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F-105 Thunderchief

Our Tribute to the F-105

F-105 aircraft in flight formationF-105 aircraft in flight formation

This section of Airplanes Of The Past is a tribute to those at Republic Aviation who designed & built the F-105, the crews who flew her, and those who have worked tirelessly to preserve this airplane and its history.

F-105 Thunderchief Development and Production

The U.S. Air Force awarded Republic with a contract for 199 aircraft in September of 1952, but later downgraded the order in size. Near the end of 1953, the entire program was canceled by the Air Force due to a number of delays and uncertainties regarding the aircraft.

In 1954, it placed another order, and the YF-105A prototype first flew in October of 1955. The first production F-105B was accepted by the Air Force in May of 1957.

In June 1957 Republic Aviation requested that the F-105 be named Thunderchief, continuing the sequence of the company's Thunder-named aircraft, e.g. P-47 Thunderbolt, F-84 Thunderjet, and F-84F Thunderstreak.

The F-105 was the largest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in history, weighing in at about 50,000 pounds. The Mach-2 capable F-105 conducted most of the strike bombing missions during the early years of the Viet Nam War. Over 20,000 Thunderchief sorties were flown during the war, with 382 F-105 aircraft lost.

By the end of production, 833 of the F-105 aircraft had been built, and the last F-105 ended service in February, 1984.

Original F-105 Photos from the Airplanes of the Past Archives

F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, on display at the March Field Air Museum in California
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, on display at the March Field Air Museum in California
Tail section of F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, at the March Field Air Museum in California
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, on display at the March Field Air Museum in California
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500 at HAMM, Tyler, Texas
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
Republic Aviation F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, Tyler, Texas
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
Republic F-105D Thunderchief
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief
Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief, S/N 60-0500
F-105G Thunderchief, S/N 62-4440, restored and on static display near Salt Lake City
F-105G Thunderchief, S/N 62-4440
USAF F-105G Thunderchief, S/N 62-4440
F-105G Thunderchief, S/N 62-4440
F-105G Thunderchief S/N 56-3296 in the airpark at the site of the closed England Air Force Base
F-105G Thunderchief S/N 56-3296 on static display at the site of the closed England Air Force Base
Republic F-105 Thunderchief, in Fighting Tigers paint scheme, at England Air Force Base
Republic F-105 Thunderchief, in Fighting Tigers paint scheme, at England Air Force Base
Republic F-105 Thunderchief at the closed England Air Force Base, Alexandria, Louisiana
Republic F-105 Thunderchief on static display at the site of the closed England Air Force Base, Alexandria, Louisiana
F-105D Thunderchief S/N 61-0107 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
F-105D Thunderchief S/N 61-0107
F-105D Thunderchief in New Mexico
F-105D Thunderchief S/N 61-0107
F-105D "Iron Duke", S/N 62-4360 at the Charles B. Hall Airpark, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
F-105D "Iron Duke", S/N 62-4360 at the Charles B. Hall Airpark in Oklahoma City
F-105D Thunderchief S/N 62-4259, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
F-105D Thunderchief S/N 62-4259
F-105 Thunderchief at Eglin AFB near Fort Walton, Florida
F-105 Thunderchief at Eglin AFB
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839, at the gate of Ellsworth AFB
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839
Front view of F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839, Ellsworth AFB
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839
Tail section of F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57839


F-105 Thunderchief Photographs by Airplanes of the Past Friends and Supporters

F-105B Thunderchief at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-105B Thunderchief on display at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington