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F-104 Starfighter - The Widowmaker

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[...] most of the problems the Luftwaffe had with them actually came down to organisational problems rather than a general problem with the bird's design.


Lockheed also deserve credit for promoting something designed as a fair-weather supersonic interceptor as an all-weather fighter bomber simply by adding a couple of external hardpoints and a "-G" to its moniker. ;)


That said, the F-104 is an iconic airframe for us 50-somethings so I'd love to see it in DCS.

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Some of the ME clients put bombs/rockets on it.


Per wiki


"ME export models incorporated an additional pair of hardpoints under the outer wing. These hardpoints could be fitted with pylons for air-to-ground weaponry, including two 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs or four SNEB rocket pods each carrying 18 68 mm rockets. A gun pack carrying two ADEN cannons and 120 rounds each could replace the forward part of the ventral fuel tank."





Ah! yes...I forgot about that. It was only added to export customers. But the Brits, I highly doubt they needed bombing as it was just geared as short sprint interceptor being its primary role.





Would love to Lightning F-6 or the export F.53. Seems like F.53 had more features.




Hmm it will be fun to see if its ever considered...maybe somewhere around 2027.:smartass:



At least it has an internal cannon or gun pack. Missiles of such times are told to be unreliable...

Edited by jojyrocks
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Lockheed also deserve credit for promoting something designed as a fair-weather supersonic interceptor as an all-weather fighter bomber simply by adding a couple of external hardpoints and a "-G" to its moniker. ;)


Honestly this perception of the F104 is very, very misleading. Again, I realize I'm biased, but to try and set a few things straight:


1) The -G received far more than a couple of extra hard points (which actually came with the -S, the G- and -C have the same hardpoints). The F104G was one of the very first jet fighters to carry an INS, and unlike the C it also had radar mapping, ranging and terrain avoidance modes (a bit like the Viggen). In terms of DCS modules, which avionics would you rather have for a low altitude strike mission in dodgy weather, the Viggen's (relatively similar, if better than, the F104's) or the F5/Mig21 (which is more like what the USAF 104s had)?


2) The general perception of the air to ground mission is an A10 circling above the battlefield at slow speed and firing ALL the mavs at the front lines. This was not the F104s mission at all. Instead, it was more like the Viggen's - low speed penetration and precision delivery, often of nuclear weapons. For that mission, you don't need 12 hardpoints, nor do you need slow speed maneuverability.


3) Speaking of the maneuverability, people say that the 104's wing made it inadequate for the low altitude air to ground mission due to its lack of agility. Yet successive aircraft that flew in the same exact role like the Harrier, Tornado, Jaguar or F-111 all are designed around a similarly heavily loaded wing in order to make them more stable at low altitude, and none of them is a particularly agile jet either. The only exception to the wing loading thing I can think of is the Viggen, but being a pure delta that's a whole other conversation. To me, that suggests that the F104's wing actually made it very suitable for low altitude work.


4) The NATO contracts were signed in the late 50s/early 60s. The only other aircraft available at the time (regardless of whether they entered the competition or not) were:

- The Mirage 3, except at this time it was still mostly in the prototype stage. The multirole Mirage 5 only flew in 1967.

- The F100 and F105. At this time, their service records was as appalling as the 104s. Also, the F100 doesn't carry a radar and the F105 was far too expensive for NATO countries.

- The Grumman F11F Tiger, which was the 104's main competitor and wasn't chosen.

- The F-5, which at this time was also only a prototype. However, it would only get more advanced avionics in 1972 with the F-5E model.

- Possibly some early F4 variant, but at the time the US were not in the habit of exporting their latest tech. Even during the F16 era that wasn't as easy as it sounds (which is where the F-16 J79 idea came from).

- The Saab Draken and EE Lightning, which were also designed purely as interceptors and would have required extensive re-design to be a comparable strike aircraft to the F104G.

None of these could bring what the F-104G could, with the possible exception of the F-11F Tiger.



The F-104 was obviously a very demanding fighter and it couldn't carry a very large load, at least not in some of its incarnations. But both of those things are blown out of proportion imo.

Edited by TLTeo
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Despite personal preference, I'd go for a Starfighter over the Lightning, as Quigon stated it was way more proliferated, and IMO matches the current scope of DCS just that little bit better. Plus TLTeo has successfully shilled me on the F-104G :smilewink:



The Lightning was primarily designed to intercept bombers, unfortunately, they're few and far between in DCS and the ones we do have are a bit too modern (mid-to-late 80s, as opposed to 60s for the Lightning) and have long outdated models. For the Lightning it's more suited to things like the Tu-16 and Tu-22 (not to mention variants) and the early Tu-95 'Bear-A'.


Plus, like the MiG-21, it's dependent on GCIs using ground-based RADARs like the AMES Type 80, 82, 84, 85 and the Marconi S600 (the latter probably being more suitable for DCS) - nothing of the sort are present in DCS.



As for the internal gun? It depends on the variant.


  • The F.1/F.1A had 2 in front of the cockpit on the top of the nose
  • The F.2/F.2A retained the 2 in the nose but had a swappable weapon pack under the cockpit, which could either mount an additional 2 cannons, 2 Firestreak AAMs or a retractable launcher containing 44x 2" unguided AA rockets (yes, AA rockets, think R4M)
  • The F.3 had the cannon deleted, I think it could only carry Firestreak or the improved Red Top AAMs
  • The F.6 had 2 cannons mounted in the forward section of the ventral fuel tank introduced on the F.3, again I believe it could only carry Firestreak or Red Top


In every case the cannon was a 30mm ADEN I'm guessing something like 150rpg.

Edited by Northstar98

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Every time I see someone talking about the Starfighter as the Widowmaker I immediately know he is a German, because AFAIK it was only in Germany where it got that nickname. Other countries had other aircraft, which they called widow maker. For example, the Harrier was dubbed widow maker as well.


Anyways, great aircraft! Would love to fly it in DCS! There is already a wishlist thread for it though: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=205057


The Mig-21 was dubber the widow maker or flying coffin in India. But yes I'd absolutely love to see the F-104 in DCS




Planes: FC3, P-51, F-86, F-5E, Mirage 2000, F/A-18, F-14, F-16, Mig-19P :joystick:


ED pls gib A-4 and F-4 :cry:

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Lockheed also deserve credit for promoting something designed as a fair-weather supersonic interceptor as an all-weather fighter bomber simply by adding a couple of external hardpoints and a "-G" to its moniker. ;)

I don't think this deserves any credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_bribery_scandals :music_whistling:


Btw, Erich "Bubi" Hartmann (the most successfull fighter pilot in history) has been removed from service because of his outspoken resistance against this.

Edited by QuiGon

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DCS Panavia Tornado (IDS) really needs to be a thing!


Tornado3 small.jpg

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i Would love to see the F-104 Starfighter in DCS ...

A Missile with a seat on it. One of the most Historic Fighter Planes in the World!


nearly in service of every country!


i hope that im not the only one who wants this beast to become a member in the DCS family.


if this "wish" was allready posted, im very sorry! If - Please feel free to delete my post.



Kind Regards


You are most definitely not the only one who wants this LEGEND in DCS..... :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

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The F-104 was added not too long ago to another popular online flight war game without naming it. And from what I have experienced so far going up against them is that they have been a royal pain in the rear because they are so fast that they can quickly intercept aircraft out of nowhere. They have become such an Apex predator that I have come to detest them. So much so that I take extra pleasure when I am able to shoot one down or see one going down in flames. They may not be great dog fighters but they don't need to be to be a lethal killer by just doing boom and zoom strikes from a high altitude.

If the F-104 where to get added to DCS I am sure there would be a lot of pissed off pilots especially those flying the more advanced flying computers.



Edited by Evoman
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