Lockheed TF-104G Starfighter (28+27) as used by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) at the Technik Museum Speyer (Germany)
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed by Lockheed for the United States Air Force (USAF). One of the Century Series of aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004. Its design team was led by the same man who later went on to design the SR-71 Blackbird, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. A total of 2578 Starfighters were produced, mostly by NATO members. A set of modifications produced the F-104G model, which won a NATO competition for a new fighter-bomber. The Lockheed TF-104G was the two-seat trainer versions of the Lockheed F-104G Super Starfighter, purely meant for training and taxy-duties. The aircraft was unarmed which means that the TF notation could be used. The Starfighter had an undesirable reputation for high accident rates. 270 German F-104s were lost in accidents, resulting in the deaths of at least 110 pilots. In reality, this was not unusual, and can be attributed the the nature of the mission: high-speed, low-altitude flight, in the poor weather conditions of Europe. The German press, however, gave it the name Witwenmacher (Widowmaker).
The Technik Museum Speyer (Speyer Museum of Technology) is a technology museum in Speyer (south-west of Heidelberg), Germany. The collection includes: aircraft, classic vintage cars, racing- and classic motorcycles, historic fire engines, ships, massive steam locomotives, mechanical instruments, rarities and fashions. A special part of the collection is the Russian Space Shuttle Buran. The collection is displayed both indoors and outdoors, and finally there is an IMAX theater. The museum was established in 1991. It is closely associated with the Technik Museum Sinsheim (Sinsheim Museum of Technology). The latter suffered from a lack of space and a second location was opened in Speyer.