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Rapier-powered Republic F-105D Thunderchief by Steve Bage

I am pleased to say I had a role in the appearance of this plan, as I suggested the subject to Steve after I saw how he had tackled the underfin on the Mig 21. The F-105 has long been a favourite type of mine, but how to tackle the underfin had always proved a stumbling block to drawing it up. Fortunately, Steve liked the idea of designing a Thunderchief, and I was very happy to let him get on with it. I think the final design is very convincing, and really captures the spirit of the full size aircraft.

Three prototypes have been built so far - the heading photo is of Steve's example, and this is Hubert Kostrzewa's finished model. The consensus seems to be that 30 grams is a good target weight to aim for, fully finished, but without motor or trimming ballast.

This is the one I built. Note how we all chickened out and went for all-silver schemes? Who will be the first to do a Vietnam camouflaged example?

Flight trials indicated that downthrust was needed for this model if you wanted a reasonable glide at the end of the flight. Steve and myself tried adding a small deflector vane in the trough which seemed to do the trick, so now the angle of the rear of the trough has been modified on the plan to hopefully give the same effect.

You can see a video of my F-105 flying without paint and without a deflector vane here (1.9 MB). You will note how the glide is less than impressive! After adding the vane, the model could be trimmed for a more floaty glide without stalling under power, so the transition from powered flight to glide was much smoother. This flight was made with a 130 mN rated motor, which seems to be the minimum power you can get away with.

Click here to see a video of Steve's Thud in action at the Peterborough Flying Aces meeting in September 2005 (1.58 MB). Happily the model was retrieved from the rather tall tree without damage!

The model is a very satisfying one to build as it is such an interesting shape, and the fit of parts is excellent. There are one or two areas that require special care (like the intakes) however, so I would probably not recommend it to a complete beginner. I wonder if anyone would be brave enough to enlarge it for electric ducted fan????

Like the DH 108 Swallow, you can now buy a short kit for this model from Replikit, which comes complete with a full size plan, printed balsa and a moulded vac-form canopy.

For more details visit the Replikit web site where you will find lots of other tempting kits for small scale jets.

To read and print the pdf file you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from

The plan is provided in both A2 and A4 formats, and I guess most of us with normal home printers will be going the A4 route.

The plan should print off full size if you set your printer settings to A4 paper, even if it has got different sized paper in the printer. If in doubt, check against the 100 mm scales on the plan sheets.

Click here to download pdf file for A2 paper (1.01 MB)

Click here to download pdf file for A4 paper (0.99 MB)

Click here to find out more about Jetex and Rapier powered models, and how to trim them.

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