Model Airplane News
May, 1951

Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1951 by Jo Kotula Republic F84-f Thunderstreak

Republic F84-f "Thunderstreak"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for May, 1951
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak was an American-built swept-wing turbojet fighter-bomber. It was an evolutionary development of the straight-wing F-84 Thunderjet, incorporating many new features. The RF-84F Thunderflash was a photo reconnaissance version.

The Republic F84-f Thunderstreak      The Republic F84-f Thunderstreak

Republic F84-f "Thunderstreak"
Click to Enlarge

In 1949, Republic created a swept wing version of the F-84 hoping to bring performance to the level of the North American F-86. The production F-84E design was modified to include a swept tail, a new wing with leading edge sweep,, and an engine producing 5,300 pound-force of thrust that yielded a top speed of about 700 mph. It was ordered into production in July 1950 as the F-84F Thunderstreak ostensibly a low-cost improvement of the straight-wing Thunderjet.

Production quickly ran into problems. Although tooling commonality with the Thunderjet was supposed to be 55 percent, in reality only 15 percent of tools could be reused. To make matters worse, the F-84F utilized press-forged wing spars and ribs. At the time, only three presses in the United States could manufacture these, and priority was given to the B-47 Stratojet bomber over the F-84. The prototype's engine was considered obsolete and the improved version did not become available until 1954. Ongoing engine failures resulted in the entire fleet being grounded in early 1955; the engine suffered from flameouts when flying through heavy rain or snow. As the result of the problems, the active duty phaseout began almost as soon as the F-84F entered service in 1954, and was completed by 1958. Increased tensions in Germany associated with construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 resulted in reactivation of the F-84F fleet. In 1962, the fleet was grounded due to corrosion of control rods. A total of 1,800 man hours was expended to bring each aircraft to full operational capacity. The aircraft were retired from active service in 1964.

In what is probably one of the very few air-to-air engagements involving the F-84F, two Turkish Air Force F-84F Thunderstreaks shot down two Iraqi Il-28 Beagle bombers that crossed the Turkish border by mistake during a bombing operation against Iraqi Kurdish insurgents. This engagement took place on 16 August 1962.

Here is a video of the Republic F84-f "Thunderstreak":

Click Here for more information about the Republic F84-f "Thunderstreak".

go to the master list of Model Airplane News Covers

Click to go back and select another cover.

Counter for the Entire Site (not just this page..)

website counter

Home | About Lindy | Last Week's Reviews | Upcoming Events | 1940s Collecibles
The Guide - Establishments - Travel - Accessories
Music | Links | Photo Gallery | Extras | Contact