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Thunderbird Three

Thunderbird 3

Here are the Canon Foundry facts about Thunderbird Three, all taken from the International Rescue Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual written by Sam Denham (2012):


Length: 287 feet

Nacelle Span: 80 feet

Diameter: 23 feet

Weight: 562 tons


Launch Thrust: 4.5 million pounds

Standard Acceleration: 1g

Maximum Sustained Acceleration: 6g

Emergency Acceleration: 10g

Range: Unlimited


Power source: Atomic fusion reactor


  • 3 chemical rocks used for launch, landing, emergency boost and orbit change
  • 3 ion-drive particle accelerators used in deep space

Pitch and Yaw Rockets

  • 12 in middle ring for course corrections
  • 20 in nose and 24 at rear for attitude adjustment

Other Information

  • Forward sensor array detects debris ahead of the craft so that course corrections can be made using the pitch and yaw rockets
  • Has a MIDAS anti-detection system
  • Has an ergonomically simplified flight console which maintains its control systems, allowing pilot to concentrate on course correction and maneuvering procedures
  • Outer airlock hatch provides access from the flight deck to Thunderbird 5‘s docking bay.
  • The airlock, and Thunderbird 5‘s docking bay access ramp, is gravity variable enabling the pilot to be reorientated with Thunderbird 5‘s gravity systems (which are at 90 degrees to Thunderbird 3‘s gravity direction)
  • Main view screen is linked to hull cameras and telemetry data computer systems
  • Has two airlocks, both of which can open to space if necessary and are accessible from flight deck, turbo lift and emergency access tunnel
  • Central storage units contain spacesuit helmets, emergency breathing apparatus, survival equipment, medical supplies, food and water
  • Outer ring storage units contain spacesuits, oxygen tanks and rescue equipment
  • Contains sleeping quarters for longer journeys
  • Toilet and shower both have zero-gravity operating systems
  • The Tracy villa lounge couch remains atop the entry tunnel during flight
  • Three lift off/acceleration couches for use by additional personnel
  • An emergency access tunnel runs alongside the turbo lift providing access to all decks in the event of power failure
  • Lift doors can be manually overridden to gain entry to the decks in the event of a power failure
  • An artificial gravity generating ring is built into the decks of all levels
  • Docking sensors ensure that Thunderbird 3 aligns with Thunderbird 5
  • Retro-rocket nozzles can be sealed for re-entry when not used for atmospheric braking
  • Dual-flywheel motor assemblage: attitude alteration is achieved by spinning the twin flywheels in opposite directions, supplementing the pitch and yaw and retro rockets located at the rear of the craft, the central ring, docking ring and nose
  • Tractor beam guidance sensor enables Thunderbird 3 to land safely in its hanger below the Round House on Tracy Island
  • A ring of electricity generators powered by the fusion reactor provides power for the ion drive and life support systems

Information from the Thunderbirds Information Sheet:

Colour     –     Red with black markings
Length     –     200 feet
Pilot         –     Alan Tracy