104644


Type: L-583A-04-15 / CF-104D Starfighter
MSN: 583A-5314
Previous Identities: 12644
Subsequent Identities: 852C (Training Airframe)
Owner: Allan Arthur, Albury NSW.


History:

PRELUDE - 1960
 

In 1960, the F-104G Starfighter was one of five aircraft that were evaluated by the Royal Australian Air Force as a Sabre replacement. The other contenders were the Republic F-105 Thunderchief, the Northrop N-156 (later the F-5), the English Electric Lightning and the Mirage III. Subsequently the contenders were narrowed down to just the Starfighter and the Mirage. On 22 November 1960, the Australian Government endorsed the RAAF's selection of the French Mirage III which would be built under licence in Australia.

"The F-104G was considered unsuitable for a number of important reasons; the principal objection being that the F-104 required airfields of a standard which did not, at the time, exist in sufficient number in the Australian area of interest. Other reasons included; aircraft handling qualities, engine reliability, ferry range and cost." (Source: 2)

 

62 YEARS LATER - AUSTRALIA FINALLY GETS A STARFIGHTER
61 Built by Lockheed, Burbank as part of an RCAF order for 38 CF-104D which were similar to the TF-104Gs built by Lockheed for other NATO allies, but were powered by Canadian-built J79-OEL-7 engines. They were given the Lockheed designation of Model 583-04-15, and were initially designated CF-113 in Canadian service. However, this designation was later changed to CF-104D. No CF-104Ds were built in Canada. (Source: 4)
61 Delivered to the RCAF as 12644. (Source: 4)
Served with the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE). (Source: 1)
01FEB68 The RCAF was amalgamated into the Canadian Armed Forces. (Source: 3)
02JUN70 Reserialled as 104644. (Source: 4)
Used as a static training airframe with the serial 852C.
Acquired by Allan Rubin for his Canadian Air Land Sea Museum at Toronto Markham Airport. Plans for a new airport at nearby Pickering cast doubt on the future of Markham Airport and Rubin began selling off his aircraft. Rubin passed away on May 18, 2020, at the age of 81. (Source: 5)
It is believed that CF-104D 104644 was a fuselage only without wings at this stage.
Sold to Steve Alex, Bangor, Maine USA. (Source: 1)
It is reported that Steve Alex acquired a pair of wings from an unknown Danish CF-104 as well as other components to enable the assembly of a static exhibit. Normally a composite restoration would take its identity from the fuselage anyway but in this case, given that the wings are such a small percentage of the airframe, probably more famously so than with any other type, there can be no questioning the true identity of the composite aircraft!
Sold to Allan Arthur of Albury NSW, Australia.
SEP22
Arrived at Albury, NSW. (Source: 1)

 

SOURCES
1
International F-104 Society:
https://www.i-f-s.nl/preserved-f-104s/preserved-in-australia/
2
The RAAF Mirage Story by Wing Commander M.R. Susans.
3
https://www.canada.ca/en/air-force/corporate/reports-publications/on-windswept-heights-2/94-timeline.page
4
http://www.916-starfighter.de/number_productionstatistic.htm
5
https://theclassicmachines.com/2022/10/16/the-once-incredible-markham-airport/

 


Issue Date Remarks
2 18NOV22
Added information from Source: 5.
1 01NOV22
Original issue.



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