the late 1970 the German navy decided to establish a two-ship flight
demonstration team to display the navy's primary weaponsystem F-104G
Starfighter and it's outstanding abilities.
The Jagel based MFG 1 was first to attend airshows, while MFG 2
followed soon after. Both air wing's displays cheered the crowds
with their stunning displays home and abroad.
air demonstration came to a sudden end, when Kapitänleutnant
Manfred Stürmer of MFG 1 crashed on approach to Yeovilton/GB
on 03. august 1979.
took almost four years before a new Starfighter duo was established
on the occasion of the Eggebeck Airshow in 1983. As MFG 1 was already
converting to the Panavia Tornado, the honors belonged to the Eggebeck
based MFG 2 to created the "Vikings". The new team consisted of
Korvettenkapitän Ingomar Suhr (lead), Kapitänleutnant
Manfred Schulze (number two) and Korvettenkapitän Lothar Martin
(spare pilot). Suhr and Martin had already been part of the previous
display teams of MFG 2 before 1979.
on the fatal accidents of other F-104 teams, the "Vikings" decided
to display a series of tactical manoeuvres, which primarily consisted
of horizontal movements. A lesson learned from previous fatal accidents
of other F-104 display teams. The first shows lasted a mere 8 minutes,
but the length was increased to 12 minutes over the next few years.
The great success of the early shows and the accident of the Canadian
Star-Fighters, meant the "Vikings" had to perform far more
displays than the originally planed 5 per year. The "Vikings" appearance
was so in demand by airshow organizers that the team's cadre
had to extended, so two seperate formations emerged.
This enabled the "Vikings" to divide airshows amongst them or perform
at two seperate events simultaneously. Other teammembers were: Kapitänleutnatnts
Siegfried Schmidt, Hagen Haar and Axel Ostermann, Lieutenant Robert
E. Hummel (an US Navy exchange pilot) and Oberleutnants zur See
Dietrich König and Benno Ganster.
of the climaxes in the teams history sure is their farewell-tour
to North Amerika in august 1986. Four Starfighters crossed the atlantic
to perform in several US and Canadian airshows and entertained well
over half a million spectators.
it's existance was pretty short in regards of time - the figures
are quite amazing:
Between their maiden show on 14. august 1983 and the final display
on 27. september 1986 (the events took place at open houses at Eggebeck,
the "Vikings" homebase, and Neuburg/Donau, home of the JG 74 "Mölders")
some 6 million spectators were able to enjoy more than 60 displays
worldwide. Of these display the final five were flown with a colorful
paintsheme, symbolizing the colors of Schleswig-Holstein.
the F-104G Starfighter was put out of operational service with the
German Navy, not only the aircraft, but the "Vikings" as well disappeared
from the skies.