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The Republic p-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the Juggernaut or ‘Jug’, was the largest single engine fighter plane of its day. Originally designed as an interceptor it was later turned into one of the most versatile and durable ground attack aircraft of its generation.
The P-47 began its development as a platform to demonstrate the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted turbocharger in 1939. Though this experiment was largely a failure, the airframe was adapted and several prototypes were abandoned before a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row 18-cylinder radial engine provided the platform sufficient power and a workable design. The production P-47 had almost no commonality with the demonstration AP-4 it was based on.
The result was an all metal monoplane with elliptical wings, a roomy and comfortable cockpit (for its day – it even had air conditioning!), self-sealing fuel tanks which could hold 350 US gallons and other modernized features. Its large tanks gave it a longer range than most fighters at the time. Its large cowl efficiently cooled the engine and turbocharger.
The C version of the P-47 entered service with the 56th fighter group in September 1942. The 56th was deployed to England in 1942, where they joined the 4th and 6th fighter groups supporting the bombers of the 8th Air Force. The 4th and 6th were largely experienced pilots, many of whom were US volunteers with the RAF, who had rejoined the US forces after America entered the war. The British were impressed by the P-47’s size, and joked that the pilots could avoid luftwaffe gunfire by running back and forth inside the fuselage. In part because of its size and speed, it was quickly nicknamed the ‘Juggernaut’ or ‘Jug’ for short. The P-47 D was introduced quickly after the P-47 first entered combat, making several small changes, such as more cooling flaps exitting the engine cowl to reduce heat build up, armour protection and larger fuel tanks (adding almost 70 Gallons of fuel), plus the addition of drop tanks.
These changes allowed the P-47 to excel in its role as an escort aircraft. Some D’s were also fitted with bubbletop canopies. With the addition of drop tanks, the P-47 could escort bombers deep into Germany, and this often led to a long flight home with a bored pilot and guns flush with ammo. As a result many flights engaged targets of opportunity, typically German convoys or other ground targets. It was quickly realized that the durability of the massive radial engine allowed it to survive ground fire that would have brought down other aircraft, like the Mustang or Spitfire. The 8 .50 calibre machine guns made short work of lightly armoured targets. For the rest of the war it was primarily used in this role, destroying 90 000 train cars and engines, 6000 tanks and armoured vehicles, and 68000 trucks. An impressive tally. No wonder when the USAF was looking for a name for the A-10 the called it the ‘Thunderbolt II’!
About this Model’s Paint Scheme
This ESM P-47 came color scheme is of Col. David C. Schilling, who served as the commander for the 56th fighter group from August 1944-January 1945. He was the 6th leading USAAF ace of the war with 22 1/2 kills and scoring 5 kills on December 23, 1944 made him one of 38 USAAF ‘ace in a day’ pilots. For his valour and courage Schilling was awarded a DFC (with oak leaf cluster), a Silver Star (with two oak leaf clusters), a DFC (with 10 oak leaf clusters), an Air Medal (with 18 oak leaf clusters), a Presidential Unit Citation, a UK Distinguished Flying cross, and a Croix De Guerre from both France and Belgium. His aircraft features a distinctive green and grey paint scheme typical of many of the aircraft in Zemke’s Wolfpack, with a red cowl, black and white invasion stripes and nose art of ‘Hairless Joe’ from the L’il Abner comics.
- -All composite fuselage construction, with built up wings and surfaces.
- -All scale details molded into the fiberglass parts, including panel lines and rivets.
- -Factory painted to scale, and pre-applied decals, covered with clear coat. Wing Covering Material: Iron on Film Covered, painted, decals applied and clear coated. The aircraft has a beautiful flat, non-glossy finish. This is superior to glossy covering materials.
- -Functional flaps.
- -All hardware included (screws, rods, fuel tanks etc…)
- -ESM GEN 4 ELECTRIC RETRACTS with oleo struts and alloy wheels available.
- SIERRA PRECISION RETRACTS AVAILABLE
- CJM ELECTRIC RETRACTS AVAILABLE
- SCALE COCKPIT KIT NOW AVAILABLE
- 10″ and 12″ WWII PILOTS AVAILABLE
- PILOT BUSTS AVAILABLE
- -Illustrated instruction manual included.
- Wing Span: Approx 70.8″
- Engine: 1.20 four stroke/ (+) or equivalent gas 26cc-30cc or electric (not included)
- Weight: approx. 12-15 lbs depending on your engine/motor set up.
- Radio Required: 6 channel, 8 servos (none included)
- Does not include: radio,servos, receiver, retracts, motor, glue, and fuel line
ESM P-47 and ESM ME-109Tom Bell’s ESM P-47 Flying w/ 26cc Gas Engine in COLORADO , USA!