Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Přehled verzí
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, one of the most famous aircraft of World War II, was based on the prototype AP-4 of the company Seversky Aircraft Corporation, renamed in 1939 to Republic Aviation Corporation.

Thanks to USAAC requirements, YP-43, the first thirteen test aircraft of the future P-47, only remotely resembled his ancestor AP-4.

The YB-43 was powered by a fourteen-cylinder P & W R-1830-35 delivering 1,200 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller. The armament consisted of two 12.7 mm machine gun in the nose of the aircraft, and one 7.62 mm machine gun in each wing.

The first of thirteen ordered YB-43s was delivered in September 1940 and the last in April 1941. In the meantime, Republic was working on a new version of the YP-43 with a more powerful engine, this version was marked YP-44 Rocket, and the fighter marked AP -10. The AP-10 was to be a light fighter, powered by a water-cooled Allison V-1710 engine and armed with a pair of 12.7 mm machine guns. Armada sponsored this project and designated it XP-47.

But in the spring of 1940, as the war in Europe gained momentum, the Republic and the USAAC realized that the XP-44 and XP-47 were not able to compete with German fighters. Republic tried to modify the design of the XP-47, creating a version of the XP-47A, but for the USAAC it was not right yet.

Alexander Kartveli, one of the founders of Republic, returned to the drawing board and designed an aircraft that looked like a larger version of the YP-43. The new design was offered by the USAAC in June 1940, and this time the USAAC liked it. USAAC ordered a prototype in September, marked XP-47B. The XP-47A, which had little in common with the new design, was canceled.

The USAAC must have frozen when they first saw the XP-47B with their own eyes. It was a monster, as its creator, Kartveli, said, "a dinosaur, but a dinosaur of good proportions." Empty aircraft weighs 4490 kg, ie 65 percent more than YP-43 .

The new plane was powered by an 18-cylinder engine P & W R-2800 a whole two thousand horsepower with a complex system of pipes leading to the rear of the fuselage to the turbocharger. The armament was 4x 12.7 mm machine guns in each wing, an incredible firepower for the time.

The XP-47B seemed to be the aircraft that the USAAC wanted, and so the XP-44 Rocket project was canceled just like the XP-47A. But the new machine could not go into production yet, so the USAAC ordered 54 P-43s. Due to further delays in the XP-47B program, it was later

ordered another 80 pieces P-43A with slightly modified engine cover. Finally, another 125 aircraft were ordered P-43A-1 urcenych v under the Lend-Lease program for China, armed with 4 12.7 mm machine guns.

Including thirteen YP-43A, a total of 272 P-43 aircraft of all types were produced until March 1942.

But back to the XP-47B. This aircraft first took off on May 6, 1941, piloted by pilot Lowry P. Brabham. Although there were minor problems, the aircraft proved its qualities during the first tests.

The aircraft was basically built around its large engine and turbocharger. The engine was placed in a wide housing, which opened at the front in an elliptical shape. This extension allowed air to be supplied to cool the engine and the left and right oil coolers, as well as to cool the turbo. Exhaust gases were led through a pair of pipes along the entire length of the cockpit to the rear of the fuselage, where they powered the turbo, which was located in the lower part of the fuselage about halfway between the cabin and the tail surfaces. At full power, this pipe was heated to ore. The exhaust gases either escaped or propelled the turbocharger to which they supplied up to 60,000 rpm. This then returned the power back to the engine.

Thanks to this propulsion, the XP-47B had a wide fuselage and wings in a relatively high position.But there was a problem, to use the full power of the engine R-2800 was equipped with a four-bladed electrically operated propeller with a span of 3.17 meters and meant that the aircraft will need a long landing gear, which also represented a large weight and a large space in the wing. Therefore, a chassis with a sliding part of a full 23 centimeters was finally designed.

4 12.7mm machine guns in each wing, graduated to allow the supply of four magazines lying side by side in the outer parts of the wing. Each magazine took up to 170 kg of ammunition.

The main and additional tanks were located under the cockpit and allowed to hold a total capacity of 1155 liters, which was a very large supply at the time, yet proved insufficient.

The cockpit was spacious, as would be expected from such a machine, and the pilot's seat comfortable. This machine offered the pilot complete comfort, including an air-conditioned cabin.

The prototype was an all-metal construction, with the exception of control surfaces covered with a plate, which caused problems, and the prototype was destroyed in an accident in August 1942.


The XP-47B gave the USAAF (USAAC was renamed the USAAF in June 1941) a cause for optimism and concern. The performance of the aircraft and the firepower were excellent, but the novelty of the aircraft often caused serious difficulties.

The size of this machine was reflected in the demands on the runway. The problems were with the steering, with the machine guns, with the fuel system, with the engine mount. At high altitudes, the devices were often blocked. Plate-coated control surfaces were often torn at high altitudes.

However, the Republic responded to all these problems and came up with a number of improvements.

In the end, the USAAF ordered 171 P-47Bs. The test prototype was delivered in December 1941, the production prototype followed in March 1942 and the first production aircraft then in May 1942. The Republic continued to modify the design and yet it was not the first aircraft, the aircraft gradually underwent changes, non. in all-metal control surfaces or a new GE turbocharger for the engine R-2800-21.

The plane got its name, Thunderbolt. But thanks to its size, reminiscent of a barrel of whiskey, the pilots were nicknamed Jug.

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Initial deliveries of Thunderbolt for the USAAF went to 56. fighter group that was on Long Island. The 56th Fighter Group thus served for the operational evaluation of the new fighter aircraft.

Unpleasant complications, however, continued to accompany the aircraft. The test pilot was killed during a test flight P-47B, when the control got out of control at the dive head flight, and other similar accidents accompanied the introduction of a new machine to the USAAF, sometimes it even happened that some of the tail surfaces simply fell off. Subsequent coating of these surfaces with metal removed the problems, but the original XP-47B was lost when he started for flight burned and the pilot had to rescue himself on a parachute.

Nevertheless, based on experience from the USAAF, it was decided that the P-47 aircraft has demonstrable quality, so the original order was followed by another 602 aircraft of a newer type P-47C, the first aircraft of this type were delivered in September 1942.

The first P-47C aircraft were very similar to the P-47B version, but already had all-metal control surfaces and an improved GE turbocharger.

After an initial series of 57 P-47C aircraft, production moved to the P-47C-1 version, which had a 20 cm longer fuselage forward. This solved the problem with the weight of the aircraft and facilitated work on the engine. In addition, a number of minor changes, modifications to the brakes, electrical system and the like followed. The P-47C-1 version produced a total of 55 pieces, followed by the P-47C-2 version, which was the same except for a hanger for a 255kg (500lb) bomb or more often a 758 liter (200 gallon) additional tank.

The most produced variant of the P-47C was the P-47C-5 version with a new type of antenna and a new motor R-2800-59 with injection
mixtures of water and methanol and with a maximum power of 2300 horsepower.

The P-47B did not become the basis only for the P-47C variant. Based on it, a reconnaissance aircraft was built and the last, 171st machine was also used as a test under the designation XP-47E and was used to test the engine R-2800-59 mentioned above, pressurized cabin and other elements.

Another P-47B was later equipped with a new type of wings in an effort to achieve better performance and marked XP-47F, but even from this experiment did not yield anything.

P-47 goes into battle

At the end of 1942, most of the problems with the P-47 were resolved and the American war machine started at full capacity. The P-47C aircraft were sent to Great Britain, the 56th Fighter Group also, included in 8. Air force, jejiz 4. a 78. Fighter group was Thunderbolty also equipped.

The 4th Fighter Group was built on a group of experienced American pilots who served under the British RAF in the past under the known Eagle Squadron. They were not too pleased that they had to exchange all the Spitfires for the big Jug. Their British colleagues were also surprised to see a huge fighter and hardly believed that such a machine could take off and still engage in air combat. The British also joked on Thunderbolt's account that the pilot of such a machine could defend himself against the Luftwaffe by hiding in various parts of the fuselage.

Few American pilots were neutral about the new aircraft. The pilots either hated him or loved him. On the one hand, it was an aircraft with an enormously long takeoff, and difficult to maneuver, yet it became very effective at higher altitudes. On the other hand, it was a very well-armed machine, whose eight machine guns managed to send so much lead to the target in a single moment that the locomotive caught in the crisis sight simply disintegrated in the air.

Thunderbolts also managed to literally fall like a brick, which was often an advantage in air combat. Luftwaffe pilots, trying to interrupt the ensemble by going on a dive, soon realized that this tactic was suicide if their opponent was a P-47.Thunderbolt managed to cross the 885 km/h limit in a dive, and some Jugu pilots even claim that they managed to exceed the speed limit of sound, but it is rather possible that the speedometer simply did not work properly at higher speeds.

Everyone would think that a machine as heavy as a Thunderbolt would have the advantage of a dive, but what about the climb? Surprisingly, even in that, many German planes did not have a chance to escape. Its powerful R-2800 engine and large propeller gave it enough power to climb.

The first P-47 combat mission took place on March 10, 1943, when the 4th Fighter Group took part in a fighter sweep over France. However, this mission was unsuccessful due to the failure of radio stations, and so the P-47 were equipped with British radios and the mission was repeated on April 8, 1943.

The first meeting with the Luftwaffe took place on April 15, 1943, when Major Don Blakeslee from the 4th FG shot down the first machine. On August 17, 1943, the Thunderbolts took part in all their first escort missions, when they guarded the union B-17 on the first part of the trip to Schweinfurt in Germany.

In the summer of 1943, Jug was deployed to service in 12. Air force in Italy and intervened in the fight in the Pacific, where 348. fighter group carried out escort missions from Brisbane in Australia.

P-47D/P-47G/XP-47K/XP- 47L

Modifications to Thunderbolt continued and so the type P-47D was created, which was made a dizzying 12,602 pieces in different variants, while the last ones were quite different from the first ones.

The first "Dcka" were basically the same as the P-47C, because the Republic did not manage to produce enough honors in its factory Farmingdale on Long Iceland, and so a new factory was built in Evansville, Indiana. A total of 110 P-47Ds were produced in this factory, which were identical to the P-47C-2. By the way, aircraft from Farmingdale received the suffix -RE in the name, while aircraft from Evansville had the suffix -RA.

The "kids" were produced in a large number of variants, some of which were produced only in Farmingdale, some only in Evansville, some in both factories. The variants often differed in small details and their complete description would be very extensive and, in my opinion, unnecessary, so we will focus only on the main modifications. I would just like to point out that there were gaps in the number series of variants, so if the latest version is the P-47D-40, it does not mean that there were 40 variants, there were fewer.

The P-47D-1 and P-47D-6, D-10 and D-11 successfully adopted changes such as the addition of additional engine cooling elements, which solved problems with overheating, improvements in the engine, fuel system, hydraulics and other armor protection. pilot.

The P-47D-15 was a big step forward, thanks to the requirement of combat units to increase range. The internal fuel tank was enlarged to a total of 1,421 liters (375 gallons) of fuel, and the wings were modified to accommodate additional fuel tanks.
In addition to the US tank, Jug also used 409-liter and 758-liter British tanks made of impregnated paper. These tanks were cheap and completely unusable for the enemy if he found them, but their problem was that they could not hold the fuel indefinitely, but only for some time. With the increased amount of fuel, the P-47 could undertake missions deep over enemy territory. The P-47D-15 could carry up to 1130 kg (2500 lbs) on external suspensions.

The P-47D-16, D-20, D-22 and D-23 were similar to the P-47D-15 variant with minor modifications to the fuel system, engine and other systems.
The 3.71 m Curtiss propeller was replaced by 4.01 meters and the Evansville plant assembled a new 3.96 m diameter Curtiss propeller. the propeller was damaged by the runway, or at least left scratches.

Although the Thunderbolts were already produced by two Republic factories, the USAAF still did not deliver as many aircraft as it wished, and so steps were taken to make the Yugars possible in the factories CurtissuBuffalo in New York. Most of the Thunderbolt from this factory was designed for more demanding flight training.
Aircraft manufactured in Buffalo were marked P-47G and ending -CU. The first P-47G were completely identical to the model P-47C, P-47G-1 corresponded to P-47C-1, while other variants of P-47G-5, G-10, respectively. G-15 corresponded to P-47D-1, D-5, respectively. D-10. A total of 354 P-47G machines were produced at the Buffalo plant.

Two P-47G-15s were built with the cockpit extended forward to the fuselage area, where the wing begins to allow the second seat to be placed in the cabin, these machines were marked TP-47G. This "Doublebolt" was never made, but similar modifications were made to several older P-47s, which were used for training.

Until then, all manufactured P-47s had a square cabin, which was the source of the problem, mainly due to poor visibility of the most vulnerable places behind the aircraft, ie "six hours". The British solved a similar problem with their fighters, and designed a cabin with a "bubble" as we can see at Spitfirech, this was later used on aircraft North American P-51 Mustang and P-47D.

Later, however, the British came up with an even better solution, and thus the round "bubble" was used on aircraft Hawker Tempest. The USAAF fell in love with this cabin and quickly took it over for American fighters, including the P-51 and P-47D-5, which was designated XP-47K.

Another older P-47D was modified so that its internal tanks contained 1402 liters of fuel, and received the designation XP-47L. The combination of the increased amount of fuel and the bubble cabin then resulted in the production version of the P-47D-25 and was followed by other variants, D-26, D-27, D-28 and D-30. Modifications in this series included, among other things, engine tuning, increased internal capacity of fuel tanks, dampers for dive flights and other details.

The P-47D-40 was the last variant, and contained more significant changes. Lowering the rear of the fuselage to include a bubble cabin led to instability, so the D-40 included additional modifications to the fuselage to reduce this instability, as well as suspensions for 12.7 cm (5 inch) unguided missiles ( HVAR) as well as the new K-14 sight. This was a licensed version of the British sight Ferranti GGS Mark IID, which allowed the pilot to enter the distance and span of the enemy machine, and the sight then "advised" the pilot when to fire.
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P-47D ve valce

P-47D, prvni skutecne uspokojiva verze Thunderboltu a nejvice vyrabena varianta tohoto stroje, nesla samozrejme nejvetsi bremeno bojovych nasazeni.

V roce 1944 byl Thunderbolt nasazen v USAAF ve vsech oblastech boju krome Aljasky. Se zvetsujicim se doletem, jak byl letoun postupne modifikovan, narustala vzdalenost, po kterou mohly Thunderbolty doprovazet bombardery nad Nemecko, az nakonec mohly s "velkymi bratry" zustat po celou dobu jejich mise. Cestou domu se pak piloti venovali utokum na prilezitostne cile, coz vedlo k tomu, ze Thunderbolt zacal byt povazovan i za skvely stihaci bombarder. Pres jeho komplikovany turbosystem mohl prekonat velke poskozeni, a jeho osm kulometu znamenalo velke poskozeni pro nepritele.

Postupne se tak P-47 stal nejlepsim stihacim bombarderem USAAF. Nesouc 225kg bomby, 11,5cm rakety nebo HVARy, znicil Thunderbolt tisice tanku, lokomotiv, letadel na zemi, nakladnich aut a dalsich vojenskych zarizeni.

Prestoze P-51 Mustang postupne nahrazoval P-47 v jeho eskortni roli, Thunderbolty zakoncily valku s ohromujicim skore.
Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski mel na svem konte 31 setrelu, kapitan Robert S. "Bob" Johnson 28, a plukovnik H. "Pop" Zemke dalsich 20. Je jen dalsi poctou robustnosti tohoto letounu, ze vsech deset letadel s nejvetsim poctem sestrelu se dockalo konce valky.

P-47 take letaly v dalsich vzdusnich silach Spojencu. RAF prevzala tyto stroje od poloviny roku 1944 a obdrzela 240 stroju P-47D s hranatou kabinou, oznacene Thunderbolt Mark I, a 590 stroju P-47D s bublinovou kabinou oznacene Thunderbolt Mark II.

Krome nekolika letadel vsechny stroje P-47 ve sluzbach RAF vzletaly z Indie za ucelem utoku na pozemni cile ("cab rank" mise) Japoncu v Barme. Byly vyzbrojeny 225kg bombami nebo v nekterych pripadech britskymi 60libernimi raketami. Thunderbolty pokracovaly ve sluzba RAF jeste po skonceni Druhe svetove valky, posledni byl stazen ze sluzby v rijnu roku 1946.

Brazilske vzdusne sily obdrzely 88 kusu P-47D a letaly s nimi behem italske kampane, Mexiko ziskalo 25 stroju pro operace proti Japonsku, ale valka skoncila drive, nez byly nasazeny. Svobodni Francouzi meli 446 stroju P-47D behem posledniho roku boju v Evrope, a tyto stroje byly jeste ke spatreni v bojich v Alziru v padesatych letech.

203 stroju P-47D bylo take dodano do Sovetskeho Svazu. Byla to zvlastni ironie, ze so SSSR byly dodany stroje navrzene ruskym emigrantem. Bohuzel nejsou znamy blizsi detaily jejich sluzby v SSSR ani reakce pilotu, zvyklych na stisnene prostory sovetskych letadel.

XP-47H / XP-47J / P-47M / P-47N

Prestoze se stal P-47D vrcholem v kariere Thunderboltu, co se poctu kusu vyrobenych tyce, nasledovaly dalsi pokusy o zlepseni tohoto letounu.

Dva stroje XP-47H byly vyrobeny s novym motorem Chrysler XI-2220-11, vodou chlazenym radovym 16valcem tvaru obraceneho V.
Opravdu velke radove motory se ukazaly byt nevhodne, a tak se XP-47H stal dalsi slepou koleji vyvoje.

Vyvoj XP-47J zacal v listopadu 1942 diky pozadavku na lehci verzi Thunderboltu, s lehci konstrukci a motorem se vstrikovanim vody a chlazenym vetrakem. Kartveli navrhl letoun vybaveny motorem Pratt & Whitney R-2800-57(C) dodavajici maximalni vykon 2800 konskych sil, vyzbroji jen sesti kulometu a novym, lehcim kridlem a dalsimi zmenami. Prvni a jediny stroj teto verze se poprve vznesl na konci listopadu 1943, ale toho casu uz se Republic soustredil na novy koncept letounu, nazvany XP-72 a tak byl XP-47J pouzit jen jako testovaci stroj. S dalsimi upravami, jako nove turbo GE CH-5, dosahl tento letoun rychlosti 813
km/h ve vodorovnem letu v srpnu roku 1944 a stal se tak jednim z nejrychlejsich letounu pohanenych pistovim motorem. Presto byl brzy prekonan nastupem tryskovych letadel, a tak i tento projekt byl zastaven.

P-47M byl konzervativnejsim pokusem prijit s lehci verzi Thunderboltu. Tri P-47D byly modifikovany na prototypy YP-47M, vybaveny motorem P&W R-2800-57(C) a turbem GE CH-5. Vykon tohoho stroje byl skvely, maximalni rychlost byla 761 km/h, a tato varianta spechala do vyroby, aby mohla celit nove nemecke hrozbe V-1 a nemeckym tryskovym stihackam. Bylo vyrobeno 130 letounu tohoto typu, ktere dorazily do Evropy na zacatku roku 1945. Nanestesti tento typ trpel mnoha problemy, a nez byly odstraneny, valka skoncila.

P-47N byl typ posledni z rodu Thunderboltu, ktery byl vyraben, byl urcen pro operace v Pacifiku. Letoun byl urcen pro doprovod Superpevnosti B-29 pri utocich na Japonsko, na velke vzdalenosti pres Pacifik.

Zvysena vnitrni kapacita nadrzi a pridavne nadrze pomohly zvysit dolet Thunderboltu, ale ani to se neda zvysovat donekonecna a tak jediny prostor, kam se jeste dalo dat nekolik palivovych nadrzi, bylo kridlo. To vyzadovalo kompletne prepracovane kridlo, ktere nakonec pojalo 190 litru paliva.

Tak byl druhy prototyp YP-47M vybaven novym typem kridla a zaletan v zari 1944. Zmena se ukazala jako uspesna, a dolet se zvysil az na 3200 km a zmena tvaru kridla, ktere bylo sice delsi, nez to puvodni, pomohla k zvyseni manevrovacich schopnosti letounu.

P-47N byl zaveden do vyroby s novym motorem P&W R-2800-77(C), oznacen P-47N-1 a nasledovan variantami N-5, N-15, N-20 a N-25 s mnozstvim malych uprav. Celkem bylo vyrobeno 1816 stroju P-47N.

Zcela posledni Thunderbolt P-47N-25 byl vyroben v rijnu 1945. Ackoliv bylo objednano jeste tisice dalsich, jejich vyroba se nerealizovala diky konci valky. Na konci vyroby byla cena jednoho letounu 83.000 dolaru v cenach roku 1945.

Prestoze byl P-47 urcen pro Pacifik, prvni stroje teto produkce byly odeslany do Anglie, kde ale valka skoncila drive, nez se stihly zapojit do boju. V Pacifiku P-47N dorazili na Saipan na jare 1945 a ucastnili se eskortnich misi, ke kterym byly urceny, prestoze byly vice pouzivany v roli stihacich bombarderu.

Po valce slouzil P-47 v USAF do roku 1949 a v letectvu Narodni Gardy do roku 1953 pod oznacenim F-47 od roku 1948. Tento letoun byl prodan do mnoha statu Latinske Ameriky, kde slouzil v 50. letech a v nekterych jeste i v letech 60. Mensi mnozstvi Jugu bylo dodano do Ciny, Iranu, Turecka a Jugoslavie.

Celkem bylo vyrobeno 15660 Thunderboltu vsech typu, coz z tohoto drobecka cini jeden z nejvice vyrabenych stihacich letounu v historii. Mnoho P-47 prezilo az do soucasnoti a nektere z nich muzete videt i ve vzduchu.
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Tento text byl prevzat, prelozen a upraven na zaklade textu uvedeno ve Wikipedii (
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Mezi nejznámější esa na P-47 patřil bezesporu Francis S. Gabreski. (viz. foto)
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt - Francis S. Gabreski

Francis S. Gabreski
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No jistě, a nejen z nejslavnějších, ale nejlepší!!!
Tenhle famózní pilot z "Vlčí Zemkeho smečky", tedy 56th FG je nejúspěšnějším pilotem WWII v ETO, tedy v evropském prostoru!!!
Jeho 28 sestřelů ho jednoznačně pasují do této role, kterou, i přes své "sestřelení" na posledním letu túry v Anglii, již uhájil a nebyl předstižen.
Sestřelení je v uvozovkách, protože Francis "Gabby" Gabreski při ostřelování He-111 na německém letišti až příliž potlačil a zavadil vrtulí o kopku trávy, následně vystříkl olej na čelní štítek jeho "Jugu" (-znamená "džbán", oblíbená přezdívka pro P-47 Thunderbolt, kterou si vysloužil svým tvarem) a všem bylo jasné, že místo oslavné tůry po Státech bude Gabby v jednom z táborů Stalag Luft...
Na snímku ještě v Anglii s těmi, kteří velmi dopomohli k jeho kariéře, mechaniky....
Šéfmechanik jeho stroje byl Schacki.
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt -

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Taky bych se přidal: Rozpor vidím v textu tvém a Adminově:
"Thunderbolty zakončily válku s ohromujícím skóre. Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski měl na svém kontě 31 sestřelů, kapitán Robert S. "Bob" Johnson 28, a plukovník H. "Pop" Zemke dalších 20."
Rozdíl se zdá malý, leč přesto myslím je podstatný!
(V citaci přidána "čeština" a opraveny překlepy)
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Dosé určitě myslel z Američanů.

Gabreski sestřelil 28 letadel ve vzduchu a 2,5 zničil na zemi a protože to 8.AF sčítala, má 31 (30,5). Gabby poté přidal ještě 6,5 sestřelu v Korejské válce.
Robert S. "Bob" Johnson dosáhl také 28 vítězství, titul Nejúspěšnější stíhač v ETO je však připisován jen Gabreskimu a Johnson je skoro neznámý.

Letouny P-47 byly úpěšné i v bojích proti Japoncům, jejich zrychlení ve střemhlavém letu a výzbroj osmi půlpalčáků byla pro lehká japonská letadla smrtící (taktika hit and run).
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