Manufactured by Republic
This great fighting machine was designed in the 1950s. It was to be a tactical nuclear bomber. It was the mainstay of our bombing campaign against North Vietnam. Although the F-105 was not a “dogfighter”, it shot down 28 enemy fighters using its Vulcan cannon and Sidewinder missiles.
Due to heavy ordnance loads and high air temperatures, the F-105 flew in afterburner much of the time in Vietnam. The ship could reach a speed of Mach 2.1, or 1,400 miles per hour at 33,000 feet. It could carry as much as 14,000 pounds of ordnance mounted on four wing pylons, one belly pylon and an internal bomb bay. The large size of the ship enabled it to carry a large amount of fuel which provided it with a combat range of more than 900 miles.
The F-105 was extremely fast. It could easily outrun the Russian MIG fighters flown by Russians, Chinese and North Vietnamese. However, many were shot down by enemy anti-aircraft and surface to air (SAM) missile batteries. A later two-seater model of the F-105 was charged with the task of destroying these ground installations while flying as a “wild weasel”. The rear cockpit was occupied by a weapons officer in these later models. Roughly one half of the F-105’s serving in Vietnam were destroyed with many aircrews captured.
- Role/Category: Fighter
- Powerplant: one jet engine rated at 26,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner
- Speed: Mach 2.1, or 1,400 miles per hour at 33,000 feet
- Armament: The F-105 had highly effective radar linked to a fire control system which enabled the fighter-bomber to fly all-weather and night missions
- Payload: 14,000 pounds of ordnance mounted on four wing pylons, one belly pylon and an internal bomb bay