The F-84 is Republic’s entry into America’s first generation of jet fighters. It was designed in 1944 in response to an Army Air Force request for a 600 mile per hour fighter. The first prototype flew in February 1946. The second prototype set an American speed record later that year. All versions of the F-84 except for the F-84F had straight wings. The F model, influenced by the success of the F-86, had a swept wing that greatly improved speed and performance. The F-84 saw combat in the Korean War.
Serving mainly as fighter-bombers, a role for which it proved to be superbly suited. During the mid-1950s the U.S. Air Force decided that they needed an aerobatic display team to match the Navy’s Blue Angels and formed the Thunderbirds to display the latest in jet fighter technology. They chose the F-84 for the team due to its excellent low altitude performance. The F-84F was retired from USAF service in 1971.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds display team, 1956
Pima Air & Space Museum