Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds

The USAF activated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit at Luke AFB in 1953. The Thunderbirds team name was soon adopted, though the team would have a formal numerical designation until 1967. They first flew the F-84G, and then transitioned to the F-84F in 1955. After one season with the Thunderstreak, the team converted to the F-100C for the 1956 show season. With this the team transferred to Nellis AFB, becoming the 3595th Air Demonstration Flight. An F-100F model was also added at some point, though it was not used in the shows. In 1958 the unit was again renumbered, becoming the 4520th Air Demonstration Flight, and then the 4520th Air Demonstration Squadron in 1960. The Cs were flown until 1964, when the team began flying the F-105B. After only 6 shows, an accident grounded the F-105s, and the team returned to the F-100 in order to keep their show schedule. This time, they used the F-100D. In 1967, the team was designated as the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron. After a pair of accidents preparing for the 1969 season, the team switched to the F-4E, ending the Hun’s service after 13 show seasons.

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds F-100

Thunderbirds F-100 Scarf Patch