Armour Collection B11F022 USAF Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Interceptor - Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA (1:48 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
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was an American single-engined, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1958 until 1967. One of the Century Series of aircraft, it continued in service with Air National Guard units until it was phased out in 1975. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew a small mixed fleet of F-104 types in supersonic flight tests and spaceflight programs until they were retired in 1994. Several two-seat trainer versions were produced, the most numerous being the TF-104G.
USAF F-104Cs saw service during the Vietnam War, and F-104A aircraft were deployed by Pakistan briefly during the Indo-Pakistani wars. Republic of China Air Force F-104s also engaged the People's Liberation Army Air Force over the disputed island of Kinmen. A set of modifications produced the F-104G model, which won a NATO competition for a new fighter-bomber.
The ultimate F-104 version was the F-104S all-weather interceptor equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, designed for the Italian Air Force. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, did not proceed. The project was cancelled at the mock-up stage in favor of other lightweight fighters such as the F-16. A total of 2,535 Starfighters were eventually produced. The F-104 served with the air forces of over a dozen nations until the summer of 2004, some 46 years after its introduction in 1958 by the USAF.
The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in Luftwaffe service. The subsequent Lockheed bribery scandals surrounding the original purchase contracts caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.
Pictured here is a fabulous-looking 1:48 scale diecast replica of a F-104 Starfighter that was operated by the Air Force Test Pilot School, headquartered at Edwards AFB, CA. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 6 inches
Length: 13.5 inches
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "Test, One, Two" - The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School is located on Edwards Air Force Base in California. Its mission is to produce test pilots and flight test engineers to test new and experimental aircraft. The job is dangerous, and many test pilots have died doing it, both from hardware malfunctions and pilot errors. The test pilot school was established to train experienced pilots and engineers to minimize human error.
Aerospace flight test and evaluation depends on the flight test team: the flight test pilot, flight test engineer, and navigator. Bravery and flying skills of the highest order have always been requirements, but much more is demanded: scientific and engineering knowledge, critical and reasoned judgment, and managerial skills of the first order. A well-devised flight test program, skillfully carried out, calls forth the absolute performance of the aircraft and its associated systems. Finding the people who can plan and fly such a program is not easy.