Lockheed F-104 « Starfighter » VTOL projects


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Also from Lark. Thanks a lot!

Flying Review 1962

Lockheed CL-704 VTOL strike and recon development of the F-104G. This particular design is powered by 14!! RR RB181 lift engines and one RB168R propulsion engine.

A nightmare maintenance :-\


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I bet that the CL-704 had a really long range, what with the 14 engine vertical takeoff...

Thanks for those pics
Thanks for the info Jemiba.Excellent.

The Lockheed CL-704 was an other VTOL Starfighter proposal.
( in cooperation with Short Bross & Harland)
Propoal offered to Nato BMR-3 requirement 1961.
Plane was to be powered by 14 Rolls Royce RB191 liftengines
in wingtip pods and one RB168 propulsion engine.

An other VTOL Starfighter project made use of the
Girard(Ryan) rotor delta system.

Maybe it should be interesting to open a file about unbuilt Starfighter variants....
Do you mean the F-104 with delta wing rotor ?
As can be seen on the picture,I've found it on a modelers site, but it is
said to be a real project, or perhaps better design study.
I would declare it a VTOL aircraft, because in cruising flight, the rotor
would be stopped, to act as a delta wing. A compound, to my under-
standing would use a turning rotor, either powered by an engine, or
just autorotating, in flight. But stoppable rotors, which acts as wings
( or turning wings, which act as rotors ?) have muddied the water of
the clear distinction of rotor craft and fixed wing aircraft, I think.


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I can help. Its invention of Peter Girard from Ryan Aeronautical. After he completed design, he wanted to choose the best plane to equip it with this rotary wing. Because it is delta and produces not much lift, the best for him was to find supersonic aircraft with minimal weight - and that was Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Some studies were made, but thats all. After Harrier success there was not need for such a plane. Model of that was made by Unicraft (?) Pics:

For more information see also patents no. 3792827, 3794273, 3025022, 3146970 and 3986686.

I don't remember,if we spoke about Ryan F-104 VTOL
project or not !.


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I have found illustrations on the Heliplane, by Pete Girard.
They were published in Mecanica Popular (Spanish version of 'Popular Mechanics') in November 1962.
The article includes the illustration on the F-104 VTOL that Igor Shestakov used for his resin kit.
The subject was partially exposed by Jemiba at http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,431.15.html


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Very interesting indeed, especially due to the principle with contrarotating rotors,
one on the upper and one on the underside, as proposed in 1922 by Raul Pateras Pescara.
But I would like to know, what the aerodynamic efficiency of such a very low aspect ratio
rotor is. Maybe it would be a disappointment for the constructor ?


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The original patent had a single rotor and anti-torque nozzle vanes....


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The first red machine, in "escanear007.jpg", looks like it has a lot of potential as a high-speed lawn mower.

Surely there is a bigger market right there. :D
Interesting, I think, that the rotors are directly driven, whereas most similar
concepts used tip driven rotors, e.g. this Hughes concept, shown in
Aviation Week 9/1966 .


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Please see http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3301.0/highlight,pete+girard.html


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Though not part of the earlier XF-104 project from Lockheed, this is a NASA project model of an F-104 fitted with a delta planform parasol wing - from the three movable control surfaces it would appear to present some rather unique control moments.



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here's the second image of the unique F-104 model in NASA colors.



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"..from the three movable control surfaces it would appear to present some rather unique control moments."

It was a proposed VTOL version, the rotatable delta wing forming a stoppable rotor. Justo mentioned it
here and a 3-view could be found on www.unicraftmodels.com.
The VTOL F-104 was not developed by Lockheed, but by Ryan if memory serves.
The Lockheed CL-704 was introduced at the Hanover show in 1962. It was a Mach-2 capable VTOL variant of the F-104G, derived from the CL-521 of generally similar configuration. The CL-704 was to be equipped with (Qty. 7) lift jets in each wingtip pod, plus the J-79, for a total of (Qty. 15) turbojets. Wingtip fuel tanks would be eliminated by design, so hover capability was probably of short duration. Main mission was NATO reconnaissance. A modified F-104G with empty, weighted CL-704 wingtip pods is rumored to have flown out of Edwards to test the aerodynamic penalty of such a configuration, but the project was short-lived.

Attached is a photo of the large, Hanover display model (from Flight International, 1962), a couple pictures of an original CL-704 desk model and a 3-view drawing.


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overscan said:
Now *thats* better. Thanks :)

There is a manual for sale for a wad of euro.
Model CL-521


This Lockheed Report #14628 describes a version of the Lockheed CL-521 with 16 liftjets, plus the main engine, for a total of 17 turbojets. That must be some kind of record. Thankfully, the engine count on the later CL-704 was down to 15, giving the pilot a few extra seconds of hover time.
Photograph (first image) of Pete Girard holding a model of a jet-powered heliplane concept. Girard was project engineer of special projects at Ryan Aeronautical Co. in San Diego, CA.

Photograph (second image) of a model of Girard's jet-powered heliplane concept.

Source: "Supersonic Helicopter" Popular Mechanics August 1962 p. 69.


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Orionblamblam said:
Catch-22 said:

To be more clear: 360 Euros.

I note that this report is still available for the low, low price of 360 Euros. That's way beyond my means. However, if I can find ten people willing to part with the equivalent of 36 Euros - or some equivalent euros/person breakdown - I'll get it, scan it, patch it up and distribute copies. Let me know (either here or via PM) that you're interested, and what price you're willing to go up to (even if less than 36 euros).
What exactly is the connection between CL-521 and CL-704? The front view on the cover of the manual (described as CL-521) looks pretty similar to the CL-704...
Ryan's inhouse designation for their 1965 F-104 Fan Design Study was Model 190D.
Stargazer said:
What exactly is the connection between CL-521 and CL-704? The front view on the cover of the manual (described as CL-521) looks pretty similar to the CL-704...

CL-704 was essentially a further developed version of the CL-521 proposal.
Thanks for the info.
This site also mentioned a F-104 G VTOL version with lift engines in the fuselage.


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Thanks for postinng those links !
About your previous post, I had a look but couldn't find another source for a true VTOL derivative
with fuselage mounted engines and I think, room would hardly be sufficient. You're right, on that
site VTOL variants with additional lift engines in the fuselage or in podds are mentioned, but this
could well be just STOL variants, similar to MiG 21 or Su 15 test aircraft with this arrangement.

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