The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the classic fighter/fighter-bomber designs to emerge from the United States during World War 2. The 'Jug', with its massive and powerful Pratt & Whitney air-cooled radial, was just as potent against ground targets as it was against aerial foes, proving itself a notable threat to German trains and military formations below. After a first-flight in May 1941 and service entry had in November 1942, total production went on to reach 15,636 units built between 1941 and 1945 while several experimental variants (XP-72) were also evolved. The final form was not retired until 1966 with the Peruvian Air Force, such was its value even in the post-World War 2 period.
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