The F-94 was the first operational USAF fighter equipped with an afterburner and was the first jet-powered all-weather fighter to enter combat during the Korean War in January 1953. It had a relatively brief operational life, being replaced in the mid-1950s by the Northrop F-89 Scorpion and North American F-86D Sabre interceptor aircraft. The last aircraft left active-duty service in 1958 and Air National Guard service in 1959.
Lockheed F-94 Starfire on Yhdysvalloissa suunniteltu ja valmistettu, kaksipaikkainen jokasään suihkuhävittäjä. Lentokonetyyppi oli F-80 Shooting Starin seuraaja. F-94 Starfire kykeni 1 030 km/h huippunopeuteen, ja sitä käytettiin Korean sodassa. Koneen pääasiallinen käyttö tapahtui B-29 Superfortressien suojahävittäjänä.
Suorasiipinen, taikka oikeammin ilmaistuna: loivasti trapetsisiipinen konetyyppi jäi Yhdysvaltain lentävän kansalliskaartin ANG:n käyttöön, aina 1960-luvun alulle asti.
Aseistuksenaan tämä konetyyppi käytti 24 kappaleen erissä laukaistuja 2,75" (tuuman) Mighty Mouse -tyyppisiä ilmasta ilmaan-raketteja. A- ja B-versioissa oli keulassa, taikka siipien alla sijaitsevissa erillisissä podeissa neljä 12,7 mm kaliiperin Browning M3 -konekivääriä.
Length: 13.6 m
Wingspan: 12.9 m
Height: 4.5 m
Wing area: 21.63 m²
Empty weight: 5,764 kg
Loaded weight: 8,300 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 10,970 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney J48-P-5 turbojet
Dry thrust: 28.2 kN
Thrust with afterburner: 38.9 kN
Maximum speed: 1,030 km/h, Mach .84
Range: 1,300 km combat
Ferry range: 2,000 km
Service ceiling: 15,670 m
Rate of climb: 40.5 m/s
Wing loading: 384 kg/m²
Rockets: 24 or 48 × 2.75 in (70 mm) Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets
Built to a 1948 USAF specification for a radar-equipped interceptor to replace the aging F-61 Black Widow and North American F-82 Twin Mustang, it was specifically designed to counter the threat of the USSR's new Tupolev Tu-4 bombers (reverse-engineered Boeing B-29). The Curtiss-Wright XF-87 Blackhawk had been designated to be the USAF first jet night fighter, but its performance was sub par, and Lockheed was asked to design a jet night fighter on a crash program basis. The F-94 was derived from the TF-80C (later T-33A Shooting Star) which was a two-seat trainer version of the F-80 Shooting Star. A lengthened nose area with guns, radar and automatic fire control system was added. Since the conversion seemed so simple, a contract was awarded to Lockheed in early 1949, with the first flight on 16 April 1949. The early test YF-94s used 75% of the parts used in the earlier F-80 and T-33As.
The fire control system was the Hughes E-1, which incorporated an AN/APG-33 radar (derived from the AN/APG-3, which directed the Convair B-36's tail guns) and a Sperry A-1C computing gunsight. This short-range radar system was useful only in the terminal phases of the interception. Most of the operation would be directed using ground-controlled interception, as was the case with the earlier aircraft it replaced.
The added weight of the electronic equipment required a more powerful engine, so the standard J-33 turbojet engine, which had been fitted to the T-33A, was replaced with an afterburning Allison J33-A-33. The combination reduced the internal fuel capacity. The F-94 was to be the first US production jet with an afterburner. The J33-A-33 had standard thrust of 4,000 pounds-force (18 kN), and with water injection this was increased to 5,400 pounds-force (24 kN) and with afterburning a maximum of 6,000 pounds-force (27 kN) thrust. The YF-94A's afterburner had many teething problems with its igniter and the flame stabilization system
The primary user of the F-94 were the squadrons of Air Defense Command (ADC), eventually equipping 26 squadrons of interceptors. The first F-94As were assigned to the 325th Fighter-All Weather Group at McChord AFB and Moses Lake AFB, Washington. It replaced the propeller-driven F-82F Twin Mustangs that were in use by its 317th, 318th and 319th squadrons. The F-82s had been pressed into interceptor service in 1949 after the Soviet Union displayed the Tupolev Tu-4 strategic bomber, a reversed-engineered version of the B-29 Superfortress, some of which had landed and were impounded in the Soviet Far East during World War II.
The F-82Fs proved to be an excellent day/night all-weather interceptor, with long range, but it lacked any logistics support which resulted in a chronic shortage of parts. The jet-powered F-94As, however, had shorter legs than the F-82s and relied more on Ground Control Interception Radar (GCI) sites to vector them to intruding aircraft