Pratt & Whitney
1 x 26,500 lbs.
1- 20 mm
The F-105 Thunderchief, produced by Republic, is the largest single seat, single jet engine aircraft and the first supersonic tactical fighter. The aircraft first flew in 1955.
The F-105 Thunderchief project was conceived in 1951 as a tactical fighter/bomber. It was produced in single and two seat versions. The model B was the single seat initial production model. The model D was the most produced single seat production model with some 600 aircraft produced.
The F-105 Thunderchief two seat model was designated model F. It kept the same wingspan, but the front of the aircraft was lengthened by some three feet to accommodate an Electronic Warfare Officer in the rear seat. Some 143 model F aircraft were produced.
The F-105 Thunderchief model G was the two seat “wild weasel” version with an improved radar, armed with anti-radiation missiles that homed in on the enemy radar signal. The aircraft were used against surface to air missile sites. Some 200 of the model G version were built.
In Vietnam, beginning in January of 1965, the F-105 Thunderchief was the primary attack fighter of the USAF. It flew 75 percent of all air strikes against North Vietnam in the first four years it was used during the war.
The F-105 Thunderchief was not built for dogfighting. It was built to deliver a large amount of ordnance while flying at high speeds at low levels. However, the aircraft did achieved some success in air-to-air combat. F-105 Thunderchief aircraft downed some 25 enemy fighters during the Vietnam War, while losing 17 of the own in air-to-air combat.
The F-105 could hold 7,656 lbs. of fuel within its fuselage. An additional 7,260 lbs. of fuel could be carried in tanks suspended beneath the wings and fuselage.
When not carrying a bomb internally, the Thunderchief could carry an additional 2,574 lbs of fuel in the space the bomb would occupy.
On December 11, 1959, an F-105 Thunderchief set a closed course speed record over 100 km of 1,216.48 mph.
F-105 Thunderchief aircraft flew for the U.S.A.F. until they were retired in July of 1980. A total of 833 of all types were produced.