The need for an inexpensive, lightweight supersonic fighter that was easy to maintain, and capable of operating from short runways and poor quality airfields was fulfilled when this baby fighter went from the drawing board to become one of the most successful export products of the US military aircraft industry.
We also look at the company that produced this little marvel and see how it and other early manufacturers of aircraft have developed.We look at one of the many legendary planes
designed by one of the worlds most awarded Aviation designers - Kelly Johnson.
We follow the path of the much maligned but equally inspiring F104 Lockheed Star Fighter,
from Kelly's initial concepts in 1952, through the painstaking development and to the last
F104 made in 1983, a production run that lasted over 30 years.
In the annals of aeronautic history the plane that takes the place between Republics classic attack fighters, the P47 thunderbolt of the Second World War and their outstanding F105 Thunderchief in the skies of Vietnam, is often skipped over. This period of expansion marked the first ventures into jet aircraft and many of the lessons learnt during the development of this
series of planes have sired today's generations of fighter aircraft.
Release Date: 22 February 2010
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification