Starfighter Pilot recounts the entire check flight of “Black Magnificence” exterior the KSC on this must-see video

A screenshot from the video of Starfighters Aerospace’s TF-104G-M in the course of the July 2022 upkeep flight from KSC.

That is arguably probably the most fascinating and detailed cockpit video with audio ever shot in an F-104 starfighter – from start-up to touchdown and shutdown at NASA’s Kennedy House Heart, Florida.

Piercarlo “Capone” Ciacchi is a reasonably well-known pilot amongst F-104 Starfighter lovers. Presently Director of Flight Operations at Starfighters Aerospace, he’s a former pilot of F-104 of the Italian Air Drive who, amongst different issues, achieved a exceptional report flying with the 9-99, the final F-104 in a particular shade, as “Picca 21” for two hours and 50 minutes in Tip + Pylon configuration throughout its “finiflight” (final flight on the kind) on 26 March 2004.

Throughout his profession within the Air Drive, Ciacchi (who later joined the Frecce Tricolori exhibition staff) made a number of the hottest footage of the world’s final Starfighters in service with the Air Drive within the early 2000s, earlier than of the long-lasting missile-with-a-man-in-it was ultimately retired.

His ardour for taking pictures nice video from the cockpit of the F-104 remains to be robust at present, as he flies Starfighters Aerospace-owned F-104s out of NASA’s Kennedy House Heart, Florida, for analysis flights. and improvement, in addition to for pilot / check pilot coaching.

Final 12 months we launched a wonderful answer video of “Black Magnificence”, one of many 5 former F-104s of the Italian Air Drive that have been bought by the US firm after the Italians withdrew it in 2004. “Black Magnificence” is a closely modified TF -104G-M that now sports activities the civil registration N991SF (previously MM54258) and can be utilized to help all kinds of checks, together with captive carrying of payloads and check objects; microgravity experiments; pre-launch house payload testing / qualification; simulation of suborbital house flights; air launch of microsatellites; human elements and flight physiology analysis and plenty of others.

Now Ciacchi has simply launched a model new video exhibiting a upkeep flight carried out aboard the “Black Magnificence” protecting, with audio (together with radio communications and intercom) all the flight, from start-up, touchdown and shutdown (collectively a few low approaches to House Coast Regional Airport).

This Creator has seen many movies of F-104 and was fortunate sufficient to additionally fly a TF-104G-M greater than 20 years in the past, however the clip under might be one of the best you’ll ever discover on a Starfighter flight, due to all the main points Ciacchi explains AJ, chief engineer and again seat on this sortie, for the entire clip of +half-hour.

Two last observations: firstly, as already identified, the nickname of “Black Magnificence” was really given to a different F-104 based mostly in Grosseto, the F-104S ASA-M (Weapon Programs Replace – Modified / Weapon System Improve – Modified) MM6873 / 4-9 of the ninth Fighter Group (Squadron). The latter, who’s now a gate keeper, was one of many latest and most up to date Starfighters operated by an Air Drive and obtained a surprising black paint job to rejoice the F-104’s 40 years of service with the ninth Group in 2003.

Second commentary, earlier than the same old feedback start to seem: sufficient with some nicknames that denote a lack of expertise of this jet. Nobody inside the Italian Air Drive (which has operated the plane longer than some other service) has ever referred to as or thought of the F-104 the “widow maker” or “flying coffin”. These nicknames have been utilized in Germany, when the aircraft gained a nasty repute because of the variety of accidents suffered by the German aviation with the kind, however the excessive accident fee was primarily because of flaws within the pilot coaching program, to make use of the plane in notably demanding situations (low altitude, unhealthy climate, heavy configurations), and outdoors its main design position (high-speed interceptor), and many others. however, particularly later in his profession, he was thought of extraordinarily dependable.

Along with the media sensationalism that contributed to the unhealthy repute and legend of the “widow maker”, when correctly analyzed and contextualized, the plane had a security report for flight hours comparable and in lots of instances even higher than many different fighters. which he changed or which operated around the globe in the identical interval.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the founder and editor of “The Aviationist”, probably the most well-known and extensively learn army aviation blogs on the planet. Since 1996 he has written for main world magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, warfare, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwarfare. He has reported from america, Europe, Australia and Syria and has flown a number of fighter jets with varied air forces. He’s a former 2nd lieutenant of the Italian Air Drive, personal pilot and a level in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many others.

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