It’s that nagging question that you have always been afraid to ask: Did the F-84 start life as simply a jet-powered P-47?
Well, sort of. When the Army Air Force asked for a new jet design in 1944, Republic toyed with what it would take to throw a fiery fan into a Thunderbolt airframe. Several design studies over the summer and fall proved it was going to be a tough transition. An amazing artwork by Damian Manley shows the possible results.
In the end, it was all for naught, and the brand-new F-84 was born. Though a completely original airframe, the early F-84 at the bottom of our illustration bears a striking resemblance to Manley’s unique artwork.