THUNDERBOLT
THUNDERBOLT

Manufacturer

REPUBLIC

Markings:

348th Fighter Group, 341st Fighter Squadron, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 1943

Designation:

P-47D

Serial Number:

42-8130

REPUBLIC P-47D THUNDERBOLT

The P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the most successful American fighters of World War II. The initial concept for the Thunderbolt was a lightweight interceptor, the aircraft that eventually came out of the Republic factories was the largest and heaviest single-seat fighter ever accepted by the Army Air Forces. The Thunderbolt made its debut as a long-range escort fighter, but the plane really made its name as a fighter-bomber. The P-47s heavy armor and eight machinegun armament made it perfect for strafing and rocket attacks near the front lines. The P-47D is the most built version of the Thunderbolt with over 12,000 constructed. Unusually, the P-47D underwent a major design change mid-way through the production run without a corresponding change in the letter designation. The early D models had a high rear deck that came up behind the pilot's head. This caused a significant blind spot to the rear. In late 1943 the design was modified to lower the rear deck and incorporate a bubble canopy that eliminated the blind spot.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 40 ft., 9 in.
  • Length: 36 ft., 1 in.
  • Height: 14 ft., 2 in.
  • Weight: 14,925 lbs (loaded)
  • Max. Speed: 433 MPH
  • Service Ceiling: 42,000 ft
  • Engines: One Pratt & Whitney R-2800-21 of 2,000 HP
  • Crew: 1