (1 F-104A conv) Cartierville 1961
CF-104 200 Cartierville 1961-63
F-104G 140 Cartierville 1963-64
Total: 340    

Aircraft delivered to Canada (CF-104) and Denmark (F-104G).

(Societa Per Azioni Fiat, Turin, Italy)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104G 164 Turin June 1962-1966
RF-104G 35 Turin 1963-1966
F-104S (2 F-104G conv) Turin 1966
F-104S 245 Turin 1968-March 1979
F-104S ASA (147 conv) Turin 1986-1992
F-104S ASA/M (49 conv) Turin 1998-2000
TF-104G ASA/M (15 conv) Turin 1998-2000
Total: 444    

Aircraft delivered to Italy, Netherlands, West Germany and Turkey.

Fokker Aircraft [ARGE Nord]
(Fokker, Schiphol, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104G 231 Schiphol 1961-1966
RF-104G 119 Schiphol 1962-1966
Total: 350    

Aircraft delivered to Netherlands and West Germany.

(MBB, Manching, Augsberg, West Germany)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104G 50 Manching 1970-1972
Total: 50    

Aircraft delivered to West Germany only.

Messerchmitt [ARGE Sud]
(Messerschmitt AG, Manching, Augsberg, West Germany – later part of MBB)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104G 210 Manching 1960-1966
Total: 210    

Aircraft delivered to West Germany only.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
(MHI, Komaki, Nagoya, Japan)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104J 207* Komaki Apr 1962-Dec 1967
Total: 207    

*29 assembled from Lockheed kits + 178 local. Aircraft delivered to Japan only.

(SABCA, Gosselies, Charleroi, Belgium)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-104G 188 Gosselies 1961-mid 1965
Total: 188    

Aircraft delivered to Belgium and West Germany.