Introduction: The F-84 Thunderjet
The F-84 Thudnerjet was built by Republic Aircraft Company. It was one of the early jet fighter-bombers, first flying 28 February 1946. The United States Army AirForce (USAAF) sent a request for a “day fighter” in 1944 and Republic Aviation responded.
Although the Thunderjet entered the service in 1947, it failed to perform any of the required aspects of it’s intended mission. This was due to an engine and structural problems.
In 1948, the USAAF considered canceling the F-84 Thunderjet program. Now with the their “backs against the wall,” Republic came forth in 1949 with the F-84D model which kept the program alive.
The model “evolution” continued with the F-84G in 1951 In 1954, the swept wing F84F Thunderstreak along with the RF-84F Thunderflash, a recon aircraft.
The F-84 was the primary ground strike aircraft during the Korean War, destroying 60% of the assigned targets and flying 86,408 sorties. Although no match for the Soviet MiG 15, the Thunderjet did score 8 victories over the MiGs.
The Thunderjet was the StrategicAir command (SAC) primary aircraft from 1948 through 1957. The F-84 was the first production jet fighter to have in-flight refueling capabilities. It could carry the Mark 7 nuclear bomb.
The designation of F-84 could be a little confusing with the various models but to clarify the F-84A-F84E and F84Gmodels were straight winged and called the Thudnerjet. Models F-84F was sweptwing and called Thunderstreak. The RF-84F was also swept wing and called the Thunderflash. There was an experimental model XF-84H, a straight wing turboprop called the Thunderscreech.
The numeral designation of F-84 was retained as the difference of the swept and straight wing was a few parts difference. There were 7,524 of all models and variants produced.