Hobby Master HA1006 Italian Lockheed F-104S Starfighter - MM6930 9-99, 9 Stormo, 10 Gruppo, Grazzanise, Italy, 2003 (1:72 Scale)
"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam."
- Marshal McLuhan
Introduced to the world as "the missile with a man in it," the striking Lockheed F-104 Starfighter promised to be the ultimate interceptor. Small, light in weight and with stunning straight-line performance, the F-104 was never agile enough to become what its designers wanted.
FIAT produced 246 Italian versions known as the F-104S. One aircraft crashed prior to delivery and is often not included in the total number built. The F-104S was upgraded for the interception role having NASARR R-21G/H radar with moving-target indicator and continuous-wave illuminator for SARH missiles (initially AIM-7 Sparrow), two additional wing and two underbelly hardpoints (increasing the total to nine), more powerful J79-GE-19 engine with 11,870 lbf (53 kN) and 17,900 lbf (80 kN) thrust, and two additional ventral fins for increased stability. The M61 cannon was sacrificed to make room for the missile avionics in the interceptor version but retained for the fighter-bomber variants. Up to two Sparrow; and two, theoretically four or six Sidewinder missiles were carried on all the hardpoints except the central (underbelly), or seven 340 kg bombs (normally two-four 227-340 kg). The F-104S was cleared for a higher maximum takeoff weight, allowing it to carry up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) of stores; other Starfighters had a maximum external load of 4,000 lb (1,814 kg). Range was up to 1,250 km with four tanks.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale limited edition Lockheed F-104S Starfighter attached to the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force) MM6930 9-99, 9 Stormo, 10 Gruppo, stationed at Grazzanise, Italy in 2003. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 4 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: May 2008
Historical Account: "The Prancing Horse" - In 2003, to celebrate the last Starfighter in Italian service and the last operational F-104 in the
world, F-104S/ASA-M c/n: 783-1230 s/n MM6930 was stripped of all weapons and pylons and painted Ducati red. The Ducati Motorcycle Company paid for an air show to celebrate the F-104 in Italian service and the pilot was a Ducati fan so the plane was numbered 9 99 after Ducatiâ€™s new super bike model '999'.
The 'Prancing Horse' has been the insignia of the 91st Italian Squadriglia and was made famous by WWI Ace Francesco Baracca who was killed during WWI after racking up 34 aerial victories.