Republic F-105 Thunderchief Single-Seat Fighter-Bomber / Reconnaissance / Wild Weasel
The large Republic F-105 Thunderchief was the most technologically advanced aircraft of its type when introduced in the late-1950s.
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The F-105 Thunderchief was a Cold War product of the Republic Aviation Corporation and became the company's last production aircraft before its merger with Fairchild. The platform was developed as a successor to the F-84 series (also a Republic product) and carried on the former's nuclear munitions capability. The F-105 featured an impressive internal weapons bay along with external hardpoints and played a pivotal role in the Vietnam War, operating as both strike fighter and air defense suppression platform ("Wild Weasel").
Origins of the Thunderchief series lay in a 1951 Republic private venture initiative to replace existing Republic F-84F Thunderstreak/Thunderjet aircraft in the high-performance, supersonic tactical fighter-bomber role. In fact, design of the Thunderchief was already under way before the F-84 was even in service with the United States Air Force. Thunderchief The design was brought to the USAF and quickly made an impression thanks to its multi-role capabilities coupled with impressive performance potential. The prototype YF-105A was made ready and saw her first flight on October 22nd, 1955, featuring a massive airframe wrapped around an equally powerful Pratt & Whitney J57-P-25 turbojet engine of 15,000lb thrust. Only two of these prototypes were eventually built but quickly became the largest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in aviation history . These prototypes were followed by four YF-105B models fitted with newer J75-P-3 engines of 16,470lb thrust and forward-swept engine inlets at the wing roots.