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REPUBLIC XP-72

Posted 11/2/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Republic XP-72
Republic XP-72 3/4 front view (S/N 43-36598). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The XP-72 was a modification of the basic P-47 airframe redesigned for the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major radial engine. The aircraft had a close-fitted engine cowling and a supercharger placed behind the cockpit. The supercharger air inlet was moved to the wing root and gave the aircraft its distinctive "large-belly" shape. The XP-72 was capable of accelerating to 490 mph. at 25,000 feet and was to be used to intercept German V-1 Buzz Bombs.

The maiden flight of the first XP-72 built (S/N 43-36598) was on Feb. 2, 1944. This aircraft had a conventional four-bladed propeller, but the second aircraft (S/N 43-36599) featured an Aero Products contra-rotating propeller. The excellent performance of the prototype aircraft resulted in a contract for 100 P-72s. These aircraft were to be armed with four 37mm cannon instead of the machine guns on the prototypes; however, the Army Air Force canceled the production contract before any aircraft were built because of the greater need for long-range escort fighters in Europe.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
XP-72 2 Improved P-47; V-1 interceptor


TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns (production version designed for four 37mm cannon and two 1,000 lb. bombs)
Engine: One supercharged Pratt & Whitney R-4360 of 3,500 hp
Maximum speed: 490 mph
Cruising speed: 300 mph
Range: 1,200 mi.
Service ceiling: 42,000 ft.
Span: 40 ft. 11 in.
Length: 36 ft. 7 in.
Height: 16 ft. 0 in.
Crew: One

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