F-94 Starfire

F-94 Starfire

infobox Aircraft
name=F-94 Starfire
type=All-weather interceptor
manufacturer=Lockheed Corporation

caption=USAF F-94C of the 84th FIS (unit patch on the nose)
first flight=16 April 1949
introduced=May 1950
retired=February 1959 USAF 1960 ANG
primary user=United States Air Force
more users=Air National Guard
number built=855
unit cost=US$196,248 (F-94B)Knaack, Marcelle Size. "Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems: Volume 1 Post-World War II Fighters 1945-1973". Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1978. ISBN 0-912799-59-5.] US$534,073 (F-94C)
developed from= T-33 Shooting Star
variants with their own articles=

The Lockheed F-94 was the United States Air Force's first operational jet-powered all-weather interceptor aircraft. It was a development of the two seater T-33 Shooting Star trainer aircraft.

Design and development

Built to a 1948 USAF specification for a radar equipped interceptor to replace the aging Northrop F-61 Black Widow and North American F-82 Twin Mustang, it was specifically designed to counter the threat of the USSR's new Tupolev Tu-4 bombers. The F-94 was derived from the TF-80C (later T-33 Shooting Star) which was a two-seat trainer version of the F-80 Shooting Star. A lengthened nose area with guns, radar and automatic fire control system added. Since the conversion seemed so simple, a contract was awarded to Lockheed in early 1949, with the first flight on 16 April 1949.

The fire control system was the Hughes E-1, which incorporated an AN/APG-33 radar (derived from the AN/APG-3 which directed the Convair B-36's tail guns) and a Sperry A-1C computing gunsight. This short-range radar system was useful only in the terminal phases of the interception, most of the operation would be directed using ground-controlled interception as was the case with the earlier aircraft it replaced.

The added weight of the electronic equipment soon dictated that a more powerful engine be fitted, the afterburning Allison J33-A-33 replacing the regular J-33. The F-94 was to be the first US production jet with an afterburner. The combination of the new, larger engine and the electronics gear reduced the internal fuel capacity; removable tip tanks were added to compensate.

The initial model was the F-94A. Its armament was four .50 cal (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns mounted in the fuselage with the muzzles exiting just behind the radome. Two 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs could also be carried, giving the aircraft a secondary fighter bomber role. One hundred and nine were produced. The subsequent F-94B, which entered service in January 1951, had upgraded and more reliable electronics and engines, as well as a new ILS. Three hundred and fifty-six of these were built.

The F-94C Starfire was significantly modified from the early F-94 variants; in fact, it was initially designated F-97, but it was decided to treat it as just a new version of F-94. Initially, USAF interest was lukewarm, so Lockheed funded development themselves. To improve performance, a totally new wing was fitted, much thinner than the previous one. The J33 engine was replaced by a more powerful Pratt & Whitney J48, a license-built version of the afterburning Rolls-Royce Tay. The fire control system was upgraded to the new Hughes E-5 with AN/APG-40 radar in a much larger nose. The guns were removed, replaced with an all-rocket armament mounted in a ring around the nose radome. The rockets were loaded into flip-up panels on the sides of the nose, and fired by opening four panels just behind the radome.

The F-94C was the only variant to be officially named Starfire. With time, the entire F-94 family has adopted the name.

An F-94D model was proposed as a fighter bomber, with bombs and rockets under the wings. A single prototype was built, but the model was not accepted for production. The prototype was later used as a testbed for the M61 Vulcan 20mm cannon subsequently used on the F-104 Starfighter and many others.

Operational history

A detachment was sent to Korea, where it saw some combat in the Korean War, shooting down four enemy fighters. Another detachment was the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, (all-weather, night-fighter interceptor,) which was sent to Goose Bay, Labrador in November, 1952 and placed under the control of Northeast Air Command (NEAC). One flight from the 59th FIS was kept at Thule Airbase to back up the DEW Line.

There is a Chinese report stating that an F-94 was brought down over North Korea after being illuminated by search lights for more than a minute.Fact|date=November 2007

The F-94B remained in USAF service through 1954 before being transferred to the Air National Guard. In ANG service, some were modified with a pod under each wing for two additional .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns, bringing the total to eight.

The first production F-94C aircraft were delivered in July 1951, 387 examples being delivered before May 1954. The largest problem discovered in service was that the nose-mounted rockets, while effective, blinded the crew with their smoke and fire. Mid-wing fuel and rocket pods were added, each holding 12 rockets. Most of the time, the nose rockets were not installed, and the mid-wing pod rockets were the sole armament.

The F-94C was retired from USAF service in 1959, as newer and more capable interceptors entered service. Air National Guard units retired their F-94s a year later.


;YF-94:TF-80Cs converted into YF-94 prototypes, two built.;F-94A:Initial production version, 110 built.;YF-94B:One F-94A modified with new flight director, modified hydraulic systems and two enlarged wingtip tanks.;F-94B:Production model based on YF-94B, 357 built.;YF-94C:F-94Bs modified with Pratt and Whitney J48 engine, leading edge rocket pods and swept tailplane, originally designated YF-97A, two modified.;F-94C:Production version of the YF-94C with longer nose, rocket and gun armament removed and provision for underfuselage JATO rockets, originally designated F-97A, 387 built.;EF-94C:Test aircraft for proposed reconnaissance variant;YF-94D:Prototype single-seat close support fighter version based on the F-94C, one built.;F-94D:Production version of the YF-94D, 112 on order cancelled, none built.;YF-97A:Original designation of the YF-94C.;F-97A:Original designation of the F-94C.


*United States Air Force
*Air National Guard


Only a few F-94's survive.
*The original YF-94A (s/n "48-356") is on display at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
*F-94A (49-2498) is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
*F-94A (49-2500) is on display at the Niagara Aerospace Museum in Niagara Falls, New York
*F-94C is on display at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm, Minnesota
*F-94C is on display outside VFW Post 670 in Fayetteville, North Carolina
*F-94C is on display at the Fargo Air National Guard post at Hector Field in Fargo, North Dakota
*F-94C is on display at the Burlington Air National Guard post at Burlington International Airport in Burlington, Vermont
*A well-preserved F-94C (s/n "50-980") has been on display for many years at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
*F-94C (50-1006) is on display at the Peterson Air & Space Museum at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado
*An F-94C (51-13575) is on outdoor display at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
*F-94C (51-5623) is on display at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
*An F-94C Starfire is on display in the "Erie County Memorial Gardens" cemetery at Erie, Pennsylvania. It was first put on display in 1971 and subsequently left to deteriorate. It was refurbished in 2005.
*An F-94 is on outdoor display at Kirtland Air Force Base at the entrance to the New Mexico Air National Guard.Another F-94 emerged as preserved for years to come. Seen (Sept 20 , 2008) in Syracuse NY (174th FW) static display NY ANG marking F-94 (xx-0877)

pecifications (F-94C Starfire)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet

ref=Fact|date=February 2008
length main=44 ft 6 in
length alt=13.6 m
span main=42 ft 5 in
span alt=12.9 m
height main=14 ft 11 in
height alt=4.5 m
area main=232.8 ft²
area alt=21.63 m²
empty weight main=12,708 lb
empty weight alt=5,764 kg
loaded weight main=18,300 lb
loaded weight alt=8,300 kg
max takeoff weight main=24,184 lb
max takeoff weight alt=10,970 kg
engine (jet)=Pratt & Whitney J48-P-5
type of jet=turbojet
number of jets=1
thrust main=8,750 lbf
thrust alt=38.9 kN
max speed main=640 mph
max speed alt=556 knots, 1,030 km/h
range main=700 nm
range alt=805 mi, 1,300 km
range more=combat
ferry range main=1,100 nm
ferry ragne alt=1,275 mi, 2,050 km
ceiling main=51,400 ft
ceiling alt=15,670 m
climb rate main=7,980 ft/min
climb rate alt=40.5 m/s
loading main=78.6 lb/ft²
loading alt=384 kg/m²
guns=4× .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning M2 machine guns
rockets=24× or 48× 2.75 in (70 mm) fin-folding aerial rockets
* AN/APG-40 radar

ee also

* F-80 Shooting Star
* T-33 Shooting Star
similar aircraft=
* Gloster Meteor NF
* P-61 Black Widow
* F-82 Twin Mustang
* F-89 Scorpion
* Yakovlev Yak-25
* List of fighter aircraft
* List of Lockheed aircraft
* List of military aircraft of the United States
see also=




* Davis, Larry. "P-80 Shooting Star. T-33/F-94 in action." Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980. ISBN 0-89747-099-0.
* Francillon, René and Keaveney. "Lockheed F-94 Starfire". Arlington, Texas: Aerofax, Inc., 1986. ISBN 0-942548-32-9.

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/forgottenjets/F-94homepage.html F-94 Serial Number Project Homepage]

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