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Belgian Thunderjet visiting Fassberg - about 54.    (Thanks to Mike Wraight.)
Republic F-84 Thunderjet
The Republic F-84 Thunderjet, which was to provide many of NATO's air forces with their initial jet experience, began life in the summer of 1944, when Republic Aviation's design team investigated the possibility of adapting the airframe of the P-47 Thunderbolt to take an axial flow turbojet.   This proved impractical, and in November 1944 the design of an entirely new airframe was begun around the General Electric J35 engine.   The first of three XF-84 prototypes was completed in December 1945 and made its first flight on 28 february 1946.   These prototypes were followed by 15 YP-84As for the USAF.   Delivered in the Spring of 1947, they were later converted to F-84B standard.   Deliveries of the F-84B began in the summer of 1947 to the 14th Fighter Group, and 226 were built.   The F-84C, of which 191 were built, was externally similar to the F-84B, but incorporated an improved electrical system and an improved bomb release mechanism.   The next model to appear, in November 1948, was the F-84D, which had a stengthened wing and a modified fuel system.   It was followed, in May 1949, by the F-84E, which in addition to its six 12.7mm (0.50 in) machine guns could carry two 453 Kg (1,000 lb) bombs, or 32 rockets.   The F-84G, which appeared in 1952, was the first Thunderjet variant to be equipped for flight refuelling from the outset.
Specification: Type: Fighter-bomber (data F-84G); Crew: 1; Powerplant: one 2,542 kg (5,600 lb) thrust Wright J65-A-29 turbojet; Max speed: 973 kph (605 mph) at 1,220 mtrs (4,000 ft); Service ceiling: 12,353 mtrs (40,500 ft); Max range: 1,609 km (1,000 miles); Wing span: 11.05 mtrs (36 ft 4 in); Length: 11.71 mtrs (38ft 5in); Height: 3.90 mtrs (12ft 10in); Weight: 12,701 kg (28,000 lb) loaded; Armament: six 12.7mm (0.50 in) Browning M3 machine guns; provision for up to 1,814 kg (4,000 lb) of external stores.   (Thanks to Robert Jackson's Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft produced by Paragon Books.)
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