Thursday, June 27, 2019

Republic XF-103 Thunderwarrior: Highbrow Mach 3 Cold Warrior

Big, heavy, and fast. The Republic F-103 Thunderwarrior (see also HERE) bears all the trademarks of Republic Aviation's chief designer, Alexander Kartveli: big, heavy, and fast. It never went beyond the mock-up stage. If you feel so disposed, click the above hyperlinks to learn more about the aircraft, and I will take care of the droll captions for the following images.

This model delightfully captures the aircraft's key features, including sleek lines, periscope housing, and extended crew compartment.

XF-103 mock-up in a Republic hanger. A study in supersonic enthusiasm.
Cockpit mock-up featuring the forward-looking periscope.

Upper view of the Thunderwarrior in the markings of the 5th FIS, "Spittin' Kittens."

General layout. Note ram-jet section aft.

A Canadian Armed Forces "3" dissuading a flight of Soviet bombers from violating North American airspace.

What might have been, alas.

Alexander Kartveli with his creations. According to Wikipedia, because of security concerns, including fears of kidnapping and assassination, Kartveli was shielded from the public, and "his identity was unknown to nearly everyone outside his workplace and in military archives."

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