Bacon on black velvet.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II sits on the tarmac awaiting its pilot and a weapons reload at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman, 10 FEB 2014.)
Republic F-105 Thunderchief “Thud”
Developed in 1952 as a replacement for the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, the Air Force initially ordered 199 aircraft in 1952, then cancelled the order until making a small order of 15 in 1954. The YF-105A first flew in 1955, with additional orders coming in 1956. Insufficient thrust and aerodynamic problems plagued the F-105A (The nick-name “Thud” initially was said to represent the sound of the aircraft crashing into the ground), leading to a complex redesign for the F-105B. This, and later variants, were capable of Mach 2.15 and fielded in the low-level nuclear interdiction role. The F-105 served briefly in the Thunderbirds demonstration team, but after a crash due to airframe overstressing in their sixth show, the team returned to using the F-100 Super Sabre.
The F-105 came into it’s own in the conventional bombing role during the Vietnam War. Often bombing Hanoi in North Vietnam, the F-105, between flew in combat between 1965 and 1970. 334 aircraft were lost in total and the F-105 is credited with 27.5 air-to-air kills to 17 air-to-air losses. It was gradually replaced in the bombing role by the F-4 Phantom II.
The F-105G “Wild Weasel” variant, developed in 1966, equipped modified aircraft to detect and destroy SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) sites. These aircraft flew in Vietnam until the end of the war, and were retired from the Air National Guard in 1983.
The last F-105s were retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1984. 833 aircraft were built.
A brass mounted flintlock pistol originating from the Balkans, 19th century.