A WORD ABOUT OUR LITTLE FRIENDS
The pilots who flew the Republic P-47 “Jug” in WW II
think their airplane has had a bad rap. Saddled with the
reputation of being all brawn and no brains, Thunderbolts
were often portrayed as a big dumb jock that got through
the war on the equivalent of a football scholarship. The real
American fighter of WW Two as most of the revisionist
historians explain, was North American’s P-5 1 Mustang.
The P-5 1 is a beautiful Aircraft and the public relations that
went with it seemed at times to obscure the P-47. The P-47
was the first of our fighter aircraft in Europe, did a major
job and had more victories.
Although it was designed to be an interceptor and used as
an escort fighter, by the end of the war the Thunderbolt was
primarily a fighter-bomber, and the pilots began to adorn
their aircraft with silhouettes of the locomotives and trucks
they had destroyed as well as aircraft.
As originally conceived, the airplane was supposed to be
smaller, powered by a liquid-cooled in-line engine.
Jimmy Doolittle, working with the Shell Oil Co. engineers
convinced them of a need for 100 octane gasoline to fuel
larger aircraft engines. Shell began producing 100 octane
fuel and aircraft engine designers began work on larger
engines. With the advent of the higher octane fuel, Pratt &
Whitney developed the 2000 horsepower - R-2800 radial
engine in 1940. Republic then dropped their plans for the
smaller fighter plane and designed an aircraft around...
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