The cold war, which lasted for several decades, was one of the most devastating in the history of mankind. Huge forces and means were involved in research and development of high-tech weapons, which was to deprive the enemy of the chance to win.
The results of the air battles in Korea between jet fighters of the first generation and the trophy was carefully studied in the Soviet Union, and the United States. The conclusions of the specialists in both countries did not differ originality needed more high-speed aircraft, capable of hitting the enemy in the air, including the stratosphere, more sophisticated weapons, including guided missiles.
Specialists of the company “Lockheed erkraft” has begun to develop such a machine in March 1952, This work was led by one of the foremost American designers of Clarence (Kelly) Johnson, Creator of such well known machines as “lightning”, “Shuting old”, U-2 and SR-71. One of the most serious requirements of the U.S. air force the new fighter was to limit take-off weight should not exceed 7 — 8,5 T.
The creation of the fighter is always a compromise between the desires of the customer and the capabilities of the developer, especially when you consider the appearance of clarification of customer requirements to the machine during design and testing, or deviations in the characteristics of component assemblies from subcontractors.
By November 1952, the designers have shaped the face of the future fighter, received a corporate designation — project 242. His estimated weight was 4 T. After clarification of the main parameters, the weight of the fighter increased by 30%. Kelly Johnson has officially unveiled the firm’s management the draft of the fighter CL-246, armed with two 30-mm Aden cannons. In January 1953, after consideration of the projects of light fighters, presented and companies “North American”, “Northrop” and “Republic”, the project “Lockheed” was recognized as the best and in March signed a contract for its full development. Six weeks later the firm was to submit the model of the future car, and a year to present at the test of the prototype fighter, the designation XF-104. Members of the air force bribed by the promises of the company “Lockheed” to quickly build an easy and simple fighter with outstanding performance at minimal financial cost.
On the mock-up Committee on the proposal of the military two 30-mm cannons replaced one promising rapid-fire six-barreled 20-mm aerogun T-171 company “General electric”, received the further designation M-61 “Vulcan”.
Detailed design revealed a lot of problems One of the first General aerodynamic configuration of the fighter. Developers to reduce drag chose thin (relative thickness is 3.4%) trapezoidal wing of small aspect ratio with a sharp leading edge (radius of 0.4 mm) Under the length limit of the chord of 1.5 m profile thickness was 51 mm. Signalone placement of the wing provided an additional drag reduction of 12%. A wing on its aerodynamic and weight characteristics were in the optimal speed range corresponding to 2 — 3 M, but has created a lot of problems.
Small wing span of 6.7 m span console 2.4 m demanded the adoption of measures to ensure the stability of the roll when the deviation of the rudder. After the wind tunnel to the NACA wings gave cross V is equal to minus 10°. The prevention of flutter of a thin wing in supersonic range of speeds is partly resolved due to the small elongation wing. But make sure in solving problems of aeroelasticity firm “Lockheed” could only perform a large amount of field work: firing 127-mm ROCKETS, fixed in the bow of dynamically similar models and camera, which were saved at the end of the experience by parachute.
The task of the layout of the actuators of the ailerons in the wing hyperfine decided to increase the number of: placing the ten cylinders in a monolithic part. High specific load on the wing, is required to achieve maximum supersonic speeds demanded measures to reduce the landing speed of the aircraft. To enhance load-bearing properties of the wing, his toe did drop down to 20° On the upper surface of the flap for blowing boundary layer served via special ducts with compressed air taken from the compressor turbojet engine. Such a mechanization increased the maximum lift coefficient twice that allowed to reduce landing speed of the aircraft up to 250 km/h.
The F-104G “Starfighter”:
1 — rod LDPE; 2 — radar Radome of the F-15A-41; 3 — antenna of the TACAN system; 4 — window IR-reticle; 5 — canopy lights; 6 — movable part of the lamp; 7 — port awiapo psi М61А1 “Volcano”; 8 — the gauge of angle of attack; 9 — manhole cover maintenance of guns; 10 — louver ventilation compartment aerogun; 11 — cover of the charging guns; 12 — cover the filling neck of the fuel tank; 13 — air navigation light (red); 14 — service hatches TRD; 15 — gargrot; 16 — bypass turbojet engines; 17 — brake; 18 — cap fitting; 19 — end external fuel tank; 20 — underwing external fuel tank; 21 — landing light; 22 — missile ASM-12V “Bulpup”; 23 — taxiway headlight; 24 — the gauge of angle of attack: 25 — drill fire; 26 — movable cone air intake; 27 — deflecting slat; 28 — cover the filling neck hanging tank; 29 — all-moving stabilizer; 30 — ventral beam holder; 31 — flaps; 32 — Aileron; 33 — the spoiler; 34 — end starter; 35 — guided missile “air — air” AIM-9J “Sidewinder”; 36 — inner underwing pylon; 37 — launcher missiles AGM-12V; 38 — ASM AS-34 “Cormoran”; 39 — launcher missiles AS-34; 40 — wheel 660×203 mm; 41 — the brake line; 42 — thrust fold chassis; 43 — hinge joint; 44 — liquid absorber: 45 — cylinder cleaning (release) the main bearing; 46 — rod rotating wheel; 47 — eye fixing the support in the retracted position; a 48 — beam main rails; 49 container with the intelligence apparatus; 50 — educational container for bombs SUU 21; 51 — position nose landing gear; 52 — breaking brace; 53 — cylinder cleaning (release) fore leg; 54 — strut; 55 — wheel 457х140 mm; 56 — lever engine control; 57 — follower accidental discharge lamp; 58 — mirror rear view; 59 — a magnetic compass; 60 — flat glass sight shooting; 61 — indicator, radar: 62 — aircraft control stick; 63 — cover of the braking parachute; 64 — cover control of the mine; 65 — fold main landing gear; 66 — ventilation louvers-chamber equipment; 67 — fold front landing gear; 68 — wing launcher of missiles AIM-9; 69,70 — fuselage starting device missiles AIM-9; 71 — block NAR; 72 — ventral pole; 73 — handle the opening of the lantern; 74 — cover hardware; 75 — ventral ridge; 76 — brake hook
In a very difficult situation, the designers of the chassis. Wing place for him was not enough — had to be accommodated in the fuselage, where it was pretty crowded. To withstand the geometric parameters of the chassis, which guarantees the steady movement of the aircraft on the runway during takeoff and landing, the developers applied kinematics, providing the minimum dimensions of the landing gear in the retracted position. To enhance load-bearing properties of the wheels, while maintaining the specified size, the air pressure in the tires was brought to 20 kg/cm2. For comparison: the pressure in the tires of the main landing of the Soviet MiG-21F-13 did not exceed 10 kgf/cm2.
An important task for any combat aircraft is to ensure the rescue of the crew in emergency situations. The greater the range of operating speeds and heights of flight of the machine, the higher requirements of reliability of functioning of system of salvation. Developers XP-104 used the ejection seat fired downwards. This system had a slightly greater mass than to the ejection up but offset by the total savings of the mass of the airframe due to more simple and a lightweight (2.5 — 4 times) construction of the lantern, which would provide for emergency flushing down the Bailout ensured the safe evacuation of the airplane at altitudes above 500 m, but at lower altitudes, as well as during takeoff and landing the rescue of the pilot was very problematic. For comparison, the recovery system SK on the MiG-21F-13 was provided by the rescue pilot at altitudes of 110 m.
Despite the obvious difficulties of creating in many respects a revolutionary aircraft, work on the project dvuhgorbogo fighter was carried out very rapidly, given the terms of the contract. As often happens, one of the main subcontractors firm “Dzheneral the electrician” did not fit within the time allotted for the development of engine J-79-GE-3 with a thrust in afterburner 6720 kgs So on the first two prototypes under contract with the air force, installed engine J-65-W-6 — license version of the English engine “Sapphire” produced in the USA by the firm of “Wright” (though the pull of this engine in afterburner was one and a half times less).
In February 1954, test pilot of the company “Lockheed” Tony de Vejer began taxiways and fly the first prototype XF-104 (serial No. 53-7786) February 28, he completed the approach at a height of 1.5 m, and on March 4 made a 20-minute flight in a circle. It was found that hydraulic system pressure is insufficient for the landing gear. To eliminate this disadvantage was only after the second flight. The second prototype XF-104 (serial No. 53-7787) firm “Lockheed” presented to the test 5 Oct 1954
The successful progress of “the miracle plane” contributed to the fact that two months before the first flight of the prototype, the air force ordered a series of seventeen machines YF-104 to conduct military tests. 25 Mar 1955 XF-104 was able to develop in level flight at a speed corresponding to 1.79 M.
If the first machine was designed traditionally to determine flight characteristics, the second simulated weapons system. The first shooting guns in the air were normal, but 17 Dec 1954 explosion of the cartridge in which the shutter struck the fuel tank, its contents fell into the air intake of the engine and it stalled. However, piloting the plane, Tony de Vejer managed to put the car on a dry lake Rogers. April 14, 1955, the second prototype in flight foiled the escape hatch and cabin depressurization. The result is a high-altitude suit pilot Herman salmon was inflated so that the pilot could barely see. He decided not to tempt fate and ejected.
23 Dec 1955, he completed the Assembly of the first machine YF-104, equipped with engine J-79-GE-3A for military trials, and on 17 February it made its first flight 17 APR fighter introduced to the General public, and ten days in flight, he exceeded the speed of 2M.
The machine had significant differences from the first two prototypes. Installing the engine more power increased the length of the plane to 16.69 m. the nose landing gear is retracted against the direction of flight, air intakes steel adjustable dvuhmetrovye: they are mounted on the movable Central cone. The aircraft is equipped with advanced fire control system AN/ASG-14Т1 and navigation AN/ARN-56 TACAN. All machines military series used by the firm “Lockheed” and the air force to test the full program, which revealed a number of significant deficiencies that affected the interest of the air force to this fighter.
Then the firm “Lockheed” addressed to the command of the air force — the aircraft owner with an offer to perform a record flight to consolidate the prestige in the creation of supersonic fighters. After receiving consent, in the spring of 1958 began training, and on may 7, mayor Howard Johnson began to assault the absolute altitude record. He managed to rise to 812 m 27; during 27-minute flight, the maximum rate of climb amounted to 405 m/s. nine days after several attempts the captain Walter Irwin was able to set the absolute speed record on the basis of 15 — 25 km: the results of two passes on the average it was 2259,538 km/h Until the end of 1958, the fighter set 7 world records.
Almost immediately after the manufacture of the last machine of the military unit of the series firm “Lockheed” started full-scale mass production of 170 F-104A under the contract of March 2, 1956, the Main difference between mass-produced cars, called “Starfighter” (“Starfighter”), — reinforced airframe, designed for a maximum operational overload (7,33). After the trials, all the YF-104 passed the revision to the level of the production F-104A.
In early 1958, the first production F-104A arrived at the air base, defense Hamilton field in California. Despite the large amount of tests carried out over the past four years, they were more “raw” the Engine was unreliable and poorly managed afterburner. Instead of guns was the ballast and the armament of the aircraft consisted of two missiles, “Sidewinder”, installed on the starting devices on the wing tips. During 1958, three air defense squadrons received the F-104A. The development of new machines has not caused any problems with the flight crews, though as an interceptor it had limited capacity and could be used only in normal weather conditions. But because the BBC finally lost interest in the F-104A as a tactical fighter: they do not accept the limited range, a small combat load
Attempts of the company “Lockheed” to revive interest in the “Starfighter”, as a tactical fighter, resulted in modifications to the F-104С and its two-seater version of the F-104D. To obtain a contract to retrofit R-104A Lockheed used the difficulties encountered in the refinement of another aircraft “hundredth” series — “Thunderchief” F-105A. In March 1956, the air force signed a contract on 56 vehicles. In the future, managed to conclude the agreement for another 21 aircraft.
The new modification was the engine J-79-GE-7 afterburning thrust 7167 kg and the new sighting equipment. Under the fuselage there is a pylon designed for the suspension of nuclear bombs Mk.12 or 850 litre fuel tank. The flight range was increased by installing on the “Starfighter” system of refueling in the air. The aircraft was equipped with ejection up chair-2.
The first F-104С took off in July 1958, and supply their force was carried out from September 1958 to June 1959. Fighters armed with one wing of the Tactical air command.
Aircraft modifications F-104C took part in the Vietnam war. Pilots a “Starfighter” performed in Vietnam 2269 sorties, during which they lost 15 fighters: six in plane crashes, one in a dogfight, struck two anti-aircraft missiles, six destroyed by antiaircraft fire.
The armed forces of the United States purchased 294 “Starfighter”, of which one and a half decades of operation in air defense, air force, Navy and National guard have lost 160 machines.
When it became clear that the American armed forces finally lost interest in the “Starfighter”, buyers “one hundred and four” began to look among the ambitious allies. For advertising “Starfighter” pilots of the air base Hamilton field, formed a demo group on several two F-104В, which made demonstration flights in Europe.
In Germany, on the “Starfighter” drew the attention of the authoritative aviation experts Josef Kammhuber and Erich Hartmann. On their advice, the leadership of the Bundeswehr bought in late 1959 32 Sparky the F-104D received the export version designation F-104F, and 66 pieces — F-104G.
F-104F was different from the source machine is more reliable engine J-79-GE-11A, but did not have an automated guidance system to intercept in adverse weather conditions. German planes equipped with ejection seats C-2; however, in 1967 they were replaced by armchairs GQ-7 of the English company “Martin-Baker” class 0 — a 0 recovery pilot in the whole range of altitudes and speeds of operation. To install ejection seats “Martin-Baker” the German side insisted from the start, but were able to break the opposition of the Americans only when the reputation of the “Starfighter” has dropped to a critical level.
Flight-technical characteristics of “Starfighter”
Sparky the F-104F served in the air forces of Germany until the end of 1971 when they were replaced by more sophisticated TF-104G. This double combat TF-104G were built by the firm “Lockheed” and was intended for the air force, operating tactical fighter, the F-104G. Unlike the base of the machine he was missing a ventral suspension point and 20-mm cannon in fuselage. Total built 220 cars. One of them in may, 1965, American Jacqueline Cochran set a women’s world speed record on the basis of 15 — 25 km is equal to 2294 km/h.
Multi-purpose fighter F-104G was created with the requirements of the German air force. The Germans needed a full tactical fighter, so the airframe and chassis is reinforced, installed larger diameter wheels. Increased the capacity of the fuel system and the number of points of suspension arms (one under the fuselage and one under each console and wing tips), bringing the combat load up to 1800 kg. To improve directional stability set the keel as the F-104D. To ensure vsepogodnymi aircraft equipped with radar F15A-41B NASARR company “North American” and the navigation system LN-3 of the company “Lytton”.
The first F-104G flew on the firm “Lockheed” in September 1960. The supply of 66 aircraft in Germany began in may 1961. Except for Germany, 84 aircraft firm produced within the framework of military assistance for the air force of Greece, Norway and Turkey. This number included reference samples for the organization of licensed production in Belgium and Italy. Licensed production of the F-104G were four large consortium. German “Arg Zuid”, which included “Messerschmitt”, “Heinkel”, “Siebel” and “Dornier”, produced for the Luftwaffe 210 machines. Dutch-German “Arg Nord” led by the firm “Fokker” built 225 aircraft. 188 fighters made a Belgian consortium, organized by the firms SABCA and “Avions FAE”. Another 229 cars produced by the Italian consortium formed by FIAT and “Haramaki”. Only to 1973 in Europe, built 1122 “Starfighter”.
In the production process F-104G European firms in the 1970s was devouroil “Starfighter” guided missiles class “air — surface”. Norwegian “Starfighter” tested us “boppy” and “penguins”, and aviation of the German Navy after testing the AS-20 and AS-30 expressed a preference for anti-ship missile AS-34 “Cormoran”: 1978— 1981 it is armed with 56 F-104G of the second wing of the German Navy based in Eggebek. Latest Norwegian “Starfighter” from 334 squadron, armed “belapari”, removed from service in the winter of 1982/83 G. German missile F-104G in the 1980s were replaced with more advanced and reliable “Tornado IDS”.
There were fans of “Starfighter” and among the American neighbors of the United States. In 1961 production of tactical fighter F-104С under the designation CF-104 for its air force and for export, began the canadian firm “Canadair”. Her options extended landing gear and manned their bigger wheels. Dismantled 20-mm gun, replacing her 550-litre fuel tank (on the plane and kept the system in-flight refueling). For use against ground targets CF-104 was equipped with radar R-24A. The canadian production of “Starfighter” lasted until the end of 1963 For its air force “Canadair” built 167 cars, in addition to the 33 purchased from the company “Lockheed.” Export “Canadair” put about 140 machines, in addition, participated in the international cooperation for the production of “stachetastic”. The canadian air force exploited the CF-104 until 1986
In Asia on the “Starfighter” to fly air force pilots in three countries: Japan, Taiwan and Pakistan. Moreover, Japanese self-defense Forces operated machines, built by Mitsubishi under the designation F-104J. The first three single and two 20 F-104DJ Japan assembled in the USA; the following 29 “Starfighter” assembled from American components in Japan; the remaining 178 single machines firm “Mitsubishi” produced independently in 1965 — 1967 To 1986, the SDF lost in accident 36 cars.
The main consumer of “Starfighter” was the air forces of Germany, which put 916 aircraft. Until 1983, the Luftwaffe lost in aircraft accidents 269 machines (average in Germany lost by one machine per month). Killing 110 pilots; especially heavy losses was accompanied by the development of new machines. In Germany, work was done to improve the reliability of the “stochatic”, but significant reduction in accident rate was not achieved.
The “Starfighter” in the fighting cannot be considered a success. The most famous victories of the R-104 is considered the destruction of two Chinese MiG-19 off the coast of Taiwan and one su-7БМК during the Indo-Pakistani conflict in 1971, In other cases meeting with Soviet machines — their opponents in Vietnam and in the Indo-Pakistani conflict ended for the “stochatic” it is sad.
High accident negated the dignity of the “Starfighter”. From 14 countries, blessed with R-104 United States government in the 1960s, after 30 years, only Greece, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey had in its air force a small number of these machines.