New F-104 restoration project discovered

On October 22nd I visited Grazzanise to fly with the AB.212ICOs of the locally based 21st Gruppo. I spotted in the former 10th Gruppo apron a new F-104 that is being restored in the 22nd Gruppo markings. Here are the pictures of the aircraft wearing serial MM6507 and code 51-01 (the first image was taken from the helicopter’s window) and a general view of the F-104 boneyard with some of the remaining airframes.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. It’s great seeing a F-104 being restored and it looks like this project was a complete success–what a good looking bird! Congradulations to all who worked on this project and from the bone yard pic it looks like more zippers could come back to life.

    Major Tony Zilinsky, USAF,Ret.

  2. I do agree. Even if no F-104G ever flew with the 22nd Gruppo (that received directly the F-104S), I think it is good to see a Starfighter with the beautiful 51st Stormo markings.


  3. Signore Cenciotti,

    Ero un pilota del Armée de l’Air francese e mi suono sempre interezzato al F-104.
    Vorrei sapere se sarrebbe possibile, ancora, di procedere alla ristorazione, fino alla capcità di volare (!) un F-104 nella verzione S.
    Se avete qualque consiglio da suggerirmi, ve ne ringrazion molto.

    Philippe Courty

  4. Ciao David,
    girando su Facebook (proprio in un gruppo dedicato allo spillone) ho trovato il post di un tipo che aveva avuto la conferma da fonti certe e di alto rango che a pratica di mare c’è almeno un 104 che sarebbe in condizioni di volare….
    Tu ne sai qualcosa??
    Cordiali saluti
    Giovanni =)

    • Ciao Giovanni, è probabile, visto che al momento in cui furono messi a terra tutti i velivoli residui in carico all’RSV, i velivoli ancora efficienti a Pratica erano 4. Quindi è possibile, anzi probabile, che ci sia almeno un 104 in condizioni di volare. A presto David

  5. In 2010 I saw a F-104G MM6507 in the Aviation Museum near Tartu, Estonia. Is it this one? The museum was founded in December 1999, the first aircraft were displayed outside in 2002.

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