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Equipment & Vehicles
Thunderbird 1
Thunderbird 1(3)
Type: High-Speed Reconnaissance Craft
Affiliation: International Rescue
Top Speed: 15,000 mph
Main Operator: Scott Tracy
Appearances: List of Appearances

Thunderbird 1 is International Rescue's rapid-response vehicle, and is usually the first to arrive at the danger zone. Thunderbird 1 is piloted by Scott Tracy, although it can also be piloted by his younger brother, Alan.

Technical DataEdit

Diameter: 12 feet
Engines: 4 variable-cycle gas turbine engines; 4 booster rockets; 1 variable-mode engine operating as a high-performance sustainer rocket for launch or boost as a variable-cycle gas turbine in flight; 1 vertical take-off variable-mode engine operating as a rocket or variable-cycle gas turbine hover jet; pitch and yaw jets: 20 forward and 25 rear
Length: 115 feet
Maximum altitude attained: 150,000 feet
Maximum speed: 15,000 mph
Power source: atomic fusion reactor
Range: unlimited
Weight: 140 tons
Wingspan: 80 feet



Thunderbird 1 is mainly controlled with four flight levers - two control steering and altitude, while the other two control engine throttle. The cockpit also has two viewing hatches - one on the left and one to the right of the pilot's control seat.

Control PanelEdit

Scott has several visual-aid screens on the control panel, including a monitor for a homing device and a sonar detector.


4 variable-cycle gas turbine engines
4 booster rockets
1 variable-mode engine operating as a high-performance sustainer rocket for launch or boost or as a variable-cycle gas turbine engine in flight
1 vertical take-off variable-mode engine operating as a rocket or variable-cycle gas turbine hover jet
Pitch and yaw jets: 20 forward and 25 rear


TB1's wingspan, when fully deployed, is debated to be between 24 and 35 meters.


Thunderbird 1 has a wide variety of gadgets at its disposal, notably an Automatic Camera Detector - which can tell Scott immediately when someone's photographing his ship - and an electromagnetic beam, used to wipe any forbidden photo or video.

There's also a Remote-Control Hover Camera, a megaphone, a magnetic grapple connected to a hawser cable, High-Velocity Steel Spears, and a sonar tracking system.

In Atlantic Inferno, Alan moves up to pilot TB1 as Scott assumes command of International Rescue, when their father leaves Tracy Island on holiday. Jeff had reasoned that Thunderbirds 1 and 3 were rarely used on the same rescue assignment; so Alan was directed to control whichever of the two craft any rescue would require (which, in the event, turned out to be TB1).


Cockpit underside-mounted International Engineering Ltd TBM6 20mm swivel machine cannon

Thunderbird 1's RefitEdit

From time to time, Thunderbird 1 underwent minor changes to its design.

  • Graham Bleathman, in his book FAB Cross Sections, claimed that the landing gear was interchangeable between skis and wheels.

Launch SequenceEdit

Main article: Thunderbird 1/Launch Sequence


Thunderbird 1 appears in most of the episodes. The only episodes in which it does not make an appearance are: Sun Probe, The Impostors, Ricochet and Give or Take a Million

The Perils of PenelopeEdit

TB1 makes a cameo appearance in The Perils of Penelope, when Scott is returning home from leave.


Main article: Thunderbird 1/Missions


  • The large air purifier air intake on the wall to the right of Thunderbird 1's launch pad is, in fact, a lemon squeezer.
  • Most Thunderbirds merchandise claims Thunderbird 1 to be 115 feet long but in Introducing Thunderbirds Jeff claims Thunderbird 1 to be 90 feet long.

Cross-Sections (Cutaway Drawings)Edit

Thunderbird 1 has appeared in no less then seventeen different publications, but in only four basic designs, three of which are illustrated by Graham Bleathman.

For a full list of books and magazines which the cross-sections (cutaway drawings) appeared in, see:

Main article: History of the Cutaway Drawings (Classic Thunderbirds)