Remember that AAC/AAF didn't require Republic to either bid or submit proposal other than 'we want a turbosupercharged R-2800 powered interceptor. They delivered a fine airframe that was never designed to provide high altitude, long range escort. Nor did AAF ask for such.Well, there is a bit of problem.
AAF, we want more range, but you can't use external ferry tanks to do it (except for the P-39 and P-40).
Republic, we are giving you 305 gallons of fuel already, what do you want?
In fairness to both Republic and AAF (both Hq and Materiel Command) believed that the combination of Range and Manueverabilty over the target to combat s/e interceptors was beyond 'current' 1940-1941 engine technolgy, particularly with existing power in-line engines. AAF/Bell had already failed with XP-39.
Agreed. Note that Combat Radius for fighters wasn't even in testing programs in States when P-47C was accepted. Eglin conducted such tests with 15 gal reserve or straight line climb and cruise and 20min MP. Cass Hough inititated more ETO Op related tests from VIII Air Tech services beginning in March 1943.Yes the P-47 was bit of fuel hog but the climb to 25,000ft was the real killer. You used up a lot fuel before you even started to fly to the target.
You could burn about 45 gallons just climbing from 5000ft to 25,000ft which was equal to 48-50 minutes at a low altitude, low speed cruise. Throw in the 15 minutes of combat and the "book" range disappeared rather quickly.
Totally agree.. Republic had field service techs like NAA and Lockheed and would have been dialed into the issues discovered in ETO on or before they were communicated from VIII ATS (Cass Hough) to Materiel Command to Republic. Additionally Republic was an equal Recipient to the Arnold directive 'increase Fighter range' February 1942 - a full year before enough P-47C-1s were in UK to start training with 4th, 78th and56th FG.Now at some point in the summer or fall of 1942 somebody at Republic should have looked at the actual fuel consumption figures and crossed it with what the AAF wanted to do (to heck with the 8th Air Force) and start figuring out the range thing.
At that time the P-51A first flew, the A-36 was halfway through production cycle, the P-51B was nearing completion - all with combat tank provsions on wing. The P-38F &G and early H all had external racks and fuel feed.
The Chief designer was Kartveli and, according to Bodie, was against 'putting garbage on the wings'. It took Arnold/Giles directive in July 1943 to Priority Onedirective to incrase Internal fuel to seemingly move Republic kicking and screaming to seriously look at requirements. That they did so was evidenced by drawing packages issued to BAD1 Burtonwood (and nowhere else that I could find) for lengthy Depot mods of wing, while they tried to figure out 65 gal internal fuel for P-47D-25 and P-47N