Strykejernet (‘the Smoothing Iron’)
The Republic RF-84F Thunderflash was, in its time, one of the most extensively used photo-reconnaissance aircraft in NATO. With its robust construction, ability to withstand heavy stresses (11.3G), long range and six exceptional cameras in the nose section it became a popular aircraft type in several countries. Thunderflash was a reconnaissance version of the F-84F Thunderstreak and the first aircraft of this type flew at the beginning of 1952. Between 1955 and 1958, a total of 715 of these aircraft were produced, of which 386 were supplied to various NATO countries under the Military Assistance Program.
The RNoAF used 31 Thunderflash aircraft altogether between 1956 and 1964. The aircraft type was allocated to 717 Photo-reconnaissance Flight which was granted full squadron status simultaneously. The RF-84F was operational in the RNoAF until 1970, when all the aircraft were phased out in favour of the RF-5A. The Thunderflash was in service during the middle of the Cold War and provided NATO’s eyes on the Northern Flank.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s RF-84F has the serial number 51-17047 and came to Sola in May 1956 with less than 11 hours’ flying time. The aircraft has the registration letters T3-A and AZ-A. After a wretched existence for 20 years at Værnes Air Station as an experimental subject for NBC purposes, the wreck was transferred to the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection. Before the opening of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum in 1995 the aircraft was restored and supplemented with the necessary camera equipment etc.
The aircraft’s nose, cockpit and wing section are on display. The fuselage is painted in a blue colour with a silver underside. The recognition letters are painted in white on each side of the nose section.
- Roar Glenne: Oppdrag Utført, Norges luftmilitære kulturarv
- Mo og Sælensminde: Norske Militærfly
- Arheim m.fl.: Fra Spitfire til F-16.
- Jane’s: All the World’s Aircraft 1955-56