Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Easton F-104

Yes, Scott and Will, that is a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter on the ramp behind the bombers.

Apparently this aircraft was most recently owned by local WW2 aircraft collector Tom Blair, and he donated it to the airport here at Easton, MD. This particular Starfighter was in the news a couple of years ago as part of a fantastic Christmas Display when it was still on the Blair farm.
More pics here:
Santa Got Run Over by a What?!

Right now, it's static display on a corner of the airfield, just outside the FBO.
Supposedly they're going to put it up on a monument. I'd kind of like to see it stay right where it's at. It looks great in it's "ready for launch" configuration.

3 comments:

  1. Heh, I drove by that display when it was up... Couldn't stop laughing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I was about 8 years old, my dream was to fly one of those.

    Oh, well......

    ReplyDelete
  3. Somewhere there is film of a Starfighter going for a time-to-climb record. Starts off with the aircraft sliding with locked brakes, lights the AB shortly after rolling, pulls the gear as soon as it unweights, skims the runway for a few seconds, and is climbing vertical before hitting the end of the runway. I think you can hear it going supersonic during the climb, but I'm not positive about that (long time ago).

    Talked with a Canadian F-104 pilot at an air show held at Moffett Field in the early 80's. Guy had a LOT of hours in the aircraft (5000+ IIRC). Talked about having to let the drag chute get it down to a speed the brakes could handle. Landing speed was well beyond the brakes capability, and you would quickly burn them up while still in triple digit territory, a common newbie mistake. IIRC, landing was 215, and stall was 185, dirty. You did NOT get close to stall during approach, as it was violent, and not survivable, according to him.
    He said one of the plane's nicknames was "the whore", since it didn't seem to have much visible means of support.

    High speed stall was the limiting factor in maneuvering, not g-forces, and SOP was to punch out if below 15k ft AGL if stalled for any reason. Stall recovery was 12k required, at minimum.

    I think they had edge guards for the wings while parked, due to their sharp profile. Looked like a razor blade, IIRC.

    Very unforgiving fast mover.

    The Germans must have been crazy for using them, in the conditions they had to deal with over there.
    In fact, disagreement with the decision to buy them is why Erich Hartmann quit the new German airforce, I've read.

    Still, would have liked to have flown in one. A jet engine, with wings tacked on as an afterthought.

    ReplyDelete