The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first operational interceptor capable of sustained speeds above Mach 2. Design work began in 1952 and the first test flights were flown in 1954. The F-104 was intended as a short-range point defense fighter with both single and two seat versions. The Starfighter was extensively exported and built under license in Canada, Europe, and Japan. The F-104D model is a two seat fully combat-capable trainer built for use by the U.S. Air Force’s Tactical Air Command between November 1958 and September 1959. A total of 21 were built. To make room for the second seat the F-104D gave up its internal gun but was given an enhanced ground strike capability and in-flight refueling.
156th Tactical Fighter Group, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, San Juan International Airport, Puerto Rico, 1974
Pima Air & Space Museum
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