Republic P-47M Thunderbolt

Last revised July 5, 1999

The P-47M was a special high-speed version of the Thunderbolt specifically evolved to counter the Fieseler Fi 103 (V-1) buzz bomb and the new jet- and rocket-powered fighters that were entering service with the Luftwaffe.

Four P-47D-27-RE airframes (serials 42-27385/27388) were taken off the production line at Farmingdale and fitted with the Pratt & Whitney R-2800-57(C) engine equipped with a larger CH-5 turbosupercharger. This new engine offered a war emergency power of 2800 hp at 32,500 feet with water injection. Air brakes were fitted underneath the wings to aid in deceleration during dives. These four converted P-47Ds were redesignated YP-47M.

This new engine installation was ordered into production in September 1944 for the last 130 P-47D-30-RE aircraft delivered by Farmingdale, the aircraft being subsequently redesignated P-47M-1-RE. The serial numbers of the 130 P-47M-1-RE Thunderbolts built were 44-21108/21237

The first P-47M was delivered in December 1944, and they were rushed to the 56th Fighter Group in Europe. However, engine problems delayed their use until the last few weeks of the war in Europe. Underwing racks were not fitted, as the P-47M was meant to be operated strictly as a fighter.

Performance of the P-47M-1-RE included a maximum speed of 400 mph at 10,000 feet, 453 mph at at 25,000 feet, and 470 mph at 30,000 feet. Initial climb rate was 3500 feet per minute at 5000 feet and 2650 feet per minute at 20,000 feet. Range (clean) was 560 miles at 10,000 feet. Armament was six or eight 0.50-inch machine guns with 267 or 425 rpg. Weights were 10,432 pounds empty, 13,275 pounds normal loaded, and 15,500 pounds maximum. Dimension were wingspan 40 feet 9 3/8 inches, length 36 feet 4 inches, height 14 feet 7 inches, and wing area 308 square feet.


  1. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

  3. War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume Four, William Green, Doubleday 1964.

  4. United States Military Aircraft since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. The Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Aircraft in Profile, Edward Shacklady, Doubleday, 1969.

  6. Famous Fighters of the Second World War, Volume I, William Green, 1967.

  7. Thunderbolt: A Documentary History of the Republic P-47, Roger Freeman, Motorbooks, 1992.