The Republic Aviation XF-84H Thunderscreech, The Loudest Plane Ever Built.

by Daniel Russ on January 6, 2010

XF-84H Thunderscreech at a Naval History Museum in Virginia

The F-84 Thunderjet was one of the first operational jet powered fighter/bombers in the US Air Force, built by Republic which also manufactured the P-47 Thunderbolt and the F-105 Thunderchief. The F-84 had many variants and many problems. But like a lot of combat aircraft, what was it was originally planned for didn’t work out, and it assumed a different role that it was better suited for. It’s straight wing design and underpowered engine meant that it could not keep up with emerging fighters from other countries such as the MIG-15, the French Vautour and early Mirage interceptors, or our own F-86. It also needed jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) when fully loaded. Despite the problems, Republic built 7500 of them. It was obsolete as a dogfighter by the time it was developed at the end of the Second World War. But it was the workhorse jet bomber in the Korean conflict flying tens of thousands of missions.

One of the variants was an experimental version that had a propeller and was supposed to fill the need for Navy strike aircraft. It was based on the variant known as the F-84F Thunderstreak, so called because it had a swept wing. The Thunderstreak also had an oddly shapped wing where the wing tip was wider than the wing root.

The propeller version existed in only two prototypes, powered by Allison turboprops that featured the only propeller driven aircraft designed for mach speed. It never achieved mach speed topping out at roughly 600 knots.

The engine was so loud, people swore they could hear it over 20 miles away, and it in fact sickened ground crews. One test pilot refused to fly it a second time, and another took it up 11 times and had to make ten forced landings.  It was nicknamed the “Ear Banger” and soon thereafter cancelled.

Thunderscreech In Flight

Source: Wikipedia, Military Channel

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Corsair8X January 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm

P47 Thunderbolt.
Lightening was the P38 lovingly crafted by Lockheed.

Daniel Russ January 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

what was I thinking?

Corrected.

Seth Marshall February 19, 2013 at 1:38 am

That picture at the top is not from the Naval History Museum- it’s at the annex section (research & development hangar) of the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Daniel Russ February 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

The photo log says it’s from the Naval History Museum.

It might be wrong. If so, sorry.

Navy Bird November 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

It was the XF-91 Thunderceptor which had the “oddly shapped wing where the wing tip was wider than the wing root.” The XF-84H had a conventional wing design with the tip narrower than the root. Cheers!

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