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Republic P-47D "Thunderbolt"

P-47 jet aircraft at the Hill Aerospace Museum

P-47 jet aircraft at the Hill Aerospace Museum

S/N 44-32798

Crew:   One
Engine:   One Pratt & Whitney R2800 Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder radial; 2,500 horsepower
Wingspan:   40 ft 9 3/8 in
Length:   36 ft 1 3/4 in
Height:   14 ft 7 in
Weight:   empty: 10,700 lbs; max: 13,500 lbs
Speed:   cruise: 260 mph; max: 433 mph at 30,000 ft
Range:   950 miles w/o external fuel
Service Ceiling:   40,000 ft
Armament:   Eight .50-caliber machine guns and ten 5-inch rockets, or 1,500 lbs of bombs

This P-47D-30-RA, S/N 44-32798, was manufactured by Republic Aviation in Evansville, Indiana, and delivered to the US Army Air Forces on November 13, 1944. The following month the aircraft was assigned to the 413th Fighter Group, First Air Force, at Bluethenthal Army Air Field in North Carolina. In March 1945 it was transfered to the 120th AAF Base Unit at Richmond Army Air Field, Virginia. There it became a TP-47D. Then, in August 1945 it went to the 477th Bombardment Group at Godman AAF, Kentucky.

In January 1946 the aircraft was assigned to the 4185th AAF Base Unit, Air Materiel Command, at Independence AAF, Indiana, where it was placed in storage. The plane was moved to the 4137th AAF Base Unit at Tinker AAF, Oklahoma, in July 1947, where it remained in storage. In April 1949 it was dropped from active inventory and transfered to Venezuela.

The Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah purchased this aircraft from Cornerstone Aircraft of Florida in October 2003. It was recovered from a salvage yard in Tucson, Arizona, that month and brought to Hinckley Airport in Ogden on November 19, 2003. There it underwent a complete restoration by a partnership of volunteers, local schools, and area businesses. It was unveiled at the museum on Memorial Day 2007.

Hill Field had a close working relationship with the P-47 over the years. During World War II the base maintained, repaired, and rehabilitated the Thunderbolt and the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine that powered it. Then, toward the end of the war and even afterward, the base prepared and stored hundreds of the fighters for possible further use. 

When the requirements for the P-47 began to wane the base started reclaiming them, placing certain spare parts back in stock and selling the rest as scrap metal. The base also salvaged hundreds of R-2800 engines removed from reclaimed P-47s.

In June 1947 eighty-three P-47Ns arrived on base for overhaul, twenty-eight of which were rehabilitated for delivery to certain third-world nations. The remaining 55 aircraft were winterized for domestic USAAF use.