The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
How many arguments have
you heard about the capabilities of the P-47 vs the P-51? Many, I know. The
truth is that the P-47 was a very good fighter and an excellent ground attack
platform. The Thunderbolt could take a huge beating and still get home. The
P-51 was not as tough near the ground because the engine coolant lines ran
right under the pilot from the engine to the radiotor in the belly. One hit
on those lines (oil or coolant) and the engine was done in a short time.
At altitude, however,
was another story entirely. The P-51 excelled up high and was the fastest fighter
out there. It also had the longest range. Two great aircraft for different roles.