RNoAF CF-104 LN-STF back in the air after 33 years!

Always thought you guys should've bought F-4s.

Regards,
MM
I don't think the F-4 was available at the time when the F-104 was selected. I can't remember all the other contenders but apparently the RCAF's favourite was an advanced version of the F11F Tiger but when this was canceled they were left with little choice but the Starfighter. As stated by others already the RCAF did want the Phantom to replace the remaining Sabres later but got the F-5 instead.
 
I don't think the F-4 was available at the time when the F-104 was selected. I can't remember all the other contenders but apparently the RCAF's favourite was an advanced version of the F11F Tiger but when this was canceled they were left with little choice but the Starfighter. As stated by others already the RCAF did want the Phantom to replace the remaining Sabres later but got the F-5 instead.
I don't think that MM meant in lieu of the F-104 purchase, but later on (indeed, as a possible F-101 and F-104 replacement, a job the F-5A simply couldn't do). The article I was thinking of can be found here and explains the evolutions/convolutions fairly well.

You'll note that the Phantom was considered at about the time of the 104 purchase, but it was a tad too early in the F-4's life for it to be the apparently obvious answer it looks like with the benefit of hindsight, I'd suggest.
 
I don't think that MM meant in lieu of the F-104 purchase, but later on (indeed, as a possible F-101 and F-104 replacement, a job the F-5A simply couldn't do). The article I was thinking of can be found here and explains the evolutions/convolutions fairly well.

You'll note that the Phantom was considered at about the time of the 104 purchase, but it was a tad too early in the F-4's life for it to be the apparently obvious answer it looks like with the benefit of hindsight, I'd suggest.
I agree, the selection of the F-104 was made in 1959, the F-4 had only just flown and was a couple of years from US squadron service.

As for the selection of the F-5, here is quite an interesting paper on it.

Cold War Air Power Choices For The RCAF: Paul Hellyer and the Selection of the CF5 Freedom Fighter - Canadian Military Journal

The RCAF and Canada's CDS in the mid-60s, Air Chief Marshal Frank Miller, definitely wanted the F-4 and proposed they manufacture it in conjunction with the U.K. I didn't know that before.
 
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Ack-Ack

Clanker
Surprised it didn't crash.

When WWII Nazi fighter ace who joined the West German airforce is fired for his objection to the safety record then you might think it is not worth restoring

Erich Hartmann - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I believe its nickname was Lawn Dart
It's worth noting that West Germany spearheaded the programme for a new NATO Multimission Attack Fighter. In 1959 they chose the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (the process leading to this choice was controversial to put it mildly...). But the Starfighter was at the time an aircracft that you could easily match anything operated by the Russians. Despite the fact that the F-104A already had a shoddy safety record and the USAF was already looking for a replacement, the F-104G (for Germany) «Super Starfighter» became the mainstay fighter of NATO during the 1960s and 1970s. The FIAT Aeritalia F-104S version the longest serving in 2004!
Yes, the Luftwaffe/Marineflieger had staggering operational losses to the extent that in 1965 one F-104G was lost every 10 days! But according to Mr. Bill Gunston of «Jane's Aircraft», eventually the German pilots grew in experience and the ground crews learned how to maintain the aircrafts more efficiently thus reducing the loss rate. But in Germany the Starfighter would always be derided as the «widowmaker», «flying coffing» and «ground nail» not least in the media and following the resignation of Oberst (Group Captain) Hartmann of Jagdgeshwader 71 «Richthofen».
On a sidenote; the Spain's Ejercito del Aire operated 21 Lockheed F-104Gs, based at Torrejon, and lost none.
 
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Ack-Ack

Clanker
@Archimedes – I noticed you've already noted the part about the Ejercito del Aire. A deplorable mistake on my part; but let's just say I underlined that fact! :)
 
It's worth noting that West Germany spearheaded the programme for a new NATO Multimission Attack Fighter. In 1959 they chose the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (the process leading to this choice was controversial to put it mildly...). But the Starfighter was at the time an aircracft that you could easily match anything operated by the Russians. Despite the fact that the F-104A already had a shoddy safety record and the USAF was already looking for a replacement, the F-104G (for Germany) «Super Starfighter» became the mainstay fighter of NATO during the 1960s and 1970s. The FIAT Aeritalia F-104S version the longest serving in 2004!
Yes, the Luftwaffe/Marineflieger had staggering operational losses to the extent that in 1965 one F-104G was lost every 10 days! But according to Mr. Bill Gunston of «Jane's Aircraft», eventually the German pilots grew in experience and the ground crews learned how to maintain the aircrafts more efficiently thus reducing the loss rate. But in Germany the Starfighter would always be derided as the «widowmaker», «flying coffing» and «ground nail» not least in the media and following the resignation of Oberst (Group Captain) Hartmann of Jagdgeshwader 71 «Richthofen».
On a sidenote; the Spain's Ejercito del Aire operated 21 Lockheed F-104Gs, based at Torrejon, and lost none.
A lot of issues were with the fact that in the beginning a lot of Bundeswehr pilots were WW2 veterans, who also hadn't touched an aircraft since 1945, and those were either prop jobs or first generation jets (Me262). Even the F-84, with its straight wings, was closer in performance to a WW2 aircraft, than an F-104.

Back in the 1960s the idea as that the Lutwaffe would operate the F-104 as high performance fighter and the FIAT G-91 as lower performance attack aircraft (e.g. for close in support).

Then there was also the issue about backhanders given by Lockheed e.g. to the then Minister of Defence, Franz Josef Strauss (who later had to resign about the FALLEX 62 /SPIEGEL affair).
 
...Even the F-84, with its straight wings, was closer in performance to a WW2 aircraft, than an F-104...
[Pedant]West Germany only ever operated the swept wing the F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash rather than the straight wing Thunderjet...[\Pedant]. :)





Regards,
MM

Edited for mixing up my Thunders! Thanks for the correction @baboon6!
 
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F-84F Thunderstreak
RF-84F Thunderflash [/pedant]
D'OH!!!! Typo!!!! Yep, the Germans certainly didn't fly the F-105!!!! :)

Good spot!!

Regards,
MM
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
As well as a number of German officials favouring the 104 because of concern for their bank balance, the problem - identified by Winkle Brown and a number of RAF officers - was in no small part because of the lack of training/experience on the part of the pilots in the early years. They went from flying the F-86 and F-84F (and the Hawker Sea Hawk in the case of the Marineflieger) to an aircraft described by a Lockheed test pilot as 'a completely and utterly honest airplane - make a mistake, and it'll kill you' in the operational conditions described by Flash (who might also have mentioned the Wx as a factor in a number of accidents) and the loss rate becomes much easier to comprehend.

The Spanish operated the 104 for several years without suffering a single loss and when you compare the loss rate of the Starfighter with the Lightning, you note that the affection for English Electric's finest interceptor wasn't based upon pilot confidence that they'd go through their career on the beast without ever being in a position to apply for a Martin Baker tie...
Bear in mind, the F104 was a fair weather interceptor, but the air over central Germany at altitude, even if clear, was rarely fair, with rough, cold air streaming off the Alps.
 

exspy

LE
One of the things about the purchase of military aircraft in Canada, especially large numbers of aircraft (over 100), is that the final decision is not made by the military but by cabinet; specifically treasury and industry. The one thing the Sabre, Starfighter and CF-5 had in common is that their purchase all included they be manufactured in Canada. Any aircraft manufacturer who was not willing to include this option did not stand a chance in Hell of having their product considered.

(I'm sure that in other countries money and politics are left out of military spending, but not here.)

As for the CF-5, what should be remembered when discussing it's capabilities is the reason behind it's purchase. It was never intended to fly against the Soviet hordes in Europe or defend the arctic avenues to North America. At the time the Canadian government was presided over by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, the diplomat who, as Canadian Ambassador to the UN, had won the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the UNEF in the Sinai. He saw the Canadian military as a force which could be used to enforce similar peace arrangements throughout the world. He had the Army create a light, mobile force which could be airlifted anywhere. To complement this the Air Force purchased a light, easy to maintain, and operable in rough conditions, close air support fighter: the CF-5. A mission it was in fact, designed to do. (Oh, and Northrup agreed to build them in Canada). Seven such squadrons were envisioned to assist the Army in the peace keeping role.

Unfortunately, governments change and so do their priorities. Seven squadrons became two, scores were mothballed right out of the factory, and Canada got out of the peace business. The CF-5 was left in service but without a role to play. In hindsight it looks like the CF-5 was a bad decision multiplied many times over, but in the context of the time, it was highly regarded as the right aircraft for the job it was meant to do.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

exspy

LE
Good photo of two beautiful aircraft, side by each. I use it as my desktop.
1010739.jpg
 
Of things F104 related - an entertaining read.

'There are airplanes that have a reputation for being “family fathers,” and then there are those that, for some reason, earn nicknames which bear absolutely no relationship to the real characteristics they possessed. For instance, some referred to the sleek and sexy F-104 as the Flying Coffin or Widow-maker. With her minuscule 6.6 meter (21’ 9”) wingspan and 17 meter (54’ 8”) length, she more resembles a missile than an aircraft. And yet – with her raised tail, pointed nose, perfectly faired canopy and diminutive air intakes, she has a captivating charm, the result of a wise and aggressive design…'

 
'Vot iss zis 'altitude' of vitch you speak, Mein Herr?'






(both from the 916 Starfighter site)
During UNIFIED PROTECTOR, I had a German pilot of senior years working for me. Quiet, industrious, a bit dour, generally good at the work he was assigned, he turned up once day grinning like a loon. On enquiry as to what he was happy about, he informed it was the anniversary of his 'second birth' - when, on a low-level sortie, he'd ridden an F104 into a hillside and survived. My respect for him went through the roof.
 
During UNIFIED PROTECTOR, I had a German pilot of senior years working for me. Quiet, industrious, a bit dour, generally good at the work he was assigned, he turned up once day grinning like a loon. On enquiry as to what he was happy about, he informed it was the anniversary of his 'second birth' - when, on a low-level sortie, he'd ridden an F104 into a hillside and survived. My respect for him went through the roof.
My nephew is a pilot (civil) and he defines a successful landing as 'one you walk away from'
 
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