P-47 D-25/28 Thunderbolt

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Development History:


The P-47 Thunderbolt and all of its variants, known as "The Jug", or the "T-Bolt", was a World War 2 -to- Early Cold War Era fighter designed by Alexander Kartveli, as the successor to the P-43 Lancer. At the start of its operational career, it was the heaviest and largest single-engine fighter in the world. Until its retirement in 1955, it served faithfully with its pilots, and due to its heavy weight, payload, armament, and speed (in a dive and in level flight), it was affectionately known as "The Jug". It was also known as the T-Bolt (Thunderbolt), due to its massive engine and speed. One of the first test models, the P-47B- flown by Lowry P. Brabham in 1942, flew to an impressive speed of 412 mph (663 km/h). The heavy armament of "two quartets" of M2 Browning .50 caliber machine guns gave the new fighter astounding firepower as well. The heavy armor plating and durable design was known to allow P-47s to escape many a deadly situation. However, the combination of firepower, durability, and speed brought its own problems. The early models, known as "Razorbacks", had cockpits that gave extremely poor visibility and were situated too high off the fuselage. Thus, pilots had to cope with harrowing landings and had to exercise caution while in battle. Teething troubles with the engine and the gun pack endowed "The Jug" with terrible maintenance issues. Finally, the maneuverability of the new plane was far inferior to its counterparts- the Spitfire and BF-109, despite the elliptical wing. Yet, most of these drawbacks were eliminated in the main production model- the P-47D.


300px-Republic_P-43_Lancer.jpg   P-43 Lancer serving in the USAAF in 1942




The P-47D was basically the epitome of the P-47 line- all variants following only involved upgraded engines, differing armament, and slight alterations of the wings (clipped tips). It featured the massive R-2800 Double Wasp Radial (rated at 2000 hp initially, but later models had variants up to 2,800 hp with the GE CH-5 turbo-supercharger-see P-47M). The "D" was the most-produced version, as well.. The early "D" models had "Razorback" cockpits, however, beginning with a modified D-5, the D-25, 26, 28, and 30 all had new bubble canopies to replace the framed "Razorback" cockpit that had caused so many problems at the beginning of the P-47's career. Additional modifications included paper/plastic fuel tanks (which analogized with the Soviet's "Scorched Earth" policy- the paper/plastic tanks burst when jettisoned, which wasted fuel but prevented the enemy from using it), and additional modifications for rocket tubes and various other arms. The P-47 served on both the European and Pacific front- in the Pacific, it served admirably as a fighter-bomber in Burma- tearing up enemy supply lines and disintegrating A6M Zeros (World War II: In the Air, by Michael C. Tagg); In Europe, it served mainly as a stopgap escort fighter (until the P-51D was introduced), and also as an effective ground attack aircraft. The ground-attack capabilities are not only known in War Thunder- see "Payloads", but also to the pilots that used it! Such was the efficacy of the P-47 that the British War Ministry considered cancelling the Typhoon fighter-bomber and purchasing the Republic aircraft -see "Development". Thus, the P-47 was one of the most versatile and dangerous to not only enemy pilots but to enemy armor and troops.


39f2cb3c99b677a1233efa290447ffde.jpg   P-47N taking off over Guam


Main Purpose:


There are 3 main roles of the P-47- ground attack aircraft, and fighter, or a mix of both. The P-47 is a great brute of a plane, and is placed as the first plane to be researched in the Tier 3 USAAF line. The P-47D-28 is different to the D-25 in that it has a different Hamilton Standard Paddle-Propellor; however, the P-47D-25 is superior to the D-28, at least in terms of turn rate and rate of climb. The D-28 has a slight speed advantage, while the D-25 has a 1.5 s shorter turn time (at least in the base model of both). The repair cost and grinding points, though, are higher than that of the D-25. Depending on whether one prefers the D-25 over other planes such as the F4U can decide whether to research the D-28, or not. 


Remember, the P-47 is more a heavy fighter than a fighter. Think of it more as a single-engined, smaller, and faster Beaufighter or Me-410.


Both the D-25 and D-28 are equipped with 8 .50 cal. M2 Browning MGs. Due to the low caliber, they are accurate and effective at close range, but do little damage farther out (<.8 km). Effectiveness depends on the belt used (see "Shredding Planes"). In addition, the P-47 can carry a variety of HVAR and M10 rockets, 1000 lb and 500 lb bombs, or just nothing at all. In RB and SB, the "Jug" is considered a fighter, and therefore has an airfield start. 


The P-47 has a fairly poor turn time (the Beaufighter Mk. VIc has a better turn time+radius), roll rate, and acrobatic ability. Thus, many people consider it a fairly poor plane even compared to its opponents. However, there is more than dog-fighting (turn-fighting) written in the stars for the "Jug". Even more, people like to consider the P-47 a pure BnZ fighter even though it is not superlative at that (the zoom-climb, especially, is depressing). The P-47 is foremost a fighter-bomber, not a pure fighter, not a pure bomber.


The P-47 does not have a large problem with durability- indeed, the P-47 is as (almost) durable as its pilots made it out to be in WW2. Thus, the wings do not tend to break too easily (like the Yaks), except in terminal dive turns and blackout fights. However, it does have a pretty big problem with overheating (see "Grinding the Jug")- on most maps (Pacific, Kuban), it overheats quickly with even relative WEP usage- staying within 1 km of the ground will overheat the engine even on 100%. Thus, if faced with an overheating R-2800, slow the throttle and attempt a landing or slow-climb. Careful though, a "sitting Jug" is a dead duck if within sight of an enemy fighter.


Main Armament: 8 M2 Browning MGs w/425 rpg


-The 8 Browning M2 Machine Guns pack great punch when used correctly. Long bursts are the forte of the guns, not conservative bursts that one would normally use on a cannon-armed fighter (FW-190). One should also make the most of the low caliber by using stealth (the tracers are a waste, as the the machine guns do not require as much firing accuracy as cannon- you can spray those M2s!). Fire from about .8-1.2 km at max. The M2s are very accurate and have a minimal drop, so long range harrassing fire can be quite effective. However, depending on one's pilot aiming skills and his/her own, it may be better to fire from around .3-.5 km. Firing closer to the target is also very advantageous in BnZ, because the high dive speed and inability low turn rate (if the opponent maneuvers)- one does not want to lose a kill by firing from too far behind and then diving past his/her prey because one's opponent simply turned. The high burst mass output (4.44 kg, compared to the 5.17 kg of the Beaufighter) combined with the high ammunition capacity and accurate and straight-firing M2s make the P-47 one of the deadliest opponents in the 3-4 BR range.


-The ammunition capacity is pretty good, but do not expect it to last for too long (they are MGs, after all). Therefore, do not just aim for the body of any plane. Try to aim for the wings and possibly tail. These are weak points that can result in relatively quick kills. The MGs can rip control surfaces off of any foe quickly, and are extremely effective against the wings of opponents.


Secondary Arms: HVARs, M10s, 1000 lb. and 500 lb. Bombs

-The P-47 is one of the most famous WW2 ground attack planes- no wonder it was named the "Jug"! In War Thunder, the load it can carry is frightfully large- 3 large bombs (2 1000 lb, 1 500 lb) and a max of 10 HVAR rockets. Indeed, the P-47 is better equipped than even an A-20, which is largely used even in 3-4 BR battles. Thus, a P-47 can be vital to a Ground-Strike mission. Its speed, combined with climb rate and durability make it a great attacker on its own. 


-Like mentioned above, the P-47s M2 Brownings make pretty effective strafing weapons if used correctly. When equipped with Ground-Attack, they can effectively take out most "Soft" targets,  (light pillboxes, etc.).


Arcade Battles:

-In Arcade, the P-47 can make the most of its capability. In Arcade, engine overheating is not a problem and the "Jug" can get an air start. Keep WEP on automatic, and climb as high as possible. Watch out for Spitfires, FWs, and BF-109s, which have the capability to climb as high and as quickly as the P-47. Once a height of around 4-5 km is reached (bomber level), go for the bombers. If rockets are equipped, expend them against the bombers. Then initiate the tactics seen in "Shredding Planes". You CAN stay at altitude and prey on any high-flying prey. Beware, the FW-190 will be your competitor as well.


-As of May 2015, the BR of the "Jug" in AB is 3.0, putting it with planes such as the Ki-43 Hayabusa, Spitfire Mk I and IIa/b, and BF-109 E-3.


Realistic Battles:

-In Realistic, one has to be much more careful with how he/she uses the P-47. On takeoff, climb to as high as possible before an engine overheat. If Radiator is installed overheating will still be a problem, but not nearly as bad a one as a "vanilla" P-47 will be. If overheating does occur, pull the throttle to around 80% and do a slow climb away from the enemy. Once high enough, attack high-altitude marauders or use BnZ. In high speed dives (BnZ), make sure not to make "blackout" turns, because the "Jug" will rip its wings, even though it has fantastic durability. Keep in mind the fact that the plane will respond more sluggishly in Realistic- one should not try to be an acrobat. Other than that, follow the tactics described in "Shredding Planes" and "Ground Attack".


-In RB and SB one has to be precise with the loads. It is recommended to use the P-47 almost like a dive bomber to have the best accuracy possible.


-As of May 2015, the BR of the "Jug" in SB and RB is 3.7, putting it with planes such as the A6M (2-3) and BF-109 F (1-4).


Simulator Battles:

-The "Jug" is one of the best planes available for SB. Not only is the only fighter with a full-blown "bubble canopy" to provide a great view, but it also has full high-caliber machine gun armament, which is invaluable for beginners. The machine guns are very forgiving due to easy adjustment, high rate of fire, and large ammunition capacity. Take advantage of the high durability, as well. Other than that the physics of the "Jug" are identical as RB.


-As of May 2015, the BR of the "Jug" in SB and RB is 3.7, putting it with planes such as the A6M (2-3) and BF-109 F (1-4).




-Always maintain speed. The P-47 handles like a dream at about 350-400 mph (563-643 km/h), but once it gets to >220 mph it handles like a pig dipped in mud. One great thing about the handling at high speed, though, is that the P-47 responds quickly at high speeds, and this allows some impressive defensive scissoring without losing wings at terminal velocity. The high-wingloading is an issue, though, as the Jug will lose most of its energy in a blackout turn. This does endow the Jug with one key feature- it is a rock-solid gun platform. See tactics to use the P-47 like the energy fighter it can be.


-Unfortunately, zoom-climbing and dive acceleration are not the "Jug's" forte. The BF-109 has a superior dive acceleration, and the FW-190 can zoom-climb far faster. Still, the energy retention of the P-47 is great, along with the fact that it flies far faster than both the Wurger and Messerschmidt. See tactics on how to use these qualities well.


-To add on to the previous point, the P-47 is NOT A TURN-FIGHTER. Although it is possible to out-turn a heavy fighter like the BF-110 C or Do 217, it is not recommended- the acceleration is fairly poor, and once a P-47 is a sitting duck, it will be be swarmed like flies to fruit in a compost pile. I have seen many an inexperienced player who will dive and then turn fight their prey. Once I catch it, my FW-190 A-1 can dispatch with a little difficulty, but not too much. Acrobatic pilots will not be impressed by the P-47 as well, because it performs Immelmans very sluggishly and the roll rate is not magnificent as well.


-The durability, like mentioned above, is pretty good. As in WW2 itself, the P-47 was renowned for its heavy armor. In War Thunder, the biggest weak point of the P-47 is its engine and wings. The wings can break fairly easily in maneuvers at speeds around ~420 mph or so. They also tend to break after a well placed cannon burst (FW-190, A6M2/3). The engine though is also fairly susceptible to catching fire while chasing a bomber, but I believe this is not due to its durability, but to its size. Speaking of fire, the P-47D will be heavily damaged by the time it pulls itself out of a fire. One should immediately try to limp home if set aflame.


-The performance of the P-47 at altitude is OK, but once you go above about 8000m, any energy lost will have to be regained by diving and losing altitude. For example, if you attack a bomber head on, then turn to chase it at an altitude even approching 5000m, the P-47 might not have a chance of catching it before it lets its load go because you would have to dive, regain energy, and slowly climb back up to your opponent.


-When used skillfully, the tracer rounds can be used to "derp". Because of the high caliber (for a machine gun) and fire rate, tracers can be absolutely terrifying to anyone attacked by them. However, due to the "scare" effect and low takedown capabilities, the tracers have limited practical use. They look especially cool when used on Night maps.


-Planes that the P-47 will face will be between the 3.0 and 4.0 BR range. Depending on what planes one equips, one can expect planes like the FW-190 A-1 to the A-4, or BF-109 F-1 to the F-4.


Comparison of Planes (important):


-The BF-109s are an interesting foe. Some main problems to expect if facing them are their:

-Superior turn rate

-Superior dive rate

-Superior level-flight acceleration

-Cannon Armament (the F-4 can be nasty with the 2x additional MG-15s)

However, the BFs have a lower:

-Speed in level flight

-Terminal dive rate

-Climb rate (depends on how far the "Jug" is upgraded- a fully maxed P-47 is better than a maxed BF)

-Control response at high speeds (control stiffening/locking at around 400 mph)


-The FW-190 is in a very similar league to the P-47- they are mainly BnZ fighters. They do have some qualities that make them a difficult foe to catch and kill. Its pros include:

-Superior zoom-climb

-Superior dive acceleration

-Superior armament (the A-1 is iffy with its MG FF/M, although the Minengeschoß shells can be painful)

-Superior roll rate and low wingloading

It does have some fatal flaws, though:

-Terrible turn time (the P-47 has a higher turn time; however, it has a smaller turn radius and turns far better)

-Performance at altitude is worse than the "Jug"

-Low ammunition capacity

-Like the BF, controls stiffen more easily at high speed

-Lower top speed in level flight


-The A6M line is a fairly easy line to fight- it is pretty much more or less easier to battle than the Germans- remember, though:

-It has a frightful turn time and radius- "Never dogfight a Zero"

-It has pretty effective cannon armament

-More nimble

Unfortunately, the list ends there...

-Handles far worse at altitude

-Far slower

-Far less durability- all of them catch fire in no time

-Abysmal cannon ammunition

-Lower climb rate (when maxed vs. maxed)

-Little BnZ capability (its a TnB plane)


Tactic Quicklist:


-Head-on, Side-on, and Harrassing Fire

-Speed in, speed out Ground Attack

-Scissoring, Dive and Run


Pros and Cons:


-Fantastic gun platform- the 2 "quartets" of M2s are extremely accurate and in many cases as powerful as cannon

-Great high-speed handling

-Good climb and dive rate

-Fantastic top speed in level flight

-Fantastic ground attack capability

-Good scissoring capability

-Great durability

-Great cockpit

-All-round great looking plane


-Engine overheats quickly with constant WEP usage

-Engine prone to being set on fire while trailing any turret-armed plane

-Poor low-speed handling

-'Meh' zoom-climb capability

-Pilot tends to get knocked out (sacrifices for visibility)

-Large target

-Depending on preference, the M2s aren't as effective as cannon

-Turns like a pig






Grinding the "Jug"-


-The research tree for the P-47 is very much alike to most of the other planes in its tier level- the Hellcat, P-38, etc. Thus, it is recommended to research similar things initially. The speed of the "T-Bolt" is already fantastic at 700 km/h (434 mph), though the climb rate could be worked on. It is not recommended that you research the secondary weapons, unless you wish to use the P-47 as a bomber. Remember, the bombs and rockets will hamper performance considerably; therefore, performance modules (compressor, engine injection, etc.) should be researched first.


-The first thing one should research would be the set of belts for the M2s- one has to make the most of a low-caliber weapon like the M2, and stealth will prove incredibly useful. Then, one should research Radiator. The P-47 will overheat extremely quickly without it (about 2 min. constant climb/WEP). After that, there is no particular order that one has to research in. Engine-Injection is a must, though, so research that immediately once the Tier is unlocked.


Shredding Planes:


-One of my favorite pastimes with the "T-Bolt" is to simply shred planes. To do this effectively, though, one has to put emphasis on using BnZ. Though the P-47 has rather lackluster dive-speed acceleration and zoom-climb rate, they are still far superior than most planes on the 3-4 BR level. Similarly to the FW-190, fighting on the vertical is a must. It is also recommended that one climbs to at least 5 km to make sure he/she has altitude to compensate if his/her prey dives. Remember, the closer the M2s get to the target, the more damage they do, and the quicker they do damage. In a dive, fire at about .3-.5 km. You'll thank yourself for researching the Stealth belt- your prey won't see what's coming until its too late. With rockets, fire from as close as possible, because they have notoriously poor accuracy. It is recommended that you use M10 tubes, because they are more accurate, if not in fewer numbers, than the HVAR rockets. Head-ons can be effective for the beginning player. Try to aim for the cockpit of plane or wings. The rocket armament can be very useful in this use as well. Make sure the rockets are fired with careful precision- firing aimlessly will most likely cause a couple glancing hits and possibly complete misses.


-Careful, when attacking bombers, try to knock out the gunners first. Most planes with turrets can set a "Jug" aflame relatively quickly. Combined with "scissoring" (see "defense"), the P-47 can be a formidable bomber hunter. Approach the bomber from a angle (either climbing or diving), and scissor and shoot.




-Equip Stealth, no rockets.

-Climb to about 5 km, spot a BF-109 below, dive at about a 20-25 degree angle, and open fire at around .4-5 km. Aim for the weak points of the BF- engine, wings. If unsuccessful, dive like the dickens and climb. Repeat.


-Equip Stealth, M10 Rocket Tubes

-Climb to about the level of the BF-109. Perform a side-head-on or full head on. Carefully aim rockets for the plane itself. Make sure to aim using the "levels" that are adjusted for distance. Fire from about .8 km away. If successful OR unsuccessful, peel, dive, and climb. If out of rockets, use the method described above. Depending on one's defensive skills, you may emerge unscathed or in flames.


-Equip Tracers, no rockets

-Stay at around 2 km. Follow the tail-end of any opponent in sight. Fire long volleys, aiming for the engine or rudder. This method isn't particularly effective, but if one aims from side to side there is a potential your opponent may a) crash (if he/she's low enough) or b) tear his/her wings. This is a hard one to pull off.


Ground Attack:


-To effectively carry out ground attack, climb to around 5-6 km and do a shallow dive to the target (about 25-20 degrees downward) and speed in at around 430 mph, drop the bombs, fire the rockets, and then climb to either get back to base or dogfight. Unfortunately, the load that "The Jug" can carry hampers performance considerably- keep it simple- climb, dive, get the hell outta there. The M2s can also be effectively used to kill light pillboxes and "soft" vehicles (armored cars). Just equip ground-target rounds, and point-and-shoot.


[attachment=140675:Untitled.png]          [attachment=140676:Untitled.png]          -Diagrams for Ground Strike




-Of course, the P-47 will get into situations where evasive action is required. The P-47 is a great starting platform for defensive action for beginners. Due to its great handling at speed, scissoring to avoid fire is one forte of the "Jug". When combined with a dive, the durability and speed will most likely get the P-47 out relatively unscathed. If being chased by a plane along level flight (you have to be at altitude), dive and fly level. If being chased by a BF, perform the above maneuver, but add scissoring until the P-47's superior speed outruns it (remember, the BF has a higher dive acceleration). Sitting-duck P-47s that have no altitude are sure to be shredded. Always stay at least 1-2 km away from the ground, depending on the map. This gives room to dive.


-Note- No matter what one's opponent is, the "Jug" is at risk of having its pilot knocked out due to the "bubble canopy". Don't destroy your computer if you get knocked out repeatedly. This is to be expected along the 3-4 BR, because most opponents will have MGs and the rate of fire is high enough that the cockpit is a fairly easy target.


To War Thunder!


Edited by HellWithWings
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Hello and welcome to our forum community. Don't worry we don't bite often :)s


You've written a nice list of things the P-47s can and cannot do. What's currently lacking are strategies anmd tactics one can use.

And a simple Pros and Con section.


Don't forget you can always take the current state of the vehicles page and approve upon it: http://wiki.warthunder.com/index.php?title=P-47D-25_Thunderbolt

Just make sure to clearly mark parts you've taken over.


Using current BRs is not a very good idea, as they can often change. Try to be more vague in that area and rather say "common enemies in that tier region" or similar.


You missed out on dive-acceleration (initial dive is for B109 better) and zoom-climb acceleration (prop-hanging + mouse aim) issues.


There are also four other entries for the Jug, so expect a tight race :salute:

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