Lockheed F-104A Starfighter

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    Known as "the missile with a man in it," the stubby-winged Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2, twice the speed of sound. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the tailhook of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is a wing of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the air intake of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the pitot tube of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the cockpit of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the vertical and horizontal stabilizers of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the engine exhaust of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter

    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter on display at the National Mall building of the National Air and Space Museum. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew this F-104A for 19 years as a flying test bed and a chase plane.
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    Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, FIRST AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED MACH 2 FLIGHT

    The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on February 7, 1954. Highlighted in this image is the tailhook of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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Known as "the missile with a man in it," the stubby-winged Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the first U.S. jet fighter in service to fly Mach 2, twice the speed of sound. Designed as a high-performance day fighter, the F-104 had excellent acceleration and top speed. It first flew on March 4, 1954.

While built for the U.S. Air Force, most Starfighters were flown by other countries, particularly Canada, Italy, Germany, and Japan. Many were built under license overseas.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew this F-104A for 19 years as a flying test bed and a chase plane. It was used to test the reaction controls later used on the North American X-15. This aircraft was the seventh F-104 built and was transferred to the Museum after its last flight, to Andrews Air Force Base, on August 26, 1975.