Model Airplane News
November, 1952

Model Airplane News Cover for February, 1951 by Jo Kotula Lockheed F-94 Starfire    Model Airplane News Cover for November, 1952 by Jo Kotula Lockheed F-94 Starfire

Lockheed F-94 "Starfire"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for February, 1951 and November, 1952
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

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

 The Lockheed F-94 Starfire    The Lockheed F-94 Starfire     Loading The Lockheed F-94 Starfire Cannon

Lockheed F-94"Starfire"
.. loading the cannon illustrated on the cover
Click to Enlarge

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 (reverse-engineered Boeing B-29). The Curtiss-Wright XF-87A Blackhawk had been designated to be the USAF first jet night fighter, but its performance was sub par and Lockheed was asked to design a jet night fighter on a crash program basis. The F-94 was derived from the TF-80C (later T-33A 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 was added. Since the conversion seemed so simple, a contract was awarded to Lockheed in early 1949, with the first flight in A1949. The early test YF-94s used seventy-five percent of the parts used in the earlier F-80 and T-33As.

Here is a video of the Lockheed F-94 "Starfire" in action:

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 064 of the Wings Friend or Foe series  The Lockheed F-94 Starfire

Trading card representation of the Lockheed F-94 "Starfire"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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Click Here for more information about the Lockheed F-94 "Starfire".

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