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|This page is about the aircraft F-84B-26. For other uses, see F-84 (Family).|
The F-84B-26 Thunderjet is a Rank V American jet fighter with a battle rating of 6.7 (AB), 7.3 (RB), and 8.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.39. The F-84B-26 is known for its versatile payload and decent top speed, but lackluster in terms of acceleration. The Thunderjet does well at destroying ground targets, given the quantity and quality of payload.
The F-84 Thunderjet was Republic’s attempt to convert from piston-engine aircraft to turbojets. F-84B featured here is primarily the same aircraft as the final test version the YP-84A, except that it had faster firing M3 Browning machines guns. Due to unmitigable problems, the F-84B (and F-84C) fleet only had a short four-year operational run before being withdrawn from service.
True to life, the in-game version of the F-84B has a relatively weak turbojet engine, though wile it struggles to take off and gain altitude, once at altitude the fighter begins to shine. The F-84B while not going to break many records does have relatively good level flight and dive speed. The maximum speed of the F-84B was limited to 0.8 Mach (613 mph or 987 kph), flying faster resulted in catastrophic skin buckling or wing twist and shear due to the wing-tip fuel tanks which is a real concern when flying in realistic and simulator battles. This maximum speed limitation can cause issues, especially when flying against the Soviet MiG-15 which has a higher max speed.
Even though the F-84B has an extremely long takeoff roll, this aircraft can be loaded with a variety of suspended armaments which other comparable fighters cannot compare to. The F-84B is an incredibly stable platform and is also outfitted with six 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns for targets of opportunity. Though each gun only has 300 rounds of ammunition, trigger control is necessary or else the pilot will be left with empty guns in short order. Considered a multi-role aircraft, the F-84B can be utilised as a fighter-interceptor, bomber interceptor and ground attack fighter. The F-84B can be laden with a variety of bombs ranging from 100 lbs all the way up to two 1,000 lb bombs. HVAR and Tiny Tim rockets are a viable option alone or mixed with bombs to expand the options of targets to be attacked depending on the map the pilot is flying in.
Like many jet fighters, flying slowly makes for an easy target and this is no exception for the F-84B. Speed is necessary to ensure manoeuvrability both to engage a target and to shake a tail. Don’t expect this fighter when laden down with two 1,000 lbs bombs or two Tiny Tim and 8 HVAR rockets to excel in a dog-fight as it won’t with all that weight, however, after all that ordnance is released the F-84B can then mix it up, though it is preferable to maintain speed while performing Boom & Zoom manoeuvres. The F-84B will help newer jet pilots get used to the basics of the aircraft before upgrading to the F-84G.
The F-84B is a streamline all-metal jet fighter which was designed to house the Allison J35-A-15 turbine jet engine. This early Allison engine proved to be weak on power when it came to take-off/thrust ratio and climbing speed. The distance needed to achieve the take-off roll became a joke with F-84B pilots as they quipped that there was a “sniffer” device mounted in the nose of the aircraft which upon reaching V2 (takeoff safety speed at which the aircraft can safely climb) it would then begin searching for the dirt at the end of the runway and when detected the controls would become operational for the pilot to take off and fly the aircraft. While a joke between pilots, it remains that in-game this fighter has a significant roll-out time of 1,500 m (~5,000 ft) before lift-off.
Though the take-off and climb characteristics of the Allison jet engine appeared lacklustre, it actually had decent level flight speed and good dive characteristics. Speed is what saves this fighter, in once it has enough built up, it will perform. Though not the fastest at its battle rating, the F-84B is a great boom & zoom aircraft vs. being a dog-fighter. Turning this aircraft will bleed its speed and the roll rate can be affected by the weight of the wing-tip fuel tanks. One negative aspect of the wing-tip fuel tanks of the early F-84s was that high speeds (+1,000 kph) tended to cause the fuel tanks to twist resulting in the destruction of the wings which does reflect in realistic and simulator battles in-game if exceeded. While turning in this jet is not advised, Immelmann and Split-S manoeuvres will help to conserve energy without compromising the speed of the aircraft.
| Max Speed
(km/h at ?,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at ?,000 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 530||< 600||< 690||N/A|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|0 m||1620 kgf||No WEP|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit front
- 6.35 mm Steel plate in front of the pilot
- 12.7 mm Steel plate in pilot's headrest
- 8 mm Steel plate behind the pilot
Like many early jet fighters, the armour was placed around the pilot while not much thought was given to the other critical components of the aircraft. From behind, the pilot is protected by an 8 mm steel plate behind the seat with a 12.7 mm steel plate as a headrest. In front of the pilot, a 38 mm bulletproof windscreen adds protection from head-on's or from defensive bomber weapons. Another 6.35 mm steel plate is placed in front of the pilot and instrument panel for further protection of bullets entering the open-ended air-intake.
Other critical components such as the jet turbine, fuel tanks and coolers are all exposed, only protected by the outer skin of the aircraft which may deflect incoming bullets if at sufficient distance or angle to do so.
When attacking an F-84B, aim for the centre of the aircraft where you have a good chance of getting a critical hit on the engine or in a fuel tank. Due to this aircraft having wing-tip fuel tanks, shots to the wings or wing-tip tanks have a potential of starting a fire or breaking a wing off. If the attacking aircraft has sufficient calibre ammunition then shots taken at the pilot may have a larger chance of success if made from the sides or behind. This aircraft does not have much protection against rockets or missiles, however, given sufficient notice, rockets can be avoided and it is possible that missiles can be outmanoeuvred, however, when playing in realistic or simulator you run the risk of the pilot blacking-out due to G-force manoeuvers or wings snapping while trying to outfly a missile.
The F-84B-26 is armed with:
- 4 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 1,200 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine gun, wing-mounted (300 rpg = 600 total)
Early fighters had many different configurations of machine guns and cannons mounted in the fuselage and in the wings, sometimes needing to be synced with the propeller to prevent its destruction. With the jet age developing, many factors of the past needed to be reconsidered with gun placement. With jet fighters flying faster and chasing faster targets, trying to find the sweet spot with gun convergence was extremely difficult, jet fighter pilots needed a little extra help with this. Besides implementing newer gun sites and early radar, jet fighter guns tended to be fuselage-mounted, thus eliminating the need to set the convergence and at any point between 0 m and 800 m the ammunition rounds would fly true without a convergence point.
For the F-84B, four of the 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns were mounted in the fuselage with the other two mounted in the wing roots. While they were not all centre mounted, the two in the wing roots were close enough that convergence did not need to be messed with. Two ammunition options provide the most bang-for-the-buck, firstly, the omni-purpose rounds are good all-around ammunition rounds which provide tracers and explosive/incendiary rounds which are effective against aircraft and up to light armoured vehicles. Hardened vehicles and bunkers should be left to bombs and rockets for their destruction. If as a pilot you are looking for the sneak attack, stealth rounds will allow you to get on target fire off rounds and not give away your position, giving you a few seconds to make a second attack if needed before the target realizes where you are coming from.
The F-84B-26 can be outfitted with the following ordinance"
- 4 × 127 mm HVAR rockets
- 8 × 127 mm HVAR rockets
- 8 × 127 mm HVAR rockets + 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs
- 8 × 127 mm HVAR rockets + 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs
- 8 × 127 mm HVAR rockets + 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs
- 8 × 127 mm HVAR rockets + 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs
- 2 × 298 mm Tiny Tim rockets + 8 x 127 mm HVAR rockets
- 2 × 298 mm Tiny Tim rockets
- 2 × 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs
- 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs
- 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs
- 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs
The F-84B is one of a small handful of aircraft in War Thunder which offers many different suspended armament options ranging from bombs and rockets depending on the target needing to be destroyed. The smaller bombs such as the AN-M30A1 and AN-M57 and HVAR rockets are useful against soft targets like anti-aircraft batteries, unarmored vehicles, ships and some light tanks. The heavier hitters like the AN-M61A1, AN-M65A1 and Tiny Tim rockets are effective (more like overkill) for the softer targets, but also work well with bunkers, heavier armoured tanks, larger ships and can also be utilised against bases.
Sometimes the suspended weapons you start out with doesn't work well later on in the match, therefore you can return to your base and exit the aircraft (default key = 'j') and select a different load-out unless you would like to fly strictly as a fighter where you can select "without load" and rely just on the six Browning M3 machine guns. The wide variety of ordnance options available for this aircraft make it an excellent clean-up ground attacker which can attack just about anything on the map with the right setup.
Usage in battles
The F-84B is a versatile multi-role fighter. Though not as fast and powerful as later models, it can be configured to be used in various types of aerial warfare, namely bomber interceptor, ground attack and fighter-interceptor.
- Bomber Interceptor
Some may question this fighters ability to be a bomber interceptor due to its poor rate of climb, but taking the time to side climb and gain altitude can pay dividends in the end. Care must be taken to climb away from hostile aircraft as any departure from climbing to avoid an attack will only increase the time it takes for you to get to optimal altitude. As a bomber interceptor, the pilot has two options for weapon load-outs.
If the F-84B is still stock or in the process of upgrading modules, the best bet will be to not load any suspended armaments and rely on the six 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns to do the work. Just using the machine guns will help save on weight and make it a bit easier to climb on the unmodified engine. For those pilots who have modified engines, they can opt for guns only for a quicker climb or attach HVAR rockets for an additional punch against larger bombers.
Once at altitude, scan and select a bomber target of opportunity. It is best to attain higher altitude than the bomber, giving you options as to which direction to attack from and increase your speed when diving in, speed is key to avoid defensive guns, race out of their range and to gain enough distance to safely turn around and follow up with another attack if needed.
Since the six M3 machine guns are virtually centred on the aircraft, the inbound bullets will be clustered and should be aimed at engines, cockpit, fuel tanks and any other critical areas as the body of the aircraft can sometimes absorb a large amount of smaller calibre ammunition before causing a critical hit or crippling the aircraft. The limitation of only 300 rounds per gun will require trigger discipline by the pilot to ensure enough rounds are available for a secondary or tertiary attack without having to reload or return to base.
Utilizing HVAR rockets at large lumbering bombers can have a great impact, though unguided, they will need to be pointed in the general direction when launched, it may take several practice runs to determine best angle and distance in which to fire from for a successful attack. As with any unguided rocket, the best bet is to launch a volley of rockets to ensure a greater chance of at least one hitting.
- Ground Attack
Jet fighters tend to not make good ground attackers as it typically requires them to fly low and slow making them easy pickings for enemy fighters above or anti-aircraft fire below. Since the F-84B is neither an exceptionally fast fighter nor a lumbering bomber, it has an advantage of being fast enough to be dangerous to ground targets without being a sitting duck for patrolling enemy fighters.
While many aircraft available in War Thunder has a specific role of fighter-interceptor, ground attack or bomber, the F-84B can set itself up with suspended ordnance depending on the targets available on the map. The F-84B has several options depending on the modules unlocked by the pilot which range from outfitting HVAR unguided rockets, massive Tiny Tim unguided rockets, 100 lb, 250 lb, 500 lb and 1,000 lb bombs or a mixture of bombs and rockets.
Smaller bombs and the HVAR rockets are best for going after lighter armoured targets such as aircraft (on the ground or with rockets in the air), anti-aircraft batteries, trucks, some light tanks and ships. The larger Tiny Tim rockets and bombs are best reserved for more hardened targets like pillboxes, medium and large tanks, bunkers, large ships and bases. This fighter is not afraid to get down and dirty taking out ground targets, just be aware of your surroundings and watch for enemy fighters or anti-aircraft guns poised to take you out.
- Fighter Interceptor
While definitely not the fastest nor the most manoeuvrable fighter on the field, the F-84B has enough speed and manoeuvrability to take on fighter jets. The centerline six M3 machine guns concentrate enough lead into one spot to damage or destroy fighter aircraft flying in its path. While turning this fighter is bad due to bleeding airspeed (although maybe an option if you are trying to force an overshoot), Immelmann and Split-S manoeuvres will help you change directions keeping up your speed and allowing for a getaway or a targeting solution.
Boom & Zoom tactics will enable the F-84B to have the speed to manoeuvre and set up their shots and keep them actively in the fight. Many enemy fighters may mistake the F-84B as a weak and slow aircraft, however, the machine is not 100% of the solution and many pilots can take lesser aircraft and best faster, more agile and better-gunned aircraft by using their training, skills and the F-84B. The only time to count out the F-84B is when you see the pilot bail out, otherwise, always consider it a threat.
|I||Fuselage Repair||Offensive 12 mm||FRC Mk.7||FSBC Mk.1|
|II||New Boosters||Compressor||Airframe||FSBC Mk.5|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||New 12 mm MGs||FRC Mk.7a||FMBC Mk.1|
|IV||G-Suit||Cover||LFRC Mk.12||FLBC Mk.1|
The quandary with a stock F-84B is to decide whether to first research upgraded ammunition or components which improve speed? If choosing to upgrade the ammunition to gain access to ammunition belts other than the default belt, first choose Offensive 12 mm. The modules which allow access to the bombs and rockets should be the last ones to research. The Compressor and Engine modules should come next (or first if you choose to upgrade the engine first) to increase the aircraft's ability to climb and accelerate. New boosters, Wings repair, Airframe and Cover are the next best choices for upgrades which help the fighter be a little more robust. G-suit module may be a good early choice if the crew points for are lacking, however, this fighter will not be making any high speed/high-G turns which should adversely affect the pilot, but this may come into play with arcade battles where wing ripping is not a factor.
Pros and cons
- Sufficient amount of ammo
- Excellent top speed in a straight line
- Above average acceleration levelled
- Above average roll rate
- Deadly rapid-firing M3 Browning machine guns
- Nose mounted guns, no need to worry about convergence
- Overall great durability
- Great at Boom & Run and Boom & Zoom
- Gigantic payload
- Air spawn in realistic battle (most maps)
- Need a solid burst to down an enemy
- Engine suffers greatly at high altitudes
- Terrible vertical energy retention
- Loses all speed in turns
- Average climb rate
- Worst manoeuvrability of any early tier jets
- Can carry a large and varied payload, though all of them substantially increase drag and weight, severely hampering the performance
In early 1944, Alexander Kartveli, the chief designer for the Republic Aviation Aircraft Company set out to work on a replacement for the piston-powered P-47 Thunderbolt which instead would be powered by a turbojet. All attempts at trying to use the P-47 frame to accommodate a turbojet failed and Kartveli resorted to designing a brand new aircraft around an axial compressor turbojet engine. Due to the nature of the engine taking up a large majority of the fuselage, fuel tanks were designed to be in the wings of the aircraft, however, the body was streamlined to make the smallest profile possible and retain all necessary critical components.
The USAAF in September 1944 released new requirements for a daytime fighter along with specific characteristics such as the top speed of 600 mph (966 kph), armament of six 21.7mm machine guns or four 15.2 mm machine guns along with housing a General Electric TG-180 axial turbojet also known as the Allison J35 series turbojet engine. Republic proposed their new aircraft and on paper proposed it would be superior to Lockheed’s P-80 Shooting Star. The USAAF noting Republic’s already proven experience with single-seat fighters proposed a contract without holding any competition. These initial order fighters were listed as YP-84As and P-84Bs.
These early test aircraft were put to wind tunnel testing and it was found that major flaws developed when subjected to high speeds, notably longitudinal instability in the aircraft’s frame and stabilizer skin buckling at high speeds. Also noted was issues with the weight of the aircraft and the problem with early turbojets not producing enough thrust for takeoff and climb outs (a problem which plagued the F-84B aircraft until more robust engines were outfitted). Early J35-GE-7 engines were replaced with J35-A-15 versions which helped with the thrust ratio, however wing-tip fuel tanks were added to the mix prior to proper testing and issues developed which at one point grounded the fleet of aircraft until modifications were made.
In 1947, the USAF changed the pursuit designation of the aircraft to fighter and thus the P-84 became the F-84. The YP-84A and the F-84B only differed when it came to the type of M3 machine guns they carried, as the F-84B had faster-firing machine guns than the YP-84A. Early successes of the F-84B were overshadowed by problem after problem including a speed restriction limiting flight to no more than Mach 0.8 as any faster and the aircraft experienced control reversal where the pilot would input normal commands with the control stick and the opposite manoeuvre would occur (for instance if the pilot pulled back on the control stick to make the aircraft climb, the aircraft would actually begin to dive and vice versa). Even with the speed restrictions, the entire fleet of F-84B fighters was grounded by 1948 due to parts shortages and structural failures. It was also at this time that the F-84C aircraft were also determined to be incapable of performing any of their mission parameters, however since the F-84D was already under production (with all of the B and C variants issues being resolved), the program continued. Funding was allocated to upgrade the B and C variants, however, both were finally withdrawn from active duty service by the end of 1952.
Testing of the F-84D determined that the wings needed to be covered with a thicker aluminium skin to strengthen them which was helpful because the engine was upgraded to the more powerful J35-A-17D. Here it was found that during high-G manoeuvres, the wingtip fuel tanks led to the structural failure of the wings due to twisting motions. A simple fix of adding a small triangular fin to the external portion of the fuel tank alleviated that problem. Despite the fixes introduced with the D variant, it too was withdrawn from active duty in 1952. The F-84E variant fighter saw modifications specifically with strengthened wings and a larger cockpit which was necessary to equip advanced avionics to include an A-1C gunsight which worked with an APG-30 radar. Folding rocket racks were also developed so that once the HVAR rockets were fired; the racks would fold flush with the wing increasing the aircraft’s overall aerodynamics. Unfortunately even with all of the modifications, failure of the aircraft hinged upon the Allison J35-A-17 engines which were only designed to be flown for 25 hours a month and would receive a complete overhaul after 100 hours of flight. Due to the number of sorties flown in the Korean War, engine overhauls were taking place more frequently and quickly exhausted all of the spare parts and new engines produced.
The final variant of F-84 introduced was the G variant which began service in 1951. Utilised for the next nine years, the F-84G had new innovations which became standard on future aircraft to include, a refuelling boom mounted on the left-wing for in-flight refuelling, instrument landing system to allow for landing during inclement weather, a J35-A-29 engine, an autopilot system and the first fighter with the ability to carry a single Mark 7 nuclear bomb. The F-84G was retired from US service in 1960, however, countries such as Portugal continued to use this fighter through 1974 and were flown out of Angola.
The F-84 had a rocky start into the foray of turbine jet fighters, however, challenges and difficulties paved the way for the F-100 Super Sabre and the RF-101 Voodoo as their replacements.
- Other versions
- Aircraft of comparable configuration, role and era
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
- Burrows, W. E. (2013, August). It had the body of a fighter and a bomber's soul. Retrieved from https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/thunderjet-307269/
|USA jet aircraft|
|F-4||F-4C Phantom II|
|F-80||F-80A-5 Shooting Star · F-80C-10 Shooting Star|
|F-84||F-84B-26 Thunderjet · F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||F-86A-5 Sabre · F-86F-25 Sabre · F-86F-2 Sabre · F-86F-35 Sabre|
|F-89||F-89B · F-89D|
|F9F||F9F-2 Panther · F9F-5 Panther · F9F-8 Cougar|
|Other||P-59A · F3D-1 · F2H-2 Banshee · FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232 · F-100D|
|B-57||B-57A Canberra · B-57B Canberra|