Designed as a supersonic superiority fighter, the F-104 was produced in two major versions. 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. Development of the F-104 began in 1952, and the first XF-104 made its initial flight in 1954. On May 18, 1958, an F-104A set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph, and on Dec. 14, 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of 103,395 feet. The Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb.
The USAF procured about 300 Starfighters in one- and two-seat versions. In addition, more than 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 aircraft on display served with the USAF in California, West Germany, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand. It also was flown by the winning pilot of the 1962 USAF "William Tell" Fighter Weapons Meet competition. It was flown to the museum in August 1975.
Armament: One M-61 20mm cannon, two air-to-air missiles, nuclear or conventional bombs Engine:General Electric J79 of 15,800 lbs. thrust with afterburner Crew: One Maximum speed: 1,320 mph Cruising speed: 575 mph Range: 1,250 miles Ceiling: 58,000 ft. Span: 21 ft. 11 in. Length: 54 ft. 10 in. Height: 13 ft. 6 in. Weight: 27,853 lbs. maximum Serial number: 56-914