The Thunderbirds aerial acrobatics team were originally activated on May 25, 1953 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona for two purposes: to provide young pilots with ample training for frontline aerial combat, and to show the American public the impressive capabilities of U.S. airpower. Known for flying in the "diamond" four plane formation, the Thunderbirds frequently demonstrate dynamic loops, low-altitude rolls and vertical climbing which seems to contradict the laws of aeronautic. The unit's first aircraft was the straight-winged F-84G Thunderjet, a combat-proven fighter-bomber that had seen extensive action in the Korean War. The first F-84's to be mass-produced were the B,C,D, and E types, which were followed by the sturdy G-types. These aircraft possessed incredibly high stability at low altitudes, a factor that led to their extensive use as ground attack aircraft in the Korean War. The Thunderbirds were almost outwardly identical to the frontline fighters. The only difference was that the machine gun was removed and replaced with a ballast weight, although the muzzle of the gun remained. The first official air show of the Thunderbirds was on June 8th 1853, after which began a tour of 11 countries in Central and South America. In Feb 1955, after their132nd demonstration, the F-84G was replaced by the F-84F Thunderstreak, which would later give way to the F-100 Super Sabre, followed by the F-4E Phantom and the F-16C.
The world famous American aerial acrobatic team, the Thunderbirds, first got their start in May of 1953. During WWII, many young and inexperienced pilots were sent into aerial combat flying heavy and difficult to maneuver aircraft. Public demonstrations of aerial maneuverability and aircraft safety gave younger pilots much needed training and ensured that they were battle worthy before encountering real combat. The F-84G Thunderjet gloriously led these demonstrations, securing itself a position in the illustrious history of the Thunderbirds team. Tamiya recreated a 1/48 scale version of this aircraft last year. For 2001, an all new 1/72 Chrome-metallic version of the Thunderbirds aircraft is being released, sporting decals for the 1953 or 1954 seasons. This detailed 1/72 scale model has been designed with ease-of-assembly as a high priority and comes with a handy display stand.