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Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Thunderbolt's turbo charger a well-oiled machine

  • The P-47D Thunderbolt's turbo supercharger has to be prepared for each flight.

    Flying Heritage Collection

    The P-47D Thunderbolt's turbo supercharger has to be prepared for each flight.

The Flying Heritage Collection's aircraft are much more complete than many warbirds out there. Part of the preflight for the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt is pre-oiling the turbo supercharger.

If you are lucky enough to be one of the handful of institutions with a flying P-47, you usually don't have the turbo in the plane anymore. There is not a lot of escorting B-17s at 30,000 feet happening these days, so the turbo is just a weighty mechanical headache you can do without. But the FHC's Thunderbolt is as accurate to the wartime type as possible. The plane not only has a turbo, it functions too.

So the FHC's mechanics have to get the turbo up to speed, so to speak, before each flight. Spinning the supercharger's turbine with compressed air makes a heck of a racket, but it works to pump oil through the system. This gets the fighter ready to participate in a Fly Day or, I suppose, climb into the stratosphere.
Story tags » General Aviation

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