Starfighters’ Black Beauty almost ready for the first flight.

Starfighters Aerospace to send an F-104 to 100th Anniversary of the Italian Air Force

By Dario Leone
Apr 1 2023
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Starfighters Aerospace (the US company that today operates the world’s only fleet of flight-ready F-104 supersonic aircraft) accepted an invitation to join the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) this year.

As recently reported, Starfighters Aerospace (the US company that today operates the world’s only fleet of flight-ready F-104 supersonic aircraft) accepted an invitation to join the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) this year. The centenary of Italian military aviation will be celebrated during the weekend of 16 to 18 June 2023 with an air show at Pratica di Mare Air Base.

It was initially announced that the plan was to send two F-104 Starfighters to Italy.

This article was edited because because it contained sensitive information.

Starfighters’ Black Beauty almost ready for the first flight.

Stay tuned for additional updates if further details on this story had to come to light!

The Starfighters’ “Black Beauty” (as the TF-104G adorned with the black unique paint scheme is dubbed by the company) performed her maiden flight wearing her striking color scheme on Jan. 27, 2023.

Starfighters’ Black Beauty almost ready for the first flight.

Starfighters Aerospace’s F-104s are used for a variety of tasks: captive carry of payloads and test articles, microgravity experiments, supersonic and hypersonic RDT&E, spaceflight hardware testing/qualification, suborbital spaceflight simulation, air-launch of microsatellites, human factors and flight physiology research, jet warbird type training and familiarization for pilots, avionics testing/qualification, flight suit testing and qualification, sponsored video production, and adversary air training support.

Starfighters’ Black Beauty almost ready for the first flight.

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.

F-104 Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-104C Starfighter 151st FIS, 134th FIG, 56-0890

Photo credit: Matt Haskell for Starfighters Aerospace

F-104 model
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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