I saw this one at the Eglin Armaments Museum, too--a Republic F-105D "Thunderchief", aka, the "Thud".
blog of Ed Rasimus, who flew these in Vietnam. I couldn't help but think of him as I looked at and touched this aircraft. I remembered talking with him about efforts by F-105 pilots and the Collins Foundation to put one of these back in the air as a flying exhibit just like Collins has done with the F-4 Phantom and others. But the Air Force owns all of the F-105 airframes and refused to allow it, and when the proponents started lobbying Congress for it, the Air Force, in a fit of spite, ordered every single existing J-75 engine left destroyed by the driving of spikes through the compression chambers.
Sure enough, just a short time later, when I was talking to the museum staffer who maintains the aircraft, he told me that this one had a complete J-75 when it came in, and that a few years ago, he was ordered by the Air Force to spike it's engine. And he did. Until that moment though, he said, this one was essentially complete and in flying condition.
That ain't right.
It was said that the Thud validated the theory that if the Air Force built the world's longest runway tomorrow, Republic would immediately design a fighter that needed every foot of that runway to get off the ground. And the Thud needed a lot of room, and a water-injection system to boost thrust enough to get her and her full compliment of weapons in the air, but once aloft...look out, enemies of America.
I regret never having seen one of these fly. And no one else who hasn't already seen it ever will, either.