The Planes You’ve Probably Never Seen Before

YouTube / The Museum of Flight

The Century Series project is a way of thinking about research, development, manufacturing, and airplanes in service. The shapes of these planes are also instantly recognizable. 

Learn more about the final entries of the Century Series, the F-105, F-106, and the elusive F-107.

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief

This plane was an internal Republic Aviation project that set out to replace their outdated RF-84F Thunderflash. 

The Thud

The 105-B entered service in the summer of 1958. It was nicknamed the ‘Thud’ after the character Chief Thunderthud from the “Howdy Doody” TV series. 

It carried a 20mm M61 Gatling-type cannon. The plane operated extensively in Operation Rolling Thunder against the air campaign against North Vietnam. 

Convair F-106 Delta Dart

Another plane in the Century Series is the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, the final development of the USAF’s interceptor program in the early 1950s. 

Designed Without a Gun

The 106 Dart was designed without a gun or even a way to carry bombs. Its main armament was missiles that were carried in an internal weapons bay for clean supersonic flight. 

It was also equipped with four Hughes AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missiles and a single 1.5 kiloton MB-2 Gene unguided air-to-air rocket to be fired in Soviet bomber formations. Many pilots simply refer to it as “The Six.” 

North American F-107 

Finally, the last jet is the North American F-107. The plane was North American Aviation’s entry to an Air Force tactical fighter-bomber design competition in the 1950s. 

The 107 made its first flight on September 10, 1956, hitting Mach 1,3 and Mach 2 later in November.