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American postwar aircraft


Republic F-105 Thunderchief

The F-105 was among the first supersonic fighter-bombers and was the largest single seat combat aircraft in history. The first production model flew May 27, 1958, and was capable of flight faster than twice the speed of sound. It could also drop its bombs while at supersonic speeds, another first. The F-105 was used extensively during the Vietnam conflict. Commonly called "Thud," the Thunderchief flew deep penetrations into North Vietnam.
Thunderchiefs penetrated the densest antiaircraft defenses ever encountered to deliver bombs and laser guided weapons on pinpoint targets.
Modified two-seater, F-105Gs were used to attack and jam enemy radars. They also joined the raids hunting down missile sites and antiaircraft gun positions. These aircraft were the pioneering "Wild Weasels."
Since then, other fighters have been modified for this role. Unlike most Air Force fighters, the F-105 was never exported to foreign countries. Many have served in the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.
The F-105 was built around a large engine and an internal bomb bay. Like the rest of the "Century Series" fighters, it was capable of level supersonic flight. The first production Thunderchief broke the sound barrier in 1955 powered by a smaller interim engine. When the last active F-105 was retired, it was the only Air Force aircraft to receive a formal retirement ceremony attended by hundreds who had flown and maintained them.
This F-105 was delivered to the Air Force Nov. 12, 1960 and retired from service in August 1981.

General characteristics
Power plant Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W turbojet with afterburner
Thrust 26,500 lb 118 kN
Max. speed 1,386 mph 2,230 km/h
Initial climb rate 575.2 ft/s 175.3 m/s
Combat range 740 miles 1,190 km
Wingspan 35 ft 10.65 m
Length 70 ft 21.22 m
Height 20.2 ft 6.15 m
Max. takeoff weight 54,014 lb 24,500 kg
Bombs weight external 5,952 lb 2,700 kg
weapons bay 7,937 lb 3,600 kg
Armament 20 mm cannon M61A1, 4x AIM-9B Sidewinder, ev. rockets LAU-3/A, LAU-18/A.

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Jirka Wagner


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