Mushroom Model Publications' Republic F-105 Thunderchief


Jarosław Dobrzyński


Mushroom Models Publications


20.00  MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: #6138, 216 pages, Softcover, ISBN 978-83-65281-79-1

When the US war in Vietnam got hot and heavy, it was the F-105 that was the main USAF attack bomber. It was also the type that took the heaviest losses, many authors stating that nearly half the fleet was lost in SouthEast Asia. Indeed, after the war, there were few left to equip ANG and Reserve squadrons.

Designed from the outset as a high speed attack plane, it was designed with a bomb bay that ultimately was used to carry fuel for its thirsty J-75 turbojet. The initial design suffered from an inability to meet designed speeds. This was two fold. One was the lack of the proper engine in the first prototypes, and the other was a need to redesign the fuselage to meet the requirements of 'area rule' a phenomenon unknown when the aircraft was initially designed.

The initial production aircraft went through the usual teething issues that all new aircraft are prone to encounter and it was not unusual at the time for these early units to have very low readiness. The F-105 turned out to be particularly maintenance intensive and it was discovered that its electronics did not like hot weather. The plane also needed a considerable amount of runway to get airborne, thanks to is fairly small wings. The B models also suffered from the lack of an all weather capability and as a result, none of these were used in combat, being quickly turned over to the ANG once sufficient later variants were produced.

The F-105 also did not initially have a trainer version, but it was eventually realized that one was needed. Fortunate for the USAF as these airframes provided the means to develop advanced SAM suppression aircraft, known as wild weasels, a role they performed from mid war until the end and beyond. It wasn't until the near retirement of the F-105G that the USAF decided to convert 1969 fiscal year F-4s to perform this mission.

This is another superb book from Mushroom Model Publications in their yellow series monographs. This is a large format book with a lot of superb photos, many in color, as well as some superbly drawn four views. In it, you will find the full story of the design, development and use of the aircraft. Considerable space is provided to tell its war history, both as a fighter-bomber and as a SAM suppressor. We are also provided with a goodly section on the systems and weapons used by the Thunderchief. Thanks to surviving airframes, we also get a nice 'walk around' section. This series also provides drawings of the different variants and this one is no exception with a nice additional fold out in 1/72 scale for those who like plans.

It is a superb work and if you have only one book on the 'Thud', then this is the one to get.

May 2018

Review book courtesy of Mushroom Models Publications where you can order your copy. Australian readers can get theirs from Platypus Publications, and US readers from Casemate Publishing.

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