F-84F Thunderstreak

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Manufacturer: Republic
Designation: F-84
Version: F
Nickname: Thunderstreak
Type: Fighter
Crew: Pilot
First Flew: 1951
Specifications
Length: 43'   
Height: 14' 5"  
Wingspan: 33'  
Armament: six 12.7mm Brownie machine guns, 600 lbs of bombs & external rockets   
Payload: 1620 lbs  
Propulsion
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: 32-12Wright/Buick J65-3 turbojet
Thrust 7200  
Performance
Range: 699 miles  
Max Speed: 695 mph    
Ceiling: 46,000  

 

The swept-wing single-seat Republic F-84F "Thunderstreak" was a modification of the straight-wing F-84 "Thunderjet" series of post-war sub-sonic United States Air Force jet fighters. Armed with six 50-caliber M-3 aircraft machineguns, 24 5-inch rockets and 6,000 pounds of bombs the Thunderstreak was designed as a fighter-bomber capable of attacking ground targets and intercepting high-altitude Soviet Bombers. The first production F-84F flew on November 22, 1952. Almost immediately, control and stability problems

surfaced. The first production runs were equipped with conventional stabilizer-elevator tail-planes, which caused an accelerated stall pitch-up problem and degraded maneuverability at combat speeds. By May of 1954, the introduction of a hydraulically powered one-piece stabilizer and side-mounted spoilers improved performance and corrected the high-speed control problems.

 

Notable as one of the first aircraft to be utilized by the USAF Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Team the F-84F only saw limited usage (mostly by NATO Allies) in its intended combat role. Throughout its service life, maintenance difficulties from control-rod corrosion to a disturbing tendency for the J65 engine to flameout when flying through heavy snow or rainstorms continued to plague the aircraft. Replaced by the F-4 Phantom in 1964, the remaining F-84F's were re-assigned to Air National Guard units until their complete withdrawal from service in 1971.

 

Operationally, the F-84F made its most significant contribution to history when two West German Air Force F-84F's wandered into communist controlled East German airspace in September 1961, one month after the construction of the Berlin Wall. A quick-thinking USAF Radar Controller at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport ordered the F-84F's to divert directly to West Berlin allowing the Thunderstreaks to evade pursuing Soviet MiG Fighters thereby avoiding an armed confrontation.

 

The museum's F-84F, s/n 51-9432 was manufactured by General Motors, Kansas City, Kansas and delivered to the USAF on October 25, 1954. Restored by museum volunteers, our F-84F wears the livery of a Wing Commander from its first active duty assignment with the 12th Strategic Fighter Wing, Strategic Air Command, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. This aircraft is on loan from the NMUSAF


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