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Republic Aviation Corporation's F-105 Thunderchief ("Thud") Fighter - Bomber cockpit instrument panels and flight instruments



Republic Aviation F-105 nose section with Thunderchief nose art
Nose section of a USAF F-105B aircraft with "buzz Number" FH-100 (Tail No. 40100) showing the blue-red F-105 Thunderchief logo as nose art. Image scanned from 16 mm film dated 1959 from Republic Aviation Corporation's archives (Source: ReelArchives).

Republic Aviation Corporation, Farmingdale - Long Island, USA

Republic Logo 1963 In 1963, at the 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace (Le Bourguet - Paris, June 6-16), Republic Aviation Corporation (Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y.) released the following text and official photographs to Aviation and Aerospace VIPs and journalists to describe its general activities at that time.

Republic Aviation Corporation's profile of Activities

After more then three decades as one of the leading aircraft manufacturers, Republic Aviation Corporation's activities have expanded to cover a wide spectrum of advanced aircraft, electronics and space system development and procedures.

To illustrate Republic's diversified interests, the company is now engaged in the production of the F-105D Thunderchief, and a two-place version of this versatile Mach-2 all-weather fighter-bomber, the F-105F, and in research projects ranging from a major study of space re-entry problems to space environment and life sciences research, development of advanced scientific satellites, space propulsion systems and revolutionary metalurgical, communications and hydraulics developments.

In the past year, work on 51 research and development contracts, including 13 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was conducted at Republic as part of the continued development efforts fostered by the comapny since its founding in 1931 as the Seversky Aircraft Corporation.

Since that founding with a handful of employees, Republic has grown ta an industrial city of 18,000 scientists, engineers, techniciens and production specialists working in 60 buildings on 535 acres of ground at Farmingdale, Long Island.

Return to Europe: P47D Thunderbolt
Return to Europe - This P-47D Thunderbolt, owned by Republic Aviation Corporation, Farmington, N.Y., has toured NATO bases in four countries before participating in the 25e Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace at Le Bourguet, Paris, Jun 6-16. The famed World War II fighter bomber, flown by the iar forces of six allied nations, is one of the 15,300 built by Republic. This aircraft is believed to be the last of the Thunderbolts still in flyable condition in the United States (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation press kit, 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, 1963).

Since 1931, Republic has produced nearly 25,000 aircraft. Its renowned family of military aircraft has progressed from the 230-mph P-35 fighter of the thrities, to the famed P-47 Thunderbolt flown by air forces of six allied nations during World War II, the F-84G Thunderjet which bore the brunt of combat in the Korean War, the F-84FThunderstreak fighter-bomber and RF-84F Thunderflsh reconnaissance aircraft,workhorses of the air arms of 14 western nations, and the versatile F-105, the world's first Mach-2 all-weather figther-bomber now in service with the USAF in Europe, the U.S. and the Far East.

The evolution of Republic aircraft development continues today with pioneering work in a unique design for a strike-reconnaissance fighter combining the capability for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)and the versatility of the variable-geometry wing which can be extended for slow, loiter missions or withdrawn to a delta-like shape for Mach-1 low-level or Mach-2 high altitude missions.

Republic flying convertible (Flying Crane)
Flying convertible - This is scale model of vertical-rising convertible transport that Republic Aviation engineers (of Farmington, N.Y.) claim is capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo or 50 passengers in its 29-foot cargo pod. The "Flying Crane" achieves its VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) capability by a 90-degree rotation of the nozzles of its two main (vectored thrust) engines. This power is augmented by lift engines in each wing tip. The transport can travel 500 miles and has a speed of approximately 400 mph (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation press kit, 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, 1963).

Other aeronautical programs under study and in various forms of development at Republic include controls research for Mach-2 supersonic transport, studies of a lightweight fighter-bomber for limited war applications, of a high-speed interceptor and of what has been called the "aerospace plane". While much of this aircraft is classified, it can be reported that it would be capable of taking off as conventional aircraft, then accelerating to orbital speeds to circle the Earth and perform missions anywhere over the globe. Its speed would be about 25 times that of sound.

Nuclear look in Gyros
Nuclear look in gyros - Dr. Stanley Forman (left) and Milton Minneman of Republic Aviation Corporation's research staff check a plastic model of the revolutionary nuclear-energy-powered gyroscope developed by the company for the U.S. Navy. The new gyro, which has no moving parts, employs spinning protons and electrons aligned by a magnetic field. Called a magnetic induction gyroscope, it offers greater accuracy over a long period of time at less cost (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation press kit, 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, 1963).

In addition, Republic has dramatically expanded its efforts in space-oriented research and development, including the addition to its facilities of the $14 million Paul Moore Research and Development Center. The many capabilities of the center have generated more than 60 research contracts, including some in 30 new technical areas. Some of these activities are:

Ergometer test
Ergometer test - Aerospace physician Dr. Gearge Albright gives instructions to a space environmental engineer during a workout on a special bicycle known as an "ergometer" in the laboratory of Republic Aviation Corporation, Farmingdale, N.Y. The company is conducting tests of an experimental lunar exploration suit that is a forerunner of these to be worn by U.S. astronauts in NASA's Project Apollo program. The ergometer tests measure oxygen consumption and metabolic rates. These tests are necessary spacework toward the final design of a prototype suit to be fabricated by International Latex Corporation for United Aircraft's Hamilton Standard Division (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation press kit, 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, 1963).

Republic's development experience in electronic guidance and control systems has also led the company into such diverse areas as the production of submarine simulators to train crews in control operations of atomic attack class submarines; precision radar antenna assemblies; automatic checkout equipment for aircraft communications, identification, navigation and radar systems; an all-weather guidance system for the air-to-ground Bullpup missiles and a low-cost, propeller driven drone, called the Bikini, which can be launched from a battlefield, flown over enemy lines to photograph installations and be recovered by parachute.

In July 1965, only two years after the above press release was made at the 1963 Paris Airshow, Republic Aviation Corporation ceased to exist as an independent company and became the Republic Aviation Division of Fairchild Hiller (also called Fairchild Republic). The Republic Aviation Division was shut down in 1987 after Fairchild Industries decided to stop producing commercial or military aircraft.

If you can contribute to this web page with information or images of the F-105 Thunderchief, or if you have questions, please contact me by e-mail at aviation@watergeek.eu.

Republic Aviation's F-105 Thunderchief figther-bomber jet

The F-105 Thunderchief is a single-place (except for the modified F-105C and F-105F trainer/wild weasel aircraft) supersonic fighter-bomber manufactured by the Fairchild Hiller Corp., Republic Aviation Division in Farmingdale, New York. It is a swept-wing, single engine, aircraft developed to meet the USAF requirement for a supersonic fighter-bomber aircraft that could deliver a single nuclear bomb at high-speed and low-altitude to targets in the Eastern block countries during the cold war. The F-105 was developed in the early 1950s and the first flight was in 1955, with the YF-105A. The first F-105B was delivered in 1958, whereas the last F-105F two-seater aircraft was delivered in 1965. The development of the F-105F crew stations has been described extensively in a Fairchild Hiller report (Fairchild Hiller, 1963) and included the initial construction of life-size cardboard versions and an aluminium mock-up to test different instrument configurations and lighting conditions.

Three-view drawing of the F-105F Thunderchief
Three view drawing blueprint of the F-105F Thunderchief (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation (1963). Configuration and arrangement of crew stations for two-place F-105F-1-RE airplane. Elect/Equip Report No. 192. Farmingdale, Long Island, New York).

In 1963, at the 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace (Le Bourguet - Paris, June 6-16), Republic Aviation Corporation (Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y.) released the information below about its F-105D Thunderchief aircraft, with two official photographs.

Republic F-105D Thunderchief - A link to the future

The Republic F-105D Thunderchief, the world's first Mach-2 fighter-bomber capable of operation in any weather or visibility conditions, has added a new dimension to the tactical air power of the U.S. Air Force.

The versatile Thunderchief, capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons, is the latest in a long line of renowned fighter-bombers developed by Republic Aviation Corporation during its more than three decades as one of the United States' leading aviation and aerospace industries.

A descendant of Republic's famed P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II and the F-84F Thunderstreak now serving with the air forces of 14 countries of the Free World, the Thunderchief is operated by Tactical Air Command units in the United States and the U.S. Aris Forces in Europe and the Pacific. Since 1955, Thunderchiefs have logged some 138,489 hours of flight, equivalent to 7,700 trips around the world.

The J-75 engine of the F-105B Thunderchief
Six-ton punch - A Republic Aviation F-105D Thunderchief, the world's first all-weather fighter-bomber, shows its payload capacity by carrying sixteen 750-pound bombs - a record for a single-engine aircraft. The Mach-2 fighter-bomber's ability to carry six tons of armament qualifies it for 15 different types of missions in either limited or general war situations. The mach-2 Thunderchief can accomodate more than 4,000 different combinations of weapons, including conventional or nuclear bombs, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and a Vulcan automatic 20-mm cannon capable of firong 6,000 rounds per minute. Thunderchiefs are in service with the U.S. Air Force in Europe, the Pacific and in the United States (Source: Republic Aviation F-105 press kit, 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, 1963).

A new two-place version of the Thunderchief, designated the F-105F, is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Air Force later this year. The F-105F will have the same mission capabilities of the single-seat F-105D and is expected to greatly strengthen pilot mission training programs.

Use of the two-seat F-105F is expected to provide twice as much pilot time per hour of flight and to eliminate the need for use of non-combatant jet trainers and chase planes during training.

Front view of an F-105F on the tarmac
Thunderchief for two - First photo of the U.S. Air Force's new two seat supersonic tactical fighter, the F-105F, after it came from the assembly line at Republic Aviation Corporation, Farmingdale, L.I. (May 23, 1963). The 1,400 mile-an-hour jet, the 24,894thbuilt by the Long Island company, can carry 4,000 combinations of nuclear and conventional weapons. The F-105F will see service with the seven Air Force wings now flying the single-seat version of the Mach-2 jet; with the Tactical Air Command in the U.S. and with Air Force units in Europe and the Far East. To date the F-105 jets have logged some 138,489 flight hours, equal to 7,700 trips around the world. More than 650 military pilots have checked out in the aircraft, including pilots from foreign air forces (source: Republic Aviation press kit for participants of the 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, Le Bourguet, 6-16 June 1963).

15 Types of missions

The F-105 is the first tactical aircraft designed to incorporate the ideas and recommendations of the men who operate it - pilots and operations and logistics experts of the Tactical Air Command.

Its speed, which tops 1,400 miles per hour (2,240 km per hour), its maneuverability and its aerial firepower have qualified it for some 15 different types of missions in either limited or general war situations.

Specifications - F-105D Thunderchief
Power One Pratt and Whitney J-75 F-19W jet engine. More than 25,000 pounds of thrust on employing afterburner and water injection.
Speed Mach-1 at low level, Mach-2 at high altitude.
Span 34 feet, 11 inches.
Length 67 feet.
Height 19 feet, 8 inches.
Armament Carried internally and externally, various combinations of nuclear or thermonuclear weapons, 6 tons of conventional bombs, napalm bombs, clusters of rockets, or guided missiles for air-to-ground or air-to-air missions. Vulcan automatic 20-millimeter cannon, firing 6,000 rounds per minute.
Range Global when using in-flight refueling.


The F-105 can operate as a fighter-bomber in close support of any ground troops. Its ability to climb from a standstill to 8,200 feet at supersonic speeds in 55 seconds augment its role as an interceptor for air defense operations. Its more than 2000 mile range, without refueling, and global range, with mid-air refueling, highlights its capability as a bomber.

The J-75 engine of the F-105B Thunderchief
The twin-spool type Pratt & Whitney J-75 turbojet engine with afterburner as used in the F-105B Thunderchief (source: F-105B Flight Manual)

The size of the Thunderchief permits it to carry up to six tons of weapons, surpassing the payload of any previous tactical aircraft. An almost unlimited choice of weapons combinations can be carried, ranging from sixteen 750-pound bombs to Sidewinder missiles for air-to-air combat and Bullpup air-to-ground missilesand napalm fire bombs for close support of ground troops.

The Thunderchief's firepower also includes the lethal Vulcan automatic 20-millimeter cannon, capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute, resulting in each impacting with a force equivalent to an auto traveling at 450 miles per hour smashing into a brick wall.

General overview of the F-105B aircraft
General overview of the F-105B aircraft (source: F-105B Flight manual).

"Blind" mission capability

An integrated navigational, fire control and flight control system gives the F-105D its all-weather capability. This highly advanced system allows a pilot to take off, fly to the target and release convetional or nuclear weapons without ever seeing the ground.

The Thunderchief's electronics systems, proven in more than 100,000 operational flying hours, has provided an around-the-clock capability never before possible with previous aircraft.

Operating the Thunderchief in Europe are the 49th and 36th Tactical Fighter Wings of 17th Air Force, the operational arm of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe. A squadron of F-105B Thunderchiefs, equipped for air defense interceptor missions, was recently assigned to Moron Air Base, Spain, on rotational duty from the Tactical Air Command's 4th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, South Carolina.

The F-105D and F-105F are part of a wide range of advanced aircraft and space system programs under way at Republic, including development of a dramatic new concept in tactical strike-reconnaissance aircraft which combines vertical take-off and landing capabilities with a variable geometry wing.

The F-105 "Thud" in Vietnam

Later in the 1960s, Republic's F-105 Thunderchief played a significant role in bombing North Vietnamese targets during Operation Rolling Thunder, with close air support of the F-4 Phantom, during the Vietnam war. No other aircraft has put as much ordnance on North Vietnam targets. Pilots used to fly a fixed route to Hanoi targets following a mountain range and valley, that is now known as Thud Alley. Jacksel M. Broughton, an F-105 pilot stationed at Takhli Air Force base in Thailand, has written a very informative book on this subject titled Thud Ridge, published in 1969 by Hanson B. Baldwin and later by Bantam War Books.

Flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs in Vietnam
Flight of F-105D Thunderchiefs in Vietnam, scan from 16 mm Republic Aviation film (source: ReelArchives).
F-105D bombing in Vietnam
F-105D Thunderchief drops bombs in Vietnam, scan from 16 mm Republic Aviation film (source: ReelArchives).
F-105D shooting Mig
F-105D Thunderchief shooting at and hitting a Mig-17 in Vietnam, scan from 16 mm Republic Aviation film (source: ReelArchives).

For an extensive overview of all F-105 Thunderchief models, visit Joe Baugher's web site at http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f105.html.

F-105 Thunderchief in Europe: Watch on the Rhine

In May 1961, the F-105 was also stationed for the US Air Force in Europe (USAFE) in Germany at Bitburg and Spangdahlem Air bases (49th Tactical Fighter Wing's 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron). The jets patrolled the skies close to the Iron Curtain. The graphic below shows Thuds flying over the Rhine River and various squadron shields.

F-105 in Europe
The F-105 in Europe. Cover page of an article on the role of Thunderchiefs and their pilots in Europe (source: Reprint from Republic Aviation NEWS, Dec 7, 1962 - included in a Republic Aviation press kit for participants of the 25eme Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, Le Bourguet, 6-16 June 1963).

F-105B Cockpit instrument panels and consoles

The gallery below contains some pictures of F-105B Thunderchief aircraft cockpit instrument panels and consoles. Click on the images to get larger versions.

F-105B main instrument panel
F-105B main instrument panel (source: F-105B Flight manual)
F-105B Auxiliary instrument panels
F-105B Auxiliary instrument panels (source: F-105B Flight manual)
F-105B left console panels
F-105B left console panels (source: F-105B Flight manual)
F-105B right console panels
F-105B right console panels (source: F-105B Flight manual)
F-105F main and auxiliary instrument panels
Blueprint of proposed F-105F front crew station main and auxiliary instrument panels layout (source: Republic Aviation Corporation (1963). Configuration and arrangement of crew stations for two-place F-105F-1-RE airplane. Elect/Equip Report No. 192. Farmingdale, Long Island, New York).
F-105F rear main instrument panel
Blueprint of proposed F-105F aft crew station upper and lower instrument panels layout (source: Republic Aviation Corporation (1963). Configuration and arrangement of crew stations for two-place F-105F-1-RE airplane. Elect/Equip Report No. 192. Farmingdale, Long Island, New York).

A detailed view of the F-105F nose section design is shown below. This blueprint image was taken from Republic Aviation Corporation's 1963 report on the Configuration and arrangement of crew stations for two-place F-105F-1-RE airplane. (Elect/Equip Report No. 192. Farmingdale, Long Island, New York). It shows how the pilots were seated in the cockpit and the various electronic equipment in the space below the cockpit. This equipment included the airconditioning unit, the ASQ-37 communication and navigation system, the air data system, electrical power systems, computer/flight director systems, etc.

Schematic view of F-105F nose section
Schematic view of the F-105F nose section (Source: Republic Aviation Corporation (1963). Configuration and arrangement of crew stations for two-place F-105F-1-RE airplane. Elect/Equip Report No. 192. Farmingdale, Long Island, New York).

Flight (1960) published an overview of the electronic equipment inside the F-105. This included weapon systems ballistic computers, communication, navigation and identification (CNI) systems, automatic flight control and stability augmentation, IFF, etc. A picture of the black boxes in the F-105 is shown below.

Black boxes of the F-105
Overview of the electronic equipment inside the F-105 (Source: Flight 16 December 1960 issue, p. 947).

Republic Aviation F-105 Thunderchief Artwork

Promotional material and flight manual illustrations provide a look into the graphic design that was in fashion in technical papers in the 1950s and early 1960s. Below are some examples of artwork of Republic Aviation.

Artwork for flight and reference manuals

Below are several images illustrating flight and reference manual artwork and their final versions as displayed in the F-105B flight manual of 1969.

Engineering report cover artwork
Cover design for an (F-105B?) Engineering Report of Republic Aviation. This original drawing (ink, crayon on semi-transparant paper) shows Republic Aviation's factory building in Fanringdale in the 1950s. Source: Eugenia Guz.

Preliminary Flight Handbook for the USAF Series F-105B Aircraft artwork
Original design (pencil and crayon drawing on semi-transparant paper) for the cover of the Preliminary Flight Handbook for the USAF Series F-105B Aircraft of Republic Aviation made in the 1950s. Source: Eugenia Guz.

USAF Series F-105B Aircraft Flight Manual cover
Cover layout of the 1969 Flight Manual for the USAF Series F-105B Aircraft of Republic Aviation(Authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, 1969. USAF Series F-105B Aircraft Flight Manual. T.O. 1F-105B-1).

Flight Handbook illustration for the USAF Series YF-105B Aircraft artwork
Original 1950s design (pencil and crayon drawing on semi-transparant paper) illustrating the YF-105B Thunderchief prototype in the Preliminary Flight Handbook for the USAF YF-105B Aircraft of Republic Aviation. Source: Eugenia Guz.

Flight Manual illustration for the USAF Series F-105B Aircraft
Illustration of the F-105B Thunderchief in the 1969 Flight Manual for the USAF Series F-105B Aircraft of Republic Aviation(Authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, 1969. USAF Series F-105B Aircraft Flight Manual. T.O. 1F-105B-1).

Cover designs for a USAF Series F-105B Aircraft reference manual
Original 1950s designs (pencil and crayon drawing on semi-transparant paper) for the cover of an F-105B Aircraft Reference Manual of Republic Aviation. Source: Eugenia Guz.

Promotional designs

The following 1960 advertisement for the F-105 Thundercheif displays the advanced systems incorporated in the aircraft.

F-105 systems Ad
Advertisement for the Republic Aviation F-105 Thunderchief as it appeared in the British Flight magazine, 8 July 1960 issue.

The Republic F-105 also featured in advertisements of manufacturers of its systems, such as in the advertisement below published in a magazine for the Collins Radio Company AN/ASQ-37 communication, navigation and radar identification (CNI) system that included UHF, Tacan, ADF and intercom systems.

Collins Radio CNI F-105 systems Ad
Magazine advertisement for the Collins Radio Company AN/ASQ-37 communication, navigation and radar identification (CNI) system that was installed in the F-105 Thunderchief.

F-105 Thunderchief contractor scale models

Scale models such a the one shown below were handed out to aviation and aerospace VIPs and to the fighter pilots flying these birds when they reached a certain number of combat missions flown (e.g. 100).

Precise Models Inc. F-105 Thunderchief scale model
Resin F-105F Thunderchief scale model (scale 1/50) produced by Precise Models Inc. for Republic Aviation Corporation in the early 1960s. The base of the stand is made of metal and reads Republic F-105 Thunderchief.


Two companies produced these contractor models for Republic in the U.S., being Topping Inc. from the mid-1950 (metal model, 1/50 scale), followed by Precise Models, Inc. in the 1960s (various resin models). The Dutch M.M. Verkuyl produced F-105D Thunderchief models in Europe for Republic. These were made by melting rejected pistons from KLM propeller aircraft. More information on these contractor scale models is presented on my Topping Inc., Precise Models Inc. and Matthijs Verkuyl models web pages.

Literature

Below is a library of original and digital aviation books, flight manuals and factory reports that served to provide the information on the F-105 Thud.

The following texts are digitally available on CD (Adobe PDF files or HTML):

Links


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