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Lockheed F-104 Starfighter - the controversial story of th 'Zipper'

Release of 10/11/2017
Author: René FRANCILLON
Edition: PROFILS AVIONS N°26
ISBN : 978-2-37468-002-6

During the Cold War the F-104 Starfighter was the standard NATO supersonic interceptor. Developed and built in the early 1950s by Kelly Johnson’s team at Lockheed, the Starfighter made its first flight on 4 March 1954 with the famous Charles "Chuck" Yeager at the controls and more than 2,500 examples came off the production lines. Winning a NATO competition for a fighter-bomber, the aircraft (in its F-104 G version) was not only in service in the USAF, but was also operated by almost every country allied with the US. Some of these built it under licence, while others modified it. In Europe for example, it flew in the German, Belgian, Dutch, Italian, Danish and Norwegian air forces. Italy was the last European country to retain it in service, the version F-104 S built by Aeritalia (Fiat) being withdrawn only in 2004.

The F-104 enjoyed a poor reputation for a number of years following numerous accidents suffered by those aircraft flying in the Bundesluftwaffe but also in Canada and the Netherlands. It also inspired several corruption scandals in Europe and Japan in particular. Built as a very fast interceptor -the first combat aircraft capable of sustained MACH 2 flight - the Starfighter, affectionately dubbed "Zipper" in the United States, won several speed and altitude records. It still today symbolises NATO's fighter arm in the Cold War battle against the MiG-21 of the Warsaw Pact.  René Francillon uncovers this amazing aircraft in this richly illustrated 350-page volume featuring plans and superb color profiles by Thierry Dekker!
(Translated by Neil Page)

  • Format : A4
  • Pages number : 352
  • Pictures number : 680
  • Language : French
  • Color profiles : 48
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