Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
This aircraft was developed as a swept wing version of the Thunderjet. The reason was that the results were published of German research regarding swept wings and to bring the straight winged Thunderjet to the level of the F-86 Sabre, which was also equipped with swept wings. Expected was that the performance of the new model would be improved.
Initially the new aircraft was designated XF-96 and it used over 60% exiting parts of the F-84E Thunderjet to safe money. The last built F-84E Thunderjet, 49-2430, was used for this conversion. The fuselage of the XF-96A was in fact the same as the fuselage of the F-84E including the canopy and the air brakes. The tail was revised and a new designed wing was added. The engine was an Allison J35-A-25 rated 2359 kg thrust. June 3, 1950 the new aircraft made is maiden flight. The test flights showed a little improvement of the performance and further development was slowed down.
Thanks to the outbreak of the Korean war more money was available for the further development and in July 1950 an order for the delivery of the F-96A, it received on August 9, 1950 a new designation XF-84F Thunderstreak. To improve the performance a greater heights the better Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire turbojet rated 3266 kg thrust was used to replace the Allison J35 used in the prototype. The Sapphire was built under license by Curtiss-Wright as J-65.
Because this engine was considerably longer, the rear part of the fuselage had to be redesigned and also the air intake was revised. The prototype XF-84F, 49-2430 made its maiden flight on February 14, 1951.
The second pre-production aircraft ,51-1344, was built in 1951; the third, 51-1345, had two intakes in the wing root. This configuration suffered pressure losses and was not further developed. Later this configuration was used for the photo reconnaissance model, the Thunderflash. During production of the first series another problem occurred. The original designed wing was equipped with large wing spars, that could be produced by only one type, heavy hydraulic press. The only press available was Boeing property and it was used at that time for the production of parts of the Boeing B-47 bomber. This press was for technical reasons unavailable for some time and also the production of the J-65 engine was delayed.
It was decided to re-design the wing construction, so the production of the Thunderstreak was delayed and the USAF ordered another version of the Thunderjet, the F-84G. This model of the Thunderjet was produced in the largest numbers, over 3000 examples.
- was first released at the end of 1952. RE stands for Republic. General Motors, Kansas City produced also a number of Thunderstreak, which received the addiction GK.
Ten examples were built of model 1. These were equipped with a Wright J65-W-1 engine, rated 3266 kg thrust. An important difference with the prototypes was the canopy. This original sliding canopy was replaced with a upward swinging canopy. This canopy was easier to install, stronger and had a better sealing. Also the single air brake was replaced with two flaps, one on each side of the fuselage. Also wing slats were added to the wings
- built from second half of 1953, was equipped with the stronger Wright J65-W-3 or the equivalent Buick built J65-B-3 rated 3325 kg thrust.
- The first examample, wit Fiscal year no. 51-1621 was released at the end of 1953 and was equipped with a so called flying tail. previous models tended to pitch up at high speed in such a way there might be risk the wings might break, so limits were ordered
- was released from March 1955 and on. This model was equipped with the more powerful Wright J65-W-7 (or Buick J65-B-7), rated 3538 kg thrust. The ordered limits blocked further improvement at low level. The extra thrust caused better climbing performance and a higher operational level.
- The last version to be built. A brake chute was introduced. This chute was added later to earlier produced models.
The 2112th and last built Thunderstreak was delivered in August 1957. General Motors had produced another 599 examples. Over 1300 Thunderstreaks were delivered to NATO partners, such as the Netherlands, which had six squadrons equipped with the Thunderstreak.
|Max. start weight:
|One Wright J65-W-3 rated 3538 kg thrust
|Six .50 inch machine guns. Bombs, also an atomic bomb could be carried