Starfighters’ operates the world’s only fleet of flight-ready F-104 supersonic aircraft.
Taken on Jul. 9-11, 2019 the cool video in this post features a TF-104G belonging to Starfighters Aerospace flown by Piercarlo Ciacchi intercepting Gulfstream G650ER during World Record Flight “One More Orbit” from the Kennedy Space Center and back through the poles.
According to Starfighters’ website, the company operates the world’s only fleet of flight-ready F-104 supersonic aircraft.
Based at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and operating under authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, these aircraft are available to government and commercial customers for a variety of missions.
Starfighters’ fleet features some of the latest production F-104 jets, obtained from Italian Air Force along with an inventory of spare parts and support equipment.
The Italian-made F-104S is the most capable model, able to achieve sustained speeds of MACH 2.2 in both level and climbing flight profiles, and altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet.
Ciacchi is the Director of Flight Operations at Starfighters. He is a former Italian Air Force pilot who flew multiple fighter jet types, including the Lockheed F-104S/ASAM, General Dynamics F-16ADF, and Aermacchi MB 339A/PAN. Piero also served as the Training Supervisor and Aerobatic Instructor at the “Frecce Tricolori” Italian National Aerobatic Team, where he flew all right positions of the 10 aircraft formation for 7+ years.
Ciacchi met Rick Svetkoff (the President and CEO of Starfighters) during one of Rick’s F-104 acquisition trips to Italy, while he was on “alert” at an Italian air base with his F-104S. They developed a professional and personal relationship that kept them in touch until 2012 when Ciacchi joined Starfighters Aerospace.