Republic F-105 Thunderchief

ICAO aircraft code F105
Manufacturer Republic Aviation
Country United States
New price USD 2.14 million (1960)

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was an American supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force.


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Republic F-105 Thunderchief Specifications

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ICAO aircraft code
Republic Aviation
1955 - 1964
United States
New purchase price
USD 2.14 million (1960)

Aircraft performance

NASARR R-14A radar, AN/ASG-19 Thunderstick fire control system, AN/ARN-85 LORAN
1x Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W
26,500 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1210 Kts
2,241 Km/h
Travel range:
1,917 Nm
3,550 Kilometers
Service Ceiling:
48,500 feet
Rate of Climb:
38500 feet / minute
195.58meter / second

Weight & dimensions

Max Take Off Weight:
23,967 Kg
52,838 lbs
Max Payload:
6,500 Kg
14,330 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
2,810 gallon
10,637 liter

Disclaimer: The information on this page may not be accurate or current. Never use it for flight planning or any other aircraft operation purposes. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning or any other aircraft operations should only be done using official technical information provided by the manufacture or official aviation authorities.

About the Republic F-105 Thunderchief

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was an American supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. Capable of Mach 2, it conducted the majority of strike bombing missions during the early years of the Vietnam War; it was the only American aircraft to have been removed from combat due to high loss rates. It was originally designed as a single-seat, nuclear-attack aircraft; a two-seat Wild Weasel version was later developed for the specialized Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) role against surface-to-air missile sites. The F-105 was commonly known as the “Thud” by its crews.

As a follow-on to the Mach 1 capable North American F-100 Super Sabre, the F-105 was also armed with missiles and a rotary cannon; however, its design was tailored to high-speed low-altitude penetration carrying a single nuclear weapon internally. First flown in 1955, the Thunderchief entered service in 1958. The single-engine F-105 could deliver a greater bomb load than some American heavy bombers of World War II such as the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The F-105 was one of the primary attack aircraft of the Vietnam War; over 20,000 Thunderchief sorties were flown, with 382 aircraft lost including 62 operational (non-combat) losses (out of the 833 produced). Although less agile than smaller MiG fighters, USAF F-105s were credited with 27.5 kills.

During the war, the single-seat F-105D was the primary aircraft delivering heavy bomb loads against the various military targets. Meanwhile, the two-seat F-105F and F-105G Wild Weasel variants became the first dedicated SEAD platforms, fighting against the Soviet-built S-75 Dvina (NATO reporting name: SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missiles. Two Wild Weasel pilots were awarded the Medal of Honor for attacking North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile sites, with one shooting down two MiG-17s the same day. The dangerous missions often required them to be the “first in, last out”, suppressing enemy air defenses while strike aircraft accomplished their missions and then left the area.

When the Thunderchief entered service it was the largest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in history, weighing approximately 50,000 pounds (23,000kg). It could exceed the speed of sound at sea level and reach Mach 2 at high altitude. The F-105 could carry up to 14,000lb (6,400kg) of bombs and missiles. The Thunderchief was later replaced as a strike aircraft over North Vietnam by both the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and the swing-wing General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark. However, the “Wild Weasel” variants of the F-105 remained in service until 1984 after being replaced by the specialized F-4G “Wild Weasel V”.

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