|Description (above picture taken 28 July 2010)|
|Length:||63' 1"||19.23 M|
|Height:||19' 8"||5.99 M|
|Wingspan:||34' 11"||10.64 M|
|Gross Weight:||39998.0 lbs||18140.0 Kg|
|Max Weight:||40000.0lbs||18140.0 Kg|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3|
|Range:||2000 miles||3220.00 Km|
|Max Speed:||1254.00 Mph||2019.00 Km/H||1091.35 Kt|
|Ceiling:||50000.0 Ft||15239.0 M|
As Republic Aviation's F-84 "Thunderjet" series of aircraft was reaching the twilight of its operational career, the engineers at Republic were hard at work on a new aircraft design. This aircraft was to be a single engine, fighter bomber. Capable of delivering nuclear weapons from its bomb bay or its five external weapons pylons.
The YF-105A first flew on the 22nd of October, 1955. The YF-105B followed on the 26th of May, 1956. The "B" model became operational two years later in May of 1958. Only 88 "B" model "Thunderchiefs" were built before introduction of the "D" model (another source indicates that only 75 B models were produced). The "C" model, a two seat instructional aircraft, was never introduced into production. The F-105B flew as a fighter-bomber until final type phase out in 1981.
The F-105 Thunderchief was the heaviest US single seat, single engine fighter ever built. The extreme weight earned it the unofficial nickname "Thud" or "The Lead Sled". It was a very durable and rugged aircraft. A full load take off roll was over 8000 feet. Pilots in Vietnam claimed that rocks could be put in the jet air intakes and sand would come out the other end. The F-105 could carry all of the weapons of the US inventory (including nuclear) during the Vietnam War era and its bomb load was greater than that of a World War II B-17. It is no surprise, then, that this aircraft type carried out more attack missions in Vietnam than any other type of aircraft. Of the 137 enemy planes shot down during the war, 29 were shot down by F-105's. The high usage took its toll, however. Out of 833 aircraft built by Fairchild Republic, over 400 were lost in Vietnam air-to-air combat and bombing missions.
The March Field Museum has two F-105's. This is a B model, serial number 57-5803. The main difference between models is internal avionics and weapons capability. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum's F-105B has the following history:
F-105B, s/n 57-5803, was manufactured by Republic Aircraft, Farmingdale NY and delivered to the USAF on 10 Sep 1959. Its assignments were:
Sep 1959 - Retained by manufacturer
Jun 1960 - To Wright Air Development Division (ARDC) Wright-Patterson AFB OH (converted to JF-105B)
Mar 1961 - To Mobile Air Materiel Area AL (to F-105B)
Jul 1962 - To 4th Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), Seymour Johnson AFB NC
Jun 1964 - To Mobile Air Materiel Area AL
Jun 1965 - To 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing (TAC), Nellis AFB NV
Oct 1967 - To 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), McConnell AFB KS
Jun 1970 - To 177th Tactical Fighter Wing (ANG) Atlantic City AP NJ
Nov 1972 - To 945th Military Airlift Group (AFRES), Hill AFB
Jan 1973 - To 508th Tactical Fighter Group (AFRES), Hill AFB UT
Jan 1980 - To 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron (AFRES), Hill AFB UT
Nov 1980 - Dropped from inventory by transfer to museum or school