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This article (or section) refers to content in the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC release of Grand Theft Auto Online that may be absent from other versions.
For a complete list of the features of the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC version of Grand Theft Auto Online, please see here.

One moment you're on the runway slowly inching into position, wondering what all the fuss was about. The next, you're 200 feet in the air and rising, a shrieking human speck on the front end of a blazing rocket trail making straight for the stratosphere. Why are you doing this? How do you get down? What happens if you start crapping out heavy munitions at this speed? Honestly, we're hoping you tell us.
Please note: This aircraft is excluded from Pegasus Lifestyle Management and must be stored in a personal hangar.
Warstock Cache & Carry description.

The LF-22 Starling is a rocket plane featured in Grand Theft Auto Online as part of the Smuggler's Run update.


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The LF-22 Starling is a compact fighter plane closely based on the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, evident by the overall design, the rocket engine mounted in the rear and the propeller on the front that is most likely attached to an emergency generator similar to that used on its inspiration. The cruciform tail setup appears to be similar to that of the Messerschmitt Me 262, but retaining the vertical stabilizer shape of the aforementioned Me 163 (with the rudder mounted over the stabilizer rather than from the rear side). The machine guns positioning appear to be similar to that of the Mitsubishi J8M.

The aircraft is depicted with a relatively small fuselage, wide wingspan and an unusual undercarriage, where the front section features a small four-bladed propeller that works when the aircraft is moving and a cone-shaped nose, as well as a framed canopy that swings forward for access and a single main gear wheel below. The main section consists of the main wings with inner air brakes and outer ailerons, along with small hatches on the underside for the bomb bay. The rear/tail section is rather short and features the corresponding stabilizers, the single rocket turbine exit and the tail landing undercarriage.

The interior features a unique worn instrument panel with black and yellow dials, as well as a targeting sight which can be used in first person, an alternative to the digital targeting reticules present on modern aircraft. Said targeting reticule seems to be brighter during night time.

The primary colour is applied on the upper side of the body and the tail, while the secondary colour is applier on the lower side, lower surfaces of the wings, wing tips, propeller spinner, and the inside of the canopy frames. It uses a set of plain industrial wheels similar to the ones from aircraft such as the Titan, the Savage and the Hydra.

The vehicle is armed with a set of machine guns on the wings. It can be also modified with missile launchers, consisting of three tubes with rockets inside, as well as bombs.

Current Design Gallery


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The Starling's performance is similar to that of a modern-day fighter jet, as opposed to its real-life intention. The plane's small, compact design also makes it very easy to handle, almost too easy - the pitch remains stable, but rolling the plane can sometimes result in overestimating the amount of roll needed to perform a turn, in a similar way to the Howard NX-25's roll and pitch behavior. Speed-wise, the plane is considerably sluggish without its Booster ability, but with correct usage, it can easily be one of the best performing planes in the game.

At 8100 FT/2400 M (maximum altitude) the Starling can glide a distance of approximately 9.5 Mi/16 KM (from Paleto Bay to LSIA and halfway back again landing somewhere in the Zancudo region) with its engines off.

Because of the unusual undercarriage setup, landing the plane is often tricky, as the plane tends to bounce excessively at a steep pitch angle, therefore requiring a flat surface and level the plane carefully. Similarly, the plane is very sensible to uneven terrain; since the undercarriage setup forces the plane to always stay balanced, going onto uneven terrain may result in a variable wobbly behaviour, being susceptible to hit the ground constantly or getting stuck with an obstacle.

The aircraft is powered by a single rocket engine, which produces a somewhat quieter sound compared to most fighter jets (if the booster is not used). The engine start-up sound is also different, being a click sound from an ignition button located on the instrument panel.


The LF-22 Starling sports a rocket booster on the rear, which can be used for both take-offs and cruising flight. The rocket booster provides a huge amount of acceleration, surpassing even the Hydra, Besra and P-996 LAZER. It is important to note that the rocket functionality is limited and must be recharged. However, unlike regular JATO boosters found on other planes, it can recharge in mid air after some time, although it will recharge quicker while on ground. Its recharge time while in mid-air is relative to the plane's speed, meaning if the player somehow loses speed considerably, the booster will recharge quicker to counter this issue.

The stock rocket booster can propel the plane for 20 seconds if used continuously, while the Rocket Boost Upgrade gives an extra 5 seconds. Considering the plane relies mostly on the booster for mobility, this can make a small difference in the event of a dogfight, as the speed granted allows the aircraft to outpace homing missiles or quickly escape to a grounded player's blind spot above them. Similarly, deactivating the booster may slow down the plane considerably, allowing for tighter turns to keep aiming the target aircraft easily, while most aircraft struggle to aim at the Starling by performing wide turns.

One should note that the booster won't recharge if the engine is turned off, nor being able to be used. This can be an issue if the plane gets damaged, to the point the engine will shut off.


In terms of defensive capabilities, the plane is well equipped. Just like all of the airplanes with upgradeable armor, it can survive quite a bit of damage before being destroyed. The aircraft can survive direct hit from two explosives and will be destroyed from a third hit. It can also withstand up to five explosive rounds from the Heavy Sniper Mk II and eighteen shots from the Heavy Sniper.


The vehicle can be fitted with countermeasures to improve its defensive capabilities against homing missiles, each one with their own attributes:

  • The Chaff countermeasure disrupts the targeting system from missile launchers, rendering them unable to lock on the aircraft for five seconds. They have a delay of five seconds before being used again and only have 10 uses.
  • The Flare countermeasure drops various flares from around the rear of the aircraft, which can "disorient" the homing missile in order to avoid chasing the aircraft. They have a delay of three seconds before being used again and only have 20 uses.
  • The Smoke countermeasure creates a trail of smoke that can disorient the enemy pilot, but its effectiveness is very limited, as the trail is large enough for a standard cockpit and the enemy pilot would just need to move away and follow the smoke trail. It has no delay between uses and can be used indefinitely.


  • Machine Gun: The plane is equipped with two built-in machine guns found on either wing, which provide defense against enemies in flight. These weapons can fire to up to 675 feet and a relatively low rate-of-fire. Despite these weapon's high per-shot-damage, they are difficult to use against grounded foes.
  • Missiles: By default, the aircraft lacks missile launchers, but can be added via customization. These missiles can be fired without delay, lacking the "reload" cooldown of the Hydra or LAZER. The pilot can select to fire in either "homing" or "homing-off" mode. The tracking of the missiles are poor, like most aircraft, often unable to turn to hit even stationary targets.
  • The vehicle has the option for installing bombs, providing heavy firepower against ground targets. There are four different Bomb choices: Explosive, Incendiary, Gas and Cluster;
    • The Explosive option has high damage over targets from all ranges, meaning any target caught in the "edges" of the blast radius receive the same damage as in the "center".
    • The Incendiary option creates a trail of fire similar to the Molotov Cocktail, burning the targets for a constant damage. Although the bombs are powerful at the center, it causes less damage on the "edges".
    • The Gas option causes a noxious effect on players and NPCs on impact, similar to the Tear Gas. It has a slightly larger blast radius than the standard bomb, but is unable to damage vehicles. The gas lasts for around 25 seconds.
    • The Cluster option creates a smaller explosion than the standard one on impact, but small clusters spread within its radius, allowing for greater damage over a single armored target.

GTA Online Overview

Aircraft Statistics - Grand Theft Auto Online
Take-Off Speed
(0-60 knots in Seconds)
Top Speed
(mph / kmh / knots)
Vertical Climb/ Descent Rate
Engine Type Engine Location Mass
(kg / lbs)
Fuel Tank
Size (litres)
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2000 / 4409 N/A
Website Statements [?]
Observed / First-Person Airspeed Indicator (Enhanced version)
N/A N/A N/A Single rocket engine Mid-Rear Cannot be observed Cannot be observed
Rockstar Games Social Club


Grand Theft Auto Online

Category Modification Cost Image
Armor No Armor $1,000
Armor Upgrade 20% $7,500
Armor Upgrade 40% $12,000
Armor Upgrade 60% $20,000
Armor Upgrade 80% $35,000
Armor Upgrade 100% $50,000
Countermeasures None $700
Chaff (10) $70,000
Flare (20) $110,000
  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Red
  • Pink
  • Cyan
Bombs (50) None $700
Explosive $75,000
Incendiary $85,000
Gas $95,000
Cluster $120,000
Handling Stock Handling $1,000
Smooth Handling $20,000
Sport Handling $27,000
Race Handling $35,000
Livery None $11,400
Winter Spray $18,240
Stars 'n Stripes $19,380
Dazzler $20,520
Falcon I $21,660
Falcon II $22,800
Air Force Display $23,370
Redwood Racer $23,939
Sprunk Xtreme $24,510
Stargazer $25,080
Mr. Unicorn $25,650
Respray Main article: Los Santos Customs/Respray Colors -
Weapons Stock Weapon $700
Homing Missiles $195,000
Sell Sell Vehicle
Thrust None $700
Rocket Boost Upgrade? $200,000
? Increased fuel capacity for extended use of the rocket boost.

The tail marking on the aircraft changes when applying different liveries:

Livery Marking
Default N/A
Winter Spray VF-11A
Stars 'n Stripes N/A
Dazzler SR-27
Falcon I VF-10A
Falcon II VF-15
Air Force Display VF-1A
Redwood Racer N/A
Sprunk Xtreme N/A
Stargazer N/A
Mr. Unicorn N/A

Image Gallery

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Prominent Appearances in Missions

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  • Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds commonly found in Europe and several other continents, referencing the plane's compact design and German origins.
  • Under the designation system of USAF, the designation "LF" could possibly stand for "Fighter (F) Equipped for Cold Weather Operations (L)", though this is inaccurate, as neither inspirations are tasked for such purpose and "L" can simply mean "Light", resulting in the designation "Light Fighter".
    • However, the designation "VF" from the liveries may be more accurate, as it stands for "Vertical/Short take-off (V) Fighter (F)", which the Starling is capable of, especially with the rocket booster.

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  • When applying a livery, a registration code appears on either side of the rear, which, as with other aircraft of the same update, will vary with each livery set. However, if the "Falcon I" livery is applied, the registration "VF-10A" is used, but on the right side, the "A" is cut, as it is set behind the right wing root.
  • Turning off the engine while the booster is active will stop emitting the booster flame, but the plane will still keep the speed for the duration of the booster's functionality. The yellow "Special Ability" bar below the Radar won't show the booster actually being depleted, but once the engine is turned on again, it displays the empty bar correctly. Note that doing this won't allow the player to deactivate the booster, so one must turn the engine on to do so.

See Also


  1. Blips-GTAO-LF22Starling.png Seen when parked or when another player is flying an LF-22 Starling.