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Republic F-84 Thunderjet Was One of the First Nuclear-Capable American Fighters

Back in 1944, in the closing stages of the Second World War, America started developing a turbojet fighter bomber. It was called Republic F-84 Thunderjet, but it would not be ready for its first flight before one year after the war ended, in 1946.
Republic F-84 Thunderjet 8 photos
Republic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 ThunderjetRepublic F-84 Thunderjet
As these things usually go, it wouldn’t take long before the new airplane needed to be used. Starting with 1950, it became one of America’s primary warplanes deployed over the battlefields of North Korea, going out on over 86,000 combat missions.

Historically, the aircraft was an important one on several accounts. It was one of the first winged war machines to be deployed by NATO nations, and it became the first aircraft to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. Also, it was the first production aircraft to be capable of in-flight refueling, and the first of its kind to be capable of holding a nuclear weapon.

By the time they were retired, in 1964, there were over 7,500 of them made in a number of variants. Thunderjets were powered by one Allison turbojet engine that gave them a top speed of 622 mph (1,001 kph) and a combat range of 1,000 miles (1,600 km). They were armed with Browning machine guns and could carry up to 4,450 lb (2,020 kg) of rockets and bombs, including, as said, a nuclear one.

The Thunderjet we have here is of the F-84G variety, of which over 3,000 were made. It was the version that had an improved canopy, and a larger engine with higher airflow. Presently, it can’t be flown, as work on it is far from ready, but it is for sale and waiting for someone to take it home in exchange for $124,000.

According to the seller’s post on Platinum Fighters, this plane’s frame was x-rayed and does not come with faults that could prevent its restoration. It is going complete with “numerous spare and new parts collected over 10 years,” and sells either alone or, for $229,000, complete with the pair of Grumman F9F Panthers we talked about yesterday.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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