Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Republic F-84 Thunderstreak

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter

United States | 1954

"The Republic F-84 Thunderstreak was an advanced swept-wing development of the earlier, straight-winged F-84 Thunderjet."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/24/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The original F-84 "Thunderjet" originated as a straight-winged jet-powered fighter form in 1947. However, the design, with roots in a wartime (World War 2) United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) requirement of 1944, went through a prolonged period of development, not seeing a first-flight until the war was over in 1946 and only entering service in the viable D-model form in 1949. The type was plagued by engine issues and production delays which nearly derailed this classic American entry from ever seeing service. Like the Grumman F9F "Cougar" jet fighter, the Thunderjet was another American jet-powered straight-winged aircraft to have been evolved into swept-back winged forms - this became the definitive F-84F "Thunderstreak" which, while derived from the original F-84 family line, was essentially an all-new aircraft for what eventually became the United States Air Force (USAF).

Origins of the Thunderstreak lay in work conducted during 1949 around proposal "AP-23M" which sought to develop a high performance jet-powered fighter based on the existing framework of the F-84E Thunderjet. E-models carried the Allison J35-A-17D turbojet engine and supported Rocket-Assisted Take-Off (RATO) cannisters for increased take-off performance while inboard external fuel tanks were carried for improved operational ranges. Beyond this, the airframe was lengthened by over a foot for more internal fuel as well as general streamlining of the fuselage. From this standard was generated some 843 production examples.

With the E-model as a starting point, engineers looked to advanced the design to produce a better high-speed fighter. This involved a complete reworking of the tail surfaces as well as implementation of a new swept-back wing mainplane (given 40-degrees sweepback). Very little, if any, commonality was eventually had with the earlier F-84s and a little more than half of the existing Republic Aviation production equipment could be reused.

With its Allison J35-A-25 turbojet engine of 5,300lb thrust output, the prototype "YF-96A" flew for the first time on June 3rd, 1950 - built from an F-84G (51-1345) production model. The designation was then updated to become "YF-84F" joined by the name "Thunderstreak" before the end of the year. Two more aircraft were then added to the program with the first carrying the dimensionally-larger British-originated Armstrong Siddeley "Sapphire" turbojet engine. Due to its size, the fuselage was modified to accept the Sapphire and a deeper air intake at the nose was introduced. In this guise, the aircraft flew for the first time on February 14th, 1951.

The second of the two went down a much more drastic development road, having a complete assembly added over the nose intake and the intake now split into twin triangular-shaped openings at either wing root. In this form, the aircraft's thrust output tested poorly and was ultimately rejected by USAF authorities as a frontline fighter. However, it was revisited as the YF-84F/YRF-84F to become a dedicated tactical reconnaissance aircraft (the nose section housing camera equipment). In service, this aircraft became the RF-84F "Thunderflash" (detailed elsewhere on this site).

The British Sapphire engine was then adopted for local licensed production as the "Wright J65" and its developmental form, the YJ65-W-1 engine of 7,220lb thrust, assisted its prototype airframe during a first-flight recorded on November 22nd, 1952.

All of this then led to the formal adoption of the "F-84" as the "Thunderstreak" in USAF service and this was followed by 3,482 total units (with General Motors chipping in 237 units of this total). The aircraft was nicknamed as "Super Hog" due to the earlier F-84A being named "Hog". The initial 275 F-model aircraft were equipped with the J65-W-1 turbojet engine and then followed 100 more F-models with the J65-W-1A series powerplant. The J65-W-3 then followed both into production.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
Standard armament for the fighter became the American staple of 6 x 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) Browning M3 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) and all were installed at the upper nose section. In addition to this, the little fighter could carry upwards of 6,000lb of ordnance, mainly in the form of mainly rockets and conventional drop bombs under the wings. Fuel tanks could be affixed at each wing root for increased operational ranges as needed.

The first F-84F Thunderstreak was taken into American service on December 3rd, 1952 but, like other Thunderjet / Thunderstreaks before them, the type suffered from several issues including handling. An "all-moving" tail was introduced to help with controlling and items like this are what delayed the formal introduction of the F-models until 1954.

As built, the F-84F held a single crewman under a lightly framed canopy aft of the nose intake. Overall length of the airframe reached 43.4 feet with a wingspan of 33.7 feet and a height of 14.4 feet. Empty weight was near-14,000lb against an MTOW of 28,000lb. Maximum speed was 695 miles-per-hour with a range out to 810 miles (twin drop tanks fitted), a service ceiling of 46,000 feet (requiring cockpit pressurization), and a rate-of-climb equal to 8,200 feet-per-minute.

Beyond its major global operator being the USAF, the primary recipient of the new jet-powered fighter became many of America's NATO allies in Europe. This included the Belgian, West German, and Netherlands air forces which began receiving the type as soon as the early part of 1955 (about 852 of the total Thunderstreak production lot found their way to NATO forces in Europe). The final Thunderstreak was delivered during August of 1957. After their usefulness had expired, ex-West German F-84s were sold off to allies Greece and Turkey while the USAF sent their own expiring stock to recipients in Europe and, more locally, to the Air National Guard (ANG). The latter received their Thunderstreaks beginning in July of 1964 and operated them into November of 1971.

Beyond this, the F-84F line produced a pair of XF-84H prototypes fitted with Allison XT40-A-1 turboprop engines and tested under the name of "Thunderscreech" - though these prototypes were not advanced. The YF-84J mark, of which two were built to the standard, were given enlarged nose intakes for better airflow to their General Electric J73 turbojet engine. Flown to a speed of Mach 1.09 on April 7th, 1954, this F-84F potential production standard aircraft was also not advanced.

Beyond the stated operators of the Thunderstreak line, customers also included Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, and Taiwan. Italy flew their Thunderstreaks into 1974. A number of the aircraft remain preserved all over the world at various indoor and outdoor displays - with most survivors located in the United States.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter.
1 x Wright J65-W-3 turbojet engine developing 7,220lb of thrust.
696 mph
1,120 kph | 605 kts
Max Speed
45,932 ft
14,000 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
811 miles
1,305 km | 705 nm
Operational Range
8,200 ft/min
2,499 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter.
43.4 ft
13.23 m
O/A Length
33.6 ft
(10.25 m)
O/A Width
14.4 ft
(4.40 m)
O/A Height
11,464 lb
(5,200 kg)
Empty Weight
27,999 lb
(12,700 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter .
6 x 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) Browning M3 air-cooled machine guns in upper nose section.

Up to 6,000lb of externally-held stores including conventional drop bombs, aerial rockets, and 1 x Mark 7 nuclear bomb.
Notable series variants as part of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak family line.
F-84 "Thunderstreak" - Base Series Designation.
YF-84F - Prototype aircraft; three completed (third with wing-root-mounted intakes, becoming the YRF-84 reconnaissance form.
F-84F - Definitive F-model production form; 2,711 examples completed.
GRF-84F - RF-84F reconnaissance models converted for the FICON parasite fighter / mothership program role; becoming RF-84K.
RF-84F "Thunderflash" - Dedicated reconnaissance variant with camera-equipped nose section and wing root intakes.
RF-84K FICON - Redesignation of GRF-84F models.
XF-84H "Thunderscreech" - F-models used as experimental platforms; Allison XT40-A-1 turboprop engine of 5,850 horsepower fitted; two examples converted.
YF-84J - F-model aircraft as prototypes; fitted with General Electric J73 turbojet engine; larger nose intake; two examples modified.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 3,428 Units

Contractor(s): Republic Aviation - USA
National flag of Belgium National flag of Denmark National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Greece National flag of Italy National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Norway National flag of Taiwan National flag of Turkey

[ Belgium; Denmark; France; West Germany; Greece; Italy; Netherlands; Norway; Taiwan; Turkey; Untied States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (696mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
4 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
5 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
6 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
7 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
8 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
9 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
10 / 10
Image of the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Republic F-84 Thunderstreak Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter.
Going Further...
The Republic F-84 Thunderstreak Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)