Repub­lic P-47 Thun­der­bolt

Flight Journal - - GALLERY -

Capt. Eric Brown, Royal Navy, Re­tired

I first flew the P-47 in 1944. My im­pres­sion of the cock­pit was, if you got tired of fly­ing, you could go for a walk around the stick. I’m small in stature: 5 feet 7. For a sin­gle-seat fighter, it was gi­gan­tic. I al­ways won­dered why they needed so much air­plane to make an ef­fec­tive fighter. I’ve seen other air­planes more stream­lined with just as much horse­power. The view from the cock­pit, how­ever, was beau­ti­ful. The cock­pit lay­out was OK—a bit un­tidy but gen­er­ally ac­cept­able. The great thing about fly­ing a fighter is the bond­ing you feel with it. Bond with your air­craft and you can fight any­thing. You can bond in the Spit­fire, but I never got that feel­ing in the P-47 or F4U Cor­sair. They were just too big.

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