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Old 03-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #61
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Not that I've ever flown one, but the F-104 triumphs on all three counts!
If I understand you correctly, you're saying, "You're not a real pilot unless you [insert one of the following] have flown the F-104".
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #62
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Yep, that's how the pilot put-down game is played!
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #63
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The F-104 was an interesting plane. It could not turn worth a cr&p so you had to fight n the vertical. I am not sure it ever fired a shot in anger. However, the F-111 was faster at altitude, and on the deck. However, it was like fighting in a dump truck! For pure sport, however, I'll still take the 38.

REW, I was in Del Rio for our reunion and the 'new' 38's have a glass cockpit. While we only got to look on a static, we did get to fly the simulators. I highly recommend reunions back at flight school.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #64
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I highly recommend reunions back at flight school.
I've completely lost touch with my entire class with the exception of one guy. I've done some searching on the web but not found any information on unit/class reunions. Any idea of where I might look?
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:18 PM   #65
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If your class had changed to SSN for service numbers, then Public Data.com might work. I have heard you can send USAA a stack of cards and they will mail them. Old orders with SSN's are another source. Good Luck!
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:05 AM   #66
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The F-104 was an interesting plane. It could not turn worth a cr&p so you had to fight n the vertical. I am not sure it ever fired a shot in anger.
I'm no aviation historian, but I believe Taiwanese F-104s scored a few MiG kills, and PAF F-104s claimed a few victories against IAF aircraft.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:43 PM   #67
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Your are right. The Pakistanis also have several kills, also the India shot down several F-104's of Pakistan. I was referring to the U.S. Air Force aircraft.

[1.0] Starfighter Origins / F-104 In USAF Service

Good site for the history of the F-104. I did not know it had a downward ejection seat. That alone would cause me to look elsewhere. However, it was a capable aircraft for it's day. I think it was replaced by the F-5 for the Taiwanese, and the F-15 for the Germans and other Nato countries.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:14 PM   #68
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There's at least one private company flying three F-104s in airshows. (Starfighters F-104 Demo Team - Home ) They also offer rides, just bring along a little jingle to pay for the fuel. About $10,000 for a ride.

So,how much is $10,000?

ER math: "$10,000 in the bank produces $33 per month (4% annual rate). So, for less than $35 per month you get a memory that lasts forever. Hey, what's the money for, anyway? "

FI math: " $10,000 for probably 25 minutes = $400 per minute. That's a lot (even Elliot Spitzer wasn't paying that much) . That $10K would pay for a dinner out (or cheap dinner and movie) every month for the rest of our lives. (or convert to boat, RV, cheap car, etc of your choice) It took us XX months of working to save that money. Would I even be able enjoy a ride with the meter running at this furious pace?)

I saw an RCAF F-104 at the Edwards AFB airshow in about 1982. A hot day and that little wing = he used a LOT of runway. A very cool demo. Sure, it takes miles to turn around, but there's something to be said for going fast in a straight line. I'll bet the roll rate is even better than the T-38's 720 deg/sec.

$10,000 . . . hmm. What's the money for, anyway?
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:58 PM   #69
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It was a capable aircraft for it's day. I think it was replaced by the F-5 for the Taiwanese, and the F-15 for the Germans and other Nato countries.
Taiwan certainly had (and still has some) F-5s, but IIRC they opted for the (much more potent) F-16 as the direct replacement for their F-104s. And to the best of my knowledge, the USA is the only NATO member to operate the F-15 (too expensive for everyone else).

- Canada and Spain both replaced their F-104s with F-18s
- Germany and Italy both opted for Panavia's Tornado
- Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Holland, Norway and Turkey all switched to the F-16

I think. :confused:
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:04 PM   #70
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My Bad I meant F-16 to Nato Countries.
F-15A 373 initial USAF single seaters (including 18 "YF-15As")
F-15B 59 initial USAF tandem seaters (including 2 TF-15As)
F-15C 408 improved USAF single seaters
F-15D 62 improved USAF tandem seaters

F-15C 18 new-build F-15Cs for Israel
F-15D 13 new-build F-15Ds for Israel

F-15C 55 new-build F-15Cs for Saudi Arabia
F-15D 19 new-build F-15Ds for Saudi Arabia

F-15J 203 F-15Cs for JASDF, most manufactured by Mitsubishi
F-15DJ 20 F-15Ds for JASDF, most manufactured by Mitsubishi

1,230 TOTAL EAGLE PRODUCTION

F-15E 236 USAF Strike Eagles
F-15S 72 F-15Es for Saudi Arabia
F-15I 25 F-15Es for Israel
F-15K 40 F-15Es with GE engines for Korea, now on order

373 TOTAL STRIKE EAGLE PRODUCTION
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1,603 TOTAL F-15 PRODUCTION
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:23 PM   #71
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Yes, I know about the non-USA F-15 countries. But none of them are in NATO (yet!).

It's an expensive airplane. Still, many might say that you get what you pay for. There's no arguing with its impressive combat record, especially in Israeli hands.

The F-16 is popular primarily because it is (relatively) cheap.
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