Originally posted by SplitInfinity
reply to post by Drunkenparrot
The F-106 THUD...was designed as a High Speed Interceptor for countering Soviet Bombers. The THUD's were used in a role in Nam that was not
consistent with their design. Both the F-106 as well as F-4's were Heavy Flying BRICKS and were not good at Close Air Support for U.S. Troops on the
This failure was one of the reasons for the development of the A-10...a subsonic Close Air Support aircraft that was also designed for destroying
Heavy Armor...has proven itself as an extremely lethal as well as survivable air frame. It's use of Depleted Uranium Rounds that are shot from a 30 mm
Gatling Gun that is so large that the plane was basically built around the gun itself.
Some Air Force Brass have tried to retire the A-10 in favor of New F-16's but luckily these attempts have failed. Since the A-10 is subsonic it can
allow a pilot to get a very good view of U.S. Troops location when flying Ground Support Missions. Plus since the A-10's cockpit is all Titanium and
designed to take multiple hits from ground fire since the A-10's Low and Slow flying places it as a target for enemy ground fire.
This is one Hell of a Plane! Split Infinity
Apologies for the confusion SplitInfinity, we have a couple of aircraft mixed up in the discussion.
I was referencing the F-106 Delta Dart interceptor which was never deployed to Vietnam.
Limited numbers of It's less capable predecessor, the F-102 Dagger were deployed to Thailand early in the war to counter possible VPAF IL-28 Beagle
incursions and went on to escort some of the ARC LIGHT strikes and flew some ground attack.
I had just thought it was interesting the engineering solution to integrating the Gatling gun into the "Six" was rather novel in regards to overcoming
the shortcomings of the center-line hard-point mount on the Phantoms.
It could be argued that the age of the nuclear bomber being the primary threat was coming to an end and Convair were trying to buy more mileage for a
design that was limited in utility but it still speaks volumes that the gun fairing was installed at the expense of the nuclear armed Genie capacity.
The F-105 Thud/Thunderchief, workhorse of Route Pack 6 and namesake of Thud Ridge was designed as an all weather supersonic tactical nuclear strike
IMHO it did surprisingly well in a role it was shoehorned into as an afterthought. A lot of aircraft were lost but
considering the number of sorties the aircraft flew and the tenacity of the defensive network they had to penetrate, the F-105's made a good
The Thud's were incredible fast down in thick air, there are stories of the MIGCAP F-4's having to ask the strike force F-105's to throttle back so
the F-4's could keep up without afterburner. Keep in mind, these are air combat configured Phantoms with only tanks and missiles for external stores
while the F-105's were hauling a load of high drag WWII surplus 500lb bombs.
When converted to the Wild Weasel G platform they were extremely effective in their Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses missions
The F-105 also had an internal gun from the beginning but in retrospect that probably gave some of the early pilots a sense of false confidence.
As long as the Thud driver saw the other aircraft coming and didn't try to turn, the acceleration and low level speed made them nearly invincible.
As Zaphod said, there are a couple of documented Thud gun kills but that was clearly the exception.
Thud Ridge: F-105 Thunderchief Missions Over Vietnam
Col Jack Broughton is another excellent F-105 memoir.
edit on 22-11-2012 by Drunkenparrot because: (no reason given)