Republic F-105D-10-RE of the 457th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 506th Tactical Fighter Group, Carswell Air Force Base in October 1972. This F-105D is a Thunderstick II conversion, which is easily distinguished from the standard -D model by the backbone electronics bay fairing from the cockpit to the vertical stabilizer. Thunderstick II allowed the aircraft to deliver ordnance under most flight conditions (speed, altitude and attitude) by automating weapons delivery and piloting. (U.S. Air Force photo)
In 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 Oct. 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 Southeast Asia 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 The last F-105D was withdrawn from USAF service on July 12, 1980.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 National Museum of the United States Air Force has an F-105D and an F-105G on display.
10 pre-production and 65 production aircraft
Initially RF version
Two-seat trainer; canceled
Improved B; all-weather strike fighter
Two-seat D model; canceled
Wild Weasel converted F model
TECHNICAL NOTES: 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 static thrust with afterburner and 26,400 lbs. static thrust with water injection Maximum speed: 1,390 mph Cruising speed: 778 mph Range: 2206 miles Service ceiling: 51,000 ft. h full bomb load) Span: 34 ft. 11 in. Length: 64 ft. 5 in. Height: 19 ft. 8 in. Weight: 52,838 lbs. maximum Crew: One