Republic F-105B “Thunderchief”

Our Aircraft’s History

Republic F-105B-20-RE “Thunderchief” (S/N 57-5820; MSN B57) ~ The Thunderchief  (or Thud by many crews) at MAPS started its life at the Republic Aviation Corporation in Farmington, New York in November 1959.  She was delivered to the US Air Force on November 14, 1959, where F-105 was attached to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), Tactical Air Command (TAC) at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina with deployments to Brookley AFB in Alabama and Eglin AFB in Nevada. Below you see the many additional bases that she served in:

  • June 1965 – 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing (TAC), Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • October 1967 – 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), McConnell AFB, Kansas
  • June 1970 – 177th Tactical Fighter Group, New Jersey Air National Guard, NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • September 1972 – 945th Military Airlift Group, US Air Force Reserve, Hill AFB, Utah
  • January 1973 – 508th Fighter Group, Hill AFB, Utah
  • October 1977 – 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
  • October 1980 – dropped from the Air Force inventory an transferred to AMARC in Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • June 1988 – Transferred to the Florida Air Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

She was finally recovered and moved to MAPS Air Museum in October of 2011.  Currently on display and being overseen by Crew Chief George Shearwood. The F-105B is graciously on indefinite loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Specifications/Performance

  • Role: Fighter-bomber
  • Manufacturer: Republic Aviation
  • First Flight: October 22, 1955
  • Introduction: May 27, 1958
  • Retired: February 25, 1984
  • Produced: 1955-1964
  • Number built: 833
  • Unit cost: US $2.14 (F-105D, in 1960)
  • Crew: 1 (2 for F-105F/G)
  • Length: 64 ft 4.75 in
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 11.25 in
  • Height: 19 ft 8 in
  • Empty Weight: 26,855 lb
  • Max takeoff weight: 52,838 lb
  • Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W afterburning turbojet, 14,300 lbf (w/afterburner 24,500 lbf)
  • Max speed: 1,372 mph (Mach 2.08) at 36,000 ft
  • Combat radius: 778 mi
  • Ferry range: 2,207 mi
  • Service ceiling: 48,500 ft

Armament, notable

  • 1 x 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon (1,028 rounds)
  • LAU-32/LAU-59 rocket pods w/ 7 x FFAR rockets each 
  • AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missle
  • AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-ground missle
  • AGM-45 Shrikes anti-radiation missle
  • M117 & Mark 80 series general purpose bomb
  • M118 demolition bomb
  • B28, B43, B57 and B61 nuclear bomb
  • various cluster munitions, including CBU-24

Museum display note: she still has the original paintings and marks from her last assignment, 466th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah in 1977.  

Designed to replace: Republic F-84 “Thunderjet”

Designed from: AP-63-31 Experimental Fighter/bomber

Intended replacement: McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II & General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark (However, the later F-105F/G “Wild Weasel” variants remained active until 1984.) 

More modifications/renovations are currently underway, as seen below: