Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Though technical problems persisted and critics were calling the 'Thud' a maintenance nightmare, Republic proceeded with the F-105D variant which afforded true, all-weather capability by introducing General Electric FC-5 fully integrated automatic flight fire-control system.
The F-105 has mid-set sweptback wings, sweptback tail surfaces, and a one-piece all-moving tailplane mounted low on the fuselage and with a ventral stabilising fin. The ailerons are used only at low speeds and the main roll control is by five section spoilers forward of the large slotted flaps on each wing. The leading edge is variable-camber. ‘Clover-leaf’ air brake is around the exhaust nozzle. Each undercarriage leg has a single wheel, the mains retracting into the wings and nose wheel retracting forward.
The F‑105D was powered by a Pratt & Whitney J75‑P‑19W turbojet engine that develops 26,500 lb thrust (with afterburning). The F-105D's fuselage was lengthened by 0.381m. Some 610 were manufactured, and first flight took place at Farmingdale 9 June 1959. The F-105D model soon equipped all three squadrons of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) were the first overseas recipient of the F-105D, the 36th TFW at Bitburg AB, West Germany re-equipping from 12 May 1961 and the 49th TFW at Spangdahlem soon following. In the early 1960s, with a war growing in Asia, F-105Ds joined the 18th TFW at Kadena AFB, Okinawa.
The F-105D was by now a proven ordnance-carrier. More than 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) of weapons can be carried on under fuselage/wing stations. An internal weapons bay was also provided, and both conventional and nuclear weapons can be deployed. With multiple ejector racks (MER), it could carry an impressive load of external fuel, ECM gear, and eight 340kg bombs on long-range missions. The F-105D could also operate with the Martin AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missile, which was to prove remarkably ineffective against 'hard' targets in Vietnam and would be observed bouncing off the Thanh Hoa Bridge. In addition, the F-105D model could carry 70mm rocket pods, napalm canisters and the AIM-9 infra-red (IR) air-to-air missiles, while its integral M61A1 Gatling-type 20-mm cannon proved invaluable in the dual roles of air-to-air combat and air-to-ground strafing. A late-model variant of the F-105D was the F-105D T-Stick II fitted with additional avionics which bestowed all-weather bombing capability, housed in a prominent dorsal fairing extending along the spine of the fuselage to the tail.
Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J75-P-5, 25,000 lb
No built: 75
Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W, 76.5kN / 26,500 lb reheat
Wingspan: 10.59 m / 35 ft 9 in
Wing area: 35.77 sq.m / 385.02 sq ft
Length: 19.61 m / 64 ft 4 in
Height: 5.97 m / 20 ft 7 in
Max take-off weight: 23967 kg / 52838 lb
Empty weight: 12474 kg / 27501 lb
Fuel capacity: 1000 Imp.Gal
Aux fuel weapons bay: 290 Imp.Gal
Underwing & fuselage fuel: 3 x 375 Imp.Gal
Max. speed: 1208 kt / 2237 km/h / 1420 mph / M2.15 at 36,000 ft
Cruising speed: 508 kt / 940 km/h
Ceiling: 12560 m / 41200 ft
ROC: 34,500 fpm
Range w/max.fuel: 3846 km / 2390 miles
Armament: 1 x 20mm cannon, M61 Vulcan/1029rds, 6350kg of weapons
Inflight refuel: yes
Republic F-105 Thunderchief