Warplanes / USA
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 

Evolved from Major Alexander P. de Seversky's radial-powered P-43, the big Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was designed under the leadership of Alexander Kartveli to become one of America's three outstanding fighters of the war. First flown on 6 May 1941, the XP-47B was designed around the 1492kW (2,000-hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800 with exhaust-driven turbocharger in the rear fuselage; armament was eight 12.7-mm (0.5-in) machine-guns in the wings. 171 production P-47B fighters were built with minor improvements and a top speed of 691 km/h (429 mph), this version being brought to the UK in January 1943 by the 56th and 78th Fighter Groups; they were first flown in combat on 8 April that year, flying escort for B-17s. Early P-47s proved to possess poor climb and manoeuvrability, but were popular on account of their ability to survive heavy battle damage. A lengthened fuselage and provision for an under-fuselage drop tank identified the P-47C. The major version (of which no fewer than 12,60 were built) was the P-47D with water injection power boost, and cut-dowi rear fuselage with 'bubble' hood 01 later sub-variants; P-47Ds served ii the UK, the Mediterranean and the Far East. In Burma 16 RAF squadrons flev the P-47B (as the Thunderbolt Mk I and P-47D (Thunderbolt Mk II), a tota of 826 being delivered. Developed a: a result of demands for a 'sprint' version, the P-47M with improved turbo charger and a top speed of 762 km/1 (473 mph) at 9755 m (32,000 ft) reaches Europe at the end of 1944, while the P-47N with blunt-tipped enlarged wing and increased fuel capacity was developed purely for service in the Pacific; a total of 1,816 was produced and these flew escort for B-29s in their raids on Japan in 1945. A total of 15,675 P-47s was produced.
 

Specification Republic P-47D-25 (Thunderbolt Mkll)

 
Type: single-seat long-range fighter
 
Powerplant: one 1716-kW (2,300-hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 radial piston engine
 
Performance: maximum speed 689 km/h (428 mph) at 9145 m (30,000 ft); climb to 6095 m (20,000 ft) in 9.0 minutes; service ceiling 12800 m (42,000 ft); maximum range 2028 km (1,260 miles)
 
Weights: empty 4536 kg (10,000 lb); maximum take-off 8800 kg (19,400 lb)
 
Dimensions: span 12.43 m (40 ft 9'/2 in); length 11.01 m (36 ft 1% in); height 4.32 m (14 ft 2 in); wing area 27.87 m2 (300.0 sq ft)
 
Armament: eight 12.7-mm (0.5-in) machine-guns in the wings, plus up to two 454-kg (1,000-lb) bombs
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