Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, A History

From the trusted pen of a leading aviation historian, the story of a remarkable fighter aircraft. This book takes a careful look at one of the most successful Century Fighters produced for the USAF and sold successfully around the world – Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, A History
FILE: R2986
AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Century Fighters, Cold War, USAF, USAFE, Luftwaffe, Danish Air force, 
Royal Canadian Air Force, Norwegian Air Force, F-104, Starfighter, Lockheed, 
NATO, Pakistan Air Force, RoCAF, Spanish Air Force, RJAF, JASDAF, Belgian 
Air Force, Dutch Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Turkish Air Force, NASA

ISBN: 1-47386-326-0

IMAGE: B2986.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y2svwnvz
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: From the trusted pen of a leading aviation historian, the story of a 
remarkable fighter aircraft. This book takes a careful look at one of the most 
successful Century Fighters produced for the USAF and sold successfully 
around the world –    Highly Recommended.

When Lockheed rolled out the F-104 Starfighter it was as extraordinary as their 
SR-71 Blackbird. Both aircraft broke the established mould. They looked totally 
different from anything else at the time of their introduction and have remained 
unique.

The Century Fighters were a group of aircraft produced for the US forces to establish 
a firm lead over the Soviet equivalents. Although the British and US had been the 
leading jet aircraft developers after WWII, the MiG15 came as a nasty shock when it 
appeared during the Korean War. It married British and German technology to 
produce a nimble, fast swept-wing fighter at a time when British and US fighters 
were straight-wing. The US F-86 Sabre was rushed into service to combat the MiG 
and US straight-winged fighters were modified to take swept-wings. However, a 
British Fleet Air Arm pilot demonstrated that the MiG was not immune, to straight-
wing prop planes, by shooting one down with his Sea Fury.

The Century Series as a group of aircraft did not break from the F-86 approach, with 
the exception of the F-104. Lockheed produced a design that featured small, thin 
wings and fuel tank pods on each wing tip, married to a long fuselage that was largely 
occupied by a jet engine, with a single crewman perched near the nose. The wings 
had such sharp leading edges that it was considered necessary to fit felt covers to 
protect ground crew when they worked on the aircraft. The US supplied F-104s to 
most NATO allies, Taiwan, and to both Pakistan and Jordan as one of the most 
successful exported designs produced by the US during the Cold War. In NATO 
service, particularly in German service, the F-104 had a troubled service and became 
known as the Widow Maker because of the high loss rate suffered by the Luftwaffe.

The author has told the story well and comprehensively. The able text is strongly 
supported by many full colour images and covers the service of the F-104 by country 
operator. An excellent account.