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Republic F-84 Thunderjet & Thunderstreak: Prototypes and Projects

hesham

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Hi,

there is many developments,which was intended to increase the F-84 life,
such as a twin engined version powered by two GE 1/J1Bs and a four
engined variant powered by GE J85s and designed for close air support
with a combat range of 200 miles.
Also the F-84F/V which was incorporated a VTOL capability,this version
would have featured wing-mounted lift/cruise engines.

Source; The Thunder Factory,book.
 

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Jemiba

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;)
 

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Petrus

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I'm afraid the drawings' captions have been switched. The first apparently shows the V-STOL variant and the other - the four-engined one, I suppose.

Anyway, it seems very interesting.

Best regards,
Piotr

captions corrected, thank you ! ;)
 

hesham

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My dear Jemiba,

very very nice drawings,thank you my dear.
 

Justo Miranda

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FICON scheme from SCALE MODELS magazine unknown date
 

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swallow

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Hi , everyone


Can somebody give me info or drawings of the two-seat F-84F Thunderstreak .
or ( AP-85 ) who was never built.


Swallow.
 

RyanCrierie

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YF-84J Photos.
 

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CFE

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How did the F-84F Thunderstreak compare to the F-86 Sabre (F-86F & F-86H) in terms of performance? I have read the speculation that the F-84F was a wasteful development for the purpose of keeping Republic's jet fighter business competitive; it got to the point where the Air Force tolerated costly delays associated with redesigning the aircraft for the J65 engine after the J35 was deemed underpowered for the Thunderstreak.

I'm of the opinion that the F-84F mission could have been met with an expanded F-86 buy. But I don't know enough about the F-84F's assigned missions and how it compared with the F-86F & F-86H.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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War Eagles Air Museum (http://www.war-eagles-air-museum.com/) puts out a quarterly newsletter. Their website has back issues in an online archive. They are PDF and free for download

Third Quarter 2008 has a featured article on PROJECT ZELMAL. Tried to attach it to this post till I realized it exceeded the posting limits.

So here's a link to the archive: http://www.war-eagles-air-museum.com/newsletters.php

(Second Quarter has an article on the XB-51)

Moonbat

PS- War Eagles is a fine collection of warbirds and restored autos. If you're ever in my neck of the woods (or sand in my case), definitely pay a visit. Hey it's not the NASM or SDAM. But it's still worth a visit. They even have an F-84F.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Merged topics, added F-84F/V image from Leo Polaski collection posted at Warbirds Information Exchange.
 

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Basil

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A little bit off-topic, but a nice article about the XF-84H with its supersonic prop:

http://www.airspacemag.com/how-things-work/cit-wilkinson-july03.html
 

Tailspin Turtle

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CFE said:
How did the F-84F Thunderstreak compare to the F-86 Sabre (F-86F & F-86H) in terms of performance? I have read the speculation that the F-84F was a wasteful development for the purpose of keeping Republic's jet fighter business competitive; it got to the point where the Air Force tolerated costly delays associated with redesigning the aircraft for the J65 engine after the J35 was deemed underpowered for the Thunderstreak.

I'm of the opinion that the F-84F mission could have been met with an expanded F-86 buy. But I don't know enough about the F-84F's assigned missions and how it compared with the F-86F & F-86H.

A good question. If you go to Ryan Crierie's excellent collection of Standard Aircraft Characteristics charts (http://www.alternatewars.com/SAC/SAC.htm), you'll find SACs for all three aircraft and can make a comparison as to payload/range, speed, etc.

There were, of course, other factors like maintaining an industrial base, the need to get more airplanes of a specific mission type than one manufacturer might be able to provide in the time available, competition for price, etc.
 

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Republic Aircraft factory model of the XF-84F/V (Photo by Chad Slattery)
 

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SA315B

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Thoughts on the F-84F

The F-84F was developed (and expected to be numbered) as a different aircraft than the F-84 but the US Congress would not allocate the funds to purchase what was then called the YF-96A so the Air Force called it the F model F-84 and used the funds allocated to purchase F-84s to bring the F into service.

The F-84F had a reputation as an unstable aircraft. It was believed by most that they were practically unrecoverable in a spin and the manual called for the pilot to eject if in an inverted spin at any altitude and in any spin below 10,000 feet. A NJ Air National Guard pilot, LTC Leland Cranmer, disproved this as he completed air shows by placing the F in an inverted spin, recovering to a slow roll, lowering the gear while inverted over the threshold and landing as he came out of the roll. I witnessed this several times in the late 1950’s.

LTC Cranmer had flown P-40, P-47 and P-51 fighters in China during WW II as well as several models of the F-86 after the war. Although he often referred to the F-86 as, “the last of the sports models,” he considered the 84 a better overall aircraft and believed that if it had been fitted with a more powerful engine it would have been significantly better than the 86. Of course the F-100 had been introduced the same year as the F-84F (1954), the F-104 had its first flight in 1954 and the F-105 in 1955 so there wasn’t much point in taking the 84F any further.

While close in performance to the F-86 the primary advantage of the F-84F was its ability to carry a Mark 7 nuclear bomb. Indeed, the primary mission of F-84F squadrons in the US Air Force became the delivery of nuclear bombs in the event of war with the Soviet Union.

They were to be delivered by a method know as LAB Bombing (I may have misspelled this term; I only heard it spoken and never saw it written). The delivery aircraft would approach the target, go into a climb and release the device when close to vertical. It would then pull over the top diving while still inverted to increase speed, complete the maneuver as a Half Cuban Eight and, with some luck, out run the blast.

The bad news was they did not carry enough fuel to get back to whatever base they had flown from and the pilots were expect to eject when they ran out of fuel and E&E back to friendly lines.
 

pathology_doc

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SA315B said:
The bad news was they did not carry enough fuel to get back to whatever base they had flown from and the pilots were expect to eject when they ran out of fuel and E&E back to friendly lines.

At this point, I would refer the optimistic reader to the climax of the bomber crew's journey in "Fail Safe".

Even if the nuclear exchange somehow stayed at the tactical level, it would be an escape from the frying pan into the fire. I suspect that if the KGB, the Warsaw Pact armies and myriad angry civilians did not get them, the general battlefield environment almost certainly would. If they took off knowing that a general strategic exchange had occurred, there might be a few who would be tempted to loiter in the immediate vicinity and get it over with.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

Here are a few XF-84H drawings from the Gerald Balzer collection.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Basil

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Mark, thanks for the great drawings. It´s hard to find some reliable sources regarding the XF-84H, especially the inner structure. Besides it proves there was really an afterburner planned for this turboprop engine.
 

Arjen

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Basil said:
Besides it proves there was really an afterburner planned for this turboprop engine.
Brilliant. Loudest-single-prop-job-ever gains an afterburner. If something's good, more of it is better B)

Source: 'The Thunder Factory' by Joshua Stoff, Motorbooks International, 1990
... The second XF-84H was completed but never flown and the third, with an afterburning engine, was never built.
 

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Arjen said:
... The second XF-84H was completed but never flown and the third, with an afterburning engine, was never built.

The second XF-84H was, in fact, flown a number of times. This inaccurate statement appears in almost every article and publication about the XF-84H, revealing once again how some authors just take the short cut and parrot what others have written, mistakes and all, instead of doing their own research.

Note extended RAM turbine, un-painted dorsal fin and Confederate flag in cockpit of 17060.
 

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Arjen

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Thanks for the correction, finally seeing 17060 in colour is a welcome surprise.
 

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Two more color photos of 17060 in flight.
 

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robunos

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Basil said:
An original sound document would be interesting.

Here you go................ ;D

http://www.aviationtrivia.info/Republic-XF-84H.php


cheers,
Robin.
 

Basil

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Thanks, Robin, but do you trust this source? It sounds like a fake.
 

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Another view of the Republic F-84F/V VTOL Fighter from the Republic Aviation (Farmingdale) in-house model shop

(Photo by Chad Slattery)
 

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Grey Havoc

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Steve Pace said:
RyanCrierie said:
EF-84G ZEL.
Here's a launch. -SP

index.php



http://www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/AD0503644

Abstract : The code word Zelmal stands for zero length launch-mat landing. The technique, as presently envisioned and developed, consists of launching a piloted, undercarriageless aircraft from a zero length launcher by use of a solid propellant rocket engine which is ejected at burn-out. The aircraft is subsequently recovered by landing on an inflated rubber mat equipped with arresting gear. Briefly, the operational advantages of Zelmal are that its use will provide decreased vulnerability by dispersion, increased flexibility and mobility, and higher performance as compared to aircraft with an undercarriage. The purpose of the program under discussion was to demonstrate the feasibility of Zelmal for Air Force operational application. Zelmal was initially investigated as a method for launching and recovering bombardment aircraft of the B-45 class; however, this evaluation program was accomplished using the F-84 aircraft. The decision to use this lighter aircraft was based partly on the fact that there were solid propellant rockets available, in an advanced stage of development, which produced sufficient thrust to launch this weight aircraft, while the use of a heavier aircraft would require the development of larger rockets specifically for this evaluation.
 

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Excerpt from NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT PAPERS 37; Innovation in Carrier Aviation.
<hr>


The USAF and USN proceeded with their tests. The Air Force was apparently concerned
that a surprise attack by Soviet aircraft on its bases in Europe would fatally cripple
the tactical fighter-bomber force assigned to support U.S. ground forces stationed
there. One way to avoid being caught by surprise was to have fighter-bombers that
could take to the air immediately on warning, and the USAF planned to mount combat loaded
F-84G Thunderjets on mobile launchers designed for the large Matador cruise
missile. But these attack aircraft would be more effective if they were stripped of their
landing gear, and so the USAF examined the flexible-deck concept as a means to
recover such “zero-length launch” planes.

The USAF’s version of the RN’s flexible deck was four hundred feet long, but the extra
length (as compared to what the RN was using) did not protect the pilot of the first test
flight from severe injury. The engineering problem faced by the project team had been
to find a way to retract the F-84G’s flaps, which would be down during the aircraft’s
approach, once the plane’s tailhook had caught. The engineers had feared that bringing
the plane down on the rubber deck with its flaps extended might ruin the deck, and so
they had installed a system to pull the flaps up into the wings as soon as the plane
caught the arresting wire. Unfortunately, on the first attempt this system worked even
though the plane didn’t catch the wire, with the result that the F-84G bounced twice on
the mat and then crashed heavily beyond it. Though a second attempt to land an F-84G
on the mat was successful in December 1954, the pilot was violently thrown around in
the cockpit and badly injured. The USAF then abandoned testing.25

The Navy, proceeding in parallel with the Air Force, first sent two pilots to
Farnborough to gain experience landing on the flexible deck there. BuAer also had
Grumman modify two F9F7 Cougar swept-wing jets for tests planned for early 1955.
Both aircraft retained their landing gear, but both were also equipped with powerful
Pratt & Whitney J-48 engines.26 In an effort to protect its own test pilots and those of
the Navy from injuries of the kind suffered by their Air Force counterparts, Grumman
developed “a rigid torso harness, a formfit helmet with wraparound jaw protector, and
a device for rigidly connecting the helmet to the harness.”27 Though this apparatus successfully
protected the spines of the two test pilots who made the initial landings at
Patuxent River, one, Lt. John Moore, USN, made the following observation: “It was calculated
that with the harness on and the life jacket inflated (in the event of a water landing),
the buoyancy was slightly negative. . . . In the event of a ditching and following the pilot’s safe egress
from the airplane, he had but to remove the life jacket, remove the parachute, remove the protective harness,
reinstall the life jacket and inflate it. It was expected that this could be accomplished while the pilot was standing on the
bottom of Chesapeake Bay.”28 Such sarcasm aside, Moore made a number of successful
landings on the 80-by-570-foot flexible deck.

Like the British flexible deck, the one constructed for use at Patuxent River was composed
of air-filled rubber “sausages,” or bags, that were eighty feet long and thirty
inches in diameter. The bags were stretched across the deck’s base and topped by “rubberized
fabric mats” that held them in place. The Navy’s flexible deck, again like its
counterpart in Farnborough, had a front ramp (also composed of air-filled bags) and a
single arresting-gear wire. “To provide a slippery surface for landings, a compound of
silicon and water was applied to the deck surface by crewmen with swabs.”29
<hr>

25. Jacobs, “Follow the Bouncing Cougar,” pp.
11, 14. See also the excerpt from John
Moore’s “The Wrong Stuff: Flying on the
Edge of Disaster” in From the Flight Deck: An
Anthology of the Best Writing on Carrier Warfare
,
ed. Peter B.Mersky (Washington, D.C.:
Brassey’s, 2003), p. 182.

26. Jacobs, “Follow the Bouncing Cougar,” p. 14.

27. Ibid., p. 16.

28. Moore, in From the Flight Deck, ed.Mersky,
p. 186.

29. Jacobs, “Follow the Bouncing Cougar,” p. 17.
 

Jemiba

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Thank you, very interesting reading !
Take-off from a mobile launcher makes only sense, if it would have been driven around before,
probably through western Germany during the hot cold-war times. Folding wings would have been
very useful for the service version then, perhaps making a Navy aircraft like the Cougar a better
choice. Or a completely new a/c, of course.
 

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