Thunderbird 1 cutaway drawing
Ram jet thrust pipes [see below]
Engine housing [see below]
Cooling fins
Atomic pile in sandwich shielding
Rocket propellant and pumps
Rear pitch-and-yaw jets centered in air intakes [at high speed
and in thin air normal control surfaces are inoperative]
Turbojet fuel tanks
Central services duct
Folding wing slot of girder section
gives great strength to fuselage
Centrally placed VTOL rocket with fuel
Folding wing, contains landing leg
Auxiliary motors and batteries
Braced wing hinge member and
hydraulic ram controlling wing
Life support systems, including oxygen
bottles and air recycling equipment
Pressure bulkhead
Air recycle main duct
Motor-driven circular plate in bulkhead, supporting pilot seat
Entry/exit hatch with folding ladder
for use when landed horizontally
Pilot area [see below]
Refrigerated hull
Instrument and check computers
Retractable destructor cannon [normally used
for demolition of dangerous wreckage, &c.]
Forward pitch-and-yaw jets
Probes and sensors inside shockwave heat cone
Control panel, all systems are automated where possible
to simplify the pilot's tremendous task at high velocity;
the system's check lights are at the top, at centre the
multipurpose TV screen on which can be projected route
maps, touch- down viewing and normal communication
Thrust and flight controls, mounted on the arms of the chair
Swing seat, alters position to keep the pilot upright
during change from vertical to horizontal flight
Ramjet intake from four outer ports
Heat exchanger; molten metal circulated from
A-pile [see above] passes heat to rammed air
which exhausts at ramjet thrust pipes at left
Ramjet thrust pipe
Ramjet thrust pipe
Central column separating engines from fuselage
One of four inner front ports intakes air which
passes to compressors and heat exchanger
One of four inner front ports intakes air which
passes to compressors and heat exchanger
Pipes serving heat exchangers
Heat exchanger for turbojet
Turbojet turbines
Centrally mounted high performance sustainer rocket
Jet exhaust ports
Fuel line
Booster rocket; one of four used for take-off
Exhaust ports of booster rockets
Exhaust ports of booster rockets
Cooling fins conduct excess heat from motors
in thin upper atmosphere [see above]
Cooling fins conduct excess heat from motors
in thin upper atmosphere [see above]
Cooling fins conduct excess heat from motors
in thin upper atmosphere [see above]
Folding wings — diagram showing
folded wing position in black

Technical specifications published originally in Thunderbirds 1966 Annual,
later reprinted in Dutch Albert Heyn Codes and Extra 3 Album

Thunderbird 1 launch bay
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
storage bay
launch bay
jockey wheels
computer-instructed rams
rocket platform
From the storage bay (1) a ramp (2) leads to the launch bay (3). Inset circle shows the jockey wheels (4) which ride on separate rails to the main load bearing rails. The jockey wheels are a safety device in case the computer-instructed rams (5) fail to keep the rocket platform (6) level.
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
brake, reduction gears and motor assembly
computers, served by armoured cable ducts
blast pit
There are a number of these launching trolleys in case the take-off blast damages the one in use. They differ slightly but the basic principle is the same. Thunderbird 1 sits on the ring (1) with its central flame duct leading to the blast pit (5). The brake, reduction gears and motor assembly is at the rear (2). Computers (3) served by armoured cable ducts control the trolley's movements and the position of the rams (4).
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
computer galleries
The computer galleries are on two levels. The top houses the automatic systems, the bottom, computer programming and manual override controls, a small section of which are shown in the circle. In addition to controlling launching, these computers also supply all pre-flight information that is required, ranging from wind strength over the take-off area to weather conditions over the danger zone.
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
twin motors
toothed belts
reduction gears
motor room
The motor room serving the movable swimming pool. Twin motors (1) drive toothed belts (2) through reduction gears (3). The belt ends are attached to the raft (4) which carries the swimming pool on its upper surface. The raft is suspended from wheel bearings on its outer edges. The drive motor layout is repeated at the other end of the pool. As Thunderbird 1 reaches take-off position the pool water basin is thus moved to one side. The ceiling (5) is attached to and moves with the 'raft'.
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
extractor fans
maintenance access
blower fan
vent ducts
fuel store
air duct systems
(1) Exhaust fume extractor fans with ducts (2) to outside air. (3) Maintenance access. (4) Blower fan replaces extracted foul air with fresh. Also provides forced draught from nozzles (5) to assist fume extraction through the vent ducts (6). (7) Fuel store behind fireproof door. One fuel arm is shown partly extended through the open hatch.
Thunderbird 1 launch bay
armoured door
retractable gangway
abort gangway
In the unlikely event of a serious breakdown the armoured door (1) swings down forming a platform supporting the retractable gangway (2) which slides out to an escape hatch in the nose of Thunderbird 1.
The two essentials for all Thunderbird launchings are speed and reliability. For the fastest possible take-off, Thunderbird 1 is kept in a bay close to the Tracy lounge. Scott can thus get aboard fast and carry out all necessary pre-flight checks while the craft descends a ramp to the launch bay. Reliability is ensured by triplicated systems on all automatic gear and in addition separate manual control can be used. Power is supplied by atomic generators each of which could supply all necessary power on its own. These launch bays are strictly functional with no styling frills. The drawings illustrate some of the main items marked in the key.

Launch bay specifications orginally published in Thunderbirds 1967 Annual

Thunderbird 1 blueprint
Phil Rae's Thunderbird 1 blueprint published originally in SIG #7
©1983 Philip D. Rae
a large scale model of Thunderbird 1 held by a Master Models employee for closer inspection
The large scale model from Master Models being shown off before getting the final decoration and dirtying down treatment
image sourced from Master Models' website
Thunderbird 1 side
Side elevation
Thunderbird 1 front
Front elevation
Thunderbird 1 plan
Thunderbird 1 rear
Rear elevation

Elevations published originally in Thunderbirds model sheet, later reprinted in Dutch Albert Heyn Codes

Thunderbird 1
Technical Specifications
name: Thunderbird 1
designer: Derek Meddings
other data: launch sequence