Hobby Master HA1006 | F-104S/ASA-M MM6930 9.99, 9 Stormo, 10 Gruppo, Grazzanise, Italy

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F-104S/ASA-M MM6930 9.99, 9 Stormo, 10 Gruppo, Grazzanise, Italy


Scale 1:72 / Diecast model




General Background


:Italy and Lockheed developed an improved F-104G, the F-104S (Super). The new variant had an advanced weapons system for AIM-7 missiles, deleted M61 cannon, new engine, stronger airframe, 2 additional ventral fins and 2 additional under wing pylons for AIM-7 missiles. The “S” variant was updated twice, the “ASA” (Aggiornamento Sistema d’Armi - meaning Weapon System Update) look-down/shoot-down air-superiority fighter) and the “ASA-M” (Aggiornamento Sistema d’Arma-Modificato, Weapon System Update- Modified). By 1984 electronic miniaturization allowed the ASA update that meant 2/3s of the 205- plane fleet had the M61 cannon re-installed, new navigation systems, avionics and missiles.


The Aircraft:


In 2003 to celebrate the last Starfighter in Italian service and being the last operational F- 104 in the world, F-104S/ASA-M c/n: 783-1230 s/n MM6930 was stripped of all weapons and pylons and painted Ducati red. The Ducati Motorcycle Company paid for an air show to celebrate the F-104 in Italian service and the pilot was a Ducati fan so the plane was numbered 9 99 after Ducati’s new super bike model “999”. The “Prancing Horse” has been the insignia of the 91st Italian Squadriglia and made famous by WWI Ace Francesco Baracca who was killed during WWI.


Interesting story about the "Prancing Horse"

The “Prancing Horse” is similar to the Ferrari Car Company “Stallion”. There are 2 stories, the legend and the truth. The legend has it that after the death of their son Francesco the Baracca family was at a car race where a young Italian driver impressed them. So after the race the Contessa Baracca approached the driver and gave him the charred cloth fuselage panel from her dead son’s plane. Painted on it was a rearing black horse on a white background and she told him it would bring him good luck. The young driver was of course Enzo Ferrari who had extremely good luck so he adapted a variation of the “Prancing Horse” insignia to be the logo for his Ferrari car company.

The second version, the truth, has it that Francesco Baracca was a good friend with a mechanic and a member of his ground support team. The young man was named Alfredino and died in 1916 from influenza and Baracca was shot down and killed June 19, 1918. It turns out that Alfredino was Enzo Ferrari’s brother so because of the losses both families suffered the Baracca’s sent a framed photograph of Major Count Francesco Baracca standing beside his 91st Squadriglia SPAD XIII aircraft with the “Prancing Horse” insignia on the side. It was simply signed " To Enzo Ferrari from Contessa Paolina Baracca." Right up to his death in 1988 Enzo Ferrari never discredited the first story, the legend. Major Count Francesco Baracca WW I Ace with 34 kills before being shot down and killed himself.


Specifications for the F-104S


ASA Engine 1 X General Electric J79-GE-19 turbojet 11,870 lb.s.t. dry and 17,900 lb.s.t. with afterburner Performance Maximum speed: 1450 mph at 36,000 feet 913 mph (Mach 1.2) at sea level Stalling speed: 196 mph Take-off distance: Carrying 2 X AIM-7 Sparrows 2700 feet Initial climb rate: 55,000 fpm Service ceiling: 58,000 feet Normal range: 1550 miles Maximum range: 4 drop tanks 1815 miles Dimensions Wingspan: 21 feet 11 inches Length: 54 feet 9 inches Height: 13 feet 6 inches Wing area: 196.1 square feet Weights Empty: 14,900 lbs Combat: 21,690 lbs Maximum take-off: 31,000 lbs Armament 1 X 20mm M61A1 rotary cannon with 750 rounds 2 X AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared homing air-to-air missiles 2 X AIM-7 Sparrow semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles Or replace Sparrows with 2 X Selenia Apside radar homing air-to-air missiles Up to 7500 pounds of bombs, rockets, napalm tanks, and fuel tanks can be carried on nine hard-points (four underneath the wing, two at wingtips, one centerline, and one at each fuselage side)

Fuel Standard internal fuel capacity: 896 US gallons Additional fuel for extended range: Two 195-US gallon under-wing tanks Two 170-US gallon wingtip tanks One 121-US gallon auxiliary tank in the ammunition bay