Lockheed YF-94C (S/N 50-955) in flight. This aircraft was built on speculation by Lockheed in a non-military version. A second prototype (S/N 50-877) was built as a military version prototype after the USAF decided to proceed with procurement of the C model. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The F-94 series all-weather interceptors were developed from the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star. The prototype F-94 first flew on July 1, 1949. The Starfire was subsequently produced in the A, B and C series. The F-94C (originally designated the YF-97A) was a fundamental redesign of the F-94B and made its first flight on Jan. 18, 1950.
Improvements in the F-94C included a higher thrust engine, single point refueling, a redesigned wing, a sweptback horizontal stabilizer, upgraded fire-control and navigation systems and, later, mid-wing rocket pods. Twenty-four rockets were carried in the nose in a ring around the radome, shielded by retractable doors, with an additional 24 in the wing pods, if installed. The F-94C carried no guns. Starfires were employed in the air defense of the continental United States in the 1950s. In the F-94A form, they served as the first all-jet all-weather interceptor for the Air Defense Command. The last F-94Cs were withdrawn from USAF service in 1959.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: 24 2.75 in. Folding Fin Aerial Rockets in nose and 24 FFARs in two wing pods Engines: Pratt & Whitney J48-P-5 or -5A of 8,750 lbs. thrust with afterburner (early -C models had J48-P-3, and late models were field upgraded to J48-P-7) Maximum speed: 640 mph Cruising speed: 476 mph Range: 1,275 miles Service ceiling: 51,800 ft. Span: 37 ft. 4 in. Length: 44 ft. 4 in. Height: 14 ft. 11 in. Weight: 24,000 lbs. maximum Crew: Two