The P-47D Thunderbolt was a single-seat fighter-bomber aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was one of the largest and heaviest single-engine fighter planes in history, with a wingspan of 40 feet and a length of 36 feet. The Thunderbolt was produced by the Republic Aviation Corporation, and it entered service in 1942.
The P-47D Thunderbolt was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine, which could generate up to 2,535 horsepower. This gave the aircraft a top speed of 433 mph and a range of over 800 miles. The Thunderbolt was armed with eight .50 caliber machine guns and could carry up to 3,000 pounds of bombs or rockets.
One of the notable features of the P-47D was its rugged construction, which allowed it to withstand significant damage and continue flying. This made it a popular aircraft for ground attack missions, as it could absorb heavy anti-aircraft fire and still deliver accurate strikes.
The Thunderbolt was also used extensively in the European Theater of Operations, where it served as a long-range escort fighter for American bombers. The P-47D was credited with shooting down more than 3,700 enemy aircraft during World War II and was widely regarded as one of the most successful and versatile fighter planes of the era.
After the war, the P-47D Thunderbolt was used by several other countries, including France and Turkey, and it continued to see service in various roles, including ground attack and reconnaissance.