Academic journal article Air Power History

Republic XP-47H Thunderbolt

Academic journal article Air Power History

Republic XP-47H Thunderbolt

Article excerpt

The "What is it?" aircraft in our last issue was the Republic XP-47H Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt was the most numerous American fighter ever built, but the H model was not the familiar "Jug" that fought in every theater of World War II. A colossal Chrysler XI-2220-II inverted-V 16-cylinder liquid-cooled, in-line engine--rated at about 2,300 horsepower--powered this version of the Thunderbolt.

Two aircraft were covered by this contract (serials 42-23297 and 42-23298). The Chrysler powerplant changed the appearance of the Thunderbolt considerably, but Republic's famous fighter was being used only as a test bed for the engine. The Army Air Forces never seriously contemplated manufacturing a version of the Thunderbolt with this arrangement.

According to Roger Freeman, in Thunderbolt: A Documentary History of the Republic P-47, the two XP-47H airplanes began on the Evansville, Indiana, production line as P-47D models. Freeman wrote that creation of the H model entailed redesigning the aircraft forward of the firewall, with new duct work to the General Electric CH-5 turbosupercharger and modifications to associated equipment, including intercooler outlet doors. …

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