Republic P-47 By Affectionately nicknamed "Jug," the P-47 was one of the most famous AAF fighter planes of World War II. 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 AAF 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. 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. 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. The National Museum of the United States Air Force has a P-47D-15-RE and a P-47D-40-RA on display. Type Number built/ converted Remarks XP-47 0 Lt. interceptor (canceled) XP-47A 0 Modified XP-47; no guns or radios XP-47B 1 Improved P-44 and XP-47 design P-47B 171 First prod. aircraft; eight .50-cal. in wings P-47CC 602 Improved P-47B P-47D-RE 3,963 Razorback P-47D; Blocks 1-22 P-47D-RE 2,546 Bubble canopy P-47D; Blocks 25-30 P-47D-RA 2,350 Evansville, Ind., plant; Blocks 2-23 P-47D-RA 3,743 Evansville bubble canopy; Blocks 26-40 XP-47E 1 (cv) Modified B (171st built); press. cockpit XP-47F 1 (cv) Modified P-47B; laminar flow wing P-47G-CU 354 Curtiss-built D model XP-47H 1 (cv) Modified P-47D; 16-cylinder Chrysler engine XP-47J 1 New model; six .50-cal. XP-47K 1 (cv) Modified P-47D with Hawker Typhoon Cnpy. XP-47L 1 (cv) Modified P-47D-20 YP-47M 3 (cv) Modified P-47D; dive brakes P-47M 130 High-speed version XP-47N 1 Improved D; new wing P-47N-RE 1,667 Long-range escort model P-47N-RA 149 5,934 canceled after VJ-Day TECHNICAL NOTES (P-47D): Armament: Six or eight .50 cal. machine guns and either 10 rockets or 2,500 lbs. of bombs Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 of 2,430 hp Maximum speed: 433 mph Cruising speed: 350 mph Range: 1,030 mi. Service ceiling: 42,000 ft. Span: 40 ft. 9 in. Length: 36 ft. 2 in. Height: 14 ft. 8 in. Weight: 17,500 lbs. maximum Crew: One Click here to return to the Pursuit Aircraft index.