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Kelowna new home to piece of Canadian military aviation history

CF-104D Starfighter jet served in Cold Lake, Alberta from 1962 until 1973

The KF Centre for Excellence newest prize acquisition is a CF-104D Starfighter jet.

“This is an aircraft that holds a special place in the hearts of many veterans and aviation enthusiasts alike,” says Director, Paula Quinn. “We are incredibly excited to bring it back to Canada, recognize its contributions, and be a part of its next chapter.”

CF veterans who live in the Okanagan, and flew the jet, were invited to see its arrival earlier this month.

Built by Canadair, under license from Lockheed, the Mach 2-capable ex-RCAF two-seat training aircraft, was flown for over ten years by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

It served with the test squadron at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake in Alberta from 1962 until 1973, when it was sold to the Norwegian Air Force. It was then sold to a California museum in 1984 and then spent the next 10-plus years with several private owners.

From 1996, until its acquisition by the KF Centre in 2022, it had been privately owned and based in Mesa, Arizona. The fighter is near airworthy and maintenance engineers are currently working on it to restore it to an airworthy state.

The plan is to re-paint the aircraft in its original RCAF colours.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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