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- Type: SPH
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 147
- Pure Stock
NF-104A Zoom Climber
The NF-104A was a series of three modified F-104A Starfighters, designed to help train astronauts and test pilots for high-altitude, high-speed flight while testing technologies necessary for controlled reentry.
Each of the Starfighters was modified with a RCS system, wing extensions, and a Rocketdyne AR2-3 rocket engine in a pod on the tail fin.
A typical flight profile would have the pilot take the plane to a high altitude, then gain speed in a shallow dive before igniting the rocket engines and pitching up sharply, the namesake
Once at altitude, the pilot would have to switch to RCS to control heading, and would shut down the jet engine. A sharp descent followed, during which the pilot would reignite the engine using the airflow rushing past before coming in for a powered landing.
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