Republic XP-47J Superbolt


In my endeavours to research the forgotten aircraft of the war eras and the remarkable people that designed, built and flew them I came across this article on the Republic XP-47J Superbolt.
What is important; apart from the fact that this aircraft recorded the highest speed in level flight for a propeller-driven aircraft in 1944; is the tribute noted in the response column by the daughter of the pilot; Mike Ritchie who made that historical flight.
Perhaps the XP-47J should be added to the list for the Operation Ark project.

Old Machine Press

By William Pearce

In mid-1942, Republic Aviation Corporation initiated a design study to lighten their P-47 Thunderbolt fighter for improved performance. The Thunderbolt had been steadily gaining weight as the design matured, while comparative enemy aircraft, like the Focke-Wulf FW 190A, were much lighter. Republic officially proposed a light-P-47 to the Army Air Force (AAF) on 22 November 1942. On 1 April 1943, the AAF gave Republic a letter of intent to purchase two light-weight P-47s, and the contract was officially approved on 18 June 1943. This new aircraft was designated the XP-47J.

Republic XP-47J front An early image of the Republic XP-47J before the Superman nose art was applied. Note the cooling fan vanes around the spinner inside the cowling.

As with all P-47s, Alexander Kartveli was the main designer of the XP-47J, and he was assisted by Murray Burkow. The XP-47J was similar in appearance to a P-47B, but it was…

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About Hugh

BIM & Cad Manager/Strategist, 3D/4D, multi-discipline cad workflows, integration. Interests include photography and historical aviation.
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