Dennis R. Jenkins worked as a contractor to NASA for 33 years, mostly on the Space Shuttle Program in a variety of engineering and management roles. During the late 1990s, Jenkins was the ground systems lead for the X-33 program and spent 2003 on the staff of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). In 2010, he became the United Space Alliance project manager for the Orbiters on Display Working Group that delivered the space shuttle orbiters to their final display sites. Originally from New York, Mike Machat is a well-known American aviation artist, author, and historian. He served in the U.S. Air Force, was a Staff Artist for McDonnell Douglas Corporation, and was elected first president of the American Society of Aviation Artists. Machat's artwork has won numerous awards, and his paintings reside in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and the Pentagon. As a pilot, he holds an FAA Commercial Certificate, has flown in 225 different types of aircraft, and logged more than 2,000 flights in sailplanes.
Jenkins' magnificent monograph stands as a potent panegyric to this icon of Vietnam-era American airpower. --David L. Veres CybermodelerOnline (03/01/2019) All told, Thunderchief is a real showcase not to be missed by F-105 admirers and former operators and maintainers. --Peter Mersky Aviation History (10/08/2019) The title is a brief but accurate description of the contents of the book. I first read Chapter 5, Wild Weasels - F-105F/G in detail because of my personal experience as a Wild Weasel 'Bear' with over 900 hours flying in the Thud. I read that chapter with a critical eye and I can attest to the accuracy and attention to detail exhibited by the author. He explains the events that precipitated the need for the Wild Weasel mission. He then leads the reader through the many modifications, first to the F-105F and then to the F-105G. Detailed drawings of the evolution of all the cockpit equipment configurations are presented. In the chapter, he also pays homage to the first Weasels, the F-100s and mentioned the incorporation of F-4s into the Weasel mission. The early development of the 105 is dealt with the same attention to detail. The author begins with the YF-105A and then takes the reader through the various versions, including versions that never saw the light of day. As with the Weasel chapter, the author speaks not just of the aircraft itself, but of all the systems incorporated in the F-105 including the weapons systems. Each change or addition is authenticated with official Air Force documents. I was unfamiliar with much of the early development and what little I 'knew' was hearsay. After reading Thunderchief, I feel like I'm a 105 expert. In the appendices, the author catalogs the Thunderchiefs by serial number. He also chronicles aircraft loses by date with cause of loss and crew status. Did I mention the multitude of color photographs with each aircraft meticulously identified along with where the photographs were taken? Superlatives fall short in describing this outstanding work! -- (03/18/2019)