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A White Tiger For the Vigna di Valle Museum

During the second week of February, 2008, the only existing (complete) Republic F-84G Thunderjet in Italy returned to its natural seat at the Italian Air Force Historic Museum, in Vigna di Valle, near Rome. In 2008, the aircraft was carefully restored by the 51st GEA (Gruppo Efficienza Aeromobili), the technical branch of the 51st Stormo (Air Wing), at Istrana Air Base.
In 1979, the aircraft - serial number 51-11049 - was subject to a first restoration, carried out by the then CM (Centro Manutenzione) of the 51st Stormo. At the end of the just concluded restoration the aircraft was repainted as serial number 116746, code 51-29, a Thunderjet flown by "Tigri Bianche" (White Tigers), the aerobatic team of the IAF 51st Aerobrigata, in the 1955-1956 period.
In the 'Fifties, the Tunderjet was the first jet fighter-bomber of the "Thunder" series to equip the Italian Air Force (254 aircraft under MDAP programme), preceding the F-84F Thunderstreak and the RF-84F Thunderflash, all of them manufactured by The Republic Aircraft Corporation of the USA.

In the picture: The Republic F-84G Thunderjet of the Vigna di Valle Museum, Italy, after the recent restoration. (T.Col. Massimo Pregnolato)

(Aeromedia, February 2009)