The Italian Aerospace Information Web
by Aeromedia - corso Giambone 46/18 - 10135 Torino (Italy)

The last Turin/Caselle Starfighter

A TF-104G Mach 2 plus trainer has been placed as gate guardian of the Italian Air Force facilities at the Turin/Caselle airport, hosting the 2nd Ufficio Tecnico Territoriale and the local DCA. The main components of the aircraft belong to item MM54228, construction number 5772 and former USAF serial 63-13287; it was manufactured by Lockheed at Palmdale, California, shipped to Turin by air, reassembled and delivered to IAF.
Used for many years by the IAF 20th Group at Grosseto air base, the aircraft later suffered an heavy landing and was put in storage as a source of spare parts. For this reason the aircraft was not updaded to the M version during the nineties, remaining in the basic configuration. The TF-104G was restored for static exhibition by Alenia and now it sports the phoney code UTT2-01 and the badge of the DCA on the fin. The aircraft was not submitted to the common practice of the pylon display; it was placed straight over the ground, with good solutions to avoid damages to the tyres.
The previous IAF gate guardian at Caselle was a more historical Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.4 (F-86E), that was moved to the Aosta Flying Club in 2002. The new monument stands now as the symbol of the strong connection between the F-104 and the Turin airport, the nest of the Italian Starfighters for more than 40 years.

In the picture: Alenia TF-104G MM54228 placed as gate guardian at the Turin/Caselle airport, July 2003. (Aeromedia)

(Aeromedia, July 2003)