Press Release Headlines

Record-Breaking Aircraft Known as “Missile With a Man in It” Lands at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Iconic Lockheed F-104A Starfighter was first to complete sustained Mach 2 flight

HONOLULU, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The iconic Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, Serial No. 56-817 made its final landing at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on May 9, 2013, bringing the Museum's ever-expanding iconic aircraft collection to 43 warbirds, helicopters and jets. The Starfighter is on long-term loan from Museum of Aviation Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia. It will be on display for visitors in the Museum's 87,000 sq. ft. battle-scarred Hangar 79.

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"This record-breaking aircraft has quite the history and we're honored to give it a home. It was the first aircraft to do sustained Mach 2 flight, the first to hold speed and altitude records simultaneously, and the first to reach 100,000 feet. Plus it had some amazing pilots. We'll be telling all these stories at the Museum," said Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff, who is himself a decorated helicopter pilot.

Photos are available for use on the Museum's Flickr stream:

See the Museum's F-104 Blog for more information:

The Starfighter went into production in 1956 and was the first combat aircraft capable of easily sustaining twice the speed of sound. It held simultaneous world records for speed, altitude, and rate of climb. Due to its length of 54' 9" and wingspan of only 21' 11," it was dubbed the Missile with a Man in It. The Starfighter served in the USAF from 1958 through 1975, as well as with several allied air forces around the world, including Japan.

Brigadier General Chuck Yeager famously displayed "the right stuff" during a high-altitude, record-breaking ascent in a rocket-assisted F-104, climbing to the edge of space at more than 118,000 feet. After its operational years with the Air Force the F-104 was used extensively by NASA in advanced research projects.

The Museum invites donations of historic aircraft and aviation memorabilia. Donated artifacts are professionally cared for and enjoyed by millions of visitors from all over the world. Opened in 2006, the Museum saw its 1,000,000th visitor in March 2013. The Museum also invites monetary donations for its Restoration and Education programs, as it is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, private Museum, which depends on members and donors. To support the Museum, call 808-441-1006 or online at

Open 9am to 5pm daily except Christmas, New Year's and Thanksgiving days, the Museum, gift store and restaurant are accessed by shuttles from the USS Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Daily, visitors from all over the world view the 43+ aircraft in the Museum's two WWII hangars, see the iconic Ford Island Control Tower and historic Luke Field, enjoy hands on technology experiences including combat flight simulators, hear moving stories told by aviation docents, and see historic films and video displays. A Smithsonian affiliate museum, it has been named "one of the top 10 aviation attractions in America" by TripAdvisor.

Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit for tickets and more information. 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.

Anne Murata, Director of Marketing
808-441-1013; 808-375-9577 (cell)

James Koivunen, Marketing Coordinator
808-441-1011; 808-264-4555 (cell)

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