Give the F-105 Thunderchief the pop culture reputation of the F4

How would it be possible to elevate the F105 to the pop culture prominence of the F4? Could its life be extended beyond Vietnam in some way? Admitedly by the end of that war a full half of them were gone but could the remaining air frames be flogged off to fight in other wars? Perhaps in the middle east?
 
No, not a fighter. So it does not carry the same cool factor.

People remember the F-86, not the A-1. Spitfire, not the Mosquito, F-14, not the A-6 etc.

I'm sure you think the thunderchief is cool and wish other people think it was as cool but strike aircraft don't have the same ability to capture the imaginatipn of the public, the exception being the A-10 cuz memegun.
 
No, not a fighter. So it does not carry the same cool factor.

People remember the F-86, not the A-1. Spitfire, not the Mosquito, F-14, not the A-6 etc.
Yes. "Fighter pilots make movies, bomber pilots make history. "

However the Thud did have a particularly difficult task which gave it the unfortunate title of being withdrawn from service due to losses. It's a shame because it's a good aircraft.
 
Well, start by admitting the 'Thud" is a bomber, a large, single engine, limited mission bomber. Then consider how to bring the airframe into the cultural forefront during a war no one wanted. The F4 was the Corvette to the 105's El Camino. The real hot rod blasting other planes from the sky AND raining bombs on the enemy. The 'Thud' never had the sports car/fighter plane aura. You may call it a fighter, but at heart, it is a truck.

In reality, should the US have entered into a major war, the F105 may have gained a better reputation. I don't see any other nation buying them because of their limitations. Sort of like the F102 and F106. Very good for a specialized niche, but not flexible enough to constitute the core of a small airforce.
 
A big problem is the lack of exports. The F-4 is one of the greatest fighters of all time because not only did the USN, USMC, and USAF use it for decades but a multitude of allied and partner nations bought it as well to the point where a few are still using it today. I can't see the F-105 ever achieving that.
 
A popular Wild Weasel movie in the 70s would have at least strongly raised its profile. That is the kind of mission cool enough to raise its profile.
 
IIRC there was a proposal for the RCAF to buy a limited run of Avro Arrows and then build F-105 Thunderchief's under license with Orenda Iroquois engines instead of buying the Lockheed Starfighter. The F-105 was also the RCAF's preferred choice for a strike/recon aircraft. If the specifications I've read are correct for the Iroquois, the Canadian Thunderchief might be substantially better than the American one and end up becoming the definitive version. Perhaps some of the Canadian aerospace engineers might have better luck fixing the various issues with the F-105 earlier than OTL.

Given the hypothetical Canadian success with the Thunderchief and it's replacement of the CF-104 Starfighter for the low-level bombing and recon roles, I wonder if other NATO airforces might do the same? The F-104 was often employed by NATO airforces as a bomber which it was hardly built to do, I could see the F-105 filling this role much more effectively in TTL with the RCAF to serve as a model. This could go a long way towards getting to your goal. In TTL the F-105 will have better performance earlier and will be in service in not only the USAF but the RCAF, Luftwaffe, Italy, and other European airforces as their main bomber with far lower accident rates than the F-104. Throw in a well done Wild Weasel movie and I think you're pretty much there.
 
A popular Wild Weasel movie in the 70s would have at least strongly raised its profile. That is the kind of mission cool enough to raise its profile.
This would have made a difference in perception. An early F or G version would have also helped.
 
I think one way to raise the Thud's profile would be to have several squadrons in Israeli service. Given it's role and abilities, it would seem good fit with Israel's Air Force. If Thunderchiefs were in action in the Middle East in 1967 and 1973, as well as in Vietnam, I think more would be aware of it. And if in Israeli service, I don't think a Wild Weasel with the Star of David is outside the realm of possibility.

IIRC there was a proposal for the RCAF to buy a limited run of Avro Arrows and then build F-105 Thunderchief's under license with Orenda Iroquois engines instead of buying the Lockheed Starfighter. The F-105 was also the RCAF's preferred choice for a strike/recon aircraft. If the specifications I've read are correct for the Iroquois, the Canadian Thunderchief might be substantially better than the American one and end up becoming the definitive version. Perhaps some of the Canadian aerospace engineers might have better luck fixing the various issues with the F-105 earlier than OTL.

Given the hypothetical Canadian success with the Thunderchief and it's replacement of the CF-104 Starfighter for the low-level bombing and recon roles, I wonder if other NATO airforces might do the same? The F-104 was often employed by NATO airforces as a bomber which it was hardly built to do, I could see the F-105 filling this role much more effectively in TTL with the RCAF to serve as a model. This could go a long way towards getting to your goal. In TTL the F-105 will have better performance earlier and will be in service in not only the USAF but the RCAF, Luftwaffe, Italy, and other European airforces as their main bomber with far lower accident rates than the F-104. Throw in a well done Wild Weasel movie and I think you're pretty much there.
I think that's a good path to get the Thunderchief into NATO air forces beyond the USAF.

Regards,
 
F-4 looks good! it is a plane that means business. It has all the ingredients of a fast … anything you want it to be.

The F-105 was called a fighter…. with an internal bomb bay. Maybe it should have been called a B-105, but hey it was single-engine. SAC would probably have kittens if they had to accept a single-engine bomber.

… and the loss rate in Vietnam was not improving its reputation either.

Ivan
 
F-4 looks good! it is a plane that means business. It has all the ingredients of a fast … anything you want it to be.

The F-105 was called a fighter…. with an internal bomb bay. Maybe it should have been called a B-105, but hey it was single-engine. SAC would probably have kittens if they had to accept a single-engine bomber.

… and the loss rate in Vietnam was not improving its reputation either.

Ivan
Surely A-105 Ivan! :) AIGF...

More seriously I think a fighter-bomber, like the F-4 or Strike Eagle. F-105s did get air-to-air victories in Vietnam as I recall.

I think the loss rate was directly related to the dangerous work they were assigned. The old adage about 'if you're taking flak, you're over the target'

And Thuds did bring pilots back with incredible amounts of damage. As an aside, it was one of the things they looked at when designing the A-10. How was it the Thunderchiefs could survive a SAM yet at other times be brought down by small arms fire? IIRC, in the analysis, they found the main and secondary hydraulic lines were an inch apart in portions of the fuselage. So the A-10 was specifically designed to avoid that flaw.

Regards,
 
Success in Israeli markings in 73 is crucial. Have Israeli F-105G pilots play a key role in taking down the Egyptian IADs and from there they become the stuff of legends.

Today the Phantom has the same aura in Israel that the Spitfire has in Great Britain. That of a fighter plane that saved a nation in its darkest hour. IAF WW pilots in their F-105Gs could garner a similar reputation for themselves and their aircraft.
 
in 1964, one of the F-105 Thunderbirds broke up in flight during a show, and the Team went back to the F-100

It was later determined that F-105 had been damaged during refueling, and had been improperly repaired.

Too bad, they looked good in that paint



But one of the problems, just not many had been built, a push for a NATO adoption may have helped

PoD, Republic was offering restarting the F-105 production line in 1967, but that would get in the way of the F-111

Here, they pitch it to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands that OTL created the Panavia Aircraft GmbH, to manufacture a new MultiRoleCombatAircraft to replace the Buccaneer, F-104G and F.91 Gina attack aircraft.

Here, get Republic in on that mix, a few years ahead of OTL

Sorry, this aborts the Tornado, as Italy and Netherlands dropped out over concerns that what would become the Tornado would be too expensive, and challenging to make. In 1960, the F-105 was about a half million dollars more than the F-104, while the Tornado 15 years later had a sticker shock price of ten times more than the F-105, and that's inflation adjusted
 
IIRC there was a proposal for the RCAF to buy a limited run of Avro Arrows and then build F-105 Thunderchief's under license with Orenda Iroquois engines instead of buying the Lockheed Starfighter. The F-105 was also the RCAF's preferred choice for a strike/recon aircraft. If the specifications I've read are correct for the Iroquois, the Canadian Thunderchief might be substantially better than the American one and end up becoming the definitive version. Perhaps some of the Canadian aerospace engineers might have better luck fixing the various issues with the F-105 earlier than OTL.

Given the hypothetical Canadian success with the Thunderchief and it's replacement of the CF-104 Starfighter for the low-level bombing and recon roles, I wonder if other NATO airforces might do the same? The F-104 was often employed by NATO airforces as a bomber which it was hardly built to do, I could see the F-105 filling this role much more effectively in TTL with the RCAF to serve as a model. This could go a long way towards getting to your goal. In TTL the F-105 will have better performance earlier and will be in service in not only the USAF but the RCAF, Luftwaffe, Italy, and other European airforces as their main bomber with far lower accident rates than the F-104. Throw in a well done Wild Weasel movie and I think you're pretty much there.
The rcaf gave consideration to the f-105 during the decision making process which ultimately saw us adopt the CF 104. There were a multitude of reasons why we ultimately went with Kelly Johnson's thingamajig. First and foremost was the fact that it was actually operationally capable at that point in time. This same cannot be said for the Thunderchief Fleet in the early 1960s. Much like its stablemate the F 106 Delta Dart, the thud was a ball of snags in early service introduction.
Search up cook-craige production plan. There were so many changes made on the Fly on the production lines most units ended up being equipped with individual production block aircraft, just so that there was a possibility of maintaining them.
The f-105 was also about twice the price of a CF 104 and for the commitment we had made to Nato? The zipper was an ideal platform to deliver a b28, b43, or b61 down range 450 nautical miles in a survivable manner. When Trudeau decided we weren't going to do tactical nukes and told the Air Force to figure out a way to turn the zipper into a conventional bomber? That's when the wheels fell off. As a tactical Nuclear bomber or a low-level strike reconnaissance aircraft, the zipper did everything the f-105 could do at half the cost. Edit to add? There was no way in hell that we could have license built an F-105 in Canada, powered by an engine that was still early in its development stage in the same timeframe. Republic aircraft with all the mountains of money South of the Border behind them couldn't even make it work in 1959 how the hell do you expect Canadair to build it?
 
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No, not a fighter. So it does not carry the same cool factor.

People remember the F-86, not the A-1. Spitfire, not the Mosquito, F-14, not the A-6 etc.

I'm sure you think the thunderchief is cool and wish other people think it was as cool but strike aircraft don't have the same ability to capture the imaginatipn of the public, the exception being the A-10 cuz memegun.
The Mosquito, the B17, the B29 and other ground attack aircrafts and bombers beg to differ.
 
the zipper did everything the f-105 could do at half the cost.
We have been over this before, in 1960, the F-105 was roughly $2.15M vs $1.5M for the F-104

The F-104 couldn't do Mach 2 as long as the F-105 could, and had less than half the combat range
 
in 1964, one of the F-105 Thunderbirds broke up in flight during a show, and the Team went back to the F-100

It was later determined that F-105 had been damaged during refueling, and had been improperly repaired.

Too bad, they looked good in that paint



But one of the problems, just not many had been built, a push for a NATO adoption may have helped

PoD, Republic was offering restarting the F-105 production line in 1967, but that would get in the way of the F-111

Here, they pitch it to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands that OTL created the Panavia Aircraft GmbH, to manufacture a new MultiRoleCombatAircraft to replace the Buccaneer, F-104G and F.91 Gina attack aircraft.

Here, get Republic in on that mix, a few years ahead of OTL

Sorry, this aborts the Tornado, as Italy and Netherlands dropped out over concerns that what would become the Tornado would be too expensive, and challenging to make. In 1960, the F-105 was about a half million dollars more than the F-104, while the Tornado 15 years later had a sticker shock price of ten times more than the F-105, and that's inflation adjusted
I thought part of the reason the T-Birds stopped using F-105s was because heavy combat losses meant their planes were needed in operational squadrons. IIRC, the T-Bird F-105s were all returned to service.
 
I thought part of the reason the T-Birds stopped using F-105s was because heavy combat losses meant their planes were needed in operational squadrons. IIRC, the T-Bird F-105s were all returned to service.
They were all 'B' Models, and they all went to ANG Squadrons in 1964 'D' flew over Vietnam, improved avionics and instrumentation
 
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