P-47D Thunderbolt

Late models of the long-range escort fighter and fighter-bomber (beginning with P-47D-25)

P-47D Thunderbolt

The 201st Mexican Fighter Squadron assembles in front of a P-47 Thunderbolt on Porac strip, Clark Field, Luzon.

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (late models from D-25)
Type:
US fighter-bomber and long-range escort fighter.

History

Production of the P-47 Thunderbolt really hit its stride with the P-47D, the most numerous variant. The P-47D’s engine gave more power at high altitude, and this version could carry a heavier bomb load. These Thunderbolts were built in several production batches and with a host of sub-designations. Beginning with the P-47D-25, they incorporated a modification which had been introduced by the P-51 Mustang: a transparent teardrop canopy that gave the pilot 360° visibility.

The value of the P-47 Thunderbolt was dramatically increased when they began to carry drop tanks and fly all the way to the target. The same capability turned the big and formidable fighter into a much­feared bomber and, with devastating firepower, vast numbers of P-47Ds strafed and bombed throughout the European and Pacific theatres until the end of WW2.
Republic’s output of D models (12,602) is the largest total of one sub-type of any fighter in history, total production of the “Jug” amounting to 15,660.

The P-47D was the first to go to the Pacific with USAAF units, and was the first Thunderbolt to be supplied to the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Brazil, Mexico and Free French units.

The lightweight M was too late for its role of chasing flying bombs but scored successes against the Me 262 and Ar 234 jets.

The final version, which came too late for extensive employment in the war, was the P-47N. It was designed expressly for the war in the Pacific, and just over 1,800 were built. It had more powerful armament, uprated engine and greater range.
The last P-47s were delivered in December 1945. After WW2 the ‘Jug’ was popular with many air forces until well into the 1950s.


Pictures of late P-47 Thunderbolts


Data for Republic P-47 D-25 Thunderbolt

Technical data
Republic P-47 D-25 Thunderbolt data
Power plantone Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 Double Wasp 18-cylinder two-row radial engine with 2,300 hp
Accommodation 1
Wing span40 ft 9.5 in
Length overall36 ft 2 in
Height overall14 ft 2 in
Weight empty10,700 lb
Weight loaded19,400 lb
Maximum speed428 mph
Initial climb2,800 ft/min.
Service ceiling42,000 ft
Range475 miles (with drop tanks 1,900 miles)
Armament
Republic P-47 D-25 Thunderbolt data
in the wingsEight 0.50in Colt-Browning M2 machine guns [800 rpm; velocity 2,810 f/s] each with 267, 350 or 425 rounds
external loadthree to five racks for tanks, bombs or rockets to maximum of 2,500 lb
Service statistics
Republic P-47 D-25 Thunderbolt data
XP47-K prototype with transparent teardrop canopy July 1943
Service delivery P-47D-25spring/summer 1944
Final delivery P-47N December 1945
Production figures12,602 P-47D, 1,800 P-47N; Total: 15,683 (from these 195 to Russia)
No. of Sorties in Europe 43-45 (for all P-47)423,435 (record)
Bomb Tonnage in Europe 43-45113,963 t (record for fighter-bombers)
US Lost in Combat in Europe 43-453,077
Enemies claimed Destroyed in air, Europe 43-453,082
Enemies claimed Destroyed on ground, Europe 43-453,202

Animated 3D model of P-47 Thunderbolt late model with transparent teardrop canopy

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