Today in History – March 18, 1952 – Thunderjets fly 2,800 miles from USA to Germany without refueling

18 March 1952 – “Two USAF F-84 Thunderjets land in Neubiberg, Germany after the longest sustained jet flight; they flew 2,800 miles from the USA in 4 hours 48 min, without refueling…

“The F-84 nomenclature can be somewhat confusing. The straight-wing F-84A to F-84E and F-84G models were called the Thunderjet. The F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash were different airplanes with swept wings.

Typical of most early jets, the Thunderjet’s takeoff performance left much to be desired. Pilots nicknamed the Thunderjet “The Lead Sled”.[2] It was also called “The Iron Crowbar”, “a hole sucking air”, “The Hog” (“The Groundhog”), and “The World’s Fastest Tricycle”, “Ground Loving Whore” as a testament to its long takeoff rolls.[2]

F-84 lore stated that all aircraft were equipped with a “sniffer” device that, upon passing V2, would look for the dirt at the end of the runway. As soon as the device could smell the dirt, the controls would turn on and let the pilot fly off the ground. In the same vein, it was suggested a bag of dirt should be carried in the front landing gear well. Upon reaching V2, the pilot would dump the dirt under the wheels, fooling the sniffer device.”

(1) Source: Wikipedia

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