BZ's 2009 Chino - P-47

Photo Gallery

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the biggest, and heaviest single engined piston powered fighter ever! First introduced as a long range fighter escort for the bombers, it later developed into an outstanding ground attack fighter bomber.
Nikon D200 w/ 70-300mm VR lens - Bernard Zee

Not only does the P-47 (nicknamed the 'Jug') look big, it was heavy as well! Fully loaded it weighed 8 tons!
Here's the Jug on takeoff!

Firepower came from eight 0.50 cal machine guns mounted in the wings. Powerplant was a Pratt & Whitney R-2800, generating 2535 hp. The P-47 could also carry 2.500lbs of bombs or unguided rockets in the ground attack configuration.
Here he is doing a leisurely pass.

The Jug flying at Chino was one of the earlier 'razorback' models. Later P-47D-5 models had a bubble canopy which improved rear visibility.

The term 'Jug' most likely referred to the shape of the fuselage. Some assumed it short form for 'Juggernaut' and that also stuck as an alternative nickname. Here's the P-47 at take off.

The P-47's strength was in the dive. No plane could out run it in a dive, as the P-47 could reach speeds of 550mph. It also had an excellent roll rate. Using good tactics, along with altitude, the Thunderbolt could come out ahead in a fight. Its climbing ability was not so great though.

Perhaps best known is the P-47's ability to take a lot of punishment and still get the pilot home. This proved important when the type was used in the fighter bomber role, attacking ground targets of opportunity. The toughness of the airframe and engine was legendary, and the aircraft became the best fighter bomber of the war. Carrying bombs and high velocity aircraft rockets, P-47s destroyed 86,000 railway cars, 9,000 locomotives, 6,000 armored vehicles, and 68,000 trucks in less than a year!

In the ground attack role, the Jug regularly disrupted German supply lines, and tore apart their armored columns. While the machine guns were devastaing to the troops and thin skinned vehicles, bombs and rockets had to be used on the heavier German tanks. As is true in any conflict, a convoy caught in the open by attack aircraft was in serious trouble.

BZ Chino 2009 Gallery Index