P-84B Thunderjet

The P-84B was essentially the same aircraft as the YP-84A, the primary difference being use of 1,200 round per minute M3 machine guns in place of the 800 round per minute M2 machine guns installed in the A-models. 226 -B model aircraft were built. A substantial number of problems arose as delivery of the aircraft commenced and they entered service. The problems included structural failures of fuselage or wings due to excessive speed or G-forces, trim reversals, and wing failures eventually traced to the wing tanks tendancy to twist when speeds exceeded Mach .7. These instability and structural problems were compounded by other problems associated with the new technology required by jet flight, which resulted in short supply of spare parts, insufficient maintenance due to poor training for both airframe and engine mechanics. Aircraft losses due to these problems were excessive, and the Thunderjets were grounded on 24 May, 1948 pending structural inspections. All remaining B-models were retrofitted with D-model wings as part of the upgrade program commenced in May 1949. Also, the auxiliary wing tanks were retrofitted with the stabilizing fins, allowing the aircraft to reach maximum speed. However, even the with upgrades, B-models were either retired before the end of 1952, or passed to the Navy as target drones, designated F-84KX.

Identification Features:
Externally same as A-models. Pitot tube on upper part of vertical tail.

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P-84B-1-RE 45-59504.

P-84B-1-RE 45-59566.

F-84B-1-RE 45-59577 USAF.

Links to photos at other sites

USAF Museum P-84B -- PS-657
USAF Museum P-84B -- PS-548-A
USAF Museum P-84B -- PS-652 and PS-653
USAF Museum P-84B -- PS-548-A, PS-535-A and PS-581
USAF Museum P-84B -- Cockpit (large photo)

Contents Copyright 1997-2001 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved