Seventy-three years ago today, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt took flight for the first time. A single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber, the P-47 was one of the most successful fighters of all time. Nicknamed the “jug” because of its bulky shape, the P-47 was fast and maneuverable for its size. Thunderbolts were employed in every theater of World War II, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine was the most powerful fitted to a single-engine fighter in the war. With over 15,600 aircraft manufactured, more Thunderbolts were built than any other fighter. The P-47N was the ultimate Thunderbolt variant with increased fuel capacity to enable it to escort B-29 Superfortress bombers over the Pacific.
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