Lockheed F-94D Starfire: The Last Starfire

Would you like to see this in-game?
  • Yes
  • No
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How would you like to see this aircraft implemented?
  • Tech Tree
  • Premium
  • Event
  • Squadron
  • I said no
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How would you like to see the armament implemented?
  • M3 Brownings
  • T171 Vulcan
  • Both as separate vehicles
  • Both interchangeably as a modification
  • I said no
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The F-94 was a high-subsonic interceptor based on the T-33. The F-94D was a prototype single-seat fighter-bomber variant based on the F-94C. It never entered production, but a pair of test platforms and an incomplete prototype were built. This suggestion will be for somewhat of a hybrid F-94D combining primarily elements of its intended configuration with some aspects of the test platforms, particularly the T171 cannon that the F-94D was a testbed for.



F-94 Origins
The F-94 was developed in 1948 in response to the Tu-4 as a simple jet-powered interceptor with the goal of entering service as quickly as possible by using as many existing components as possible. To accomplish this, Lockheed modified the T-33A trainer, a twin-seat version of the F-80, to mount a radar and armament in the nose and feature an afterburner. The F-94 made its first flight in April 1949, with production starting in December that year and the type entering service in early 1950. This made the F-94 the US’s first afterburning aircraft and the first all-weather and night-combat capable jet aircraft in USAF service.

The F-94D
The F-94D was a proposed fighter-bomber variant of the F-94 to replace the F-80C. The F-94D would replace the radar of the F-94B with 4 additional M3 machine guns while featuring the J48 engine of the F-94C. The wings were made thinner but deeper (chordwise) to increase lift while decreasing drag, allowing for higher performance and easier landings. The space previously occupied by the WSO was reallocated towards additional fuel capacity, increasing the F-94D’s range. The F-94D was able to carry 4 bombs of up to 1000lb compared to previous models’ 2, and was intended to also carry HVARs. Additionally, it would have been able to carry the midwing rocket pods of the F-94C and logically the gunpods of the F-94A/B as well, though the latter were developed after the F-94D had already been canceled. Finally, the F-94D was intended to feature an in-flight refuelling probe, a world first. However, none of this was to be as the F-94D was cancelled to concentrate resources on the F-94C and because similarly capable aircraft such as the F-86 and F-84F were already becoming available.

Prototypes and Repurposing
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the F-94D, likely because it didn’t really go anywhere. A full-scale mockup was completed sometime in 1951. A pair of F-94Bs, 51-5500 and 51-5501, were modified with F-94D noses. These aircraft didn’t receive the complete armament of the F-94D, instead using the lower half of the nose for sensors to record performance, though 51-5501 may have mounted 6 M3s. An initial order for 113 F-94Ds was placed in January 1951, then cancelled in October. After the cancellation of the program, 51-5500 was fitted with the T171 Vulcan cannon in development for the XF-104 and used as a testbed. This was, of course, the prototype of the legendary M61. While not technically an F-94D and differing significantly from the true F-94D design, I believe this feature of 51-5500 should be allowed on the F-94D. The Vulcan fit cleanly in the nose of the F-94D (the only part of 51-5500 that was 100% F-94D and not F-94B), so there’s no reason the planned production F-94D couldn’t carry the Vulcan. Between how powerful and fun the Vulcan would be in-game and its unique historical connection to the F-94D, I think its addition is worth the ahistorical configuration.



Length: 13.1m
Span: 11.9m
Height: 4.8m
Wing area: 32.5m^2
Min wing loading: 198kg/m^2
Empty weight: 6,157kg
Loaded weight: 6,638kg
Combat weight: 8,791kg
MTOW: 13,224kg

1x J48-P-5A afterburning turbojet
Max thrust, dry: 28.2kN
Max thrust, afterburning: 38.9kN
Max TWR (WEP): 0.64
Max internal fuel: 5,725L
Max external fuel: 2x 871L drop tanks (wingtips), 2x 946L drop tanks (underwing)

2x 12AS-1000D-4 RATO boosters (under-fuselage)*
*not mentioned in relation to F-94D but still compatible due to unchanged fuselage
Thrust: 4.4kN (each)
Burn time: 12 seconds
Weight: 200lb each

Max speed (sea level): 1,102km/h (est)
Max climb rate: likely 50-60m/s, clean, sea level (rough est)
Max g loading: 7.33g

8x M3 Browning, 300rpg (2,400 rounds total), nose-mounted
1x T171 Vulcan, unknown ammunition count (750 rounds like F-104A?)

2x 100, 250, 500, 1000lb bombs, wing-mounted
24x FFAR, wing-mounted*
4x M3 Browning, wing-mounted (theoretical)
*FFARs reduce carrying capacity of other ordinances, with no further information provided. Considering both the FFARs and additional bombs are mounted mid-wing, I’m assuming it’s these (and by extension the mid-wing gunpods) that cannot be carried together
2x 100, 250, 500, or 1000lb bombs, wingtip-mounted
16x HVAR, wing-mounted

2x 250gal fuel tanks, wingtip-mounted
2x 230gal fuel tanks, wing-mounted

The F-94D in game


The F-94D is a dramatic departure from the A/B, being a strike aircraft instead of an interceptor. While its incomplete status could qualify it as a premium, I think it would be a shame to see such an excellent aircraft locked behind a paywall. I personally would have the F-94D at 8.7 as the final member of the F-94 folder. While designed as a strike aircraft, it still contains much interceptor DNA and would perform extremely well as a boom-n-zoom fighter, especially with the Vulcan. Overall flight performance is improved over the F-94B and firepower in both A2A and A2G would be dramatically improved. The F-94D would very much be a hybrid of the playstyles of the F-80 and F-104 and quite enjoyable overall in both air and ground battles.



The F-94D has a much longer nose than the previous variants

F-94D drawings

F-94D mockup with 8 M3s, double the amount originally on the F-94B

The “F-94D” 51-5500 fitted with the T171 Vulcan



Lockheed F-94D
Lockheed F-94D (joebaugher.com)
Lockheed YF-94D Starfire - “First Flight of a Flaming Fury” - USA - War Thunder - Official Forum
Lockheed F-94 Starfire (historyofwar.org)
Lockheed F-94 Starfire - fighter (aviastar.org)

Check out the other members of the F-94 family!



While I’m torn between having the two gun armaments as separate aircraft or as swappable armaments on one aircraft, this would be a mad fun plane to fly either way. +1