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Picture of two F-104 Starfighters

Starfighter History

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a high-speed, high-altitude interceptor. It was the first US jet fighter to fly at twice the speed of sound. While designed for the USAF, the F-104 played a prominent role in the air forces of many other countries. NASA has used the F-104 for flight tests and as a chase plane. It tested controls later used on the North American X-15. The first F-104As were outfitted with downward-firing ejector seats. Unfortunately, ejecting downward too close to the ground proved to be fatal. Renowned test pilot Iven C. Kincheloe was among 21 F-104 aircrew to be killed by problems with the ejection system. It was eventually replaced by an upward-firing ejection system.



Related Pages:
Airplane Gallery
Wing Area Gallery
LIFT Home Page
Aeronautics Activities
Aerospace Activities Page
Aerodynamics Index"

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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