There is an F-104 in the front of the administration building at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, so I can confirm the literally razor sharp wings, but I never really learned more about the aircaft. I just stumbled across this article, which is a great read.
They tend to drop out of the sky and kill the pilot. The Germans nicknamed it ‘The Widowmaker’.
This video sounds like it was narrated by Ze Frank.
The Germans also tried to make it do things it wasn’t designed to do in the first place.
It’s mostly know for the scandal that actually got it procured from where I am from: Lockheed bribery scandals - Wikipedia
The German press nicknamed it the Widowmaker. By most accounts the F-104 was well loved by the people who flew and maintained it, despite its foibles.
The nickname was well deserved, the 104 has a terrible safety record in general.
To warn the pilot that his F-104 was approaching the limit, it had a “stick shaker” similar to what airliners are equipped with. If he ignored the “shaker” he got the “kicker” which would forcibly push the stick forward. Since nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool, the kicker could be overridden by the pilot and hilarity would ensue.
“Hilarity would ensue” got me good.
The common nickname i always heard was… Lawndart.
The other popular quote was, “have you seen a f104 up close? No, then stand still long enough and you will.”
Good read !
My “Hangar Neighbor” flew them briefly with the Danish Air Force. He thought the Pitts was a heckuva a lot scarier. It is the one jet that I wish I could fly above all the rest.
Just finished the article. Great read–thanks! The F-104 flew CAS missions in Vietnam. Look out A-10!
Nice article. That BLC system was no joke (apparently)… There was a developer for X-Plane (Classic Jet Simulations) that made a really nice F-104 that included that vicious little rolloff if you went to idle while in the flare. I wrote about if for SimHQ back in the day:
SimHQ Review: CJS CF-104 for X-Plane 9.x - YouTube
Ha, that was before they put foam guards around the wing edges!
They did not…! Tell me that isn’t true…
Might be hard to see in this photo, but the red on the leading edges is a set of protectors. There’s another set on the trailing edges.
This pic was taken last October.
You’ll notice the high rise buildings in the background - those are Riddle buildings! The place is definitely not the same school you and I went to.
That poor thing looks like someone dropped it off at a roadside garage to have the transmission looked at and then never came back to check on it.
That was a great article Beach and I bought the F104 because of it. Unfortunately the plug-in no longer works. It was such a labor of love and a real joy to fly.
Hmm…I wonder if Greg (the author of it) has updated the plug-in to make it XP10.xx compatible? I hadn’t loaded it up in years…