The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Plane's construction could be a lifesaver

  • The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt -- and its pilots -- were often able to survive rather bad crashes.

    Cory Graff

    The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt -- and its pilots -- were often able to survive rather bad crashes.

Part of what gives the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt much of its "Jug-like" shape is the fighter's maze of tubes and pipes running through its belly—from the big R-2800 engine to the turbo supercharger and back. The design had one unintended consequence that made pilots and mechanics love the Jug even more. The hollow pipes created what amounted to a "crumple zone" in the lower regions of the plane. Devoid of critical components, a bellied P-47 could be rebuilt relatively quickly if the damage was slight. And when the plane came down hard on its belly, the pilot usually walked away unharmed. This photo shows a French-operated P-47 after a particularly wicked wheels-up crash.

Story tags » Military aviation

Sign up for HeraldNet headlines Newsletter
See sample | Privacy policy

Most recent Flight Paths posts

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

» More Aerospace


HeraldNet highlights

A perfect picnic
A perfect picnic: What you need for a romantic date or a family trip
Determined to overcome
Determined to overcome: As Oso couple rebuild their lives, they focus on the good
Opportunity knocks
Opportunity knocks: Lynch’s holdout opens door for Seahawks' Michael, Turbin
Hangover? What hangover?
Hangover? What hangover?: Expectations nothing new for Super Bowl champions