XXXL 39KG F-104 STARFIGHTER RC TURBINE JET FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION

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XXXL 39KG F-104 STARFIGHTER RC TURBINE JET FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION

Model: F-104 Starfighter (ExactAircraft) Pilot: Trond Hammerstad Lenth: 4,20 m Wing span: 2,50 m Weight: 39 kg Scale: 1:4 Turbine: JetCat P400 Pro (thrust: 40 kg) Event: Horizon Airmeet 2021, Genderkingen, Germany 

The F-104 looks less like a plane and more like a rocket with some extra bits added as an afterthought. Its long thin fuselage – with a tiny cockpit perched behind its pointy nose and short stubby wings either side – make it look state-of-the-art even today; one can only imagine how revolutionary it seemed when it was unveiled in the 1950s.

The F-104, designed just after the first jet-vs-jet air combat in The Korean War, was created to fly as fast as possible, hurtling past all the previous speed records. Less than a decade after test pilot Chuck Yeager first broke the speed of sound, it became the first jet to fly more than twice the speed of sound.

On top of a military career which lasted nearly 50 years, the F-104 found itself serving as an experimental testbed – a rocket-powered spacecraft stand-in that allowed pilots to practice the kind of rocket-thrust manoeuvring astronauts would use to control a spacecraft.

Now, some 60 years after the prototype first flew, the F-104 has found another role – as the launch vehicle for a new generation of tiny satellites.

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