Republic RF-84F Thunderflash in Detail (Reprise)
|The Thunderflash was the subject of an article on this site a few
years ago with a detailed history and photos of a former
West-German Airforce aircraft (RF-84F
at Hermeskeil). With the recent re-issue of the only available kit
in 1/72 from Italeri, there sure is a need for even more details!
Being a dedicated photo-reconnaissance machine, a production run of over 700 airframes is quite impressing. Most of these served with the USAF but small batches were also exported to different NATO countries. Among those using the aircraft were Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and Greece. The two latter countries bought their aircraft second-hand from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Greek Airforce flew its last sortie in the RF-84F in March 1991, not bad for a second-generation jet first flown in 1952!
The subject of this photo feature is a Belgian Airforce aircraft, now residing in the very good museum in Brussels, Koninklijk Legermuseum. Coded FR-28 in Belgian service, it is former 51-1945 of the USAF. All photos were taken on Sunday, September 15 2002. (Battle of Britain day with Manneken Pis dressed in RAF uniform!)
Other kinds of Thunder in the Belgian Airforce
The Belgian Airforce operated all three main variants of the F-84 series; the straight wing Thunderjet, the swept wing Thunderstreak and the very similar Thunderflash which is the subject of this article. All three types are represented at the museum in Brussels.
The photos have been divided into three sections linked here. In this issue I have also included a short note on the subject of painting and markings of Belgian RF-84Fs.
On the World Wide Web, one of the must-visit web places for the Thunderflash enthusiast is f84thunderjet.com which, even if it is named after the first aircraft in the series, is a resource for any of the three main variants of the F-84!