The F-104 Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb
The interesting video in this post gives you the chance to learn some facts about the legendary F-104 Starfighter.
Designed as a supersonic air superiority fighter, the F-104 Starfighter was a technological marvel when it first took to the sky in the 50s.
Armed with a six-barrel M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon, it served as a tactical fighter, and when equipped additionally with heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles, as a day-night interceptor.
The F-104 development began in 1952, and the first XF-104 performed its maiden flight in 1954.
It set a number of records, such as the world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (set by an F-104A on May 18, 1958) and the world altitude record of 103,395 feet (set by an F-104C on Dec. 14, 1959). Moreover the Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) procured about 300 Starfighters in one- and two-seat versions. Furthermore 1,700 F-104s were built in the United States and abroad under the military aid program for various nations including Canada, West Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.
The F-104 had a long service life: in fact it wasn’t retired from active service with Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI, Italian Air Force) until 2004.
Source: U.S. Air Force
Photo credit: Ken Hackman / U.S. Air Force