P-47N vs P-51H

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    By the time the P-47N entered service, was it just overpriced and superfluous compared to the P-51, and the P-51H in particular? Was it really necessary at that point?

    A wet-winged P-47 was really needed years earlier.
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Hindsight is usually close to 100%. Remember the contract was let in early 1944 when the Battle of Germany was in full fury and the P-51B was not yet the proven commodity. I suspect the P-47N contract was deemed a favorable back up to the P-38 for long rang escort.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The P-47 was produced on a huge scale.
    .....Two Republic plants including a newly built complex at Evansville, Indiana.
    .....License production by Curtiss in Buffalo, NY.
    .....P&W was tooled up to produce R2800 engines for the 15,686 P-47s.

    Converting production to P-51s and Merlin engines would probably require at least a year and cost a huge amount of money. During that year P-47 factories would produce nothing. Or else you can keep fighter production going with a slightly upgraded P-47 design.
     
  4. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Above 30k, that is at the altitude the B-29 is capable of flying, the P-47N was a much better performer than the P-51H and could challenge the Ta-152 at these altitudes with significantly better power to weight and an equivalent airspeed.
     
  5. windswords

    windswords Member

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    Don't forget the 47 had 25% more firepower. That's especially effective against the more heavily armored German planes, but by the end of WWII, the Japanese had some designs that were much more robust. Would the H model Mustang have been available in significant numbers by the time of operations Olympic and Coronet? And, would you want Mustangs flying close support for invasion forces where one bullet in the coolant lines could have put it out of commission? I would much rather have Thunderbolts down on the deck putin' the hurt on enemy positions. Even the P-38 would be better in that role than the Mustang. Military planners had these and other considerations when it came to aircraft types and availability.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Actually it was 1/3rd more. But that still isn't much of a selling point compared to the cannon carried by British, German and Japanese fighter aircraft during 1945.

    If firepower had been a major concern the U.S. Army Air Corps would have armed the P-51H with 20mm cannon purchased from Britain. Or perhaps they would have placed someone competent in charge of the American 20mm cannon program.
     
  7. windswords

    windswords Member

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    Yes 8 is 33% more than 6, and 6 is 25% less than 8. I know some don't believe in the effectiveness of the Browning .50 caliber. But the thousands of Axis planes as well as ground targets destroyed speak for themselves. I would be very satisfied with 8 of them in my arsenal. I would be even more happy with the 12 50's of the B-25H Mitchell!
     
  8. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Yet P-47's weren't deployed to Korea (nor was the P-51H).
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Turbo chargers aren't needed for ground support and considering the number of P-51D to P-51H built the spare parts situation may have been better for the "D" model. Jets were handling top cover and most air to air.
     
  10. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    In Europe, as P-51's displaced P-47's, we're P-47's increasingly used in roles for which turbochargers were not necessary?
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    As discussed elsewhere, the P-47 wasn't terribly accurate as a bomber. I suspect that's why it wasn't retained in that role once WWII ended.

    The U.S.A.F. in Korea needed the F4U or (better yet) the purpose built Skyraider attack aircraft. Those aircraft combined good weapons accuracy with a large payload and rugged construction.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    If you have units already trained and equipped with P-47s in theater what are you going to do, have them sit on their hands (or runways) and do nothing until you can build enough extra P-51s and ship them in to re-equip this units? And spend several months re-training the pilots and mechanics once the planes get there?
    At the time of the Korean war the majority of the P-47 equipped units were on the east coast, The majority of the P-51 units were on the west coast. There may have been P-51 units in Japan and no P-47 units. What ever advantages the P-47 may have had in ground attack didn't warrant the the longer move for the units and their logistic tail. The turbo unit was going to need more or at least different maintenance than the P-51 engine (not to mention 36 spark plugs instead of 24,etc). With jets taking over most jobs (F-80s and F-84s being used for ground attack) introducing another type of aircraft to the theater that brought little if any real advantages wouldn't be too smart.
     
  13. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    The USN used the F4U in Korea.

    No fighter used as a fighter-bomber was that accurate.

    Though the Skyraider was produced too late to take part in World War II, it became the backbone of United States Navy aircraft carrier and United States Marine Corps (USMC) strike aircraft sorties in the Korean War, with the first ADs going into action from the USS Valley Forge with VA-55 on 3 July 1950.[6] Its weapons load and 10-hour flying time far surpassed the jets that were available at the time.[5] On 2 May 1951, Skyraiders made the only aerial torpedo attack of the war—successfully hitting the Communist-controlled Hwacheon Dam.[7] On 16 June 1953, a USMC AD-4 from VMC-1 piloted by Major George H. Linnemeier and CWO Vernon S. Kramer shot down a Soviet-built Polikarpov Po-2 biplane, the only documented Skyraider air victory of the war.[8] AD-3N and -4N aircraft carrying bombs and flares flew night-attack sorties, and radar-equipped ADs carried out radar-jamming missions from carriers and land bases.[5] During the Korean War (1950–1953) A-1 Skyraiders were flown only by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and were normally painted in dark navy blue. A total of 101 Navy and Marine AD Skyraiders were lost in combat during the Korean War, and 27 were lost to operational causes, for a total loss of 128 Skyraiders in the Korean War.

    wiki
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I'm under the impression the F4U was more accurate as a bomber then most other fighter aircraft. That issue was discussed previously in this forum.
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Couple of points - Mustang units were on rotation from 8th AF back to the States in May-June 1945. Almost all the latemodel D-20 and D-25's went home while the older D-10 and -15's stayed for the Occupation in Germany. That was the reason that P-51H's were kept in the States.

    Second point is that there far more P-51D/K's available than the P-47N's which is the reason that Mustangs were still the primary LR escort out of Tinian, then Iwo.

    Third point all P-51Hs were produced by October 1945. Had the invasion deemed P-51H (for some imaginary reason) plenty of P-51Hs would have been available.

    While the P-47N had better performance above 30,000 feet the 20th AF was largely going in at night from 7,000-10,000 feet - otherwise at 25,000 feet. P-51D just fine in that strike zone against all the Japanese fighter attempting to climb and try to catch the B-29s.
     
  16. billswagger

    billswagger Member

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    Agreed.
    Aircraft availability often dictated the roll and placement in the war, more so than actual performance.

    Both P-51s and P-47Ns contributed to the fight and the reason i stress availability is because they had also upped their air offensive on Japan. The bombardments from Iwo went on 24 hours a day, and stretched days, if not weeks at a time. We are talking a constant aircraft presence over enemy territory, night and day. You need a lot of planes for that.
    At the time, I don't think there was much to choose between either plane.
    Both made great escort fighters and both were capable ground fighters.
    Neither plane could out maneuver Japanese aircraft, yet both were typically faster and required similar tactics.

    As for the lack of use of the P-47 in Korea, doesn't that have more to do with the lack of them in US operation?
    Once a plane or model is made non-operational might mean there is a lack of replacement parts and trained mechanics to service them. The P-51 was still operational and which wouldn't have required retooling and ramping up of parts to allow the plane to be serviceable in a war.
    I think its also been cited on this forum that pilot who flew P-51s in Korea felt that the P-47 may have been the better plane for the types of missions being performed.

    I always thought the P-47 had a leg up on the P-51 in speed and altitude performance but was not always as maneuverable. Obviously, the P-51H would've closed the gap in speed between the two planes.
     
  17. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Kind of ironic...
    The P-51 began for the US as the A-36 in a ground attack/support role...
    Then ended in Korea performing a similar role (sans dive brakes, etc.)
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The 51 was available in the ROK air force and my father had the 35th FBW (P-51D) at Johnson AFB in Tokyo just before the war started. The Aussies were flying their own Mustangs. FEAF was F-51, F-82, F-80 and F-84 when the war started. You fight with what you have and you replace with the type your logistics pool can support.
     
  19. windswords

    windswords Member

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    Shortround6 has it right. The 47 was not used in Korea because it would not have been effective, it was not used because it was not available. Most had been mustered out to Air National Guard service. The 51 was kept on active inventory because it was much cheaper than the 47 or 38. After WWII money was in short supply. Also Mustangs were probably available in Japan and elsewhere in the far east. The 47 was not. That doesn't change the fact the 51 was not an ideal plane for ground attack and the 47 and F4u were both better suited in that role.

    As for the 47 not being terribly accurate as a bomber... In WWII the purpose built bombers were not terribly accurate. Not until the advent of directed munitions did bombing reach it's true potential - one plane, one bomb, one target destroyed.
     
  20. Lyall

    Lyall New Member

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    #20 Lyall, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2012
    P-47N vs P-51H

    By the time the P-47N entered service, was it just overpriced and superfluous compared to the P-51, and the P-51H in particular? Was it really necessary at that point?

    A wet-winged P-47 was really needed years earlier.


    What was missed here was that P-47 production was on the verge of being shut down because of the range issue in Europe. Warren Bodie covers this in his P-47 book in detail and that was why Republic developed the P-47N. The P-47 was originally conceived as an interceptor and the range was not an issue at that point. I’ve spoken to a couple of P-47N combat pilots who preferred it to the P-51D because of maneuverability, speed, comfort, and safety. One other thing, by the time N model came along (and the same with the P-38L) the turbo supercharger had automatic controls on it so the pilot didn’t have to keep resetting the manifold pressure so the work load was lighter than the earlier models and comparable to the Merlin Mustangs two speed mechanical supercharger workload.
     
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