Republic F-105 Thunderchief

This panel is from Blackhawk No. 195, April 1964.

The Blackhawk's venerable F-90C's were replaced in issue No. 192 by F-105's modified with lift fans in the wings to provide vertical take off and landing (VTOL) capability. The Ryan XV-5A had demonstrated that such lift fans did work, though the weight penalty and mechanical complexity kept them from being practical in a real aircraft. The artists never seemed to appreciate how large an airplane the F-105 really is, and it generally was drawn much smaller than the actual plane.The Blackhawks flew the VTOL F-105s from 1964 to 1968.

The Thunderchief was a private venture for Republic, intended to replace the successful F-84. The USAF bought it based on its versatility, formidable weapons load, and good performance. The prototype flew for the first time on Oct. 22, 1955. The first production model, the F-105B flew just over a year later on May 24, 1957. The single seat F-105D was the main production version. About 600 were built, and it went into service in 1961. The greater part of the plane's operational career was in Vietnam from 1963 to 1968. They carried out over 75 percent of the assault missions conducted by the USAF.

Specifications: Republic F-105D Thunderchief, Republic Aviation Corp., fighter-bomber, first flight 1959.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W turbojet, 26,500 pounds thrust
Wingspan: 34 ft, 11 inches
Length: 64 feet 3 inches
Height: 19 feet 8 inches
Weight: 52,984 pounds loaded
Maximum speed: 1,930 miles per hour at 36,000 feet
Ceiling: 52,000 feet
Range: 1,840 miles
Armament: 1 20mm cannon, 14,000 pounds of bombs
Crew: 1
(courtesy of Martin Burkey)

Dave Cockrum sent me the following bit of history about the Blackhawks' F-105s:

Re the Blackhawk F-105--Andy Yanchus (Ed: a former employee of the Aurora model company) pointed out that Dick Dillin was using the Aurora kit as his reference. There are a good number of inaccuracies in the Aurora kit, and they show up in the Blackhawk mounts. Andy modeled the Blackhawk F-105 many years ago while still at Aurora, using that kit. He'd hoped that management could be talked into releasing a Blackhawk F-105 to go along with all the other comics-related kits. A companion for the Batplane kit, so to speak. They didn't go for it.

F-105 Model

1/72 Scale

Click here for more pictures and description of the construction process for the Blackhawks' plane.

Sven Knudson's photo of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief at the 97 IPMS Nats

Back to Blackhawk Model Page

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