Tuesday, January 04, 2011


A 17th Wild Weasel Squadron F-105G climbs out for a mission with the Moon in the background. Photo by Ikar, Aircraft Resource Center site.

One of the prototype RF-105B Thunderchiefs on display at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. Photo by F106A, Aircraft Resource Center site.

Forum discussion of the F-105s with many pictures, including multiple pictures of the F-105Ds used at Lackland AFB for flightline security training, can be found at the Aircraft Resource Center.

Link for surviving F-105 Thunderchiefs, from B model to G model Wild Weasels. Judging from the number of D airframes, could activate at least a squadron. I see one airframe is located near me, guess will have to find it and photograph it. Stay tuned.

P.S. While on the Thunderchief, just found this article about a truly hairy SAM mission back in the early days of the Viet Nam War. For gallantry, Navy Lt Cmdr Powers of VA-164 received the Air Force Cross posthumously


Ed Rasimus said...

"You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others. A man has only one virginity to lose in fighters, and if it is a lovely plane he loses it to, there his heart will ever be."

Hemingway said it, but I lived it. A handful more than 800 produced and only about 75 left to retire in 1984. It isn't airframes that keep one from being restored to fly again so much as bureaucracy.

Anna said...

Beautiful words, Hemingway did have the knack to sculpt beauty with mere words.

The comment on airframes was my poor attempt at tackling the flyable F-105 argument from a different angle by showing how many still exist.

I guess the fight to get a flyable F-105 is still on hold? Not seen any news which prompted me to go surfing and finding those pictures at ARC.

Ed Rasimus said...

Restoration is going on in a couple of places and is a full tear-down and rebuild. Not sure about engine sourcing as a functional J-75 might be tough to come up with.

What's lacking is DOD approval to "lease" a system to an operator such as the Collings Foundation. Their protests ring hollow though as the F-4 restorations have been operating safely for several years. Ditto the F-104 Starfighter demo team.

Anna said...

Never thought it might be hard to find J-75 engines or does the TR-1/U-2 use a different engine now?

DoD stone-walling is something to see. Now if they had spent this much energy fighting Gates and Obama over the F-22 cuts, we might have more of them.

I ran across the web-site of those three F-14 Starfighters. If civilians can keep three of those bottlerockets flying without a mishap, the F-105 seems a no-brainer especially since Collings alreay flies an F-4 and a TA-4J.