The rugged F-84 Thunderjet gained its greatest renown during the Korean War. Initially sent to escort B-29s on long-range missions over North Korea, the Thunderjet excelled as a close air support and daytime interdiction strike aircraft. In Korea, F-84 pilots attacked enemy railroads, dams, bridges, supply depots and troop concentrations with bombs, rockets and napalm.
The Thunderjet became the Army Air Forces' second jet fighter to enter large-scale production, and it first flew flight in February 1946. Early F-84s had several problems, including weak wing spars, excessive weight and shortages of engines and spare parts. The F-84E, however, corrected most of the Thunderjet's shortcomings.
During its service life, the Thunderjet served in several roles, including day fighter, long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber and as the USAF's first tactical nuclear bomber. The USAF also supplied F-84s to 14 other countries.
The basic "straight-wing" F-84 design later evolved into a swept-wing fighter version called the Thunderstreak and a swept-wing reconnaissance version called the Thunderflash. F-84s were also used as test-beds for experiments, including power plant trials and aerodynamic research.
By the time production ceased in 1953, about 4,450 "straight-wing" Thunderjets (XP-84, YP-84A, F-84B/C/D/E/G) had been built. The F-84E on display came to the museum in 1963. It is marked to represent the F-84G flown by Col. Joseph Davis Jr., commander of the 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing in 1953.
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns and eight 5-in. rockets or 2,000 lbs. of bombs, or napalm tanks
Engine: Allison J35 of 4,900 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 620 mph
Range: 1,485 miles
Ceiling: 43,240 ft.
Span: 36 ft. 5 in.
Length: 38 ft. 6 in.
Height: 12 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 15,227 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 50-1143
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