P-47 Project Update
January 26, 2017
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Unit: Unassigned Location: Dallas, Texas Progress: 30% Expected Completion: Late 2017
The P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the most produced aircraft during World War II, and plays a very important role in the CAF’s fleet.
The P-47 became symbolic in the ground attack role, frequently strafing ground targets. It earned a reputation as a tough airplane due to its beefy construction and a stunning ability to absorb punishment while still bringing its crews home safely.
The CAF's P-47 was built at the Republic Aviation Factory in Evansville, Indiana. Republic employed a large number of women on their assembly lines, and many of them have expressed their support, hoping to see one of theirs brough back into the CAF's flying museum collection.
In a 2006 accident, the CAF's P-47 engine caught fire, causing the pilot to execute an extremely skilled emergency landing, saving his life and the aircraft. However, because one wing broke during landing, the P-47 needed extensive repair. Since then, tremendous work has been completed in restoring the aircraft to flying condition, with the fuselage repaired, a new canopy and windshield fitted, the control surfaces rebuilt and painted, and a replacement wing located and purchased.
In order to begin the next phase of the P-47's repair, the project needs a clear survey and assesment. The carry-through spars need to be carefully inspected for corrosion, and it will also need to be determined if the wings can still be made airworthy. Additional areas needing close inspection include the engine mounts, the propeller hub, the fuel tanks and the cowling and cowl flap assemblies.
Returning this P-47 to the air is a priority for the CAF. Once a survey is completed of the P-47 in its current state, a decision will be made on the best course of action for getting the airplane back out in front of the public.