Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (Crowood Aviation) Hardcover – 22 Dec 2000
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It was a "hot" fighter, demanding of its pilots. Lockheed would have gone bankrupt had not the Germans, then the rest of Europe's NATO members purchased this plane. So why did they? Politics? Great Salesmen at Lockheed?
This is a very detailed book about Lockheed, the history of the F-104 and tackles the issue of whether or not this plane should be called a "widow maker". Several sections are given to pilots who praised the fighter plane, and attribute the high accident rates to early maintenence problems, lack of pilot skill and poor weather in Europe. Once the bugs were worked out, they argue, the plane was as safe as any.
Martin Bowman writes a balanced account of this fighter, packed with clear B&W photos, 8 pages of color photos and some line drawings. I would like to have seen more of those to give it a full five starts.
So, was this a great jet? You be the judge. Just because a lot of nations used it, doesn't make it great - just available. The author gives his opinion, which I like and agree with. A very good book of a very misunderstood jet. Recommended.
I believe that this book met my expectations in a lot of respects.
The only drawback and in respect to its service in foreign airforces it does not have many information about certain users. For example the chapter concerning Greek Air Force (HAF) is very poor.
Overall i recomend this book