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Power Program  1998
300 pages
Index, photos
Cover Price: $19.98
Language: English

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Roaring Glory Warbirds Vol. 5
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

This DVD brings the viewer up close and in flight with the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Often overshadowed by other classic warbirds, the P-47 was no glamor girl. Regardless, Republic aviation's Thunderbolt or "jug" earn a reputation with pilots and aircrews for its rugged construction and its ability to sustain battle damage. During the war, P-47's accounted for 3,916 enemy aircraft destroyed, plus thousands of ground targets confirmed destroyed. Today, less than a half dozen are still flying today. This DVD includes footage of the P-47 "Tar Heel Hal" in flight over Kentucky and Indiana scenery.

Thunderbolt Walkaround
The Thunderbolt is a massive fighter. Fully loaded, the plane weighed 7-9 tons, far greater than any other WWII fighter. Host Steve Hinton tours the viewer around the features and details of the aircraft. Of particular interest is the massive powerplant with its 13 foot diameter propeller, and 2,800 cubic inch engine. To accommodate this, other unique features like the telescoping feature in the landing gear struts, for additional ground clearance. The fighter's exhaust could be routed into a turbo-superchager for additional altitude performance. Other interesting details, like how the plane's fabric control surfaces were replaced with all metal control surfaces, because of the tendency for fabric to rip during high speed dives.

The fighter was heavily armed: with eight .50 caliber machine guns, making it a deadly and very stable gun platform. External racks allowed the "jug" to carry thousands of pounds of bombs, eight rack mounted rockets or long range centerline and drop tanks.

P-47 In Flight
Next, the viewer observes the complete pre-take off cockpit check. One gets an appreciate for the spacious cockpit, and views of the instrument panel from the pilot's point of view. For taxing, s-turns are required to see forward. It was an easy plane to fly, with only a minimum of training required. Once airborne, this fighter is very light on the controls, despite all its weight. In the air, the viewer watches excellent chase plane photography of the Thunderbolt in flight. Also, air to air flight with a P-51 Mustang. What is interesting is the size comparison between these two aircraft. The disc contains aerobatics including rolls, loops, stalls and rapid reversals.

Multi-Angle Section
Like other Roaring Glory title, this DVD has an excellent multiangle section, allowing the user to select between cockpit , pilot, and chase plane camera angles. There are three segments represented - take off, flight and landing. Together, these allow us to see the P-47 in detailed operation. For anyone interested in aviation, flight or WWII history this section really makes the disc unique.

The Young Pilots
Two segments highlight the P-47's role in two theaters of WWII. This history is recreated with WWII footage, and modern reinactors The first highlights the story of Gill Burns February 23, 1945 mission from Toul France, with his Thunderbolt nicknamed "Tar Heel Hal" out on mission. Hit by AA fire over the target, and sustaining massive damage, his plane brings its pilot home. The next segment is the story of Wally Montique in the Pacific His mission begins with take off from Leyte in the Philippines for a 200 mile round trip flight. To intercept enemy fighters over a Navy convoy. In the dogfight, P-47's surprised the Japanese fighters Wally Montique's plane was hit, forcing him to bail out. His story is one of luck, and the durability of the P-47 that helped save his life.

Training Film "How to Fly the P-47"
This 1943 newsreel made for the USAAF by Republic covers high altitude flight and aerobatics, including ground handling takeoffs, flight and landing. It is an interesting piece of training footage for young pilots, and today is an interesting study of wartime propaganda, and for P-47 aficionados, a chance to see additional footage of this warbird in flight and cockpit operations.

Additional Features
Several photo sections allows the viewer to preview still images in a "Family Album" section and "Pilot's Handbook " that contain dozens of images and diagrams. The disc also includes previews of other Roaring Glory warlord DVDs. Included are trailers for their F4U, A6M, P-38, P-47, F6F each is about two minutes long and introduces other warbirds in the "Roaring Glory" series.

Review by  Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 23, 2017

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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