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P-47 Thunderbolt: A Juggernaut Over German Skies

May 28, 2020

The P-47 G Thunderbolt was one of the most successful American fighters of WWII.  The Thunderbolt, also known as the Juggernaut, or the Jug, escorted relentless bombing runs over Germany, battling interceptors to protect Allied bombers. Get your own P-47 G Thunderbolt PlaneTags

WWII PlaneTags

What is a P-47 G Thunderbolt?


The P-47, manufactured from 1941 to 1945, was a United States World War II fighter. It was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive single piston engine fighter in history. It was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter aircraft, as well as a low altitude fighter-bomber. It served in nearly every war theater as a part of several Allied armies. It became one of the United States Army Air Force’s main fighters during the war. It was regarded for its sturdy construction, ruggedness, and ability to suffer severe battle damage and make it home. Its roomy, armored cockpit and bubble canopy provided excellent visibility, making it a pilot favorite. Ultimately, 15,660 Thunderbolts were produced before the war’s end. 

42-25068

Curtiss P-47G-10-CU "Thunderbolt" / Republic P-47D-5 built under license by Curtiss-Wright Aircraft, Buffalo, New York. Designated P-47G (sn 42-25068) flickr photo by aeroman3 shared with no copyright restrictions using Creative Commons Public Domain Mark (PDM)

 

P-47 Thunderbolt Specs

p-47 with b-17

B-17 and P-47 - Flying Legends 2013 flickr photo by Hawkeye UK shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

 

They were built by Republic Aviation. The demand became so great that Republic built a second plant in Evansville, Indiana to produce the P-47D. Ultimately, Curtiss built 354 of the P-47G variant, which were identical to the Republic version and were mostly used stateside for training. 


A closer look at the P-47 G:

  • Type:  Single-seat long-range fighter or fighter-bomber.
  • Power:   One 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 -21 eighteen-cylinder radial air-cooled engine.
  • Max speed:    433 mph at 30,000 ft
  • Span:  40 ft 9 in
  • Length:    36 ft 1 in
  • Wing area:     300 ft
  • Weight empty:  9,900 lb
  • Weight gross:    14,925 lb
  • Cruising speed:   350 mph
  • Climb:    11 min to 20,000 ft
  • Service ceiling:   42,000 ft
  • Guns:  Eight 50 cal. machine-guns, four in each wing outboard of landing gear.
  • Max bomb load: 1 × 500 lb; two 1,000 lb. bombs, one under each wing, and one 500 lb. bomb under the fuselage, for a total of 2,500 pounds. Ten 5 in. velocity aircraft rockets may be carried, the latest type of rocket needing neither launching-rails or tracks.
  • P-47G-CU:    42-24920/25273

        

History of a Warbird

p-47 thunderbolt

P-47G-10 Thunderbolt 42-25068 flickr photo by ahisgett shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

Our P-47, serial number 42-25068, tail # N47FG began its long and exciting life when it was accepted by the USAAF in September 1943 and sent to Florida to be used for Air Force training. In June 1945, released from its wartime duties, it was then bought by Aero Industries Technical Institute in Oakland, CA where it was used to teach hydraulic and electrical systems until 1952. 

In 1953, it was then rented out by its owner Jack Hardwick for a film called Fighter Attack, by Allied Artists, as well as used as a ground engine test rig. It remained parked in El Monte, California until 1975. 

After that, it changed registration several times, to N42354, N47DG and 28476, during which time the plane was fully restored and took flight again in April 1982. The next leg of its journey brought it to the UK, where it remained in storage until 2006. It belonged to The Fighter Collection in Duxford, UK through 2013, then joined the Comanche Warbirds, Inc. in 2014. It was seen in the film The Monuments Men, playing the part of P-47D/42-74742 SNAFU. It remains an airworthy example of wartime ingenuity. 

 

MotoArt’s P-47


When MotoArt owner Dave Hall found out that there was original skin available from a fighter with such an interesting history he knew he needed it for the PlaneTags collection. “It came from the restoration and there wasn’t a lot of material to work with but I was glad to get what I could.” 


The team was able to make a very small run of PlaneTags. “Sometimes we’re asked if it's worth it to go through all of what we do to release a new one for such a limited run, “ said Hall. “Absolutely! This is an incredible plane and we know that our customers will appreciate being able to add it to their collections. We are so pleased to add it to our Encyclopedia of Aircraft.”


P 47 G Thunderbolt PlaneTags

p47 PlaneTags

 

The newest additions to the fleet come mostly in military green, though there are a few color variations. They are numbered to 280 and come attached to a colorful display card with a brief history. They make a perfect Father’s Day present or pilot gift. 



World War II PlaneTags

Take a look at our other WWII era mementos

In case you missed these similar stories:

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk: The Frontline Fighter That Won The Pacific

Ten Awesome Aviation Gifts Your AVGeek Dad Will Love

 

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