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Word Count: 683
The Republic Thunderbolt also known as the P-47 Thunderbolt arrived in January of 1943 The P-47 was a fighter bomber airplane The main purpose of this aircraft was to escort the Allied bombers to the target zone because the bombers were not able to defend themselves It proved to be an important plane to the Allied forces Its wingspan was forty feet nine inches its height was twelve feet eight inches and the length was a little more than thirty-six feet The Thunderbolt was a seven ton monster with a flying range of 550 miles It contained a rugged 2000 horsepower single radial- engine that allowed the plane to reach a top speed of 433 miles per hour and allowed the plane to climb as high as 42000 feet It was the first American fighter to fly into the sound barrier and not be destroyed It had eight 50 caliber machine guns on its wings One of the problems that the Thunderbolt had was that it was not able to climb very fast like the German planes could However it could out dive any German plane When a pilot put the Thunderbolt into a screaming dive from 35000 feet it dropped like a bullet A pilot shot down a German FW-190 and followed it down until the German plane crashed He later said Heck it ought to dive It certainly will not climb Loomis p 78 This climbing problem was later corrected by engineers who developed a new propeller for the Thunderbolt in January 1944 It could now climb as well or better than most planes The only major drawback of the P-47 was its flying distance It could only fly 550 miles before it ran out of fuel The Germans knew about this When a bombing attack would come their way all the German fighter pilots had to do was wait until the Thunderbolts had to turn around to get back Then the Germans
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