The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was the first supersonic tactical fighter-bomber developed from scratch. Apart from being the biggest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in history, the F-105 was notable for its large internal bomb bay and unique swept-forward engine inlets in the wing roots.

The wing was highly swept and incorporated low-speed ailerons and high-speed spoilers for lateral control, and a droop-snoot leading edge.

Known as "the Thud", this greatest of all single-engine combat jets bore a huge burden throughout the Vietnam War, and was a deadly and effective tactical fighter-bomber. A supersonic jet, the Thud is characterized by two unique systems: it is the only jet fighter to refuel from a side-fuselage boom, and was the first jet fighter to employ a Vulcan 20mm "Gatling Gun" cannon. The D-model made more air strikes against North Vietnam than any other US aircraft, and also suffered more losses. During the war, the versatile Thud was also credited with 25 MiG kills.

The F-105 evolved from a project begun in 1951 by Republic Aviation at Farmingdale NY to develop a supersonic tactical fighter-bomber to replace the F-84F. The massive F-105 was intended primarily for nuclear strike missions. The prototype first flew on October 22, 1955, but the first production aircraft, an F-105B, was not delivered to the USAF until 1958. With the designation F-105B came an engine change to a Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3. Other changes were made in this model too, including the use of a unique type of swept-forward air intake to control the shock-wave and introduction of “area rule” on the fuselage. A total of 75 F-105Bs were built.

 

The F-105 evolved from a project begun in 1951 by Republic Aviation at Farmingdale NY to develop a supersonic tactical fighter-bomber to replace the F-84F. The massive F-105 was intended primarily for nuclear strike missions. The prototype first flew on October 22, 1955, but the first production aircraft, an F-105B, was not delivered to the USAF until 1958. With the designation F-105B came an engine change to a Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3. Other changes were made in this model too, including the use of a unique type of swept-forward air intake to control the shock-wave and introduction of “area rule” on the fuselage. A total of 75 F-105Bs were built.

The F-105D all-weather strike fighter and the two-place F-105F dual-purpose trainer-fighter were also built before F-105 production (833 aircraft) ended in 1964. No "C" or "E" series were produced and "Gs" were modified "Fs" outfitted with extensive electronic countermeasure equipment. F-105G aircraft were nicknamed "Wild Weasels" and specialized in jamming enemy radar and destroying surface-to-air missile sites.

The Bullpup B entered USAF service in 1965. It weighed 1,785 pounds and used a 30,000-pound thrust liquid-fuel rocket engine to achieve a range of ten miles. The pilot guided the missile by watching the position of tail-mounted tracking flares in relation to his line-of-sight view of the target. Steering commands to correct the missile flight path were sent via one of the 24 available radio channels. The AGM-12C carried a 1,000 pound semi-armor-piercing warhead. The AGM-12E had a cluster bomb warhead intended for use against anti-aircraft sites. More than 4,600 AGM-12Cs and 800 AGM-12Es were built. They were withdrawn from USAF service in the mid-1970s.

YF-105A
Two pre-production prototypes.
YF-105B
Four pre-production aircraft.
F-105B
Initial production model with AN/APN-105 navigational radar, 71 built.
JF-105B
Test aircraft built from re-allocated RF-105B airframes; 3 built.
RF-105B
Proposed reconnaissance version of the F-105B; none built (three ordered but completed as JF-105Bs).
F-105C
Proposed dual-control trainer; cancelled in 1957, none built
F-105D
The definitive production model, all-weather capability thanks to advanced avionics, including AN/APN-131 navigational radar, first flight 9 June 1959; 610 built.
RF-105D
Proposed reconnaissance version of the F-105D; none built.
F-105E
Proposed trainer version of F-105D; cancelled in 1959, none completed

F-105G on display at American Legion Post, Blissfield, MI

F-105F
Two-seat trainer version of F-105D with lengthened forward fuselage, dual controls, taller fin, fully combat-capable, AN/APN-148 navigational radar replaced the AN/APN-131 radar in earlier models, first flight 11 June 1963; 143 built.
EF-105F
Initial designation for a Wild Weasel/SEAD version, 54 conversion from F-105Fs.
F-105G
Two-seat Wild Weasel/SEAD version with AN/APN-196 navigational radar replacing AN/APN-148 in earlier models, re-designation of the RF-105F conversions.

AGM-62“Walleye”

AGM-78

  

F-105 Radar

F-105

 

A-10

A-10 Part 1/2

AC-130

AC-130 gunship

Mig-27

Mig-27

Su-25

Su-25

Su-24

Su-24 Fencer

AV-8B

AV-8B

 

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Su-27 / J-11 J-10B J-15 Naval Fighter

 

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