The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
"The Big Beautiful Jug"
Perhaps the most significant fighter aircraft of World War II, the Republic Aviation P-47
Thunderbolt fighter was the largest and most powerful single engine fighter of the war.  Production
topped any other Allied fighter with 15,683 P-47’s produced.

Due to the shape of the fuselage, the Thunderbolt was known affectionately as the "Jug" by its
pilots and ground crews.
Two distinctive versions were produced:
The earlier "Razorback" design and later versions with a “bubble top” canopy.

For detailed information on P-47 variation, serial numbers & production figures,
visit the
P-47 Production Page
"Razorback" Version
"Bubble Top" Version
The P-47 was unique in many ways. It was the first aircraft of any kind with telescoping landing gear, which allowed for the fourth machine gun in each wing, the first
to utilize chemgum self-sealing fuel tanks, the first to drop napalm bombs, and the first to fire 5' rockets from wing launchers.
The P-47 was armed with eight wing mounted Browning .50 caliber machine guns which could deliver 13 pounds of lead per second.  
Spent cases and links were ejected from the bottom of the wing.  
When loaded with armor-piercing incendiary (API) rounds the .50 caliber did considerable damage to light armored vehicles, trains, and aircraft.  
The P-47D-25 could carry 2500 lbs of external stores; this variety of HE bombs, incendiary bombs, napalm, and rockets gave the thunderbolt a hard punch.  
For more information on the P-47 Thunderbolt's weapons systems visit the P-47 Armament Page.

Seven of the top 10 European Aces flew the P-47 Thunderbolt against the Luftwaffe.  
Thunderbolt’s knocked 3,752 enemy aircraft out of the air while destroying another 2,800+ on the ground.
The heavily armored plane sustained 824 combat losses, only .07% of the Jugs didn't return from a combat mission, the lowest total of any Allied fighter.
The Thunderbolt flew twice as many sorties and dropped 2,010% more tonnage than any other Allied fighter.
Thunderbolt’s dropped 131,482 bombs, fired 135,000+ belts of .50 caliber ammunition and launched 59,565 rockets.

The Thunderbolt was a rugged aircraft that could take a lot of damage and bring her pilot home.  

The Thunderbolt was the largest and heaviest single engine fighter flown in WW2, yet could fly at 425+ miles per hour straight and level.  
Only a thunderbolt pilot can tell you how fast she would do in a dive!  
The P-47D-22 and later versions were factory mated with the Hamilton Standard Hydromatic paddle blade
propeller with a  13’ 1 7/8” diameter.  Other models were retro-fitted in the field with the new props.  

Introduction of the paddle blade prop enabled the thunderbolt amazing climbing and turning ability.

Turning this large propeller was the Pratt & Whitney R2800 Double Wasp, 18 cylinder engine.  

When coupled with the supercharger and water injection system it developed over 2500 horsepower.
P-47D-25-RE Specifications:
Dimensions:  Wing Span:  40’ 9 5/16”
    Length:        35’ 10”
    Height:        14’ 9 1/8”
   Wing Area:   300 sq. feet
Weights:       Empty:         10,000 lbs
   Gross:          14,000 lbs
   Max:            19,400 lbs
Cruise speed:  260mph
Max level flight speed:  433 mph at 30,000’
                                  375 mph at 10.000'
Landing speed:  106 mph
Climb:     6.2 min to 15,000’
14 min to 30,000’
Service Ceiling:      42,000’
Maximum Range:  950 miles w/o external tanks.
1800 miles with max fuel and external tanks.
      
Speed, range, and performance all vary dependent
on external stores and weight.
Click to view full size
These pages are dedicated to the ground crews who kept the
Thunderbolt maintained, armed, fueled, & flying.
Where can I find a P-47 near me?
Visit the
Museum Page for a detailed list of P-47's on static display or still flying
For more information on this superb combination of reliability and power visit the
P-47 Power Plant Page.