Republic Aviation’s first venture into jet aircraft was the P-84. The original plan called for a redesign of the famous P-47. When it was determined that the airframe of the P-47 was not suitable for conversion to a jet engine, a totally new design resulted in the XP-84 which first flew in 1946. The aircraft benefitted from new technology in the ducting and intake designs. The P-84 was the first jet to make use of a nose intake. The USAAF ordered 25 service test and 75 production airplanes. The original order was changed to 15 test models. The new model had a greater gross weight and an engine change to the J35 GE7 turbojet. Later models received the same basic engine built by Allison. The Air Force took delivery of the first 15 YP-84A Models in 1947. The Thunderjet was the first of the modern jet fighters with duralumin skin, pressurized cockpit, and an ejection seat for high-speed emergency exits. In 1948, the “P” designations were changed by the Air Force to “F”. Several models followed and the F-84 Thunderjet became one of the fighter planes of the Korean War. Later versions were redesigned with swept wings to improve their performance against the Russian fighters of the day.
Manufactured by Republic Aviation, Farmingdale, NY and delivered to the USAAF on 15 April 1947
|April 1947||To 611th AAF Base Unit (Air Proving Command) Eglin AAFB, FL|
|December 1947||To 605th AF Base Unit (APGC) Eglin AAFB, FL|
|July 1948||To 320th Proof Test Squadron (APGC) Eglin AFB (to YF-84A|
|October 1948||To 3345th Technical Training Wing (Air Training Command) Chanute AFB, IL|
|July 1949||To ground instructional airframe and dropped from inventory.|
|1969||Renumbered 488656 by the Air Force.|
|Wingspan:||33 ft. 7 1/4 in.|
|Length:||43 ft 4 3/4 in|
|Height:||14 ft 5 in|
|Engine:||One Allison J35-A-15 turbojets|
|Speed:||Cruise 535 MPH, Max: 695 MPH|
|Service Ceiling:||43,420 feet|
|Armament:||6 .50 .cal machine guns; 6,000 lb payload|
This aircraft is on loan to the Chanute Air Museum from the National Museum of the Unites States Air Force.