F-104 Starfighter In Action

Published: December 28th, 2016     
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Book cover
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Timothy Gidcumb - IPMS# 40925
ISBN #: 978-0897478229
Other Publication Information: Soft Bound (Squared), 8.5” x 11”, 80 pages
Price: $19.95
Product / Stock #: SS10244
Product provided by: David Doyle Books

From the Author: Born from encounters with capable Communist aircraft during the Korean War, the F-104 took shape on Lockheed's drawing boards in late 1952. Engineered by a team led by famed designer Kelly Johnson the aircraft, dubbed the Starfighter, first flew on 4 March 1954. Known variously as a 'missile with a man in it' and 'an engine with wings' the Starfighter soon captioned many speed and altitude records, some of which stand today. Through over 160 vintage photos, including more than 60 color shots augmented by color profiles and numerous line drawings, this new 80-page volume chronicles the remarkable 50-year military career of this aircraft, which was used by no less than 15 nations.

David Doyle continues to impressive with the latest In Action book on the F-104 Starfighter. This is the third book in the In Action series on the F-104, Lou Drendel authored the first(#27) followed by Phillip Freddell (#135). David has done a great job with this installment and has expanded on the other 2 editions.

This book tells the story of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter which was a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force by Lockheed at their famous Skunk Works. One of the Century Series of aircraft, it served with the USAF from 1958 until 1969, and continued with Air National Guard units until it was phased out in 1975. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew a small mixed fleet of F-104 types in supersonic flight tests and spaceflight programs until they were retired in 1994. Now according to this publication privately owned F-104's will be used in 2018 to launch small commercial satellites into space.

David begins this book with an introduction on how the F-104 came to be with the United States concerned with the capabilities of the MiG-15. On March 1, 1953 a contract was given for production of 2 prototypes which Lockheed had anticipated and was able to roll out an aircraft capable of first flight on March 4, 1954. From there through great writing and an assortment of photos, many being in color David takes you through the history of this aircraft from the XF-104 all the way to the F-104S.

The Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • F-104 Development
  • YF-104 [Page 5]
  • YF-104A [Page 9]
  • F-104A [Page 14]
  • NF-104A [Page 26]
  • QF-104A [Page 30]
  • F-104B [Page 32]
  • F-104C [Page 38]
  • F-104D [Page 49]
  • F-104G [Page 51]
  • F-104N [Page 71]
  • CF-104 [Page 73]
  • F-104J [Page 76]
  • F-104S [Page 78]

David Doyle has done a great job as always with this IN Action of the F-104 Starfighter. Tons of great information with many detailed photographs and may in color. I have always enjoyed the In Action series of books and it looks like this will continue for the foreseeable future. Highly Recommended. I would like to thank David Doyle and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this book. I was not disappointed.

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