The TF-104 Starfighter is almost ready, to be released in a couple of weeks
Bored with the “safe” airplanes currently available for Microsoft Flight Simulator? Then prepare to fly something a little more dangerous, as Sim Skunk Works is on the verge of finally releasing its Lockheed TF-104 Starfighter, an MSFS replica of a record-breaking aircraft. After months of development, the Starfighter is nearly ready and will be out in the next couple of weeks!
We’re going to trust Sim Skunk Works’ words on this one, even though they told us before that this product would be available in October. It’s delayed indeed, but apparently not by much. But that doesn’t matter, because this is a truly unique piece of aerospace history, and it will soon be available for us all to try in MSFS.
Sim Skunk Works has been sharing some development updates about its Starfighter, and the latest one is very promising in a few areas. Besides the aforementioned estimate for a release, the developers say that most of the work is done, from the external and internal modeling to the textures and systems. Only some final polishments remain, concerning lighting, sounds, and a few small adjustments here and there.
Sim Skunk Works appears to be going for a high-fidelity recreation of this iconic supersonic interceptor. Over the last few months, we’ve seen the developers share some really cool features of the Starfighter, which appear to be seamlessly integrated in MSFS, such as the use of the NASAR15 radar for terrain detection and air interception. The latter is especially interesting, with the system predicting the path of an Ai airplane and guiding you to its future location, a pure skill from a true interceptor aircraft.
While we wait for a final word about the release, you should definitely checkout Sim Skunk Works’ Facebook page, where these and other features of the Starfighter have been previewed by the team. It should give you a good idea about what to expect from this package once it finally releases in a few days.
ID’d as a TF-104 probably means it’s detailed as a TF-104G, the German model manufactured by Lockheed. Equivalent USAF trainers were F-104B or F-104D. After F-104Bs were converted from Lockheed C-1 ejection seats (ejecting downward) they became visually identical to F-104Ds, with C-2 ejection seats (ejecting upward). (I’m a former museum “crew chief” for the F-104B that was NASA 819, the most historic of NASA’s 14 F.104s. Its best-known pilot was Neil Armstrong.)