Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Lockheed F-104S ASA-M Starfighter

Lockheed F-104S ASA-M Starfighter
USA / Italy
fighter



  • Technical data


Span 6.68 m
Length 16.69 m
Take-off weight 13,054 kg
Maximum speed Ma 2.2
Ceiling 17,680 m
Range
Armament AIM-9L Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow and Aspide 1A air-to-air guided missiles on hardpoints under the fuselage, wings and on wingtips
Powerplant :
General Electric J79-GE-19 turbojet developing 79.63 kN with afterburner
Virtual tour :

 

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter – the first series production aircraft capable of reaching the speed of Mach 2 was designed in early 1950s by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. It was an air defense fighter and due to the development of guided air-to-air missiles the manoeuvrability was sacrificed for speed. A sleek fuselage ended with a long needle of the Pitot tube, housing the powerful GE J79 engine, T-shaped tailplane and tiny trapezoid wings with very sharp leading edges caused that the Starfighter obtained a nickname “a missile with a man in it”. The first version was the F-104A, subsequently the upgraded F-104C was developed.

Although the Starfighter’s career in the USA was rather short and insignificant, it became one of the world’s most popular combat aircraft, with 2,580 aircraft operated by 14 countries on 3 continents and license production in 6 countries. It remained in service for over 40 years. In the 1960s the Starfighter in the F-104G version with enhanced air–to–ground capabilities became the main type of nuclear-capable strike fighter and reconnaissance aircraft in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Denmark and Norway. It was also operated by Canada and Japan. It was license built by MBB in Germany, Fokker in the Netherlands, SABCA in Belgium, Fiat in Italy, Canadair in Canada and Mitsubishi in Japan.

Italy was the country which had operated the Starfighters for the longest time. The Fiat company undertook the license production of the F-104G in 1962. As Italy operated the Starfighters mainly in the fighter interceptor role, during 1965–66 a new version F-104S, with upgraded engine and avionics, capable of carrying AIM-7 Sparrow radar guided missiles was developed. Deliveries of this version, in the fighter-bomber and interceptor role lasted since 1969 until 1979. 246 aircraft were built, including 40 for Turkey.

In late 1980s the majority of Italian F-104S underwent the ASA avionics upgrade, enabling the aircraft to carry the Aspide 1A missile, an Italian upgraded version of the Sparrow, and the new version of the Sidewinder, the AIM-9L. In 1990s the Italian Air Force was planning to replace the Starfighters with the Eurofighter Typhoons, but the delay of the Eurofighter program resulted in the necessity of another avionics upgrade, designated ASA-M, within which communication and navigation instruments from the AMX aircraft were installed.

The aircraft on display, serial number MM 6876 was donated by the Italian Air Force It served with the 9th Fighter Wing (9o Stormo) "Francesco Baracca" at Grazzanise near Naples. During its service has undergone both avionics upgrades.

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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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