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RF-84F "Thunderflash"

The RF-84F was an F-84F modified for reconnaissance. Engine air intake ducts were located in the wing roots of the RF84F rather than in the nose section. The elongated and enclosed nose contained 15 cameras: six standard forward facing, one Tri-Metrogen horizon to horizon, and eight in oblique and vertical positions for target closeups. The RF-84F featured many firsts: the Tri Metrogen camera, a computerized control system based on light, speed, and altitude (it adjusted camera settings to produce pictures with greater delineation) and a vertical view finder with a periscopic presentation on the cockpit panel to enhance visual reconnaissance. Talking into a wire recorder, the pilot could describe ground movements that might not appear in still pictures.

The Rf-84F was initially phased out in 1957. The Berlin crisis brought the recall of the ANG's 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, equipped with about 60 RF-84Fs. The 117th returned to state control after the crisis. USAF plans called for the ANG to keep at least three RF-84F squadrons through fiscal year 1976. However, more advanced aircraft became available, and the ANG disposed of its RF-84Fs more rapidly. On 26 January 1972, the last RF 84Fs were flown to a storage depot.



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