P-51 vs P-47 post war

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Piper106, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Piper106

    Piper106 Member

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    #1 Piper106, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    I wonder why the US keep so many P-51s for post war operations, rather than P-47s. It should have been obvious that post-August 1945 that air superiority would be handled by jets, and that any propeller 'fighters' would be used mostly as fighter bombers / close air support roll. Having said that, it would seem logical to keep mostly P-47s for post war use based on the good service as 'attack' aircraft at the end of WW2. One would assume that there wasn't any shortage of nearly new low hour P-47Ns and late production P47Ds available for post war duties in late 1945. Yet it seems that the US kept more P-51s in inventory, and deployed only P-51s in Korea, taking heavier than needed loses when coolant radiators and the like were damaged by ground fire.

    Any thoughts on this??? Or links to an earlier thread where this has already been hashed out???.
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Could it be as simple as economics a P47 has be worth more as scrap than a P51.
     
  3. VinceReeves

    VinceReeves Member

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    I read it was simply a cost issue - P-47's were bigger, had more parts, used more fuel, needed more maintenance, and replacements were more expensive.

    Although why any of this was an issue for an air force that was operating B-36's, I don't know.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Piston planes were shuffled off to the "reserves" fairly soon. They could be maintained by "reserve" mechanics without much in the way of new training. They allowed pilots and units flying time and training at much lower cost than using jets. And any likely opposition ( Soviet Union) didn't have large quantities of jets themselves for a number of years.

    Early jets sucked fuel, used up engines at a good clip, and were not produced in really large numbers for the first few years after the war ended.

    P-47s tended to Equip reserve units on the east coast and P-51s on the west coast. Closer to home factories and parts supply???
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Primarily because the P-51 and P-82 were regarded as better long range bomber escort while still being able to perform CAS and battlefield air superiority.

    Also there were a lot more P-51D/H than P-47N
     
  6. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #6 tyrodtom, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    After WW2 was over the military spending most of it's money on the big toys, atomic weapons and the aircraft to deliver them. What money was left had to be stretched far.
    But you needed some way to keep a large pool of pilots current, but not break the bank doing it. The P-51 was cheaper to fly and maintain than the P-47.

    They thought the way any future wars would be fought had been changed by the A-bomb. They didn't put much effort into preparing for the possibility of small limited wars where prop CAS aircraft would be needed.
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    The P-47 was the most complex WW piston engine fighter ... very expensive to buy and to operate, but most definitely ... IMPRESSIVE. Big plane.

    Lot's of P-47's went to America's friends and allies in Central America and The Caribbean. And the Mexicans and Brazilians flew them [in combat] during WW2. They were a great "learning" tool for emerging Air Forces in the Free World to fly and work on. More systems to learn and maintain than the P-51. Who wouldn't want to fly this powerful, turbo-charged, air conditioned beast .... :)

    MM
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Neither aircraft was well suited for CAS role. Mustang was probably the lesser of two bad choices until the USAF acquired a proper ground support aircraft.
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    If the USAAF wanted a ground pounder (which they didnt) then as said neither aircraft is ideal. Always thought a useful plane for Korean CAS would have been one of my favourite nearly planes of WWII the Grumman Tigercat. Masses of power, good carrying capacity plus lots of fuel to stooge around waiting for business. Give the pilot an armour plate tub to sit in and you have a great Sturmovik.
     
  10. Piper106

    Piper106 Member

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    As far as availablity there were 1800 P-47N built. Likely plenty for post WW2 needs, but if needed throw in a few squadrons worth of high block number P-47Ds and you would have more than enough for post war needs.

    About the only real out of pockets cost in favor of the P-51 in the post war period would have been fuel. There was likely acres of spares for both the P-47 and the P-51 already warehouses, already paid for.

    As far as operating as a fighter bomber, had the highers ups already filed away the pictures of terribly shot up P-47s that made it back to base in WW2???. I can sort of agree that neither airplane is idea as a CAS ground pounder, but of the two I would rather have the resistance to battle damage of an air cooled radial verses the whole liquid cooled engine thing.

    As far as the USAAF and the USAF not being interested in a ground pounder in the early post WW2 era, well they never have been interested in the last 70 years. One only has to look their handling of the A10 Wart Hog to see their feelings on that subject. That fighter jock mentality has handicaped (and likely will continue to handicap) our ground forces.
     
  11. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Which may just beg the unaskable can-of-worms question: whether the Army should provide its own fixed-wing ground-pounders.
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    If you want CAS, use the Skyraider.

    The P51 and P47 were just a few years removed from complete obsolescence.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    could it have just been a question of which radial engine ac to keep...the t-bolt or the corsair? which of the 2 had more room to build upon? in one of the threads it was suggested putting corsairs in the eto to replace the 47. isnt this essentually the same move?
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately the U.S. Army Air Corps didn't build any during WWII or the immediate post-war period. 1950 USAF went to war with what they had on hand.
     
  16. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    For the most - if not the entire - part, the USAF went to Korea with what they INHERITED from the USAAF. Including the Lockheed P-50 and Republic P-84 Thunderjet, which both did yeoman service as a fighter-bombers.

    How much armor does the Skyraider carry, davebender ...?

    MM
     
  17. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    a lot of 51s and F4U were used in korea.
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    MM- the USAF started with what they had in Japan, then reinforced from the Phillipines as far as conventional and some F-80's and F-84's. I don't recall B-29s, B-50's, A/B 26's, F-94's, and certainly not F-86's. The P-51D's were certainly a legacy from the 18th and 35th FBW as part of the occupation. Curiously enough I was in Japan 1948-1950 when my father had first the 35th FBW then assigned to 5th AF HQ.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Does the F-82 qualify for this thread? It was basically a Mustang with two engines.
     
  20. snowmobileman

    snowmobileman New Member

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    I like the F-82, but I don't think it would really qualify. Maybe in a comparison with the F7F and Hornet. Besides, it's real-life reliability doesn't stack up well to it's performance numbers. I think Allison should have been held accountable for it's lack of support for an active-duty military aircraft. I wonder how many pilots died due to their lack of support?
     
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