TACTICAL COMBAT SECTION
ARMY AIR FORCES PROVING GROUND COMMAND
EGLIN FIELD, FLORIDA
TACTICAL SUITABILITY OF THE P-47C-1 TYPE AIRCRAFT
18 December 1942
To determine the relative tactical value of the P-47C-1 type aircraft for combat service.
This test was authorized by letter from Headquarters Army Air Forces, dated April 9, 1942, signed by Muir Fairchild, Brigadier General, U. S. Army, Director of Military Requirements, giving blanket order to determine the tactical suitability of all new types of aircraft received at this station.
This test was started October 27, 1942 and finished November 26, 1942.
a. Description. The articles tested were P-47C-1 type airplanes, Air Corps Serial Nos. 41-6127, 41-6128, and 41-6129.
It is concluded that:
a. The P-47C-1 is the best high altitude fighter aircraft now in production with regard to high speed, stability, pilot comfort, height and armament.
b. The rate of climb is not as good as desired, which fact limits its suitability as a medium altitude fighter and as an interceptor.
c. All weight in the structure and accessories not vital to operational use should be eliminated.
d. The aircraft is pleasant and easy to fly. New pilots should have no trouble being checked out in it.
e. The rate of aileron roll is the best found in any type of American fighter.
f. The view over the nose is not great enough to allow desired deflection shooting.
g. The demand type oxygen installation is satisfactory, but the service type mask with this installation is bulky, heavy, cumbersome and irritating to the pilot.
h. It is dangerous to attempt to take-off with mixture control in full rich position.
i. In a glide with engine idling, engine tends to load up and difficulty is encountered starting up engine again.
j. The hook-up of the throttle, R.P.M., and turbo control handles to operate as one if desired is very satisfactory.
k. With the present ceiling now obtainable with this aircraft, and the added height with new modifications, experiments should be pushed to perfect a pressurized cockpit on this type plane now.
It is recommended that:
a. If possible the gun sight be raised higher to allow the pilot a larger angle over the nose for deflection shooting, and a guns sight incorporating mirrors aiding view over nose be installed.
b. A movable mixture control stop preventing mixture control being pushed into full rich position by mistake be installed.
c. Every effort possible be made to increase the rate of climb.
d. A flap system be installed which will allow the flaps to come down equally without use of flap equalizer valve.
e. Until an automatic turbo control is perfected a red light be placed in a prominent position in the cockpit which will light if turbo overspeeds. This should be in addition to the turbo tachometer and not replace it.
f. Six (6) high rate of fire .50 caliber machine guns be installed when perfected.
g. Instructions be issued to caution all pilots not to make long power-off glides.
h. A study be made to improve cooling of engine so that the excessively rich mixtures, now necessary, can be eliminated.
i. Suitable flash hiders for the guns be installed before the plane is used for night fighting.
5. RECORD OF TEST:
This test was conducted according to the program, Proof Department, S. T. No. 4-42-2, this headquarters, dated June 30, 1942, a copy of which is attached as Inclosure No. 1.
a. Performance range and gas consumption. (See Inclosure No. 2 for table on speed and rate of climb.)