Tamiya - 1/:72 - 60770 -Republic P-47D Thunderbolt "Bubbletop"
The P-47 was a real break-away from the usual fighter. It was huge and it was powerful. It was huge because of all the plumbing needed for its turbocharged, 2,000 HP R-2800 radial engine. One thing you can say about American aviation at the time; they really knew how to build big, honking radials. This was at a time when European engines of similar design were having a ton of trouble functioning at all and if they were reliable, they were not cranking out that kind of power.
The USAAF thought they had a winner in this big plane and decided to use it as an escort fighter. Well, that didn't work out. Two reasons. One was that it had really poor climbing ability and the other was that it had poor range. Drop tanks were not considered to be the thing to use on an American plane, and even when production got underway, most of the tanks were not built in the US but in small garage companies in the UK! Even with drop tanks, their range was not what was expected, however, they packed a wallop with four .50 calibre machine guns in each wing.
When the brass of the USAAF finally pulled their heads out of their butts so they could listen to their pilots, they started using the Mustang as an escort fighter in late 1943, the P-47s were then free to do what they did best and that is act in the fighter-bomber role. That huge radial engine was a great chunk of armor plating protecting the pilot and when the plane was shot to pieces it still managed to bring the pilot home. There are numerous stories about the survivability of this aircraft. Even post war the plane was in service with the ANG and foreign countries. During Korea the then-USAF lamented about how quickly they scrapped the P-47 as the Mustang was not a great ground attack plane, mainly because of its liquid-cooled engine.
This plastic aircraft kit requires paint and glue to complete.
1/72nd Model #60770