Recce Expert

Republic RF-84F

The RF-84F Thunderflash was an important derivative of the standard Thunderstreak. Malcolm V Lowe tells the story of this tactical reconnaissance platform, which served with particular distinction in French colours

Spotlight on the RF-84F

The array of aerial cameras that could be fitted in the RF-84F’s nose and forward fuselage was impressive, as shown in this contemporary publicity image. In practice, not all of these were required on any single mission.
ER 33’s RF-84Fs were a vital asset in the Anglo-French aerial effort during Operation Musketeer/ Mousquetaire, providing tactical recce data for all branches of service involved in the Suez operations. Here, RF-84F-26-RE 52- 7327/33-CP of ER 1/33 ‘Belfort’ proudly wears its ‘Suez Stripes’.

In parallel with the creation of the fighter/fighter-bomber F-84F Thunderstreak, development of the cameratoting RF-84F Thunderflash was also undertaken by manufacturer Republic Aviation. The abbreviation ‘RF’ stood for Reconnaissance Fighter in US designation terminology, and this variant proved to be a useful member of the overall F-84 family.

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