The F-105, nicknamed the "Thud," evolved from a 1951 project by to replace the F-84F fighter-bomber. The prototype first flew in October 1955, and Republic delivered the first production aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in 1958. Republic also developed a fully combat-capable two-seat trainer version, the F-105F, and 143 of them in 1963-1964.
The Thunderchief on display began operational service in 1964 as a standard F-105F. In 1967 it joined the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand, where it flew combat missions for nearly three years. During this time, it became one of a select few USAF aircraft to claim three MiG kills. In 1970 it was fitted with electronic counter-measure equipment and joined the 388th TFW for "Wild Weasel" duty, attacking enemy surface-to-air missile sites.
In 1972 the aircraft was modified to the improved F-105G "Wild Weasel" configuration. After another year in Thailand, it was assigned to the 35th TFW at George Air Force Base, Calif. It remained there until February 1980 when it was flown to the museum. It is marked as it appeared while assigned to the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in 1972-1973.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One M61 20mm Vulcan cannon and over 12,000 lbs. of ordnance Engine: One Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W of 26,500 lbs. thrust Maximum speed: 1,386 mph Cruising speed: 596 mph Range: 1,500 miles Ceiling: 50,000 ft. Span: 34 ft. 11 in. Length: 67 ft. Height: 20 ft. 2 in. Weight: 54,580 lbs. maximum Serial number: 63-8320
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