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Old 08-09-2018, 04:16 AM   #1
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Default A legend-Lockheed F-104 Starfighter



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Old 08-09-2018, 04:46 AM   #2
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It was a real beauty with an undeservedly bad reputation here in Germany.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:55 AM   #3
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A legend with a poor safety record, hence the German Luftwaffe called it the ''Witwenmacher'' the Widowmaker.

Also the aircraft that was the center piece of the lockheed scandals here in Europe with high officials like Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands taking bribes to make sure the F104 is favoured over the Mirage 5 for a purchase contract.
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:36 AM   #4
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Also known in German service as the 'Flying Coffin' and Canadian service as the 'Lawn Dart' and the 'Aluminium Death Tube'.

Details on accidents involving this aircraft: http://www.i-f-s.nl/f-104-accidents/
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:15 AM   #5
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I remember from somewhere that it was also known as "The missile with a man in it"
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterICX View Post
A legend with a poor safety record, hence the German Luftwaffe called it the ''Witwenmacher'' the Widowmaker.

Also the aircraft that was the center piece of the lockheed scandals here in Europe with high officials like Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands taking bribes to make sure the F104 is favoured over the Mirage 5 for a purchase contract.
There have been rumors of bribery here in Germany too but nothing could be proven beyond doubt.

Regarding the safety record here in Germany I have to say that a lot of the problems were domestic. Pilots were converted without enough training, there were not enough mechanics for the maintenance so corners were cut and there weren't enough hangars to store the planes in overnight so a lot were parked outside. Once general Steinhoff took over the Luftwaffe he completely reorganized everything regarding the F104 and accident rates dropped sharply but at that time it already had the reputation it still has today.
BTW a former Luftwaffe member told me that the accident rate of the F104 as a fighter bomber was actually lower than that of the F84 which it replaced in that role. Strangely enough almost no one is still talking about the Thunderstreak while the Starfighter is infamous.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:03 PM   #7
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I didn't think the F-105 was used in war, but I was wrong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhe...04_Starfighter

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Starfighter squadrons made two deployments to Vietnam. Commencing with Operation Rolling Thunder, the Starfighter was used both in the air-superiority role and in the air support mission, and although it saw little aerial combat and scored no air-to-air kills, F-104s were successful in deterring MiG interceptors. During the first F-104 deployment from April to October 1965, Starfighters flew a total of 2,937 combat sorties.

These sorties resulted in the loss of five aircraft: the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed from April to July 1965, losing one Starfighter, and the 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed from July through October 1965, losing four. Two Starfighters were shot down by ground fire, one was shot down by a Shenyang J-6 when Capt. Philip E. Smith strayed into Chinese airspace, and two were lost to a mid-air collision while searching for Smith's missing jet.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schroeder View Post
There have been rumors of bribery here in Germany too but nothing could be proven beyond doubt.

Regarding the safety record here in Germany I have to say that a lot of the problems were domestic. Pilots were converted without enough training, there were not enough mechanics for the maintenance so corners were cut and there weren't enough hangars to store the planes in overnight so a lot were parked outside. Once general Steinhoff took over the Luftwaffe he completely reorganized everything regarding the F104 and accident rates dropped sharply but at that time it already had the reputation it still has today.
BTW a former Luftwaffe member told me that the accident rate of the F104 as a fighter bomber was actually lower than that of the F84 which it replaced in that role. Strangely enough almost no one is still talking about the Thunderstreak while the Starfighter is infamous.
I've heard about former Luftwaffe aces like Erich Hartman that deemed it unsafe because of poor handling characteristics for a combat aircraft and for navy service it lacked the safety margin of a twin engine design.

also a funny piece of Trivia while Germany lost about 30% of their starfighters in service and Canada almost half of the 235 they had in service the Spanish Airforce lost none granted they didn't got many iirc about 21 and only used them in good weather conditions and only as a interceptor but still clocking over 17,000 hours of flying without an loss.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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The F-104 was an excellent aircraft.
Unfortunately, nobody paid any attention to what this aircraft was actually designed for ... the blame for the crashes is on the politicians and the generals without the spine, who have been abusing both the pilots and the plane.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleiente View Post
The F-104 was an excellent aircraft.
Unfortunately, nobody paid any attention to what this aircraft was actually designed for ... the blame for the crashes is on the politicians and the generals without the spine, who have been abusing both the pilots and the plane.
Yes, I watched an interview with Kelly Johnson a long time ago and when the F-104's safety record was brought up, he made it clear that it was designed as an interceptor and pressing it into roles it was not designed for was the main issue. I occasionally check youtube hoping that interview would be posted there but no luck so far.
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:21 PM   #11
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Still one of the best looking fighters in my opinion.

Built in 1958 and it still looks like it is from the future.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako88sb View Post
he made it clear that it was designed as an interceptor and pressing it into roles it was not designed for was the main issue.
We had (have?) the same problem with the F-16. Some genius came up with the swell idea of using the F-16 for close ground support.

That's when we started scraping F-16s off the test ranges.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
I didn't think the F-105 was used in war, but I was wrong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhe...04_Starfighter



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Old 08-11-2018, 10:40 AM   #14
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Best F-104 documentary ever.

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