Air Power Series>1:72 die-cast display model>F-104>HAS1028

Lockheed F-104C Starfighter 435th TFS, USAF, Udorn 1967-68
General Background
The F-104 Starfighter was an military aircraft with revolutionary designs. It had short razor-sharp wings and was the first aircraft to be able to maintain Mach 2 not just in short bursts. This extremely high speed earned the plane the nickname "The Missile With A Man In It". Because of financial considerations 15 or more countries purchased the F-104. The Starfighter flew with the USAF in 1958 and the last airplane was decommissioned in Italy in 2004.
The Aircraft
From April 20 – November 20 1965 there was a large presence of F-104s in Vietnam but was returned to the U.S. at that time. Early on in 1966 the supersonic Mig-21 started to appear in the skies over North Vietnam creating a large threat to U.S. aircraft. The U.S. answer to the problem was to re-deploy the F-104s, so in June 1966 F-104Cs from the 435th TFS "Screaming Eagles" started to arrive at Udorn RTAFB in Thailand. All the aircraft were now wearing the 3 tones SEA (South East Asia) camouflage that soon started to be referred to as "Vietnamese Camouflage". The SEA camouflage was one shade of tan and two shades of green on the upper surfaces to help blend in with the landscape and jungle foliage. A light gray covered the underside so that from the ground the aircraft would blend with the sky. It was armed with a 20mm M61A1 cannon that was fed 725 rounds stored in the fuselage. To add to their sting the plane could carry a pair of wingtip mounted AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles and up to 2,000lbs of external ordnance (rockets, bombs, napalm or drop tanks) under the wings and fuselage. A later addition was the ability to put a pair of Sidewinders under the fuselage. From June 1966 – July 1967 F-104Cs completed over 5,290 bombing and escort sorties into North Vietnam. The USAF decided to replace the 104s with the more efficient McDonnell F-4D Phantoms so in July 1967 the replacements started. The last F-104 left Thailand around the end of 1967 with the 435th departing in July and returning to George AFB, California.
Specifications :
Span: 21 ft. 11 in.
Length: 54 ft. 10 in
Height: 13 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 27,853 lbs. max
Armament: One M-61 20mm cannon, two air-to-air missiles: nuclear or conventional bombs
Empty: One General Electric J-79 of 15,800 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Crew: One
Cost: $1,471,000 (1950 & early 60's dollars)
Normal Performance:
Maxium Speed: 1,320 mph.
Cruising Speed: 576 mph.
Range: 1,250 miles
Service Ceiling: 58 000 ft