Starfighters were high-performance day and night fighters
powered by an advanced axial-flow, turbojet engine with
afterburner. They were designed for cruise at high subsonic
speeds and combat at high supersonic speeds. Notable features of
the aircraft include extremely thin flight surfaces, short
straight wings with negative dihedral, irreversible
hydraulically powered ailerons, and a controllable horizontal
stabilizer. The wings, with leading and trailing edge flaps,
have a boundary layer control system which is used in
conjunction with the trailing edge flap to reduce landing
speeds. A drag chute is installed to reduce the landing roll.
In-flight escape is accomplished by an upward ejection
system. The Starfighter designed by "Kelly"
Johnson of the famed Lockheed Skunk
The USAF procured about 300 Starfighters in
one- and two-seat versions. The Lockheed F-104B and -D models
were combat-capable two-place trainer versions used by the USAF.
The 20mm cannon was removed from the aircraft to make room for
the second cockpit. More than 1,700 F-104s were built in the
U.S. and abroad under the military aid program for various
nations including Canada, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.