F-84F Thunderstreak

F-84F Thunderstreak walk around photos - overall view
Former Ohio Air National Guard Thunderstreak on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force, July 2012.

Always in the shadow of its F-86 rival, the F-84F was the result of Republic's efforts to improve the basic F-84 Thunderjet by grafting swept wings and tail surfaces to the Thunderjet fuselage. The resulting aircraft was at first designated as the YF-96A, and given the popular name of Thunderstreak.

Development of the F-84F was to encounter some serious delays, and what had started as an adaptation of an existing type turned into an essentially new aircraft. Behind many of the problems was the use of the new Wright J65 (the YF-96A had retained the Thunderjet's J35). The J65 was twice as powerful as the J35, but in turn required greater airflow, and delivering the required volume meant enlarging the cross-section of the fuselage to allow a larger intake, and this greatly reduced the structural commonality between the Thunderjet and Thunderstreak.

F-84F walk around - cockpit  F-84F nose gear photo

The Thunderstreak would have a short front-line life with the USAF, being replaced by supersonic types such as the F-100 Super Sabre. However, the type would have a lengthy tenure with the Air National Guard, and indeed would be the last pre-"Century Series" fighter to be actively employed in non-test use by the US. Guard units in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa were still flying Thunderstreaks in 1971, but by early the following year the type had finally been retired. The phase-out had actually been moved ahead slightly, following the discovery of fleet-wide corrosion during inspections after the crash of 51-9371 in November 1971.

Of all the Republic fighters since the P-47, the Thunderstreak was unique in not having seen combat in large numbers. The F-84F was a victim of the program's early delays and the arrival of supersonic fighters; basically a pre-Korea design, the Thunderstreak missed that war, and was heading for retirement by the time of Vietnam. There were some exceptions - in 1962 a pair of Iraqi IL-28 Beagle jet bombers were downed by Turkish Thunderstreaks, and as late as 1974 Greek F-84Fs were prepared for use against Turkey during the Cyprus Crisis. Greece would be the final operator of the Thunderstreak, keeping a handful of the elderly aircraft flying as trainers until 1991.

YF-84F Thunderstreak prototype photo
The Thunderstreak prototype, with its Thunderjet-type fuselage. This aircraft was later used for preliminary FICON testing, and is seen here at the USAF Museum annex on the old Wright Field flight line in the late 1990s.

FICON installation on nose

Aircraft of the USAF

  F-105 Thud           P-47 Thunderbolt

Aircraft Walk Arounds and other References

"Look Out Below!" 1950s Republic Aviation F-84F Thunderstreak ad

F-84 Bibliography

Magazine Articles and Photos:
Photo: "Republic F-84F" Aviation Week March 12, 1956 p.82

"Air Force Makes 10% Cut In Republic F-84F Order" Aviation Week March 26, 1956 p.29

Photo: F-84F RATO launch Flight 8 June 1956 p.724

Photos (3): "F-84s for NATO" Aviation Week December 31, 1956 p.56 Cocooned aircraft being transported by CVE.

IPMS/USA Quarterly, Winter 1986.  B&W profiles include RF-84Fs of the 107th TRS at Selfridge, natural metal finish, RF-84K, RF-84F side & top view, gray paint, RF-84F in Southeast Asia cam.

Photos (2): Greek RF-84Fs at the twilight of their careers World Air Power Journal Vol 8 / Spring 1992 p.92

Photo: F-84F 52-6743 at the Hellenic Air Force Museum. FlyPast January 1998 p.95

Photo: F-84F 52-6470  FlyPast February 1998 p.81

Photo: RF-84F FR32   FlyPast April 1998  p.7

Photo: French F-84Fs in storage.  Warbirds International  October 2000 p.33

Trevor Pask "Dutch Thunder" Model Aircraft November 2012  p.72-75  Building the Revell (ex Monogram) 1/48 F-84F kit as a Dutch aircraft.


"Modern Military Aircraft Anatomy" Edited by Paul E. Eden and Soph Moeng
p.50-51 cutaway drawing of an F-84F, plus a color photo of two Thunderstreaks of the Ohio ANG's 164th TFS.

Lloyd S. Jones U.S. Fighters: Army-Air Force 1925 to 1980s   Aero Publishers, 1975  p.219 scale 3-view plans for the F-84F

Gerry Manning  1000 Preserved Military Aircraft   p.11: photos Luftwaffe F-84F, 52-6782 and N84JW in Thunderbirds colors, 51-9433, Belgian FU-30

Tony Buttler  American Secret Projects: Fighters & Interceptors 1945-1978  p.8: model photos depicting a two-seat F-84F, and a version with wing-mounted engines.

Paul A. Jackson   German Military Aviation 1956-1976   p.73: photos of Luftwaffe F-84F DB251 and RF-84F EA120

Chris Bishop, editor 
The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare  ISBN 0-7607-2770-8  p.401: color profile of a French F-84F

Scale Model Aircraft
"Belgian Thunderstreak" Scale Modeler May 1981 Building the Heller 1/72 scale kit as Belgian AF FU-52 includes a 3-view plan

Thomas Hollar "Armee de L-Air Thunderflash" Scale Modeler October 1981 Building the Heller 1/48 scale RF-84F kit in French markings.

Thunderstreak & Thunderflash Web Resources
A pretty much destroyed F-84F hulk used for firefighting practice.

Belgian Air Force F-84F model for Flight Simulator 2004

F-84F on display at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. This aircraft is one of the Thunderstreaks that had been transferred from the ANG to the USN for use as ground targets at China Lake

The 1/48 scale F-84F model kit from Kinetic finished as Turkish Air Force a/c #7113