WN: Piercarlo, what’s ahead in the next 3- 6 months for the company?
Ciacchi: The core business of the company is Research & Development and Department of Defense support, which will be also the main activity in the next months. The company is also developing a specific sub-orbital flight training plan for different commercial space entities.
WN: When do you expect the entire fleet to be fully operational?
Ciacchi: The [three] Canadian CF-104s are already operational. We are expecting to initiate the Functional Check Flights on the Italian F-104s momentarily.
WN: Who picked the new paint scheme for the aircraft?
Ciacchi: The paint scheme for two of the four Italian aircraft (F-104SASAM and one TF-104GM) has been chosen for specific missions for which they will be used. Two more of the Italian aircraft have been painted in plain grey for a different type of mission. The graphic design has been provided by Mr. Dario Righetto, Italian graphic designer and Global Marketing Director for Graphistudio, Arba, PN, Italy.
WN: Was it a request of the Military to have such a pattern?
Ciacchi: See above
WN: Which company painted it?
Ciacchi: Starfighters maintenance.
WN: Are you planning to paint the entire fleet with such a scheme?
Ciacchi: No, the Canadian aircraft are will keep the original Starfighters paint scheme for the time being.
WN: Accordingly to the new missions the company will perform, do you plan to assign each aircraft to a different mission?
Ciacchi: Aircraft one for telecommunication work, aircraft two for NASA work, etc… The seven operational aircraft will be used for different missions. Only a few of the tasks require the specific paint scheme. The others will be swung according with maintenance cycles.
WN: How do you see the 104 performing against modern jets?
Ciacchi: Excellent. In the high speed, high altitude scenario, the Lockheed F-104 it is still the most capable aircraft commercially available.
WN: Will the Starfigther’s attend any air shows in the US?
Ciacchi: Yes, air shows will be limited, but present. Most of them will be in the south east US, closer to our home base.
Click HERE to read our previous article about the Starfighter Aerospace.
More pictures by Luigino Caliaro.
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