AIRCRAFT SHOWCASE

P-47

P-47 Thunderbolt

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P-47 Thunderbolt

Nicknamed “Jug,” the P-47 was one of the most famous Army Air Forces fighter planes of World War II. Although originally conceived as a lightweight interceptor, the P-47 developed as a heavyweight fighter and made its first flight on May 6, 1941. The first production model was delivered to the AAF in March 1942, and in April 1943 the Thunderbolt flew its first combat mission—a sweep over Western Europe. Used as both a high-altitude escort fighter and a low-level fighter-bomber, the P-47 quickly gained a reputation for ruggedness. Its sturdy construction and air-cooled radial engine enabled the Thunderbolt to absorb severe battle damage and keep flying. During World War II, the P-47 served in almost every active war theater and in the forces of several Allied nations. By the end of World War II, the U.S. had built more than 15,600 Thunderbolts. Production P-47B, -C, early -D and -G series aircraft were built with metal-framed “greenhouse” type cockpit canopies. Late -D series (-25 and later) aircraft and all -M and -N series production aircraft were given clear “bubble” canopies, which gave the pilot improved rearward vision. In addition to serving with the AAF, some were flown in action by the British, Free French, Russians, and Brazilians. This P-47 “Thunderbolt” is painted in the colors representing the P-47D flown by Lt. Col. Francis S. Gabreski while commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force. The “Jug” markings show the “D” Day invasion stripes and the 28 confirmed air victories.

TECHNICAL NOTES:

Wing Span: 40 ft 9 in
Length: 36 ft 2 in
Height: 14 ft 8 in
Weight: 17,500 lb max
Armament: Six or eight .50 cal. machine guns and either 10 rockets or 2,500 lb of bombs
Engines: One Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 of 2,430 HP
Crew: One
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