Republic F-105 “Thunderchief” or “Thud”

Aircraft Background

Formerly assigned to the Florida Military Aviation Museum at Clearwater-St. Petersburg Airport, when the museum closed the aircraft were removed from the facility and placed in outside storage. Officially a part of the U.S. Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson AFB collection, the F-105B has just been placed on indefinite loan to MAPS Air Museum for restoration purposes.

Aircraft’s History

A replacement for the Republic F-84 tactical fighter/bomber, the F-105 was designed to carry conventional and nuclear weapons internally or externally. MAPS’ F-105 is one of 75 F-105B variants. Notable facts: when the F-105 entered service with the U.S. Air Force, it was the largest and heaviest fighter in the inventory. We have 3 different airframes used by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds (the others include the F-4 Phantom and the F-100 Super Sabre; the F-105 was used very briefly by the flight demonstration team, only completing 6 shows. When one of the airframes broke up mid-flight, the ensuing investigation revealed extensive modifications would be required if the Air Force wanted to continue using the F-105 for the Thunderbird act. It was then decided to revert to the F-100D airframe.

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