Republic F-105 Thunderchief

     In 1951, Republic Aviation began a project (AP-63) to develop a supersonic tactical fighter-bomber to replace the F-84F. The result was the F-105 Thunderchief, which later gained the affectionate nickname "Thud."  The prototype YF-105A made its first flight on October 22, 1955.  The first production aircraft, an F-105B, was delivered to the United States Air Force in May 27, 1958. 
    A supersonic aircraft capable of carrying conventional and nuclear weapons internally as well as externally, the F-105B was the heaviest, most complex fighter in the USAF inventory when it became operational. F-105s were produced only in the "B," "D" and "F" series (later, some "F"s were modified to become F-105Gs).  
    The first ten F-105Bs were delivered as pre-production test aircraft.  Some were briefly used by the Thunderbirds, but when an aircraft broke up in flight, the team reverted back to the F-100D.  The F-105D could carry over 12,000 pounds of ordnance, a heavier bomb load than a World War II B-17. Up to 8,000 pounds could be carried internally in the bomb bay. The F-105D was used extensively in the Vietnam War. It flew 75 percent of the air strikes against North Vietnam during its first four years. The last F-105D was withdrawn from USAF service on July 12, 1980.  833 Thunderchiefs were built.
Check out the F-105 display models at