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Thread: P-47N Thunderbolt vs. F4U-4 Corsair - Which was superior?

  1. #46
    IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO FLYBOYJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDICUS

    I understand that the aluminum skin on the Thunderbolt was thicker than the Corsair's. There were no fabric control surfaces either. The semi-monocoque and multi-cellular structure of the P-47's fusalege and wings certainly looks more rugged in drawings than the Corsair too.

    Any thoughts on ruggedness in flight as opposed to with respect to crash landing on a carrier deck?
    I think in some cases they might be about the same.



    I think the ruggedness of the Corsair was based around it being operated on a carrier

  2. #47
    Senior Member wmaxt's Avatar
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    [quote="FLYBOYJ"]
    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDICUS

    I think the ruggedness of the Corsair was based around it being operated on a carrier
    I read somewhere that the forging for the inboard section of the wing was built extra heavy not only for the landing gear/carrier issue but because of the Gull wing and the desire to avoid failure at that point.

    wmaxt

  3. #48
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    [quote="wmaxt"]
    Quote Originally Posted by FLYBOYJ
    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDICUS

    I think the ruggedness of the Corsair was based around it being operated on a carrier
    I read somewhere that the forging for the inboard section of the wing was built extra heavy not only for the landing gear/carrier issue but because of the Gull wing and the desire to avoid failure at that point.

    wmaxt
    That sounds right!

  4. #49
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    I believe the skin on the Thunderbolt was thicker than on the Corsair. Didn't the Corsair have some fabric covered surfaces?

  5. #50
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    It did, especially the earlier ones, but I seen both up close and the Corsair had some of it's structure just as beefy as the -47

  6. #51
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    So the consensus seems to be that over 30,000ft, the P-47 would wax the Corsair due to the turbo-supercharger being able to pump out 100% of it's 2,800hp even at 32,000ft.

    What was the horsepower of the Corsair's engine at that altitude?

  7. #52
    Senior Member Jank's Avatar
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    The F4U4 that saw service didn't have as powerful an engine as the "C" series 2,800hp powerplant that was installed into the P-47N. It also didn't have the supercharger that the P-47 had.

    A later development of the F4U4 had a more powerful engine that developed 2,760hp but these came too late to see service and still couldn't generate that hp level at high altitude like the 47.

  8. #53
    Senior Member wmaxt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jank
    The F4U4 that saw service didn't have as powerful an engine as the "C" series 2,800hp powerplant that was installed into the P-47N. It also didn't have the supercharger that the P-47 had.

    A later development of the F4U4 had a more powerful engine that developed 2,760hp but these came too late to see service and still couldn't generate that hp level at high altitude like the 47.
    That is just the difference between superchargers and Turbo-supercharger systems.

    wmaxt

  9. #54
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    F4U all the way. It turned better, and matched the P-47 in almost every aspect. I do like the P-47 though in the ground attack role though.

    Get the greedy bastard...

  10. #55
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    P-47N had superior roll rate, dive, acceleration, speed, armament and range.

    Corsair had better climb and turn.

    At low and medium altitudes, I think the Corsair was better in the air to air role. Over 30,000ft, I think the Corsair's engine suffered enough to push the P-47N ahead of the Corsair in climb as well.

    The F4U-4 had a WEP 2,450 hp engine that lacked the turbo-supercharger that the 2,800hp P-47N had. The P-47N was still generating 2,800hp at 32,000ft.

    Lastly, until the dash 5, the outer top wing panels and the control surfaces of the Corsair were fabric covered. The F4U-5 was the first all metal skinned Corsair.

    Real men don't go for fabric covered control surfaces. Fabric is what womens' skirts are made of.

  11. #56
    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Monella
    Real men don't go for fabric covered control surfaces. Fabric is what womens' skirts are made of.
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Monella

    Lastly, until the dash 5, the outer top wing panels and the control surfaces of the Corsair were fabric covered. The F4U-5 was the first all metal skinned Corsair.

    Real men don't go for fabric covered control surfaces. Fabric is what womens' skirts are made of.
    Actually the ailerons were made from wood.....

    http://www.americanaeroservices.com/...on/F4uWing.jpg

  13. #58
    Senior Member JonJGoldberg's Avatar
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    Great topic… My vote >> Plane Vs plane > P-47, but maybe not the N, but the D-25. This plane's range is a bit less than the F4U-4, but in the air, it was the best '47 variant. Fuel in the wings, and the fuselage extension did not benefit the '47's aerobatic performance; although the increased power, fuselage extension (2”), & wing air flow improvements did increase its speed. Modification to the T-bolt to N variant was done purely for range; with as little degradation to performance as possible.

    I believe the '47 was at the end of its 'design life cycle', jet aircraft not withstanding. The Corsair, was (a) younger (design), it was not an adaptation, or improvement of an earlier design. From a clean sheet it was purposely designed to be fitted with the P&W R-2800, unlike the P-47, whose forbearers were powered by ‘smaller’ engines, & the Corsair was designed to be a carrier aircraft. The limits of prop tech. & service aboard carriers forced the gull wing shape (& to it's advantage, as the T-Bolt had a 6" clearance with the four bladed paddles, ones finally fully able to 'transfer' the output probably the best aircraft power plant of the war, the P&W R2800, on take-off/landing). The Corsair had quite an extended development time (maybe the longest, of that period, exceeding even the design life of the Lighting) for a combat fighter aircraft, & was in fact superseded (as a carrier fighter) by it's friendly rival the Hellcat which 1st flew a full year after the F4U was ordered into production, & which the Corsair never fully replaced in service during WW2. The wing shape of the Corsair is/was its primary advantage, & similarly it's primary weakness (it is also the reason I fell in love with WW2 aircraft in the first place). As far as flight characteristics are concerned it's definitely more a weakness than a benefit.

    More on topic…

    The strength needed to absorb carrier landings, as evidenced by the thicker sheet metal used in the under-fuselage between the wings of the Corsair is mandated by two minor factors unique of the 'gull shape' wing: 1- The 'inverted gull shape' wing shortened the undercarriage length, increasing both the undercarriage’s strength (good), & its transfer of energy to the airframe (bad), as the 'suspension' has less travel & therefore less ability to ‘absorb’ landing energies (the Corsair had a rep for bouncing) requiring more of the stressed skin of the Corsair to be strengthened against ‘flex’. 2-The other factor is one of geometry. An angled wing increases its length at a greater rate than it increases its span, & therefore although the Corsair and Jug ( had effectively similar landing gear track & wing spans{P-47-D}), the frame of the Corsair needed to be ‘reinforced’ over a greater length again requiring more of the stressed skin of the Corsair to be strengthened against ‘flex’. I believe this light might shed some insight upon claims (I here tell that even the ‘Air Force’ guys said…) the Corsair may have been a tougher bird.

    Within that section of a Jug, under-fuselage between the wings, suspended by an airframe flight rated to +8Gs, with an operating window of 14Gs (the Corsair was rated to +7.3Gs with an operating window of 12.3Gs) are the T-bolts armored fuel cells, armored supercharging plumbing, & space for the wheels, covered by sheet metal whose only service is to provide an aerodynamically clean surface, therefore not requiring the strengthening found on the Corsair in this area. Additionally the P-47’s airframe was not ‘strengthened’ to tolerate carrier landing, or ‘inverted gull shaped wing’ stresses; instead it was ‘strengthened’ to absorb flight stresses. I believe that it was the toughest bird produced in the USA, not as rigid as an Fw190, or Yak-3.

    So, although the skin of the ‘Bolt may be thinner in places of similar locations as compared to the Corsair, sometimes the locations are not performing the same tasks.

    As for the rest of the performance stuff, may I offer here the suggestion of visiting the Best Fighter of WW2 section to download my WW2 fighter comparison tables, which contain, as it happens, both the P-47N & F4U-4. A photo shows the rest of the aircraft listed. Hopefully I’ll be visiting here again soon.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -_fighter_table_5_137-jpg  

  14. #59
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    Jon, with respect to your assertion that, "Fuel in the wings, and the fuselage extension did not benefit the '47's aerobatic performance; although the increased power, fuselage extension (2”), & wing air flow improvements did increase its speed."

    Please see http://home.att.net/~historyzone/Sev...Republic8.html

    You will note that the "N" proved superior to the D in every respect. In addition, where did you get your information that the fuselage was lengthened in the "N" model? Pleae provide a source or other evidence.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    The XP-47N took to the air for the first time on July 22, 1944. Test comparisons were made with a P-47D-30-RE throughout the early portion of the evaluation period. Much to everyone’s surprise, the XP-47N, with its greater wingspan and higher weight actually proved to have better roll performance than the D model. At 250 mph TAS, the N attained a maximum roll rate just over 100 degrees/second. The P-47D-30-RE could manage but 85 degrees/second at the same speed. At higher speeds, the N widened the gap further. In mock combat with a P-47D-25-RE, the new fighter proved to be notably superior in every category of performance. In short, the XP-47 waxed the venerable D model regardless of who was piloting the older fighter. The new wing was part of this newfound dogfighting ability, however, the more powerful C series engine played a role too. The additional horsepower allowed the N to retain its energy better than the older Thunderbolt. Perhaps the greatest performance increase was in maximum speed. Though not as fast as the stunning P-47M, the heavier N was fully 40 mph faster than the P-47D-25-RE and could generate speeds 30 mph greater than its principal rival, the Mustang. Scorching along at 467 mph @ 32,000 ft., the N could not be caught by any fighter in regular service with any air force on earth with the single exception of its M model sibling. This combination of wing and engine had pushed the N model up to the top rank of the superlative prop driven fighters then in existence.

  15. #60
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    Frank Perdomo, who is known for having become an "ace in a day" by shooting down five Japanese aircraft, flew the P-47N out of Le Shima. He said that the P-47N was like a "different aircraft" compared to the "D" model.

    Hardly a modification of the D model with as little degradation in performance as possible, it was a very hot ship with phenominal performance more akin to the "M" that the "D". Indeed, the "N" model was at the end of it's design cycle because the limits of propeller driven aircraft performance had been reached.

    However, be advised that the XP-72 and XP-47J were P-47 developments that reached speeds of 490mph and over 500mph respectively so there weas indeed a little room left for perfomance enhancement of the P-47.

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