.: Chris Cooper's 1/144th Revell F-104G "Starfighter"

When it first appeared amid a shroud of great secrecy in 1954, the F-104 Starfighter was considered the most technologically advanced fighter to slide through the air. It had wings so thin and sharp they could cut unwary ground crew, and so small many questioned its ability to fly at all.

The Starfighter was designed specifically to combat the Russian MiG 15 and similar enemy fighters. The desire was for more power and altitude , but the characteristics that gave these were lacking in other areas, such as maneuverability. In fact, the first versions of the F-104 were not totally successful and were phased out of the USAF after a relatively short service life.

On the other hand, a refined version of the sliver-like fighter was produced in great numbers for foreign customers and the sleek plane finally found its niche in the world's air forces.

The main reason for the eventual success of the F-104 was due to a rethinking of the tactical role for which the plane was designed. Carrying a load of long-ranging missiles, and firing them from a distance, does not require a tight turn radius. The Starfighter has a great acceleration rate and a maximum speed of 1,450 mph, or more than twice the speed of sound.  

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