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      02-29-2024, 07:25 AM   #2575
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!
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      02-29-2024, 10:10 AM   #2576
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The ultimate Republic Thunderbolts of World War II:

The North American P-51 Mustang seemed to get all the glory and with some reason, as the P-51's range was greater than that of the P-47. The vast majority of Thunderbolts in World War II were the P-47D model but there were a series of late P-47s -- both prototypes and production models -- that were the fastest single-engine prop-driven fighters of the war.

The single test XP-47J was given the lightweight treatment and had a turbosupercharged R-2800 engine of 2,800 hp. It first flew in late 1943 and in August of 1944 attained 504 mph in level flight.

The same 2,800 hp engine was fitted to just 130 P-47Ms, which were then sent to Europe for the final push against Germany. The P-47M was the aircraft of choice to down V-1 "buzz bomb" cruise missiles or German jet aircraft.

A similar R-2800 was fitted to the P-47N, which was the heavyweight of the P-47 Thunderbolts. The P-47N had a revised wing with squared-off tips, larger ailerons and fuel in the wing. The N model would take off at about 20,000 lbs gross weight with plenty of gas to make it to Japan and back in the final months of the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republ...rbolt_variants

The ultimate Thunderbolt derivative, though, was the XP-72: a extensively revised variant with a much more powerful R-4360 engine of 3,500 hp. Like many such airplanes, though, it was too late and the jet fighter was coming, outperforming even such a powerful prop fighter.

I have wondered why the F-47N, as it was then designated after the founding of the U.S. Air Force, was not the USAF close air support aircraft of choice in the Korean War. The WWII P-47 had proven that it could take incredible punishment in combat and return to base, whereas the P-51 would be forced down if the coolant tank or lines were hit.
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      02-29-2024, 03:18 PM   #2577
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!
Looks like Miramar.
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      02-29-2024, 04:23 PM   #2578
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!



Negative ghostrider. The pattern is full.
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      Yesterday, 05:57 AM   #2579
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James H. Howard was a Naval Aviator who resigned his commission in 1941 to join the Flying Tigers of the Republic of China Air Force. As such, he became an ace in China with six victories. Shortly thereafter, the former military pilots of the Flying Tigers were offered U.S. Army commissions to fly with the Army Air Forces. Howard accepted and became a Captain in the USAAF. He ended up flying the P-51B Mustang in Europe and won another six victories in that theater.

Captain Howard was the only fighter pilot in the European theater to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II.

He went on to postwar service in the USAF Reserves, ending up as a Brigadier General.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Howard
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      Yesterday, 08:14 AM   #2580
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The ultimate Republic Thunderbolts of World War II
There were also ultimate P-51 Mustang variants in World War II. Unlike the heavyweight P-47N, the P-51H Mustang just missed combat and also quickly became an anachronism in the coming jet age.

There were a couple of experimental Mustang aircraft, the XP-51F and XP-51G (not pictured) that were tests of lightweight versions. After all, the alternative to more lift or more power is less weight or less drag. Those two experimental Mustangs resulted in the lightweight P-51H, which was the final Mustang model. The P-51H had a 2,218 hp (war emergency) hp engine and a top speed 50 miles per hour faster than the main production model of the time -- the P-51D. The first photo contrasts the P-51D (top) with the extensively revised P-51H (bottom; note that the pictured H has a short tail; most Hs were built with a taller tail that can be seen in the second photo.)

The end of World War II caused the cancellation of contracts for huge numbers of P-51Hs; as a result only 555 were built. Given the large numbers of P-51Ds already in service and the limited number of P-51Hs, for once the Air National Guard got the good stuff -- most Hs went to Guard units. And when the Korean War started in 1950, the USAF committed the fighter that it had plenty of -- the F-51D -- to combat while the H's continued to serve in the ANG.

The end of the war also caused the cancellation of a further improved version, the P-51L, which never flew but would have had an even more powerful V-1650 Merlin engine.

Had the war not ended so early, there would have been thousands of USAAF heavyweight P-47Ns and lightweight P-51Hs and P-51Ls active in the final stages of the air war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...stang_variants
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      Yesterday, 09:08 AM   #2581
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The experimental lightweight XP-51F & G Mustangs also led to a further development of the P-51: The P-82 Twin Mustang.

In 1944 the fear was that an invasion of Japan would need to be undertaken from distant islands (the Marianas or the Philippines) and no fighter had the range to escort bombers over those vast distances. The Army Air Forces and North American Aviation embarked on a project to develop a very long-range fighter to meet this need. Two lightweight P-51 fuselages were lengthened and joined with a constant-chord center wing section and a constant-chord horizontal stabilizer to make the P-82 Twin Mustang.

The XP-82 first flew in April of 1945 and by then it was clear that a very long-range fighter would not be needed for the invasion of Japan. Production was cut at the end of the war from 500 to 20 P-82s, including 18 escort fighters and two night fighter test aircraft.

After the USAAF became the USAF in 1947, the escort fighter concept was resurrected and 100 F-82Es were built.

But the Twin Mustang really shined as a night fighter, with a radar in a large pod on the wing center section. The F-82F and F-28G were similar, varying only in the radar used. 99 Fs and 59 Gs were built. In place of the escort fighter's two pilots, the night fighters had a pilot on the left and a radar operator on the right.

When North Korea invaded the South in 1950, several squadrons of F-82Fs were based in Japan and were soon flying combat missions. After a year in combat, they were replaced by all-weather jet fighters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...2_Twin_Mustang
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