(Fairchild Republic) The first of the modern jets to be designed specifically for photo-reconnaissance, the Thunderflash was the first reconnaissance airplane equipped with a combination of standard aerial cameras and dicing camera for close-up photos of individual targets. It was also the first fighter-type aircraft to be equipped with the Tri-Metrogon camera which could take horizon-to-horizon pictures. Unlike the Thunderstreak, the Thunderflash had its air-intake ducts located in the wing roots rather than the nose, which was elongated and enclosed to permit installation of a sweeping variety of camera and electronic equipment. It was the first reconnaissance fighter to have a camera control system and a viewfinder for the pilot, who also acted as the cameraman. The aircraft was first tested in February 1952, and 715 of the aircraft were produced.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns mounted in the wings Engine: Wright "Sapphire" J-65-W-7 of 7,800 lbs. thrust Maximum speed: 629 mph Cruising speed: 542 mph Range: 2,000 miles Service ceiling: 39,390 ft. Span: 33 ft. 6 in. Length: 47 ft. 6 in. Height: 15 ft. 0 in. Weight: 25,390 lbs. maximum takeoff Crew: One