Republic F-105D Thunderchief
I'd Rather Be Flying From Hangar 18
in the...
Republic F-105D Thunderchief
(Featuring some of the Ol'Kunnel's favorite airplanes!)

IIn 1951, Republic Aviation began a project to develop a supersonic tactical fighter-bomber to replace the F-84F. The result was the F-105 "Thunderchief," later affectionately nicknamed the "Thud." The prototype YF-105A first flew on October 22, 1955 but the first F-105D did not fly until June 9, 1959. F-105s were produced in the single-seat -B and -D series, and in the two seat F-105F model. Later, some -Fs were modified to become F-105Gs. A total of 833 Thunderchiefs of all types were built, including 610 F-105Ds.

The F-105D could carry over 12,000 pounds of ordnance, a heavier bomb load than a World War II
B-17. Up to 8,000 pounds could be carried internally in the bomb bay. The F-105D was used extensively in the Vietnam War. It flew 75 percent of the air strikes against North Vietnam during its first four years. The last F-105D was withdrawn from USAF service on July 12, 1980.

The aircraft on display is painted and marked as it was with the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Takhli Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand. The nickname Memphis Belle II refers to the B-17F that carried the same artwork during World War II.

Retired Col. Robert Morgan, pilot of the famed World War II b-17 "Memphis Belle," died in Asheville, North Carolina, at the age of 85. Morgan successfully piloted his B-17 through 25 dangerous daytime bombing runs against Nazi Germany.

"Memphis Belle" was the first Army Air Forces bomber to complete 25 mission, and its crew returned to the United States in 1943 for promotional purposes.

Later in the war, Morgan returned to combat as a B-29 pilot against Japan. Morgan's first combat mission in the Pacific Theater was also the first B-29 attack directed against Tokyo.

-- Air Force Magazine, July 2004
12:28 8/25/2004

The two red stars under the cockpit represent the two MiG kills it claimed during the Vietnam War. It arrived at the Museum in April 1990.

Span: 34 ft. 11 in.
Length: 64 ft. 5 in.
Height: 19 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 52,838 lbs. max.
Armament: One M61 Vulcan 20mm cannon and more than 12,000 lbs. of ordnance
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W of 24,500 lbs thrust with afterburner
Cost: $2,136,668

Maximum speed: 1,390 mph.
Cruising speed: 778 mph.
Range: 2206 miles
Service Ceiling: 51,000 ft.
Aircraft Locator For The Republic F-105D Thunderchief
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