Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
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.