Wing Span: 40' 9"
Length: 36' 1" Height: 12' 6"
Gross Weight: 17,500 lbs
Max Speed: 426 mph
Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59
Fuel Capacity: 305 gallons
Armament: 8 x .50 caliber machine guns
The P-47 was the largest single engine fighter of WWII. It has eight .50 caliber Browning machine guns and nearly 3000 rounds of ammo.
Affectionately nicknamed "The Jug," the P-47 was one of the most famous US Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter planes of WWII. 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 USAAF 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.
Using the Jug as a fighter-bomber came about when pilots, returning from escort missions deep inside of Germany, would attack targets of opportunity on there way home. The P-47 gradually became the USAAF's best fighter-bomber, carrying 500 lb bombs, the triple-tube M-8 4.5 inch rocket launcher, and eventually HVARs (High Velocity Ariel Rockets). In this role it destroyed thousands of tanks, locomotives, parked aircraft, and tens of thousand of trucks and other vehicles. With eight .50 caliber machine guns, the only targets truly safe from the Jug's guns were the heavy tanks and ships; and on those, the P-47 rained bombs and rockets.
Production P-47B, -C, early -D and -G series aircraft were built with metal-framed "greenhouse" type cockpit canopies. Late -D series (dash 25 and later) aircraft and all -M and -N series production aircraft were given clear "bubble" canopies, which gave the pilot improved rearward vision.
During WWII, the P-47 served in almost every active war theater and in the forces of several Allied nations. By the end of WWII, more than 15,600 Thunderbolts had been built, making it one of the most heavily produced fighter aircraft in history.
This magnificent P-47D Thunderbolt was delivered to the Venezuelan Air Force in 1949. It ended its military service as a gate guardian in Caracas, Venezuela before being returned to the United States in 1995. It underwent a complete restoration to airworthy condition by Pacific Fighters, Idaho Falls, Idaho. All original equipment was overhauled and reinstalled. The turbo system is complete and fully operational.