AVIATION: The Starfighter

The U.S. got its first look, last week, at one of the world's fastest jet fighters as the Air Force lifted the security ban on pictures of Lockheed's lightweight F-104 Starfighter. Instead of sharply swept wings like most of the new Century Series jets (TIME, Feb. 20), the F-104, like its first jet ancestor, the Lockheed F-80, has stubby, bumblebee-like wings, jutting straight out from a long, needle-nosed fuselage. With a General Electric J-79 engine, the Starfighter has an estimated top speed close to Mach 2 (1,320 m.p.h. at 30,000 ft.) in level flight.

Lockheed already has the F-IO4 in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!