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Republic P-47 (Turbobolt)


Jet-Powered Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Concept


United States | 1946



"A turbojet-powered version of the classic Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter was briefly considered by the USAAF after the arrival of the Messerschmitt Me 262 over Europe."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/13/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
By the end of 1944, the Germans had pushed the Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe" into operational service, giving German pilots a decided edge in the skies over Europe. This prompted American authorities to expedite work on their own jet-powered types. However, traditional long-term development was not favored so the route of converting an existing airframe was entertained in an effort to bring the jet fighter into service as quickly as possible. One endeavor emerged from Republic whose P-47 "Thunderbolt" had already entrenched its legacy in the years-long war.

The P-47 seemed a natural choice because of its oversized fuselage housing the massive and powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" series radial piston engine. The Republic product itself was a workhorse and excellent gunnery platform while also being used in the attack role by way of dropping bombs and launching rockets. The "tear-drop" style canopy gave its sole pilot excellent vision for a combat fighter and the inherent performance of the aircraft as a whole was equally excellent - capable of going toe-to-toe with the latest Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 prop-driven designs coming out of German factories.

Initially, engineers were called to fit the General Electric J31 centrifugal compressor turbojet engine into the aircraft in place of the R-2800. This jet engine was the same as used in the upcoming Bell P-59 "Airacomet" fighter as well as the Ryan FR "Fireball" mixed-power fighter and could generate up to 1,650 lb of thrust. In theory the mating seemed viable but it was soon found that, despite the large diameter of the P-47's existing fuselage, it was still not large enough to accommodate the J31 engine without much modification to the structure - thus delaying testing and service entry. From there came the decision to replace the J31 with the Allison J35 (about 4,000lb of thrust), this engine originally developed by General Electric as well. This engine would also soon power the classic Republic F-84 "Thunderjet" and Northrop F-89 "Scorpion" lines of the Cold War years (1947-1991) and its size was better suited to the P-47's airframe so work began to redraw the lines of the aircraft.

Because the R-2800 and its propeller were situated at the nose, their removal cleared the section for a nose-mounted intake and armament. The intake aspirated the J35 unit through a curved duct assembly running under the cockpit floor. The J35 would be buried under the pilot's position, promoting a deeper fuselage than even the original P-47 had. Exhausting of the turbojet was through a simple port found under the tail fin. The 8 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine guns originally mounted to the wings (four per wing) were now relocated to the nose for better concentrated firepower. The elliptical wings of the P-47 were retained as were the rounded tailplanes featuring a single vertical fin. It is assumed that the original tail-dragger undercarriage would have been retained as well.

Nevertheless, this proposed turbojet-powered P-47 (no formal name or model designator was ever assigned to the "paper" project) never made it beyond some concept drawings commissioned by Republic. In the end, the mating of the J31 with the P-47 airframe was not meant to be for it was becoming an impractical exercise best left to the imagination. There were also ongoing concerns about the imbalance that the engine would have caused on an aircraft originally intended to feature its mass at the front. Engineers also realized that the P-47 airframe, as it was, stood to gain very little in terms of performance for it was already nearing its maximum specs even with its R-2800 in place.

As such, the P-47 offshoot never emerged into a realistic prospect leaving the USAAF to pursue the traditional design and development route for its first jet - which became the mildly successful P-59 from Bell.

Performance and structural dimensions reported on this page are estimates on the part of the author.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt) Jet-Powered Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Concept.
1 x Allison J35 axial flow turbojet engine developing about 3,800lb to 4,000lb of thrust.
Propulsion
450 mph
725 kph | 391 kts
Max Speed
37,730 ft
11,500 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
1,200 ft/min
366 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt) Jet-Powered Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Concept.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
36.1 ft
11.00 m
O/A Length
40.8 ft
(12.45 m)
O/A Width
14.8 ft
(4.50 m)
O/A Height
10,031 lb
(4,550 kg)
Empty Weight
18,078 lb
(8,200 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt) Jet-Powered Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Concept .
PROPOSED:
6 OR 8 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in the upper nose assembly.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt) family line.
P-47 "Thunderbolt" - Base Series Designation on which the turbojet-powered form was based on.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Republic Aviation Corporation - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (450mph).

Graph Average of 375 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
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1 / 1
Image of the Republic P-47 (Turbobolt)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
INTERCEPTION
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Republic P-47 (Turbobolt) Jet-Powered Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Concept appears in the following collections:
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