F-84 Thunderjet in Action (Aircraft 61)
By Larry Davis
Publisher: Squadron Signal Publications 1983 52 Pages
PDF 6 MB
During World War II, a name thai was synonymous with heavily-armed lighter aircraft capable of both dishing tl out and taking everything the enemy gave, was Republic Aviation Corporation Republic was the descendant of Seversky Aircraft Corporation headed by the legendary Major Alexander P. Seversky. The Seversky design team, led by Alexander Kartveli has been responsible for such famous designs as the Seversky P-35 and P-43, the Republic P-47, F-84, F-64F and the F-105.
The Kartveli team had a knack tor going against the tide, for picking the wrong equipment, putting it in the wrong airframe, and coming up with the right design at the right time. During June of 1940, while Hitler's Panzer Divisions, under the protection of the Luftwaffe, were Knifing through France; at a time when all of Ihe other major US aircraft manufacturers were busy designing aircraft around the new Allison liquid-cooled Vee-12 in-line engine, with a small frontal area and streamlined nose, the Kartveli team decided to use a supercharged radial aircooled engine and design an airframe around it. Using the new Pratt and Whitney XR-2800 Double Wasp as its heart, the Kartvoli team came up with a design that would eventually become the scourge of Hitler's panzers, while more than holding Its own against Ihe vaunted Luftwaffe. It was big, heavy, and rather unstreamlined. But it was rugged, overpowered and could pack a very nasty wallop. It was the P-47 Thunderbolt.
With the introduction o' jet aircraft into the combat arena over Europe, a crash program to bring the United States into the competition was begun. Bell Aircraft Corporation was the first successful US manufacturer to deliver a jet-engmed aircraft to the US Armed Forces — the XP-59 Alracomet. Lockheed Aviation followed quickly with the P-80 Shooting Star. Both aircraft were powered by centrifugal flow gas turbine engines. The Kartveli team was instructed by the Army Air Force to design an aircraft around the new General Electric TG 180 axial-flow turbojet engine. Again. Kartveli's team was going against the industry 'norm', since both the already successful Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, and the new Grumman XF9F Panther were powered by the centrifugal-flow Allison J33 engine. However, use of the axial-flow TG-180 would mean a slight reduction in drag through a more streamlined fuselage, and better fuel economy, something the early jets were not known for.