Thunderchief

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Lawrence Keeney, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Lawrence Keeney

    Lawrence Keeney pain in the ass

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    Occasionally, one can see fighter aircraft transitioning through Yeager Airport, in Charleston WV. I've seen a lot of interesting military birds take off from there, such as a Navy Hawkeye last week.

    But today, I was waiting on a relative to come out of the store, and I was just kinda looking up at the sky next to Yeager.

    I could have sworn I saw what looked to me like an old school F-105 Thunderchief.

    I know they have been out of service for about three decades, but my question is, could I have seen one?

    Are there any in private hands?
     
  2. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    I did the last fatigue test on the F-105, to keep it flying with the National Guard. After they were retired, some came through the factory for dewat & prep for museums.

    One went to the 'Cradle of Aviation' museum locally (At the old Mitchell Field, they towed it down the main street at night..) It flew in but was not flyable when the museum got it, and I doubt parts can be obtained any more. The Air Force would still retain title to a museum piece.

    There IS the precedent of the guy who built a F-104 from the static airframe and parts from aviation scrapyards, but that was a loophole the AF has probably since plugged.

    [Edit] I checked the website

    http://www.cradleofaviation.org/exhibits/jet/thunderchief/index.html

    & it says that jet is on loan from the USAF Museum. So even in private hands, the AF retains ownership.
     

  3. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    My guess is that you might have seen an L-39 Albatross trainer.

    From a distance, it might appear to look something like the "Thud" (pointy nose, swept tail) albeit it is somewhat smaller.

    There are many L-39 jets flying out there daily, so I imagine seeing one in your neighborhood wouldn't be out of the question. Seeing an airworthy "Thud" would be highly unusual...
     
  4. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

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    As far as I know there are no airworthy F-105's






    BUT, that will be changing soon :thumbsup:

    There are several "Heritage" groups trying to get ahold of and build funds to restore a Thud. The Collings Foundation has finally gotten ahold of one from the Air Force but its in poor shape. In the process of getting their hands on it they found out that there are something close to 100 moth-balled at Davis-Monthan (Ive seen them myself) that are in near airworthy condition.

    The senators involved in the transfer are trying to get the AF to give them one of the ones in better condition, Ive heard rumors that it has all but happend and that the original one went to another group.

    The most likely candidate to become the first "non-Q" Thud flying in 20 years is this little G model hanging out with a couple of Gunfighters. I got a sneek peak at Paul Allen's Upupa Epops after the restoration and noticed the Thud hiding in the corner. He actually has 3 F-8's including the two NASA birds and plans on restoring one to airworthy status, but at this time he only has his hands on the one Thud. It looked to be in excellent condition so I have little doubt it will be the first up.


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