Republic RF-84F Thunderflash


Republic RF-84F FR-19



Republic RF-84F Thunderflash

Single engine single seat reconnaissance aircraft


The RF-84F Thunderflash was the dedicated reconnaissance version of the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak fighter-bomber. The classic “Streak” intake having been moved to the wing roots a new streamlined nose housed the air reconnaissance cameras. Between 1955 and 1958 24 Thunderflashes (FR1 - FR24) were delivered to the Belgian Air Forces through the Mutual Defence Air Programme (MDAP). All Thunderflashes were operated by 42 Squadron. To cover for losses by accidents 6 additional aircraft (FR25 - FR30) were bought by the Belgian Air Force in 1963, these aircraft were former U.S.Air National Guard jets. In January 1965 another 4 aircraft (FR31 - FR34) were bought from the German Luftwaffe. After the introduction of the Mirage 5BR the remaining MDAP Thunderflashes were put into storage at Koksijde and scrapped, the 'national' aircraft were kept for preservation purposes at various locations.

Picture   Serial Date In Date Out History
FR-1 Jul 1955 Jan 1972 51-11250, FR-1/H8-A, accident 08 Nov 1971 multiple bird strike in flight near Liège, storage Koksijde (by road), scrapped.
FR-2 Sep 1955 Apr 1960 51-16996, FR-2/H8-C, crashed on 19 Apr 1960 at Mettendorf (D.) after engine problems.
FR-3 Sep 1955 Jun 1972 51-16998, FR-3/H8-C, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-4 Sep 1955  Oct 1971  52-7240, FR-4/H8-D, not repaired after discovery of contaminated hydraulics, stored at Koksijde, scrapped
FR-5 Dec 1956 Sep 1971 51-1949, FR-5/H8-E, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-6 Mar 1956 Jan 1972 51-1958, FR-6/H8-F, accident 21 Jul 1971 Bierset, not repaired, storage  at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-7 May 1956  Nov 1956 51-1957, FR-7/H8-G, crashed on take off from Wahn on 8 Aug 1956.
FR-8 Oct 1955 Feb 1972 51-11257, FR-8/H8-H, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-9 Oct 1955 Jun 1971 52-7229, FR-9/H8-J, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-10 Mar 1958 Jan 1959 52-7230, FR-10/H8-K, crashed at Wijchmaal on 27 Jan 1959 due to engine problems.
FR-11 Aug 1956 Oct 1956 51-16999, FR-11/8S-L, crashed on approach to Wahn airbase on 31 Oct 1956 due to explosion of the engine. 
FR-12 Apr 1956 May 1972 52-7238, FR-12/H8-M, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-13 Jun1957 May 1960 52-7237, FR-13/H8-N, intercepted by two Russian MiG  fighters and forced to land at Darmgarten (then East-Geramny) on 29 May1958; returned to BAF, crashed on landing at Lahr (D.) on 17 May 1960.
FR-14 Nov 1956 Dec 1966 52-7281, FR-14/H8-O, crashed at Grandmenil on 22 Dec 1966 because of engine problems.
FR-15 Mar 1957  Sep 1971 52-7282, FR-15/H8-P, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-16 Aug 1956 Aug 1956 52-7282, FR-16/H8-Q, crashed at Euskirchen/Sassenrath (D.) on 24 Aug 1956 due to engine problems.
FR-17 Apr 1956 Jul 1971 52-7297, FR-17/8H-R, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-18 May 1956 Dec 1971 51-11297, FR-18/H8-S, Storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-19 Nov 1956 Nov 1971 52-7439, FR-19/H8-T, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-20 Dec 1956 Mar 1958 52-7436, FR-20/H8-U, crashed on take off of from Brustem on 25 Mar 1958.
FR-21 Jan 1959 Oct 1971 51-1876, FR-21/H8-V, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-22 Dec 1958 Sep 1971 51-1906, FR-22/H8-W, storage at Koksijde, , scrapped.
FR-23 Dec 1958 Nov 1971 51-1912, FR-23/H8-X, storage at Koksijde, scrapped.
FR-24 Feb 1959 Fb 1962 51-1869, FR-24/H8-Y, destroyed in fire during maintenance at Beauvechain airbase on 22 Feb 1962.
FR-25 Jan 1964  Jun 1969 51-1867, FR-25, crashed at Laufenselden (D.) on 26 Jun 1969
FR-26 Jul 1963 Dec 1970 51-1886, FR-26, Accident Cat 4 at Bierset 22 Oct 1970 - not repaired, scrapdealer Kalken, Air Museum Savigny-les Neaune (F.).
FR-27 Jul 1963 Sep 1971 51-1922, FR-27, strorage at Koksijde, preserved at Florennes airbase, Monument at Spa-La Sauvenière airfield.
FR-28 May 1963 Nov 1972 51-1945, FR-28, on display at the Royal Army Museum, Brussels.
FR-29 Aug 1963 Oct 1971 51-11279, FR-29, storage at Koksijde, gate guardian at Evere, gate guardian at Florennes
FR-30 Oct 1963 Sep 1971 51-17015, FR-30, storage at Koksijde, Technical School Saffraanberg, Monument Temploux, storage Musée de l'Air , Paris (F.).
FR-31 Jan 1965 Sep 1971 53-7644, EA+111, EA+311 (Luftwaffe), FR-31, storage at Koksijde, Techn School Saffraanberg, stored at Gilze Rijen for Mlitair Luchtvaartmuseum, gate guard as KLu "P-7" at Oranjekazerne, Schaarsbergen (Nl.)
FR-32 Jun 1965 Jun 1971 53-7646, BD+103, EA+103, EA+303 (Luftwaffe), FR-32, Storage at Koksijde, Technical School Saffraanberg, restoration Bierset, storage Army Museum Weelde, Beauvechain
FR-33 Jan 1965 Sep 1971 53-7658, BD+105, EA+105, EA+305 (Luftwaffe), FR-33, storage at Koksijde, (Royal) Technical School Saffraanberg, Storage at Bierset, Preserved at Florennes, dumped Beauvechain.
FR-34 Jan 1965  Sep 1971 53-7677, EA+234, EA+334 (Luftwaffe), FR-34, "Adieu à toi le Petit Dernièr", Gate Guard Bierset, Stored for Royal Army Museum, Weelde, scrapped.



The history of the Belgian Air Force's Thunderflashes can be discovered in the book

"Republic RF-84F Thunderflash in dienst bij de Belgische Luchtmacht" by Daniel Brackx.


Available via or





Last updated 21/11/18 08:09   Daniel Brackx