Republic F-84E “Thunderjet”
The Republic F-84 “Thunderjet” was the second widely produced turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft for the US Air Force. The F-84 first flew in 1946 and entered service in 1947. The F-84 was not considered fully operational until the 1949 with F-84D production and the design matured with the F-84E and then G introduced entering service in 1951. The “Thunderjet” became the Air Force’s primary strike aircraft during the Korean War, flying 86,408 missions and destroying 60% of all ground targets in the war as well as eight Soviet-built MiG fighters. Over half of the 7,524 F-84s produced served with NATO nations, and it was the first aircraft to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. The USAF Strategic Air Command had F-84 “Thunderjet” in service from 1948 through 1957.
- The F-84 was the first aircraft flown by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which operated F-84G Thunderjets from 1953 to 1955 and F-84F Thunderstreaks from 1955 to 1956. The F-84E was also flown by the Skyblazers team of United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) from 1950 to 1955.
- On 7 September 1946, the second XP-84 prototype set a national speed record of 607.2 mph), a bit slower than the world record 612.2 mph) held by the British Gloster Meteor.
- On 22 September 1950, two EF-84Es, flown by David C. Schilling and Col. William Ritchie, flew across the North Atlantic from Great Britain to the United States. Ritchie’s aircraft ran out of fuel over Newfoundland but the other successfully made the crossing which took 10 hours 2 minutes and three aerial refuelings. The flight demonstrated that large numbers of fighters could be rapidly moved across the Atlantic.
- F-84G was the first fighter with built-in aerial refueling capability and the first single-seat aircraft capable of carrying a nuclear bomb.
- On 20 August 1953, 17 F-84Gs utilizing aerial refueling flew from the United States to the United Kingdom. The 4,485-mile journey was the longest nonstop flight by jet fighters at the time.
- In 1955, an F-84G became the first aircraft to be Zero length launched from a trailer.
About Our Republic F-84E “Thunderjet”:
The American Airpower Museum Republic F-84E “Thunderjet” is a static aircraft on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.