Key's Republic F-105 Thunderchief - Peacetime Operations

Author/Artists: Theo van Geffen & Gerald Arruda


Key Books


$24.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 96 pages, soft cover, 9.5 x 6.7.
ISBN: 978-1-913870-66-9

The F-105 was developed to meet the requirement of a fighter-bomber replacement for the F-84. As such, it was determined that the aircraft would need to be able to fly at supersonic speeds. During the design of the plane, the concept of 'area rule' became widely known with US aircraft designers and so the 105 incorporated this into the plane's design. Prototypes discovered that the original straight leading edge intakes were not delivering the amount of air needed by the engine so a redesign to its now familiar forward swept intakes were enough to deal with the issue.

The aircraft entered service in time to equip several wings and proved to be the main attack bomber used in the Vietnam War. In fact, nearly half of the planes produced were lost in either combat or operational accidents during this conflict. However, they were highly effective in the bomber/ground attack role. Post war, the type was rapidly taken out of regular USAF service and flown by the ANG and Reserves until 1984 when the type was retired.

This book is as much a photo book as it is a history of the type. It concentrates on its use outside the Vietnam War. Thunderbird wings operated in Europe, the Pacific, and in the US. Each of the wings/squadrons are covered. Thanks to the wide photo coverage of the type. This means that wide majority of the images are in full color. This all makes for an excellent book on the type that will be enjoyed and appreciated by all enthusiasts of the type and modelers alike.

Development of the Typhoon started before the start of WWII. It was to be a replacement fighter for the Hurricane and so, to hedge their bets, there were two nearly idential types started, each with a different engine. The Typhoon was powered by the Napier Sabre while the Tornado was to be powered by a Rolls Royce Vulture. The Vulture was already powering the Manchester bomber but was fraught with difficulties and just did not turn out to be a reliable engine. Not that it was all roses for the Sabre as it had its usual teething issues. Development was not helped with all work on both planes was halted in 1940 in order to concentrate on building extant types.  

July 2022

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