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The F-104 is a remarkable aerial platform, capable of putting research projects into microgravity, high altitude, high speed, and high G environments. The jets can mimic the ascent, descent and flight profiles of spaceflight vehicles and high performance military aircraft, and -- according to NASA estimates -- can provide between 60-90 seconds of microgravity during parabolic maneuvers.


 With single-seat and two-seat versions, we can accommodate payloads large and small, in multiple external stations and internal compartments (pressurized and unpressurized), with capabilities for payload power, communications, video, and (backseat) human support. Click here for a Capabilities Statement which details our payload accommodations.

Starfighters Stations.jpg
  1. Fuel/experiment payload pod on wingtip station

  2. Underwing stations (two per wing)

  3. Pressurized avionics bay, rear seat, and radome stowage

  4. Cargo/experiment payload pod on underwing station

  5. Centerline fuselage station

  6. Air-launch rocket on underwing station


Wing area: 196.1 ft (x2) - Empty weight: 14,000 lbs - Loaded weight: 20,640 lbs

Max takeoff weight: 29,027 lbs - Max speed: 1,328 mph (1,154 kn, 2,137 km/h)

Rate of climb: 48,000 ft/min (244 m/s)


Underwing Placement Specs.jpg

Underwing pylon placement

Carriage weight limit: ~680 kg (1500 lbs)

(May require use of both underwing positions for flight stability)


Centerline Placement Specs.jpg

Centerline (fuselage) placement

Carriage weight limit: ~1043 kg (2300 lbs)


Supersonic (sustained) flight profile

Supersonic Profile.jpg



Parabolic flight profile

Parabola Profile.jpg

© 2022 by Starfighters

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