Today In Aviation History – February 28 1946 – First Flight – Republic F-84 Thunderjet

aviation history

 February 28, 1946.  First flight of the Republic F-84 Thunderjet.

The rugged [[F-84 Thunderjet]] gained its greatest renown during the Korean War. Initially sent to escort B-29s on long-range missions over North Korea, the Thunderjet excelled as a close air support and daytime interdiction strike aircraft. In Korea, F-84 pilots attacked enemy railroads, dams, bridges, supply depots and troop concentrations with bombs, rockets and napalm.

The Thunderjet became the Army Air Forces’ second jet fighter to enter large-scale production, and it first flew flight in February 1946. Early F-84s had several problems, including weak wing spars, excessive weight and shortages of engines and spare parts. The F-84E, however, corrected most of the Thunderjet’s shortcomings.

During its service life, the Thunderjet served in several roles, including day fighter, long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber and as the USAF’s first tactical nuclear bomber. The USAF also supplied F-84s to 14 other countries.

Photo shows the F-84E from the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton Ohio.