The Republic F-84 Thunderjet and Grumman F9F Panther are quintessential Korean War era combat aircraft which have been missing from our skies for many years now sadly, despite there having been several attempts to put air beneath their wings over the past couple of decades. Now is your chance to change the equation, with the availability of rebuildable examples of both iconic types offered for sale via our sponsors at Platinum Fighter Sales. The aircraft projects are available either individually, or as a package with a lower combined purchase price.
Republic F-84G Thunderjet
The Republic Thunderjet is a first generation jet fighter whose origins date back to 1944. Although the XP-84 didn’t fly until February, 1946 the type received its baptism of fire just a few years later during the Korean War. Not only was the F-84 ordered in large numbers by the U.S. Air Force, but Thunderjets enjoyed widespread overseas service as well, with the U.S. government supplying many of them to friendly governments under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. While these foreign operators were mostly NATO-aligned nations, it might surprise many to learn that the U.S. provided 229 F-84Gs to the Yugoslav Air Force, beginning in June, 1953. It was an attempt to drive a wedge between Yugoslavia’s dictator, Josip Tito, and the Soviet Union. Tito had worked closely with the Allies during WWII, and established a degree of independence from the Soviets in the post-war period, so there was reason behind this gamble, although it didn’t really pay off. While Yugoslavia never joined the Warsaw Pact with the Soviet Union in May, 1955 – unlike many other nations behind the so-called ‘Iron Curtain’ – they were still a de facto member of the Eastern Bloc in most other regards. Amazingly, Yugoslavian F-84s were in active service until the mid-1970s!
The F-84G is the definitive version of the straight-winged version of the F-84. The particular F-84G on offer presently is one of the first few dozen examples accepted into Yugoslavian service, delivered directly from U.S. Air Force Europe stocks during the summer of 1953. Yugoslavian examples received serial numbers 10501 through 10729 while in service with the JRV, although these serial numbers did not tie up sequentially with their initial USAF serial numbers, since most came directly from active U.S. units, while later examples were new-builds, by and large. The JRV assigned the F-84G featured here with the serial number 10534. Although we have yet to tie this number directly to its USAF serial, it shouldn’t be too hard to determine this with a little digging.
10534 arrived back in the US sometime during the 1990s, and she has been on the U.S. civil register as N6599N since 1998. While little actual restoration work has taken place so far, the Platinum Fighter Sales advertisement states that the “Airframe has been X-Rayed and is in excellent restorable condition.”
The aircraft is listed as being complete, and that it comes with an unrestored Allison J-35 engine. The description also states that this is “A rare opportunity to obtain a historical and classic F-84G Thunderjet for a fraction of its restored value. Simple, cable-controlled and with basic systems, this aircraft will be a basic restoration without the need for any costly rebuilding. Just rebuild systems and reassemble. Exclusive opportunities and airshows certainly await! The F-84G has an installed engine without logbooks. Numerous spare and new parts collected over 10 years. The sale price of the aircraft and the estimated restoration is favorable and not requiring significant labor costs.”
Grumman F9F Panther projects
The Grumman F9F Panther is a remarkably charismatic, first-generation, naval jet fighter which saw extensive service during the Korean War. While a few of them have flown on the air show circuit over the years, none have flown actively since the late 1990s. It’s about time for that to change, and that opportunity is now available with the two Panthers on offer here; one being an F9F-4, and the other a -5 variant.
As Platinum Fighter Sales describes, this is an, “opportunity to obtain rare historical and classic jets for a fraction of their restored value. Simple cable controlled and with basic systems, these aircraft will be straightforward restoration projects without the need for any costly rebuilding. Just rebuild systems and reassemble.”
Platinum lists the details for the two Panthers as:
1x Grumman F9F-4 Panther sitting on landing gear – no known corrosion. Suitable for restoration to fly.
1x Grumman F9F-5 Panther suitable for restoration to fly.
2x Engines: Pratt & Whitney J-48-P-6 Turbojet; 7,000 lbs thrust – stored in cans with test cell logbooks.
The current owner has acquired many spare and NOS Grumman Panther parts for use in the restoration of these two aircraft.
Currently no Panthers are flying or under restoration to fly. Exclusive opportunities and airshows certainly await.
Historic for their active and primary front line role in the Korean War, these jets were America’s first jets with punch. The F9F-5 “Panther” was the first first jet type to be used with the USN Blue Angels. Notable pilots making their mark in history flew these fighter types. America’s first man in space, John Glenn, the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, Baseball great Ted Williams and others. The sale price of the aircraft and the estimated restoration for each aircraft is favorable and not requiring significant labor costs.
Asking $129,000 for the F-84 or will package with the F9F Panthers projects for 239K or near offer. Trades considered, for more information visit PlatinumFighters.com