One of the most important combat aircraft to see action in Korea was the straight winged F84 E/G. It’s Republic design dating back to the rugged P-47 Thunderbolt of WWII. However, this became an important NATO Jet, as it was a type deployed to many member nations such as; Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey.
Like most early jets, the Thunderjet's takeoff performance was inadequate. In hot Korean summers with a full combat load, the aircraft routinely required 10,000 ft (3,000 m) of runway for takeoff even with the help of RATO bottles (two or four of these were carried, each producing 1,000 lb (4.4 kn) of thrust for 14 seconds). All but the lead aircraft had their visibility obscured by the thick smoke from the rockets. Early F-84s had to be pulled off the ground at 160 mph (140 kn, 260 km/h) with the control stick held all the way back. Landings were made at a similar speed, for comparison the F-51 landed at approximately 120 mph (100 kn, 190 km/h). Despite the "hot" landing speeds, the Thunderjet was easy to fly on instruments and crosswinds did not present much of a problem.
The definitive straight-wing F-84G entered U.S. service in 1951. The aircraft introduced a refueling boom receptacle in the left wing, autopilot, instrument landing system, J35-A-29 engine with 5,560 lbs. of thrust, a distinctive framed canopy (also retrofitted to earlier types), and the ability to carry a single Mark 7 nuclear bomb.
The top speed limitation proved troublesome against MiG-15’s in Korea. Slower than the MiG, the F-84 was also unable to turn tightly with a maximum instantaneous-turn load of only 3 Gs followed by rapid loss of airspeed. One F-84E pilot credited with two MiG kills achieved his second victory by intentionally flying his aircraft into pitch-up. The MiG’s chasing him were unable to follow the violent maneuver and one crashed into the ground. Luckily for the F-84E pilot, the aircraft did not disintegrate but the airframe did suffer heavy warping. The F-84 was a stable gun platform and the computer gunsight aided in accurate gunnery and bombing. Pilots praised the aircraft for Republic's legendary ruggedness.
Pilots nicknamed the Thunderjet "The Lead Sled". It was also called "The Iron Crowbar", "a hole sucking air", "The Hog" ("The Groundhog"), and "The World's Fastest Tricycle", "Ground Loving Whore" as a testament to its long takeoff rolls.
In 1952 Greece joined NATO and the Air Force was rebuilt and organized according to NATO standards. New aircraft, including jets, were introduced.
The Hellenic AF used the F-84G from 1952 into 1959. It was the first jet fighter acquired with about 200 equipping a total of 6 squadrons, the 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340 and by the first Hellenic aerobatic flight, the “Four Aces”. Four F-84Gs were used for reconnaissance, by installing photo cameras on wingtip tanks. In 1957 the F-84F version started replacing the “G’s”, which were sent off to Yugoslavia, using them for another 10 years.
There are about 14 reported crashes of Greek F-84G Thunderjet’s on the Aviation Safety Network Foundation site.
The first being 52-8333 crashing near Almirs Magnisias on February 16, 1954. It is reported an instructor was fatally injured.
Greece became the longest user of all the NATO countries of the F-84, with F-84F’s in operational condition up to 1983.
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Model: Revell F-84G 1/48
This is a very good model, no gun-bay or engine structure like the Tamiya and is less costly. Would definitely use Revell again.
Paint: Testers Silver, Yellow and Red spray, overcoated in semigloss.
Decals: HI-DECAL LINE: 48-019 F-84G, with 1 Greek and 1 French jet.
Note: The checker decals for the tanks come with a top and bottom for each tank. Tank is painted yellow, after placing the decals on they had many wrinkles and wouldn’t straighten out and started to rip. Luckily, I tracked another decal sheet down and painstakingly cut each black square out and applied them separately.
This represents a F-84G-16RE Thunderjet flying out of the Nea Anhialos A.F.B. in 1954 for the 340th Mira “Flying Foxes” of the 111th Combat Wing. Typical colors were black-yellow checkerboard on the wing tanks and rudder. However, FS-373 (51-10373) had the addition of a red tail and special design on the pipe. The decals are based on a photo in the IPMS-Hellas magazine.