F-104 Starfighter / Zipper

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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elp

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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 06:06

Got one here at the museum ( an early A model I think ) Just thought I would start the thread as it has been mentioned a few times.

I always look at this aircraft and think of the B-26. ( What? You say? ) Yes the B-26.

Why? Early on the B-26 got the rep of being a killer. Not as friendly to a low hour pilot ( even more of a problem with the war and rushing it into production without proper R&D ) A hot ship. Later on as the pilot got experience in the aircraft and used it in combat they came to like it a lot. Early on Doolittle did a demo in the B-26 showing to pilots how good it was. ( yeah well that is Doolittle LOL different than a low hour pilot being tought to fly a hot ship ) So anyway not all those ( B-26 / F-104 ) comparisons are valid, but I think of the B-26 a bit when I think of the F-104: A hot ship but pilots that have hours and have "the right stuff" love it. Becareful how you parse your words around a loyal F-104 driver LMAO (also anyone that has that kind of loyalty to the airframe is a hardcore, big time, no kidding, old school, High Skill Fighter jock: No joke ). ( MiG-21 has a bit of this too, no forgivy mistakee muchee lol ) ( don't make me put the list of F-104 airframes lost by country... kinda sad )

I thought it also important to mention the F-104 because the Italians are getting rid of theirs very soon. So a little tribute would be important. Kinda sad in a way but even they mention the jet, with all its speed, might be nice for getin out and running an intercept nice and quick but going against some of the newer fighters it is becoming more and more at risk. Having said that, if you look up the term "speed is life", there is a picture of this jet next to it.

After all that, the jet has it in spades with coolness. It certainly fits the image of the newer advances in the jet age coming out of the late 50's and will always hold a place as being something that looks like it is going to break Mach 2 sitting still parked off in the corner of some museum. People that know nothing of jets and stuff look at it with appreciation when they first see it: "That is a jet fighter".

There is the story of an old Texas Ranger years ago that still carried a cocked and locked .45, cross draw in the belly. ( At a time when the Rangers were starting to become more clean cut ) One day a young Texas Ranger rookie looked at him and said: "Sir, isn't that dangerous?" . And the old Ranger said back: "Son, if it wasn't dangerous, I wouldn't use it."

So the non-pilot in me sees the F-104 as a bit more dangerous than most. But as one F-104 pilot ( a super jet jock ( who trained F-104s peeps ) put it: "I never knew of anyone that turned down an assignment to fly the F-104".

A toast to the F-104 community.
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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 07:04

Elp,

A quote about the F-104 from a friend that taught me a lot about flying the Zipper...

"I must comment on the fact the Italians are going to the F-16 ADV news. I am and have been in contact with many Italian F-104 pilots and from what I hear they are not happy to give up their "Zippers" for the "Viper and square corners" ; further more, no F-104 pilot would ever say the 104 is not a fighter. These comments came from staff weenies who no nothing about aerial combat or aircraft of any type. Regarding F-16 victories over Bosnia one needs to be there in order to engage, from what I hear no "Zips" were actually there, but were relegated to ADC behind the FEBA. If the Italians and for that matter the Turks and Taiwanese had done the avionics and other upgrades proposed by Lockheed in the early eighties then there would be no need to switch. Most if not all kills in Bosnia were/are "Slammers" AIM 120s, with the help of AWACS. The "Zip", if so modified as recommended, and deployed into the threat area would be killing Migs. Read some of the engagements a piper cub equipped with "Slammers" could have gotten most of the kills. We put up with the same BS in Vietnam not allowing us to go up on Linebacker and other Mig hunting operations. Having fought the "Zipper" fight now for 40 years, I can say without equivocation this wonderful machine, of Kelly's, has continually been the butt of political decisions; it was to far advanced for it's time, and now some "hacks" say it is obsolete. It will outrun them all. Our CF-104D at Edwards AFB pulling a decoy attached to one pylon rack and a camera pod on the other pylon equipped with tip tanks walked away from F-16 chase at mach 1.7. When asked to "push it up" the F-16 pilot responded "that is all I've got" I am tired of this "Zip" bashing. BJ and all TRUE "Zipper" drivers know what this machine will do. Ask your friendly F-14/F-15/F-16/ F-18/Mirage/etc./etc., driver if he can run level intercepts at 70,000+, the answer is, you got it, NO; ask them also if they can run mach 1.2+ on the deck or supersonic in mil. power "Supercruise", you got it the same answer, NO. Our 40 year old CFs will meet all the original performance specs, ask any staff weenie at ACC "Air Combat Command" how many of their current fighters can do that.

Cheers!! Sharkbait

PS (1)Originally Italian manufacturers of the F-104 J-79s was Fiat&Alfa Romeo. The manufacturer mergers have changed the names, but remains essentially the same facilities. None have been manufactured in recent years. we at Starfighters are discussing with them overhaul of our Orenda/GE J-79-7s/and our GE J-79-11B.(2) The Italians should look at the current accident rate for "Vipers" particularly the "A" equipped with the earlier Pratts. They may be wishing for a good ol J-79/"Zipper" in about 2 years.

Tom "Sharkbait" Delashaw
Starfighters, Inc.

6,000+ hrs. in fighters: F-84F; F-100A/D/F; F-104C/D/G/TF/CF; F-4C/D/E. Graduate USAF Fighter Weapons School; two tours of duty in SEA, flying F-104s and F-4s; air combat instructor Texas Air Aces, Houston, TX. Currently flying civilian-owned F-104s as demo/instructor, F-100s, and Hawker Hunters.

*ZIPPER is a term of endearment given the F-104 by the pilots of the 479th TFW."

More later...

JR
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elp

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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 07:15

He he. Great stuff JR !!! Ever see those clips of the Brit Prime Minister doing his weekly banter in Parliment? LOL

I refer the honorable gentleman to my previous comments LOL

"Becareful how you parse your words around a loyal F-104 driver LMAO"


And folks we are lucky to have one here on the forum too. Great stuff. ( don't abuse any F-4 drivers that might visit here with any F-104 v F-4 stories ( be nice to them )

Anyway. Great and awesome jet experience you have JR. Love it. We got this thread off to a good start dont cha think? 8)
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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 07:28

Oh yeah almost forgot. One great fantasy I have if I had a couple hundred million sitting around doing nothing is buy the license for the F-100 and/or the A-4 and start production of them again ( new materials, new tech )

In a pure just for the heck of it sense, could this be done also with the F-104? I mean the point is proven on it's speed. A new design.... ?... Digital FBW controls. I am trying to think off of the top of my head what radar set would go in it. Need a modern RWR and and some kind of internal jammer kit. Could be very interesting. One WAG from looking at it would be that it would be easier than some other jets to mass produce in this day and age???

Also anyone know of when this year Italy is retiring their F-104s? And: What will happen to those airframes?
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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 07:34

we at Starfighters are discussing with them overhaul of our Orenda/GE J-79-7s/and our GE J-79-11B.(2) The Italians should look at the current accident rate for "Vipers" particularly the "A" equipped with the earlier Pratts. They may be wishing for a good ol J-79/"Zipper" in about 2 years.


I was wondering about that. Since the F-16s are leased, isn't that just something where the customer tells the vendor:: "OK your jet broke, send me another?"

Excellent point about the earlier engines in those F-16s.
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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 18:43

Oh yeah! The 479th

JR? Know Ace Rawlins? He mustsa had 2000 hours in the 104.

My assignment to the Homestead ADC unit in 1968 was cancelled by a 'name request' from my Viet Nam Sqd CO. So I wind up flying A-37's and A-7's.... sniff, sniff

Those who do not believe the 'fly up' intercept on U-2's need to talk with real Zipper pilots. three of my classmates flew the things at Homestead and talked about it. They also said that their newer engines had so much torque that they could rock the thing back and forth at end of runway, just before takeoff. They also mentioned that they could have broken the time-to-climb record to 60,000 feet anyday, but the new Eagle was coming on. line and USAF didn't want a 20 year-old fighter showing off! heh heh.

Least I flew the 101 and we had 350 knots on initial, so we knew what 'fast' was. Plus the 175 knot final approach, etc. Sheesh, those were the days my friend....

later,
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Unread post31 Jan 2004, 20:14

Hmmm F-104 air supremacy .... UCAV.... This would sell... sell... sell... ( yes I'm serious ) Been doing some thinking ( which can be dangerous for me ) But I am usually good at connecting the dots once in a while.

Couple AIM120s and it's good to go. I want about 50 of these things on my first order lol. Be a hard and very painful thing for an enemy to deal with. History is cool and I love it, but I believe an A2A F-104 UCAV squadron could produce a lot of pain for a bad guy. After you bleed the enemy air force down to nothing. You reconfigure it so it can hang a couple of JDAMs or SDBs and do bomb truck duties. Oh yeah. :D No I am not some UAV/UCAV religious wack but I do believe UCAVs have a place on the total force team and in this case this could be one awesome UCAV ( other sales advantage, today UCAVs are a hot sales item ) Set up a booth at a big miltiary aerospace show and peoples jaws would drop with appreciation. :idea: Load up a computer model of an A2A F-104 UCAV in a combat sim and watch peoples heads spin with awe at the proof of concept LMAO.
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 00:26

On my site a former Zipper pilot allowed me to put up a bit of his old thoughts. In this thread I think it is worth repeating---

Ruminations on the F-104Walt BJ, Zipper pilot, ret (Not by choice)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was in the 319FIS at Homestead AFB from 1964 to 1967. Prior to that I had amassed 600 hours in the F-86 and 1500 in the F-102. My last tour had been at Thule in the Deuce, and at 40 below it was a sprightly performer. Like a takeoff roll of 1300 feet! But my first ride in the F-104 - hey, I'd been on test hop orders since 1960 and was used to checking gauges on the roll! But after releasing the brakes on the -104B I'd managed to check 3 of the 5 gauges one checks after the burner light and my IP said quietly 'Rotate!'. We were nearing 180 KIAS! BTW If you don't get the gear handle up as the aircraft breaks ground at 186 you could trap the main gear doors open. No big deal; just nose up to slow below 250 KIAS and cycle the gear. No blow except to one's pride.

Anyway - the 319th was the ONLY combat flying outfit I've ever been in where we had payday afternoon off. The availability rate was limited ONLY by parts. The airplane was extremely reliable. The radar cold be changed in 20 minutes; the engine in 2 hours. Every comm/electronic box could be changed at the end of the runway in the quick check area in matter of a few minutes - and was. Our QC crew had spare boxes in their van and saved many a sortie.

ADC had an exercise where they put up targets in a racetrack and tested the unit on how many sorties it could crank out. One afternoon we put 60 sorties up in three hours. The pilots were RTB'ing in AB and the ground crews were giving us 15 minute turnarounds!

The F-104 is the ONLY airplane I ever heard of where the squadron dog would exceed all the Flight Manual red line limits - 750KIAS, M2.0 and 100C engine inlet temp, and the SLOW light which came on at 121C in the generator cooling air duct. The bird originally had the GE J79-3B engine, and by the time I got to fly it that engine was getting worn out. The engine frames were so warped now that hot air leaks would set off the AFT OVERHEAT light if one got too slow at altitude (generally under 315 KIAS or so). Finally a fine officer and gentleman Col (now Bgen, ret) Dave Rippetoe got us the J79-19 engine. This is the same engine that is in the F104S and a variant of the F-4E engine. The replacement was simple enough so that the majority were installed in the squadron.

The -3B gave us 9600 lbs in military and 14000 in AB - when it was new, that is. The -19 gave us 12850 in military and 18900 in AB, later reduced for peacetime longevity to 11870/17500. Suffice to say the increase in performance was outstanding. The old bird would take about 4 minutes to get to mach 2 from .9, covering about 100 miles and using about all the fuel one could spare. The new bird took 1 minute 45 seconds, 27 miles, and 1000 pounds of fuel!

We normally flew 1:20 sorties clean (no ext tanks); now we could fly 1:30. The bird now cruised at 35000 at 315 KIAS at 2700PPH. Two reasons for greater efficiency, a new nozzle and a higher compression ratio in the compressor. With 2 x 165 galon tip tanks we could now go HST-Big SpringTX, BGS to Palmdale. 2 hop XC from FL to CA.

We intercepted U-2 fairly often on their training flights, usually above 60000. Of course we had to wear p-suits. Fuel was our limitation on the old bird; we couldn't afford to wait more than about 5 minutes if he was behind on his ETA. But with the new bird! I was fortunate enough to fly the first U2 mission and during prebrief the controller at MOADS and I talked it over. Of course he had nothing in his computer about the bird's new performance. I asked to be rolled out 35 miles behind the U-2 at .9 mach at 35000. He did just that. I selected full Ab and started accelerating. As the bird pass 1.4 I started a gentle climb. At something like 18 miles (on a 20 nm scope) I saw his blip on our 'spinscan' ASG14 radar. I glanced at the gauges and saw we were 1.8 M passing 58000! I don't recall what the fuel gauge read but it was nothing to worry about. Completed the intercept and peeled off for home with about 2400 pounds of fuel left! In the old bird if we had 1200 left then we were in fat city! Gs. Yeah, just about everybody could out turn a -104 in the usual subsonic dogfight area. But the only birds that gave us a hard time - with the old engine! - were the -106 and the F-8. The secret was never slowing down and using the vertical to the max. We had a good gun and sight combo and practiced (some of us) deflection shooting out to 3500-4000 feet. We got to where we could hit the dart (5x12 feet) about 85% of the time at ranges exceeding 2500 feet using the radar ranging gunsight. The plan was to force the bogey into a turn and then phase our attacks so one bird was alway threatening the bogey. This is the TAC lead wingman switch concept. We thought of it and flew it as 'fluid four' without the wingmen, covering each other and the responsibilities switching according to the fight. Our unit sent people up to Tyndall to fight the F106s when they were trying to sell the 106 as a deployable air superiority team. The -19 -104 waxed the 6. Later some of the guys (not me, sob - I was going to the F-4 now) went out to Edwards to fly against some of the oppo birds. later while working for Air Florida I talked to their 737 chief pilot. He was flying a very capable oppo bird against the USAF planes as was curving in behind what he thought was a lone F-4 at about 25000. All of a sudden he saw a -104 pull up vertical off the F4s wing - and knew he was in trouble!

The -19 -104 would go supersonic - M1.05 - in true level flight at 25000 in military power. It could maintain .97 on the deck in mil. The fastest I've had one on the deck was 750, the redline. I do know one pilot who let it run out to 825. He was at that time a bachelor and immortal. It's maximum was far beyond 2.0 at altitude. The most I've heard of is 2.4 (same bachelor) which is above the aluminum one-time limit. (2.2 for 5 minutes) I have personally flown the aircraft in a zoom climb high enough so the altimeter stopped turning at around 87000. We were still going up in a 50 degree climb. I suppose the pressure differential was too low to overcome the friction in the gears driving the needles. I know the bird will cruise at 73000 at M2.0; Paul Da San Martineo and I RTB'd from Tyndall to Homestead that way. It certainly impressed Miami Center; I remember the controller's answer when we called "Level Flight Level 730". "Roger, and you weren't lying about your true airspeed either!" (We'd filed a TAS of 1150 kts)

The bird could, on an 85F day from sea level, at combat weight and configuration, go through 45000 in 90 seconds after brake release. This was a bird right off the line with no tweaking.

What always struck me about the aircraft was the way it could accelerate in a zero-G bunt. It seemed like it could jump from 250 to 550 in about 20 seconds. It was certainly fast enough so one had to hold the pitch trim button forward and yet still apply pressure to maintain zero-G for the unloaded accel.

Fighting the bird entailed two tactics; the deep six zoom attack with the AIM-9B and the gun pass followed by a vertical zoom and reattack at 600+. Get a radar lock-on and try for a high angle deflection shot on the planform of the bogey. The instant the gunsight was saturated - could no longer track - quarter roll wings level and zoom vertical again.

It was not uncommon to belly up through 50000 on the reattack. NO ONE could follow us in these maneuvers. Certainly not an F-4. An F-15 could, but they weren't around yet. After the second pass the F-4 was all out of airspeed. The 6 was in the same boat; it lost speed fast when it started pulling G. We could spiral climb away from them and when they paid off split ess back onto their tail.

I just wish USAF hadn't got into a hissy fit with Kelly Johnson. The CL1200 Lancer was an F-104 updated and improved. He solved so many complicated problems so simply on the -104 when I got to the F-4 I was disappointed in the crudity of the solutions to the same problems. There was some real engineering done on the Zipper; it seemed to me the F-4 team just grabbed an answer book off the shelf and leafed to the right page.

The F-104 was sort of like owning the sharpest knife in the world. It was an honest airplane; you knew what was going on all the time. but like using a sharp knife, you better not make any mistakes. it did not suffer fools at all. The engine-out landing pattern was wild; 15000 and 260 over the runway and one turn, 240 KIAS over the threshold. Drop the gear by the emergency release during the flare! Rate of descent stabilized with gear down, engine off, at 240KIAS was about 11000FPM. No slack there. The bird got a bad rep during its infancy - in the USAF about a third of them were lost to engine failure before GE got the bugs out of it. In the Luftwaffe a lot of accidents were due to a combination of green pilots, poor maintenance and lousy (normal) European wx. With 4 tanks - fairly common LW configuration - the liftoff speed is around 215 KIAS. On an 8000 foot runway there is NO slack at all.

Range. Carrying one bomb (guess what kind) with 4 tanks an F-104 will go about half again as far as an F4 on a low-low-low sortie. And it will do it faster, too.

Bomb load. The TAC version can carry four but why would one want to mess up an air superiority fighter with bombs?

Deployability. The Zipper was designed before the perceived need for IFR. Because of the way its built it can be disassembled and loaded on a C-141 and flown to wherever you want it. Wings of and it sits on its gear. Tail off, elevator off rudder, load it board. Unload it at destination and reassemble it. Four bolts hold the after section on, five bolts for each wing. The Lancer could have incorporated a retractable probe and with its afterburning turbofan would have deployed nicely.

Summary. I amassed 2000 hours in the F-4D/E and grew to like it for what it could do. But love it? No way. My love was first the Sabre and then the Zipper. Both were true pilot's aircraft. The Sabre handled like it was part of you; the Zipper only came alive above 450KIAS. But at 600 it started to hum, and at 700 . . . oh, baby!

Hope you enjoyed this - my paean to the Lockheed F-104A and to Kelly Johnson and his team!
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 01:46

:shock: :D 8)

Hey kmceject, You got a link to your site with that story? I would love to have it handy to point people to when the topic pops up. Thanks.
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 02:22

elp, go to <a href="http://www.ejectionsite.com/index2.htm">http://www.ejectionsite.com/index2.htm</a> and you'll see it there (and an embarrasing photo of me taken at a holiday party when I was explaining a MB seat to people... a good photo of me is on the A-12 Cockpit page...) This index page is linked as 'local non-ejection seat links' in the left column on my site.

Kevin
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 07:27

kmceject, Thanks for Walt BJ's zipper story, remember his name and posts over on RAM in the old days, before it got so noisy (and Tarver showed up). Wondering if anyone on this board knows Dudley Henriques (sp?), he always had solid posts over there.
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 08:38

What's RAM?
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Unread post01 Feb 2004, 16:58

usenet newsgroup rec.aviation.military, not worth visiting nowadays :(

Forums like this are so much better, even before RAM went to h*ll...
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Unread post02 Feb 2004, 05:10

Gums,

I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Ace Rawlins. Run into a few Zipp drivers at airshows but the only original Zipper dudes I’m friends with are Steve Ritchie and Dave Waldrop. Yes, that’s 5 Mig Steve, and Dave’s got 2 Migs with the cannon in the F-105 and his pipper was tango uniform on the darn HUD! I've run into that other guy, too many times, that crashed that NF-104 because he knew to much to listen to anyone else or study the book on the a/c, but I don't count him. We are on good speaking terms, but I sure wouldn't call him a friend.

Yeah, the Super Tweet, ain’t nothing wrong with that bird, but then the electrons started flowing your way, i.e. the Viper!

My bud Sharkbait did a roll around a U-2 at Mach 1.6 or so at 70,000 ft. Tom said, “Yeah man I was some young jock in a Zipper and figured hah, this would be cool… So later I met the U-2 driver and he wanted to tear my head off!" He said, “You almost ripped my wings off!!!” Tom said, “Well, we learned two things, what kind of shock wave we were towing and how spindly that Dragon Lady really was.”

You said it Gums, we are at least 350 kts for the break and 180 kts on final with touchdown at 160-165 kts.

JR

Elp,

Stay away from the Hun, to many bad habits from what I’ve been told by Hun Fighter Weapons School grads…

The Italian 104s are getting cut up. There are several complete other F-104s for sale in the U.S. though, just bring about seven figures, cause the feds aren’t going to let any more in, unless something drastic changes at the state department.

A-4s are $40,000 a piece, there’s a bunch for sale now, but probably $500,000 to get them flying.

JR
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Unread post02 Feb 2004, 05:16

More F-104 info from Sharkbait...

*************************************************************
"From: Thomas B Delashaw, 74741.2335
To: AIR&SPACE , INTERNET:editors@a...

Date: 6/6/2001 11:09 AM

RE: DON'T ZAP THE ZIPPER*

To: Letters, Air&Space/Smithsonian

From: Thomas B. Delashaw

DON'T ZAP THE ZIPPER*
I am and have been an F-104 fanatic for 45 years, and I have been flying it since 1961, I must respond to the comments of Gerald P. Hanner. The F-104 was NO "one-trick pony". Day fighter, interceptor, (extremely high altitude/mach interceptor), Nuclear delivery platform, conventional delivery platform, close air support platform, recce platform, space trainer, R&D platform, speed/altitude/time to climb record holder (current worlds low altitude speed record holder), top gunner (TACs/ADCs William Tells) , trophy winner (Robert J. Collier trophy, the most prestigious award in American aviation, for design of airframe and engine, world altitude and speed records), and many other world wide accolades to numerous to mention here; Kelly Johnsons baby was certainly NO "one-trick Pony". I was personally on all of the missions Mr. Hanner comments on. He simply does not have all the facts. For instance, on the 1964 trip to Spain TAC mission planners planned for us to refuel every few minutes even though we had not burned much fuel. It was a new program to give us more air abort options. We did not need to make all of those refuelings to make the waypoints. I flew on the EC-121 escort missions, some lasting over 6 hours, and we did not spend most of our "time cycling back and forth" from our escort track to our tankers. I was the wing/squadron weapons officer involved in the conception of, and participated in, the "Looker Shooter" missions we flew with the gunless F-4s. We operated as the interceptors and the F-4s the AWACS, consequently we used afterburner quite often to accelerate to high mach for the intercepts while the F-4s were at best loiter or cruise. This may have caused us to return to the tankers more often than the Phantoms; I am not sure we did however. Our 104Cs had as good or better range than Phantoms in a comparable configuration. Drogue equipped tankers are still in use today, Navy Phantoms, 105s and many other fighters were probe and drogue equipped. A lot of the early tactical fighter air to air refueling was from KB-29s and KB-50s equipped only with drogues. In my experience in 6 years of flying the F-104C and in combat, I don't recall us ever having a tanker to fighter fuel transfer rate problem, nor did we have external tank feed problems. We were as fast or faster connecting to the tanker than any of the other fighters. Mr. Hanners statement "the short comings of the craft probably were known to the fighter community" is hard to accept, when in the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s, the USAF's only primary air superiority aircraft was the F-104C; we were deployed world wide on many occasions to project US power and assure control of the air during world crises. The F-104C was widely regarded as the world's foremost daylight air-to-air platform, and the pilots of TAC's 479th TFW, the only operators of the F-104C, had proven to be masters of their trade in numerous mock air-to-air engagements. It was therefore understood by the "fighter community" and apparently by the USAF that the F-104Cs of the 479th TFW, 434th, 435th, 436th, or 476th TFSs would rapidly deploy to any world troublespot where air superiority must be quickly established. I agree the F-105 "Thud" was a good tactical fighter, but Mr. Hanner needs to take a closer look at the F-104s kills in its combat operations with users other than the USAF before stating, "it (105) has a few MIG kills to its credit; the 104 has none that I know of".

DONT ZAP THE ZIPPER*

Tom "Sharkbait" Delashaw
Starfighters, Inc.

6,000+ hrs. in fighters: F-84F; F-100A/D/F; F-104C/D/G/TF/CF; F-4C/D/E. Graduate USAF Fighter Weapons School; two tours of duty in SEA, flying F-104s and F-4s; air combat instructor Texas Air Aces, Houston, TX. Currently flying civilian-owned F-104s as demo/instructor, F-100s, and Hawker Hunters.

*ZIPPER is a term of endearment given the F-104 by the pilots of the 479th TFW."

************************************************************
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