1956 ... F-104 Starfighter

... 'Zoom to Ceiling' was the purpose and point of this "missile with a man in it!". One of the most important objectives in fighter defense against bombers is to get up to the altitude of the incoming enemy before they have passed you by. The 'Starfighter' was also fast, twice the speed of sound; which was really screamin' back then. It had a lot of faults, but it was a 'hot' ride and good pilots loved it and say it could still be competitive today! (note: in production for 30 yrs- over 2,500 built!)

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1949 ... F-94C 'Starfire'

... Air Defense is a fascinating section of the history of the Cold War/Arms Race. For every advance on one side, there was a counter-measure developed on the other. These are unguided air-to-air rockets in the nose of the Lockheed F-94 'Starfire'. It was hoped that a barrage of these, fired at a slow moving Soviet bomber, would destroy the target. (You only needed one to score!). During normal flight they were covered with a streamlined doors which folded inwards for firing.

1989 ... B-2 'Spirit'

1956 ... tails of the Hustler!

... tail of a B-58 "Hustler". The last US bomber to have a tail mounted gun. It can be seen just below the elongated radome of the aiming radar. The preferred defense of the Mach 2 aircraft, was to simply outrun any fighters. It was said that there was some controversy surrounding the need for the gun; skeptics saying that at supersonic speed bullets from the Gatling gun would do little more than trickle out in the backward direction.

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