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The two-place F-94 was America's first operational jet all-weather interceptor. It was developed from the single-seat F-80 Shooting Star, which had been the Army Air Forces' first operational jet aircraft procured in significant quantities. Although the F-94 had a redesigned fuselage, it used the F-80 tail, wing and landing gear. The Starfire was also the first U.S. production jet to have an afterburner, which provided brief periods of additional engine thrust. It was equipped with radar in the nose to permit the observer in the rear seat to locate an enemy aircraft at night or in poor weather. The pilot then flew the Starfire into proper position for an attack based upon the observer's radar indications.
F-94s were primarily deployed for the defense of the United States in the early 1950s, serving with Air Defense Command squadrons. Many Air National Guard units were later equipped with F-94s.
Lockheed produced 853 F-94s for the Air Force, beginning in December 1949. Of these, 110 were F-94As and 355 were F-94Bs.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force has an F-94A on display.
Prototype; from TF-80C
Prototype; S/N 49-2497
Improved F-94A; Fletcher tip tanks
TECHNICAL NOTES (F-94A): Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns Engines:Allison J33-A-33 of 6,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner Maximum speed: 630 mph Cruising speed: 520 mph Range: 930 miles Service ceiling: 42,750 ft. Span: 38 ft. 9 in. Length: 40 ft. 1 in. Height: 12 ft. 2 in. Weight: 15,330 lbs. maximum