Jet Gallery, 1946-1995
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
As successful as the earlier straight-wing Republic Thunderjets were, they reached their design limits with the F-84G of 1952. Thus Republic proposed, and developed, a highly refined swept-wing version originally designated the YF-96A. However as Congress would not fund the development of an all-new fighter, the Air Force simply called the plane an F-84F and thus were able to produce the aircraft although it bore little resemblance to earlier F-84 versions.
Thus the F-84F was developed as a powerful all-weather fighter/bomber capable of speeds up to 695 mph. It carried six machine guns, bombs, rockets and was also capable of delivering nuclear weapons. A total of 2711 Thunderstreaks were built between 1952 and 1957. Not only did F-84F's serve with the U.S.Air Force, they were also the most widely exported Long Island built military aircraft, serving with the Air Forces of France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, West Germany, Greece and Turkey. The only F-84F's to see combat were those flown by the French Air Force, which saw action against Egypt during the Suez Crises of 1956.
In March 1955 an F-84F piloted by Lt.Col.Robert Scott set a transcontinental speed record flying from Los Angeles to Mitchel Field in 3 hours 44 minutes. A reconnaissance version, the RF-84F, featured engine air intakes at the wing roots plus cameras in the nose.
This F-84F served with the U.S.Air Force until 1959 at which time it was turned over to the 104th Tactical Fighter Group of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. In the mid 1960's the aircraft was on a cross-country training flight and was forced to land at Portland, Oregon, due to engine problems. Rather than make the old aircraft flyable, the Air Force elected to abandon it in place. It was disassembled by volunteers and transported across country to the museum in 1985.
Wingspan: 33' 7"
Length: 43' 4"
Engine: 7200 lb thrust Wright J-65
Top Speed: 695 mph
Weight: 17,000 lbs
On Loan: U. S. Air Force Museum