Discovery Channel Wings - Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

The series formed the programming backbone for the Discovery Wings channel in the United States and United Kingdom, which launched in 1999. Discovery Wings was rebranded into the Military Channel in 2005 and Discovery Turbo in 2007, respectively. Some episodes are available on VHS via Ebay and Amazon. "Great Planes" episodes are available on DVD in Australia through Magna Pacific. "Great Planes" was also revived in a modernized format, hosted by Paul "Max" Moga, that aired on the Military Channel in the United States. Luke Swann died on 6 October 2000 after a brief battle with liver cancer. He is survived by his two daughters, Emily and Madeleine, and son Jack. Producer Phil Osborn went on to found AeroCinema, an online aviation history video web site which produces and hosts documentaries similar to "Wings" and are viewable online only via paid subscription. The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was 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 Kelly Johnson, who went on to lead or contribute to the development of the SR-71 Blackbird and other Lockheed aircraft. The F-104 served with the USAF from 1958 until 1969, and continued with Air National Guard units until 1975. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew a small mixed fleet of F-104 types in supersonic flight tests and spaceflight programs until 1994. USAF F-104Cs saw service during the Vietnam War, and F-104A aircraft were deployed by Pakistan briefly during the Indo-Pakistani wars. Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) F-104s also engaged the People's Liberation Army Air Force (China) over the disputed island of Quemoy. The operational service of the Starfighter ended with its retirement by the Italian Air Force in May 2004. A total of 2,578 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. Several two-seat trainer versions were also produced, the most numerous being the TF-104G. The ultimate production version of the fighter model was the F-104S, an all-weather interceptor designed by Aeritalia for the Italian Air Force, and equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, did not proceed past the mock-up stage. The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in German Air Force service. Fighter ace Erich Hartmann famously was retired from the Luftwaffe because of his protests against having to deploy the unsafe F-104s. The F-104 was also at the center of the Lockheed bribery scandals, in which Lockheed had given bribes to a considerable number of political and military figures in various nations in order to influence their judgment and secure several purchase contracts; this caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-104_Starfighter
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