The RCAF received their first CF-104 in March 1962. Although originally designed as a
supersonic interceptor the Canadian Air Force used it primarily for low level strike and
reconnaissance. The Canadian version of the F-104 was capable of carrying a ventral
mounted Vinten Vicon pod with 4 cameras inside for reconnaissance picture taking.
On September 4, 1963 number 12900 was the 200th and final CF-104 produced and
entered service on January 10, 1964. The CF-104 retired from service in 1985 when it
was replaced by the CF-18 Hornet. Over the 25 years of active service 110 aircraft were
lost to accidents earning it nicknames like “Widow Maker” and “Lawn Dart”. The RCAF
CF-104 probably had the most flying time of any variant with an average of 6,000 hours
per plane over their life time compared to the Luftwaffe’s 3,000 hours.