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Republic P-47 THUNDERBOLD II "1942"

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American aerospace company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns, and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 lb (1,100 kg).

Republic P-47 THUNDERBOLD II "1942"

Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Republic Aviation
First flight 6 May 1941
Introduction November 1942
Retired 1966 (Peruvian Air Force)
Primary users United States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force (historical)
French Air Force (historical) / Peruvian Air Force (historical)
Produced 1941–1945
Number built 15,636
Variants Republic XP-72


Republic

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American aerospace company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945

Goto Republic Aircraft

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American aerospace company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns, and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 lb (1,100 kg). When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war.

Operational History

The P-47 would also be the foundation stock for rebuilding a majority of the post-war European air forces. Unlike the P-51, this aircraft was easily maintained and more forgiving of pilot mistakes (due to its more robust construction). Like the USAF, these aircraft only started to retire as the second generation jets became readily available. In the early 1950s as the now renamed F-47 was being retired from active USAF service, these aircraft were through various Military Assistance Programs (MAPS) offered to numerous South American countries. For the next 15 years, the F-47 would continue as a front line fighter with these nations.

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Republic P-47D Thunderbold (1942)

The Luftwaffe operated at least one captured P-47. In poor weather on 7 November 1943 while flying a P-47D-2-RA on a bomber escort mission, 2nd Lt. William E. Roach of 358th Fighter Squadron355th Fighter Group made an emergency landing on a German airfield. Roach was imprisoned at Stalag Luft I. The Thunderbolt was given German markings.[32]

  • T9+LK was probably used for several reconnaissance missions over England just before the D-Day invasion. It was recaptured in Göttingen in 1944 when the Germans were forced to make a rapid withdrawal to Bad Wörishofen.

Specifications

  • General characteristics

    • Crew: 1
    • Length: 36 ft 1.75 in (11.0173 m)
    • Wingspan: 40 ft 9 516 in (12.429 m)
    • Height: 14 ft 8 116 in (4.472 m
    • Empty weight: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
    • Max takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
    • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 2,000 hp (1,500 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 426 mph (686 km/h, 370 kn) at 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Range: 1,030 mi (1,660 km, 900 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 42,000 ft (13,000 m)

Armament

Eight .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (3400 rounds)

Up to 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) of bombs

Ten 5 in (130 mm) unguided rockets

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Aircrafttotaal

The P-47 proved to be a formidable fighter-bomber due to its good armament, heavy bomb load and ability to survive enemy fire. The P-47's survivability was due in part to its radial piston engine, which unlike comparable liquid-cooled engines, had a high tolerance for damage.[42] The Thunderbolt's eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns were capable against lightly armored targets, although less so than cannon-armed aircraft of the day. In a ground attack role, the armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) ammunition proved useful in penetrating thin-skinned and lightly armored German vehicles and exploding their fuel tanks, as well as occasionally damaging some types of enemy armored fighting vehicles (AFVs)

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