The Mighty Eighth Air Force, World War II, by Ben Kidder

   The F-104B Starfighter's maiden flight on January 16, 1967   

The maiden flight of the F-104 B by Ken Marlatt Page 5

The F-104B Starfighter 2 seat version jet fighter, changes from the F-104A.

El F-104B Starfighter versin 2 asientos de aviones de combate, los cambios de la F-104A.

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  F-104B Starfighter changes from the F-104A Jet Fighter


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F-104 Starfighter Side View
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The first of an initial batch of six F-104Bs *serial number 56-3719) took off on its maiden flight on January 16, 1967.  It had been literally build by hand out of an F-104A airframe, and the larger area vertical tail, the automatic pitch control system, and the fire control system of later F-104Bs were not installed.  It was unofficially designated the YF-104B, although it was Lockheed's downward-firing ejection seat that was initially fitted to the F-104A. 

The initial batch of F-104Bs had the same vertical tail as did the F-104A single seater.  However, the B did not have the ventral fin that was fitted to the A.  During early flight testing, the F-104Bs exhibited an annoying tendency to snake back and forth during flight, indicating that a larger keel area was required.  Twenty subsequent F-104B production versions (from FY 1957 batches) were fitted with the F-104A's ventral fin and were given considerably larger vertical fin area and a broad-chord, fully power-assisted rudder extending well beyond the end of the tail pipe.  The area of the vertical fin of the F-104B was now fully 25 percent larger than that of the F-104A.  

Photos Scanned by C. Jeff Dyrek

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Front View of an F-104 Starfighter.
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Front View of an F-104 Starfighter

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