American postwar aircraft
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
This F-105 was delivered to the Air Force Nov. 12, 1960 and retired from service in August
|Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W turbojet with afterburner
|Initial climb rate
|Max. takeoff weight
|20 mm cannon M61A1, 4x AIM-9B Sidewinder, ev.
rockets LAU-3/A, LAU-18/A.
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