Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt (later, F-47), also known as the "Jug," was the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded the P-47 could weigh up to eight tons. A modern-day counterpart in that role, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.

As the war in Europe escalated in spring 1940, Republic and the USAAC concluded that the XP-44 and the XP-47 were inferior to the German fighters. Republic unsuccessfully attempted to improve the design, proposing the XP-47A. Alexander Kartveli subsequently came up with an all-new and much larger fighter which was offered to the USAAC in June 1940. The Air Corps ordered a prototype in September, to be designated the XP-47B. The XP-47A, which had almost nothing in common with the new design, was abandoned.

The XP-47B first flew on 6 May 1941 with Lowry P. Brabham at the controls. Although there were minor problems, such as some cockpit smoke that turned out to be due to an oil drip, the aircraft proved impressive in its first trials. It was eventually lost in an accident on August 8, 1942, but before that mishap the prototype had achieved a level speed of 412 mph (663 km/h) at 25,800 ft (7,864 m) altitude, and had demonstrated a climb from sea level to 15,000 ft (4,600 m) altitude in five minutes.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
  • Wing area: 300 ft² (27.87 m²)
  • Empty weight: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 twin-row radial engine, 2,535 hp (1,890 kW)

  • Maximum speed: 433 mph at 30,000 ft (697 km/h at 9,145 m)
  • Range: 800 mi combat, 1,800 mi ferry (1,290 km / 2,900 km)
  • Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,120 ft/min (15.9 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 58.3 lb/ft² (284.8 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.14 hp/lb (238 W/kg)

  • 8 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (3400 rounds)
  • 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of bombs
  • 10 × 5 in (130 mm) unguided rockets

** Republic P-47 Thunderbolt - Warbird Fare

Other Warbirds

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg More Favorites

Back To Top