F-104A Starfighter - "Deterring The Dragon"

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First flown in 1954, the F-104 Starfighter entered service with the US Air Force in 1958. The F-104 was a radical design featuring very thin and short length wings set farther back on its fuselage. This wing was ideal for supersonic , high-speed flight. The trade-off for the gain in speed was poor turning capability and high landing speeds. The aircraft utilized the General Electric J79-GE-11A turbojet which was capable of producing 15,600 lb of thrust with afterburner. The F-104 was the first production aircraft to attain Mach 2. It was also the first aircraft to reach 100,000 ft altitude after taking off under its own power. The F-104 was the first aircraft to simultaneously hold both the world speed and altitude records.

Starfightes served during the Cold War with numerous militaries including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Pakistan, Japan, Jordan, Norway, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and most-numerously with West Germany.

Shortly after the Starfighter entered service with the USAF, aircraft of the 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron were deployed during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. The aircraft were airlifted by C-124 "Globemaster" transport aircraft to Tao Yuan AB Taiwan. Under the name "Operation Jonah Able" the Starfighters provided defense of Taiwan and served as a deterrent to Chinese MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters.

F-104C Starfighters served during the Vietnam War from 1965 until 1967. The F-104 saw combat during the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971.The last Starfighters were retired from active service with the Turkish Air Force in 2004.