“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

F-104 Starfighter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, February 16, 2019
1. F-104 Starfighter Marker
Inscription.  The record-breaking F-104 Starfighter was created by Clarence L “Kelly" Johnson and his Advanced Development Projects engineering unit (the "Skunk Works") at the Lockheed-California Company in Burbank. Johnson received the Collier Trophy in 1959 from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his design work on the aircraft.

As the world’s first Mach 2 production jet, the F-104 re-wrote performance books for speed, altitude and time-to-climb. The Starfighter's achievements include a world record of 103,395 feet (31,515 meters) set in 1959 and a time-to-climb record of 266.03 seconds to reach 82,020 feet (25,000 meters) in 1958. Development of the F-104 coincided with the need of the West German, Netherlands, Belgian and Italian air forces for a new NATO weapons system to fulfill their European defense role. The Starfighter's performance ultimately led to agreements for the aircraft to be built in those four European countries as well as Canada and Japan.

Lockheed and its licensees built more than 20 different models of the F-104 between 1954 and 1979. Principally flown by the armed forces of 15 nations as fighter

F-104 Starfighter and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, February 16, 2019
2. F-104 Starfighter and Marker
The marker is mounted to the handrail.
interceptors, F-104’s are also used as fighter-bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. By 1984, thirty years after its first flight, the F-104 was still in service with the air forces of 12 nations.

Displayed here is the two-place F-104D version which was built primarily for transition training of new pilots for the U.S. Tactical Air Command.
This display aircraft was provided by Lockheed-California Company, the U.S. Air Force, and the City of Burbank.

54.8 ft. (16.66 m) length,
13.5 ft. (4.09 m) height,
21.9 ft. (6.63 m) wing span,
13,073 lb. (5,930 kg) empty weight.
Prime Contractor: Lockheed California Company.
Maximum Speed: Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).
Date: First flight of prototype, 1954. In production until 1979.
Total Manufactured: 2,583.
Maximum Range: 1,400 nautical miles (2250 km).
Engine Type: One General Electric J-79-GE-7 turbojet with afterburner.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Air & Space.
Location. 34° 0.999′ N, 118° 17.028′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker can be reached from Figueroa Street south of Exposition Boulevard, on the right when traveling south. Located in Exposition Park near the African American

F-104 Starfighter image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, February 16, 2019
3. F-104 Starfighter
Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3737 S Figueroa Street, Los Angeles CA 90007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spy in the Sky (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); University of Southern California (about 700 feet away); Historic Palm Tree (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Trojan for Life (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Oldest University Building in Southern California (approx. 0.2 miles away); John C. Argue Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); Petrified Tree from the Arizona Forest (approx. 0.2 miles away); USC Urban Legends (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
Regarding Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. The nearby DC-8 display originally had a plaque that said “this type was the first jet airliner to break the sound barrier”.
On August 21, 1961, a DC-8 flew at Mach 1.012, 660 mph, for 16 seconds, while in a dive through 41,000 feet over Edwards Air Force Base. The pilot was not able to recover from the dive until he adjusted the angle of the horizontal stabilizer, which is similar to what Chuck Yeager did to break the sound barrier in 1947. During the flight, the DC-8 was followed by a chase plane, an F-104 Starfighter flown by Chuck Yeager.
F-104 Starfighter image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, February 16, 2019
4. F-104 Starfighter
Nickname: “Missile with a man in it”.
Nearby Display image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, February 16, 2019
5. Nearby Display
The DC-8 was the first airliner flown faster than the speed of sound.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 175 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on August 9, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 17, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021