Tuesday, August 14, 2012

P-47 Thunderbolts

There were two of these at last week-end's airshow...all done up in matching paint schemes and looking great.

They're big, all right. Biggest single-engine fighters of the war.

Republic Aviation has always made big fighters.

But in the air, they're graceful and deadly, and awesome to watch.

And they came in fast, low and close.

It's official. I want one.


  1. There are at least three FM (GM made) Wildcat's on the market now in the 600k ballpark range. Don't ask how much P-51/F-51's are going for. I'll chip in a couple of hundred if you think that you can swing the rest (grin).

  2. Santa's gonna be awfully busy with your Christmas list this year.

  3. @ Andy: Yeah, but I'll make it worth his while by flying air cover for him.

  4. It's going to be "Murphy's Air Force"! Mustangs, Corsairs, Lightnings, and the Jug! Oh, and a Sabre!

  5. And they are comfy too. They don't call them the Cadillac of fighters for nothing. Had a chance to sit in one a while back. I'm 6'4" and had no trouble with roominess.

  6. I hope you have a large hangar and/or airfield. :) The Jugs were tough, too - the pilots always said they could take a LOT of punishment.

  7. The Jugs were the other "Iron Works" birds... family friend Bob Johnson knocked a smokestack over with one once (and brought the bird back) and in another case landed with a three foot diameter hole in the wing!!!

  8. Ok. Are they P-47D or M or Ns?

    The P-47s had the advantage of very high roll rate and dive rate (actually the highest dive rate of 'em all.)

    But it's climb rate (at least of B and C models) was poor due to the 3 blade prop.)

    And of course, like the P39, P40, F4F, F4U, F6F.. they had short legs. Later drop tanks helped but they could not get to Berlin.

    And that is why once the air war went past 400-500 miles from base their kill rates went down. They could not get to where the enemy was (same in the PTO theater to.)

  9. They are D models, Paul. (Geez, man...I gave you the N numbers in the photos..;-) )

    490460 came back from Brazil in the 1980's, and 490438 was Yugoslavian military until it was brought back and restored in the mid-90's.

    Makes you wonder how many more are sitting out there, somewhere...waiting for me.

  10. "Flight Journal" had a special issue on the P-47, back in the fall-2003.

    They list 56 remaining complete aircraft. About 14 flyable, then.
    9 of N
    2 of G
    balance are D's

  11. My secret desire is, like Indianna Jones, hacking my way through the South American jungle and come upon a jungle overgrown abandoned airport.

    Several old Quonset huts line one side of the vegetation overgrown runway. I pear into the old windows and see some smudgy things I'n not sure of. The shadows flicker but still no clue.

    Breaking the lock on the door I enter and there was several huge tarps over mountainous lumps.

    Taking one dusty tarp off I see....

    Stacks of U.S. crates marked... P38L-25-LO. Other huts bring strange markings like P-51-C-1-NA.

    And not a soul around...