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Republic P-47D-28 Thunderbolt single-engine army heavy escort fighter/fighter-bomber A single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. It was designed in the design bureau of the Republic Aviation Corporation under the direction of Alexander Kartveli, a Russian immigrant of Georgian origin. The first flight of the XP-47B prototype took place in May 1941. Full-scale production began in March 1942. Beginning in September 1942, fighters of the P-47D variant began to leave the factory floor. They featured 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-21 eighteen-cylinder, air-cooled engines, with a water mixture injected into the cylinders under augmented rating conditions and with an improved turbosupercharger. The armament of all batches of P-47Ds included eight 12.7 mm Colt-Browning M2.5 machine guns (425 rounds each) located in the wing panels. Bombs of up to 500 lb could be suspended from the ventral pylon of the earlier P-47Ds. Extra wing pylons designed for two 1,000 lb bombs were fitted on subsequent batches of P-47Ds. The plane's maximum bomb capacity could reach 2,500 lb (1,130 kg). The wing-mounted bomb racks were "wet," meaning that they were connected to the fuel lines and that external fuel tanks could be suspended from them. Beginning with the P-47D-20 batch, the Thunderbolts had a higher tail skid to reduce aerodynamic resistance during takeoff, plus a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 Double Wasp engine whose rated power was 2,000 hp but which could reach 2,300 hp in short-term emergency conditions. The aerodynamic configuration of the underwing pylons was improved. This P-47D batch was the first to lack any paint. Due to absolute supremacy of the Allies' aircraft in the air, camouflage patterns were considered unnecessary, as they impaired aircraft performance characteristics. Beginning with the P-47D-25 batch, the Thunderbolts obtained a new drop-shaped cockpit canopy with no framing, which significantly improved visibility to the upper side of the plane's rear. However, the reduced height of the fuselage spine fairing behind the pilot's cockpit slightly impaired the aircraft's longitudinal stability, so Thunderbolts were equipped with a small dorsal fin fairing beginning with the P-47D-27 batch. The D-27 batch was soon followed by the D-28 batch, which became one of the most widely produced. 750 aircraft were manufactured at the factory in Farmingdale, and 1,028 in Evansville. D-28-RA aircraft built in Evansville and adapted to fly under the conditions of the Pacific theatre of war had their Hamilton Standard Hydromatic 24E50 propellers replaced with a different type of propeller, the Curtiss-Electric C54E50-A114, which had a smaller diameter. The shape of the propeller's spinner was also changed. Due to the new propeller, the aircraft was lengthened by 100 mm, and its maximum height with its tail up was increased by 20 mm. A number of changes were introduced into the hydraulic system, and the plane's radio equipment was improved, with an advanced radio compass installed. The two outermost machine guns were often removed in the field to improve the fighter's manoeuvrability characteristics. This happened quite often and was beneficial in most cases. Aircraft of the D-28-RA batch built in Evansville were used in the Pacific quite sparingly, due to the lack of airfields with runways of appropriate length. The Thunderbolts became deeply involved in the Pacific only after the appearance of the N version, which was specially designed for the Pacific theatre of war.