The F-104 Starfighter was a revolutionary design with short razor-sharp wings. It was the first aircraft to be able to maintain Mach 2 not just in short bursts. The Starfighter shattered speed and rate of climb records that still are impressive today. This extremely high speed earned the plane the nickname “The Missile With A Man In It”. Because of financial considerations 15 or more countries purchased the F-104. The Starfighter flew with the USAF in 1958 and the last airplane was decommissioned in Italy in 2004.
F-104G Starfighter c/n 9095 FX52 became part of the Belgian Air Force in 1964. In 1978 the 31st Squadron was the host for the NATO Tiger Meet at Kleine Brogel AB FX52 was chosen to be the first Belgian fighter to receive a complete tiger paint scheme. Over the years this aircraft had many accidents and incidents, a bullet ricochet hit the radome, the aircraft had a midair collision and managed to land, the other aircraft; FX11 was destroyed. FX52 was withdrawn from service in 1987.