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  • 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.

     Updated: 6/18/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    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").

    Development
    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.


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    Republic F-105D Thunderchief Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1958
    Type: Single-Seat Fighter-Bomber / Reconnaissance / Wild Weasel
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Republic Aviation Corporation - USA
    Production Total: 833



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 64.24 feet (19.58 meters)
    Width: 34.94 feet (10.65 meters)
    Height: 19.59 feet (5.97 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 27,500 lb (12,474 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 52,838 lb (23,967 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 1 x Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W turbojet engine developing 24,500 lb of thrust with afterburning capability.

    Maximum Speed: 1,390 mph (2,237 kph; 1,208 knots)
    Maximum Range: 920 miles (1,480 km)
    Service Ceiling: 41,207 feet (12,560 meters; 7.80 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 34,400 feet-per-minute (10,485 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    STANDARD:
    1 x M61 20mm internal cannon

    OPTIONAL:
    Internal bomb load capacity of up to 8,000lbs (3,629 kg) with an overall capacity of 12,000lbs (5,442 kg) of munitions (with the inclusion of the four external underwing hardpoints).

    Mission-specific armament could include AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, mine dispensers, air-to-surface missiles, anti-radiation air-to-surface missiles, 2.75" rocket pods, 450-gallon fuel tanks, nuclear-tipped weapons, conventional iron bombs, chaff and flare dispensers and electronics equipment.

    Global Operators / Customers


    United States

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    YF-105A - Initial prototypes of which two produced; Pratt & Whitney J57-P-25 turbojet of 15,000lb thrust.

    YF-105B - Second prototype of which four produced; J75-P-3 powerplant of 16,470lb thrust; becoming F-105B production models.

    F-105B - First production rate model based on YF-105B prototypes; 75 examples produced as 10 pre-production and 65 production airframes.

    RF-105B - Intended F-105B-based photographic reconnaissance models; cancelled after three produced; these designated as JF-105B.

    JF-105B - Redesignation of three completed RF-105B reconnaissance models.

    F-105C - Planned Two-Seat Trainer; cancelled.

    F-105D - Definitive All-Weather Attack Variant; 610 examples produced.

    F-105E - Intended Two-Seat Models based on F-105D all-weather platform; cancelled with no production examples.

    F-105F - Final production designation; Two-seat dual-role trainer/fighter-bomber model; 1 x J75-P-19W engine of 24,500lb thrust; 143 examples produced.

    EF-105F - Initial Designation for Wild Weasel conversion; fitted with special radar detection equipment and anti-radar air-to-surface missiles; later becoming F-105G models; 55 examples converted.

    F-105G - Later designation of same EF-105F Wild Weasel Variant; 1 x J75-P-19W engine of 26,500lb thrust.