Pima Air and Space Museum Adds F-104G Starfighter

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The Pima Air and Space Museum announced the addition of a new airplane to its collection. A former Luftwaffe’s Lockheed F-104G Starfighter recently arrived at the museum from Europe after a long trip across the ocean. The Starfighter was designed by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and was the first jet in service with the USAF capable of Mach 2. It was used worldwide by over a dozen countries.

Accordingly to the International F-104 Society, on September 7th, 2022 the F-104G 26+30 (with fake serial “26+44”) was loaded into a container at Baarlo, the location where the aircraft has been seen preserved for many years with PS Aero. The Starfighter served with the Luftwaffe and the Marinefliegerkommando from 1960 until 1986.

The Pima’s newly acquired Starfighter at Beja Air Base in October 1984. Picture by Gunther Grondstein

The Luftwaffe was the primary user of the Starfighter, operating over thirty-five percent of all F-104s built. Luftwaffe F-104G came from all five production lines of the Starfighter consortium. The West German Luftwaffe received a total of 916 Starfighters: 30 F-104F, 96 F-104G, and 136 TF-104G from Lockheed; 255 F/RF-104G from the North Group; 210 F-104G from the South Group; 88 F-104G from the West Group; 50 F/RF-104G from the Italian Group; plus 50 replacement F-104G from MBB to replace some of those lost in crashes.

At their peak in the mid-1970s, Starfighter equipped five nuclear-armed Luftwaffe Fighter-Bomber wings, two Interceptor wings, and two Reconnaissance wings. In addition, two Attack wings of the Marineflieger (Federal German Navy) were equipped with Starfighter. ( Source www.916-starfighter.de)

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