Platz 1/144 F8U-2 Crusader "Jolly Rogers" (Set of 2) Model: PDR-6 FULL review

The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) is a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and Marine Corps (replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass), and for the French Navy. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955. The F-8 served principally in the Vietnam War. The Crusader was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title "The Last of the Gunfighters".

The RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U.S. service than any of the fighter versions. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means. U.S. Naval Reserve units continued to operate the RF-8 until 1987.

Design and development

F8U-1 Crusader Bu No 141435 and Commander "Duke" Windsor depart China Lake for a successful speed record attempt, 21 August 1956.
In September 1952, the United States Navy announced a requirement for a new fighter. It was to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft (9,144.0 m) with a climb rate of 25,000 ft/min (127.0 m/s), and a landing speed of no more than 100 mph (160 km/h). Korean War experience had demonstrated that 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns were no longer sufficient and as the result the new fighter was to carry a 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon. In response, the Vought team led by John Russell Clark, created the V-383. Unusual for a fighter, the aircraft had a high-mounted wing which necessitated the use of a fuselage-mounted short and light landing gear.

The Crusader was powered by a Pratt and Whitney J57 turbojet engine. The engine was equipped with an afterburner that, unlike on later engines, was either fully lit, or off (i.e. it did not have "zones"). The engine produced 18,000 lb of thrust at full power, enough to allow the F-8 to climb straight up in clean configuration. The Crusader was the first jet fighter in US service to reach 1,000 mph; U.S. Navy pilot R.W. Windsor reached 1,015 mph on a flight in 1956.

The most innovative aspect of the design was the variable-incidence wing which pivoted by 7° out of the fuselage on takeoff and landing (not to be confused with variable-sweep wing). This allowed a greater angle of attack, increasing lift without compromising forward visibility. This innovation helped the F-8's development team win the Collier Trophy in 1956. Simultaneously, the lift was augmented by leading-edge slats drooping by 25° and inboard flaps extending to 30°. The rest of the aircraft took advantage of contemporary aerodynamic innovations with area-ruled fuselage, all-moving stabilators, dog-tooth notching at the wing folds for improved yaw stability, and liberal use of titanium in the airframe. The armament, as specified by the Navy, consisted primarily of four 20 mm (.79 in) autocannons; the Crusader happened to be the last U.S. fighter designed with guns as its primary weapon. They were supplemented with a retractable tray with 32 unguided Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket (Mighty Mouse FFARs), and cheek pylons for two guided AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. In practice, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles were the F-8's primary weapon; the 20mm guns were "generally unreliable." Moreover, it achieved nearly all of its kills with Sidewinders. Vought also presented a tactical reconnaissance version of the aircraft called the V-392.

Major competition came from the Grumman F-11 Tiger, the upgraded twin-engine McDonnell F3H Demon (which would eventually become the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II), and lastly, the North American F-100 Super Sabre hastily adapted to carrier use and dubbed the "Super Fury".

In May 1953, the Vought design was declared a winner and in June, Vought received an order for three XF8U-1 prototypes (after adoption of the unified designation system in September 1962, the F8U became the F-8). The first prototype flew on 25 March 1955 with John Konrad at the controls. The aircraft exceeded the speed of sound during its maiden flight. The development was so trouble-free that the second prototype, along with the first production F8U-1, flew on the same day, 30 September 1955. On 4 April 1956, the F8U-1 performed its first catapult launch from Forrestal.

Crusader III
In parallel with the F8U-1s and -2s, the Crusader design team was also working on a larger aircraft with ever-greater performance, internally designated as the V-401. Although the Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III was externally similar to the Crusader and sharing with it such design elements as the variable incidence wing, the new fighter was larger and shared few components.

Operational history
Prototype XF8U-1s were evaluated by VX-3 beginning in late 1956, with few problems noted. Weapons development was conducted at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and a China Lake F8U-1 set a U.S. National speed record in August 1956. Commander "Duke" Windsor set, broke, and set a new Level Flight Speed Record of 1,015.428 mph (1,634.173 km/h) on 21 August 1956 beating the previous record of 822 mph (1,323 km/h) set by a USAF F-100. (It did not break the world speed record of 1,132 mph (1,822 km/h), set by the British Fairey Delta 2, on 10 March 1956.

An early F8U-1 was modified as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft, becoming the first F8U-1P. Subsequently, the RF-8A was equipped with cameras rather than guns and missiles. On 16 July 1957, Major John H. Glenn Jr, USMC, completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a F8U-1P, flying from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 8.3 seconds.

First fleet operators
VX-3 was one of the first units to receive the F8U-1 in December 1956, and was the first to operate the type in April 1957, from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. VX-3 was the first unit to qualify for carrier operations but several aircraft were lost in accidents, several of them fatal to their pilots.

The first fleet squadron to fly the Crusader was VF-32 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, in 1957, which deployed to the Mediterranean late that year on Saratoga. VF-32 renamed the squadron the "Swordsmen" in keeping with the Crusader theme. The Pacific Fleet received the first Crusaders at NAS Moffett Field in northern California and the VF-154 "Grandslammers" (named in honor of the new 1,000-mph jets and subsequently renamed the "Black Knights") began their F-8 operations. Later in 1957, in San Diego VMF-122 accepted the first Marine Corps Crusaders.

In 1962, the Defense Department standardized military aircraft designations generally along Air Force lines. Consequently, the F8U became the F-8, with the original F8U-1 redesignated F-8A.

Fleet service
The Crusader became a "day fighter" operating off the aircraft carriers. At the time, U.S. Navy carrier air wings had gone through a series of day and night fighter aircraft due to rapid advances in engines and avionics. Some squadrons operated aircraft for very short periods before being equipped with a newer higher performance aircraft. The Crusader was the first post-Korean War aircraft to have a relatively long tenure with the fleet and like the USAF Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a contemporary design, might have stayed in service longer if not for the Vietnam War and corresponding attrition from combat and operational losses.

Cuban Missile Crisis
The unarmed RF-8A proved good at getting low-altitude detailed photographs, leading to carrier deployments as detachments from the Navy's VFP-62 and VFP-63 squadrons and the Marines' VMCJ-2. Beginning on 23 October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, RF-8As flew extremely hazardous low-level photo reconnaissance missions over Cuba, the F-8's first true operational flights. Two-ship flights of RF-8As left Key West twice each day, to fly over Cuba at low level, then return to Jacksonville, where the film was offloaded and developed, to be rushed north to the Pentagon.

These flights confirmed that the Soviet Union was setting up IRBMs in Cuba. The RF-8As also monitored the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles. After each overflight, the aircraft was given a stencil of a dead chicken. The overflights went on for about six weeks and returned a total of 160,000 images. The pilots who flew the missions received Distinguished Flying Crosses, while VFP-62 and VMCJ-2 received the prestigious U.S. Navy Unit Commendation.

Mishap rate
The Crusader was not an easy aircraft to fly, and was often unforgiving in carrier landings, where it suffered from poor recovery from high sink rates, and the poorly designed, castering nose undercarriage made it hard to steer on the deck. Safe landings required the carriers to steam at full speed to lower the relative landing speed for Crusader pilots. The stacks of the oil-burning carriers on which the Crusader served belched thick black smoke, sometimes obscuring the flight deck, forcing the Crusader's pilot to rely on the landing signal officer's radioed instructions. It earned a reputation as an "ensign eliminator" during its early service introduction. The nozzle and air intake were so low when the aircraft was on the ground or the flight deck that the crews called the aircraft "the Gator". Not surprisingly, the Crusader's mishap rate was relatively high compared to its contemporaries, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and the F-4 Phantom II. However, the aircraft did possess some amazing capabilities, as proved when several Crusader pilots took off with the wings folded. One of these episodes took place on 23 August 1960; a Crusader with the wings folded took off from Napoli Capodichino in full afterburner, climbed to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) and then returned to land successfully. The pilot, absentminded but evidently a good "stick man," complained that the control forces were higher than normal. The Crusader was capable of flying in this state, though the pilot would be required to reduce aircraft weight by ejecting stores and fuel before landing. In all, 1,261 Crusaders were built. By the time it was withdrawn from the fleet, 1,106 had been involved in mishaps.

Vietnam War
When conflict erupted in the skies over North Vietnam, it was U.S. Navy Crusaders from USS Hancock that first tangled with Vietnam People's Air Force (the North Vietnamese Air Force) MiG-17s, on 3 April 1965. The MiGs claimed the downing of a Crusader, and Lt Pham Ngoc Lan's gun camera revealed that his cannons had set an F-8 ablaze, but Lieutenant Commander Spence Thomas had managed to land his damaged Crusader at Da Nang Air Base, the remaining F-8s returning safely to their carrier. At the time, the Crusader was the best dogfighter the United States had against the nimble North Vietnamese MiGs. The U.S. Navy had evolved its "night fighter" role in the air wing to an all-weather interceptor, the F-4 Phantom II, equipped to engage incoming bombers at long range with missiles such as AIM-7 Sparrow as their sole air-to-air weapons, and maneuverability was not emphasized in their design. Some experts believed that the era of the dogfight was over as air-to-air missiles would knock down adversaries well before they could get close enough to engage in dogfighting. As aerial combat ensued over North Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, it became apparent that the dogfight was not over and the F-8 Crusader and a community trained to prevail in air-to-air combat was a key ingredient to success.

The Crusader also became a "bomb truck" in war, with both ship-based U.S. Navy units and land-based U.S. Marine Corps squadrons attacking communist forces in both North and South Vietnam.

USMC Crusaders flew only in the south, while U.S. Navy Crusaders flew only from the small Essex-class carriers. Marine Crusaders also operated in close air support missions.

Despite the "last gunfighter" moniker, the F-8s achieved only four victories with their cannon; the remainder were accomplished with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, partly due to the propensity of the 20 mm (.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannons' feeding mechanism to jam under G-loading during high-speed dogfighting maneuvers. Between June and July 1966, during 12 engagements over North Vietnam, Crusaders claimed four MiG-17s for two losses.The Crusader would claim the best kill ratio of any American type in the Vietnam War, 19:3. Of the 19 aircraft claimed during aerial combat, 16 were MiG-17s and three were MiG-21s. U.S. records indicate only three F-8s lost in aerial combat, all to MiG-17 cannon fire in 1966, but the VPAF claimed 11 F-8s were shot down by MiGs. A total of 170 F-8 Crusaders would be lost to all causes – mostly ground fire and accidents – during the war.

F-8 pilots credited with shooting down North Vietnamese aircraft
Name Squadron Aircraft Date
CDR Harold L. Marr VF-211 MiG-17 12 June 1966
LT Eugene J. Chancy VF-211 MiG-17 21 June 1966
LTJG Philip V. Vampatella VF-211 MiG-17 21 June 1966
CDR Richard M. Bellinger VF-162 MiG-21 9 October 1966
CDR Marshall O. Wright VF-211 MiG-17 1 May 1967
CDR Paul H. Speer VF-211 MiG-17 19 May 1967
LTJG Joseph M. Shea VF-211 MiG-17 19 May 1967
LCDR Bobby C. Lee VF-24 MiG-17 19 May 1967
LT Phillip R. Wood VF-24 MiG-17 19 May 1967
LCDR Marion H. Isaacks VF-24 MiG-17 21 July 1967
LCDR Robert L. Kirkwood VF-24 MiG-17 21 July 1967
LCDR Ray G. Hubbard, Jr. VF-211 MiG-17 21 July 1967
LT Richard E. Wyman VF-162 MiG-17 14 December 1967
CDR Lowell R. Myers VF-51 MiG-21 26 June 1968
LCDR John B. Nichols VF-191 MiG-17 9 July 1968
CDR Guy Cane VF-53 MiG-17 29 July 1968
LT Norman K. McCoy, Jr. VF-51 MiG-21 1 August 1968
LT Anthony J. Nargi VF-111 MiG-21 19 September 1968
LT Gerald D. Tucker VF-211 MiG-17
pilot ejected before combat 22 April 1972
Twilight service with U.S. Navy
LTV built and delivered the 1,219th (and last) U.S. Navy Crusader to VF-124 at NAS Miramar on 3 September 1964.

The last active duty Navy Crusader fighter variants were retired from VF-191 and VF-194 aboard Oriskany in 1976 after almost two decades of service, setting a first for a Navy fighter.

The photo reconnaissance variant continued to serve in the active duty Navy for yet another 11 years, with VFP-63 flying RF-8Gs up to 1982, and with the Naval Reserve flying their RF-8Gs in two squadrons (VFP-206 and VFP-306) at Naval Air Facility Washington / Andrews AFB until the disestablishment of VFP-306 in 1984 and VFP-206 on 29 March 1987 when the last operational Crusader was turned over to the National Air and Space Museum.

The F-8 Crusader is the only aircraft to have used the AIM-9C which is a radar-guided variant of the Sidewinder. When the Crusader retired, these missiles were converted to the AGM-122 Sidearm anti-radiation missiles used by United States attack helicopters to knock out enemy radars.


Several modified F-8s were used by NASA in the early 1970s, proving the viability of both digital fly-by-wire technology (using data-processing equipment adapted from the Apollo Guidance Computer), as well as supercritical wing design.

French Navy
When the French Navy's air arm, the Aéronavale, required a carrier based fighter in the early 1960s to serve aboard the new carriers Clemenceau and Foch, the F-4 Phantom, then entering service with the United States Navy, proved to be too large for the small French ships. Following carrier trials aboard Clemenceau on 16 March 1962, by two VF-32 F-8s from the American carrier USS Saratoga, the Crusader was chosen and 42 F-8s were ordered, the last Crusaders produced.

The French Crusaders were based on the F-8E, but were modified in order to allow operations from the small French carriers, with the maximum angle of incidence of the aircraft's wing increased from five to seven degrees and blown flaps fitted. The aircraft's weapon system was modified to carry two French Matra R.530 radar or infra-red missiles as an alternative to Sidewinders, although the ability to carry the American missile was retained. Deliveries of the new aircraft, dubbed the F-8E(FN), started in October 1964 and continued until February 1965, with the Aéronavale's first squadron, Flotille 12F reactivated on 1 October 1964. To replace the old Corsairs, Flotille 14.F received its Crusaders on 1 March 1965.

In October 1974, (on Clemenceau) and June 1977 (on Foch), Crusaders from 14.F squadron participated in the Saphir missions over Djibouti. On 7 May 1977, two Crusaders went separately on patrol against supposedly French Air Force (4/11 Jura squadron) F-100 Super Sabres stationed at Djibouti. The leader intercepted two fighters and engaged a dogfight (supposed to be a training exercise) but quickly called his wingman for help as he had actually engaged two Yemeni MiG-21s. The two French fighters switched their master armament to "on" but, ultimately, everyone returned to their bases. This was the only combat interception by French Crusaders.

The Aéronavale Crusaders flew combat missions over Lebanon in 1983 escorting Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard strike aircraft. In October 1984, France sent Foch for Operation Mirmillon off the coast of Libya, intended to calm Colonel Ghaddafi down, with 12.F squadron. The escalation of the situation in the Persian Gulf, due to the Iran-Iraq conflict, triggered the deployment of Clemenceau task force and its air wing, including 12.F squadron. 1993 saw the beginning of the missions over ex-Yugoslavia. Crusaders were launched from both carriers cruising in the Adriatic Sea. These missions ceased in June 1999 with Operation Trident over Kosovo.

The French Crusaders were subject to a series of modifications throughout their life, being fitted with new F-8J-type wings in 1969 and having modified afterburners fitted in 1979.Armament was enhanced by the addition of R550 Magic infra-red guided missiles in 1973, with the improved, all-aspect Magic 2 fitted from 1988. The obsolete R.530 was withdrawn from use in 1989, leaving the Crusaders without a radar-guided missile. In 1989, when it was realised that the Crusader would not be replaced for several years due to delays in the development of the Rafale, it was decided to refurbish the Crusaders to extend their operating life. Each aircraft was rewired and had its hydraulic system refurbished, while the airframe was strengthened to extend fatigue life. Avionics were improved, with a modified navigation suite and a new radar-warning receiver. The 17 refurbished aircraft were redesignated as F-8P (P used for "Prolongé" -extended- and not to be confused with the Philippine F-8P). Although the French Navy participated in combat operations in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and over Kosovo in 1999, the Crusaders stayed behind and were eventually replaced by the Rafale M in 2000 as the last of the type in military service.

Philippine Air Force
In late 1977, the Philippine government purchased 35 secondhand U.S. Navy F-8Hs that were stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.Twenty-five of them were refurbished by Vought and the remaining 10 were used for spare parts.As part of the deal, the U.S. would train Philippine pilots using the TF-8A.The Crusaders were manned by the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Basa Air Base and were mostly used for intercepting Soviet bombers. But due to lack of spares and the rapid deterioration of the aircraft, the remaining F-8s were grounded in 1988 and left on an open grass field at Basa Air Base. They were finally withdrawn from service in 1991 after they were badly damaged by the Mount Pinatubo eruption, and have since been offered for sale as scrap.


XF8U-1 (XF-8A) (V-383) – the two original unarmed prototypes.
F8U-1 (F-8A) – first production version, J57-P-12 engine replaced with more powerful J57-P-4A starting with 31st production aircraft, 318 built.
YF8U-1 (YF-8A) – one F8U-1 fighter used for development testing.
YF8U-1E (YF-8B) – one F8U-1 converted to serve as an F8U-1E prototype.
F8U-1E (F-8B) – added a limited all-weather capability thanks to the AN/APS-67 radar, the unguided rocket tray was sealed shut because it was never used operationally, first flight: 3 September 1958, 130 built.
XF8U-1T – one XF8U-2NE used for evaluation as a two-seat trainer.
F8U-1T (TF-8A) (V-408) – two-seat trainer version based on F8U-2NE, fuselage stretched 2 ft (0.61 m), internal armament reduced to two cannon, J57-P-20 engine, first flight 6 February 1962. The Royal Navy was initially interested in the Rolls-Royce Spey-powered version of TF-8A but chose the Phantom II instead. Only one TF-8A was built, although several retired F-8As were converted to similar two-seat trainers.
YF8U-2 (YF-8C) – two F8U-1s used for flight testing the J57-P-16 turbojet engine.
F8U-2 (F-8C) – J57-P-16 engine with 16,900 lbf (75 kN) of afterburning thrust, ventral fins added under the rear fuselage in an attempt to rectify yaw instability, Y-shaped cheek pylons allowing two Sidewinder missiles on each side of the fuselage, AN/APQ-83 radar retrofitted during later upgrades. First flight: 20 August 1957, 187 built. This variant was sometimes referred to as Crusader II.
F8U-2N (F-8D) – all-weather version, unguided rocket pack replaced with an additional fuel tank, J57-P-20 engine with 18,000 lbf (80 kN) of afterburning thrust, landing system which automatically maintained present airspeed during approach, incorporation of AN/APQ-83 radar. First flight: 16 February 1960, 152 built.
YF8U-2N (YF-8D) – one aircraft used in the development of the F8U-2N.
YF8U-2NE – one F8U-1 converted to serve as an F8U-2NE prototype.
F8U-2NE (F-8E) – J57-P-20A engine, AN/APQ-94 radar in a larger nose cone, dorsal hump between the wings containing electronics for the AGM-12 Bullpup missile, payload increased to 5,000 lb (2,270 kg), Martin-Baker ejection seat, AN/APQ-94 radar replaced AN/APQ-83 radar in earlier F-8D. IRST sensor blister (round ball) was added in front of the canopy. First flight: 30 June 1961, 286 built.
F-8E(FN) – air superiority fighter version for the French Navy, significantly increased wing lift due to greater slat and flap deflection and the addition of a boundary layer control system, enlarged stabilators, incorporated AN/APQ-104 radar, an upgraded version of AN/APQ-94. A total of 42 built.
F-8H – upgraded F-8D with strengthened airframe and landing gear, with AN/APQ-84 radar. A total of 89 rebuilt.
F-8J – upgraded F-8E, similar to F-8D but with wing modifications and BLC like on F-8E(FN), "wet" pylons for external fuel tanks, J57-P-20A engine, with AN/APQ-124 radar. A total of 136 rebuilt.
F-8K – upgraded F-8C with Bullpup capability and J57-P-20A engines, with AN/APQ-125 radar. A total of 87 rebuilt.
F-8L – F-8B upgraded with underwing hardpoints, with AN/APQ-149 radar. A total of 61 rebuilt.
F-8P – 17 F-8E(FN) of the Aéronavale underwent a significant overhaul at the end of the 1980s to stretch their service life another 10 years. They were retired in 1999.
F8U-1D (DF-8A) – several retired F-8A modified to controller aircraft for testing of the SSM-N-8 Regulus cruise missile. DF-8A was also modified as drone (F-9 Cougar) control which were used extensively by VC-8, NS Roosevelt Rds, PR; Atlantic Fleet Missile Range.
DF-8F – retired F-8A modified as controller aircraft for testing of missiles including at the USN facility at China Lake.
F8U-1KU (QF-8A) – retired F-8A modified into remote-controlled target drones
YF8U-1P (YRF-8A) – prototypes used in the development of the F8U-1P photo-reconnaissance aircraft – V-392.
F8U-1P (RF-8A) – unarmed photo-reconnaissance version of F8U-1E, 144 built.
RF-8G – modernized RF-8As.
LTV V-100 – revised "low-cost" development based on the earlier F-8 variants, created in 1970 to compete against the F-4E Phantom II, Lockheed CL-1200 and F-5-21 in a tender for U.S. Military Assistance Program (MAP) funding. The unsuccessful design was ultimately only a "paper exercise."
XF8U-3 Crusader III (V-401) – new design loosely based on the earlier F-8 variants, created to compete against the F-4 Phantom II; J75-P-5A engine with 29,500 lbf (131 kN) of afterburning thrust, first flight: 2 June 1958, attained Mach 2.39 in test flights, canceled after five aircraft were constructed because the Phantom II won the Navy contract.
Former operators

French Navy (Aéronavale)
Philippine Air Force
United States
United States Navy
United States Marine Corps
Aircraft on display
151732 (French Navy Side Number 1) – Musee des Avions de Chasse, Beaune.
151750 (French Navy Side Number 19) – Musée des Ailes Anciennes, Toulouse.
151733 (French Navy Side Number 3) – Lann Bihoue Airport, Le Meneguen.
151735 (French Navy Side Number 4) – Musee Europeen de lAviation de Chasse, Montelimar-Ancone.
151738 (French Navy Side Number 7) – Aeronavale Base, Landivisau.
151741 (French Navy Side Number 10) – Musee de l air et de l Espace, (The Air and Space Museum), Paris, France.
151742 (French Navy Side Number 11) – Musee de l aeronautique navale, Rochefort.
151754 (French Navy Side Number 23) – Aeronavale Base, Landivisau.
151760 (French Navy Side Number 29) – Aeronavale Base, Landivisau.
151767 (French Navy Side Number 36) – Musee des Avions de Chasse, Beaune.
151768 (French Navy Side Number 37) – Airport in Cuers.
151770 (French Navy Side Number 39) – Aeronavale Base, Landivisau.
147056 – Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum, Villamor Air Base, Manila.
147060 – Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga.
148661 – Clark Air Base, Angeles.
148696 – Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City.
United States
XF8U-1 (XF-8A)
138899 – Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
XF8U-2 (XF-8C)
140448 – McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, New Hampshire.
F8U-1 (F-8A)
141351 – NAS Jacksonville Heritage Park, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida (relocated from former NAS Cecil Field).
141353 – Edwards AFB, California.
143703 – USS Hornet Museum, former Naval Air Station Alameda, Alameda, California.
143755 – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
143806 – Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum, former Naval Air Station Willow Grove, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
144427 – Pima Air and Space Museum adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.
145336 – Planes of Fame at Chino, California.
145347 – National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
145349 – Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum, Pueblo, Colorado.
145397 – Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, Lakehurst, New Jersey.
F8U-2 (F-8C)
145527 – under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in Seattle, Washington,
145546 – Edwards AFB, California.
145592 – under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in Seattle, Washington,
146963 – Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
146973 – Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
147034 – (nose section only) USS Hornet Museum, former NAS Alameda, Alameda, California.
149150 – NAS Oceana Aviation Heritage Park, Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.
F8U-2N (F-8D)
148693 – Mid America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas.
F8U-2NE (F-8E)

150920 – Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California

151765 – under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in Fort Myers, Florida
F8U-1P (RF-8G)
144617 – Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California
144618 – Celebrity Row, Davis-Monthan AFB (North Side), Tucson, Arizona.
145607 – Castle Air Museum (former Castle AFB), Atwater, California.
145608 – (nose section only) Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa, California.
145609 – National Museum of Naval Aviation, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Pensacola, Florida.
145645 – USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama.
146860 – Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport.
146858 – in storage at Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California
146882 – Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
146898 – Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
147909 – NAD Soroptimist Park, Kitsap Lake, Bremerton, Washington, about 1 mile away from Naval Hospital Bremerton. Aircraft is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida.
150904 – Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
F8U-2 (F-8K)
145550 – USS Intrepid Museum in New York City, New York.
146931 – Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, California.
146939 – Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum aboard ex-USS Yorktown (CV-10), Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
146983 – Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
146985 – Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida
146995 – Pacific Coast Air Museum, adjacent to the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California
147030 – USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California.
145449 – Naval Air Station Fallon, Fallon, Nevada.
F8U Cockpit
145399 – Under restoration at Moffett Historical Museum, Moffett Federal Airfield, California
General characteristics

Crew: 1
Payload: 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) of weapons
Length: 54 ft 3 in (16.53 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
Height: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m)
Wing area: 375 ft2 (34.8 m2)
Airfoil: NACA 65A006 mod root, NACA 65A005 mod tip
Aspect ratio: 3.4
Empty weight: 17,541 lb (7,956 kg)
Loaded weight: 29,000 lb (13,000 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 34,000 lb (15,000 kg)
Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0133
Drag area: 5.0 ft2 (0.46 m2)
Fuel capacity: 1,325 US gal (5,020 L)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney J57-P-20A afterburning turbojet
Dry thrust: 10,700 lbf (47.6 kN)
Thrust with afterburner: 18,000 lbf (80.1 kN)

Maximum speed: Mach 1.86 (1,225 mph, 1,975 km/h) at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)
Cruise speed: 495 kn (570 mph, 917 km/h)
Combat radius: 450 mi (730 km)
Ferry range: 1,735 mi (2792 km) () with external fuel
Service ceiling: 58,000 ft (17,700 m)
Rate of climb: 19,000 ft min (96.52 m/s)
Wing loading: 77.3 lb/ft2 (377.6 kg/m2)
Thrust/weight: 0.62
Lift-to-drag ratio: 12.8
Guns: 4× 20 mm (0.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannons in lower fuselage, 125 rpg
Hardpoints: 2× side fuselage mounted Y-pylons (for mounting AIM-9 Sidewinders and Zuni rockets) and 2× underwing pylon stations with a capacity of 4,000 lb (2,000 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
Rockets: 2× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× 5 inch (127mm) Zuni rockets)
4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or Matra Magic (French Navy only) air-to-air missiles
2× AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missiles
12× 250 lb (113 kg) Mark 81 bombs or
8× 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs or
4× 1,000 lb (454 kg) Mark 83 bombs or
2× 2,000 lb (907 kg) Mark 84 bombs

Unboxing the kit



Content box

Assembly instructions pages of the kit

assembly the kit












Review summary
For 45 years, this aircraft served a number of the United States, France and the Palpins, fought with great courage and courage and defended civilians and military personnel during difficult and difficult times, attacked enemy armies with uncompromising real heroism, and although other planes were stronger and larger than it fought in times of confrontation and combat. Complex and complicated
And with his great success in the Vietnam War gaining great reputation and long-range offensive experience, his real strength was carrying powerful and heavy missiles, a super-fast engine and a large range of operation with impressive and fast bombing capabilities, his great advantage was the structure
His, and over the years improved and strengthened to reach a record speed of 1225 miles, and received the honor he deserves from other armies who considered him a good friend and a strong and determined enemy, and always remained stable, reliable and significant.

This kit is very invested in quality and very precise, thanks to the manufacturer who invested a lot of resources and precious time, the finest level of detail is seen from the largest parts to the smallest parts, the quality here is very high, the accuracy of this product was made possible by the choice of ultra-quality gray plastic and the shape of the aircraft Superb combo with beautifully designed outer packaging and very comfortable assembly instructions with bold and bold black color inscription, the fuselage is an excellent base for the shades of color to achieve realistic and true coloring, this kit gives complete value, very impressive aviation history, and a particularly fun and fun assembly Fine, for love that Hobby is full of life

I would like to thank the platz-hobby who sent me this kit For FULL review


highly recommended


FULL Review OF THE PLATZ (F-TOYS) (PF-25 :2000) JSDF AIRCRAFT SERIES – FROM 1977 TO 2006 – JASDF F-1 FIGHTER SUPPORT 1/144 (Upgrade Review)

History and extensive information about the aircraft and technical and general information

The Mitsubishi F-1 is Japan's first domestically developed and built supersonic military jet. It was nicknamed "Supersonic Rei-Sen"(Rei-Sen being the Japanese term for Mitsubishi's famed A6M "Zero" fighter of WWII). Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries jointly developed the F-1.At first glance, it somewhat resembles the French/Anglo SEPECAT Jaguar, but was a completely independent Japanese effort (although it uses the same engines). Its primary role is anti-ship attack with a secondary ground attack role. It can carry AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles for self-defense.

Design and development

In the mid 1960s, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) commenced studies into an advanced jet trainer which could also be modified to serve in the ground attack and anti-shipping roles. After considering license production of the T-38 Talon and SEPECAT Jaguar, Japan decided to develop its own trainer, the supersonic Mitsubishi T-2, this first flying on 20 July 1971. Cost over-runs in the T-2 program led to the proposed single seat attack version almost being abandoned, but the cancellation of the Kawasaki P-XL, the planned replacement for Japan's Kawasaki P-2J maritime patrol aircraft freed-up funds, while making it important to keep Japan's aviation industry employed, and contracts were awarded for the development of the attack version as the FS-T2kai in 1973.

The new aircraft was a minimum change derivative of the T-2, with the rear cockpit being converted to an avionics bay by removing the rear seat, and replacing the canopy with a simple unglazed access hatch. Two additional hardpoints were fitted under the wing to allow carriage of a heavier weapon load, and the avionics were improved, with a new J/AWG-12 radar set, similar to that fitted in British Royal Air Force F-4M Phantom fighter jets.This set provides ranging information. Aside from the avionics changes, deletion of the rear seat, and new one-piece canopy, the only other major change from the T-2 was the strengthening of the airframe to enable it to carry a larger weapons load than the T-2. The F-1 is fitted with an internally mounted 20 mm JM61A1 Vulcan cannon with 750 rounds of ammunition. The aircraft also has seven external hardpoints for the carriage of a wide variety of stores. The fuselage hardpoint and inboard pair of underwing hardpoints are "wet", which means they can be used to carry external fuel tanks to increase the aircraft's range. The primary weapon of the F-1 is the ASM-1 and the newer ASM-2 long-range anti-ship missile. This weapon is roughly in the class of the American AGM-84 Harpoon or French AM.39 Exocet. Other weapons carried include the all-aspect short-range heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile for air-to-air combat. This weapon is carried on the wingtip rails usually, but it can also be carried on the outboard underwing hardpoints for the F-1's secondary air defense role. Other air-to-ground weapons carried include rocket pods (JLAU-3/A) of 70 mm (2.75 in) size as well as bombs of 227 kg (500 lb) and 340 kg (750 lb) in size (Mk82 and M117 respectively). In addition, the Mk-82 and M117 bombs can be fitted with infrared guidance kits, turning them into precision-guided weapons that home in on heat radiation emitted from seaborne targets such as ships or other ground-based targets. When fitted with this kit, the bomb becomes known as GCS-1.

The F-1 was replaced by the F-2 (Japan/U.S. developed, based on F-16C/D), as well as upgraded F-4EJ "Kai" Phantom IIs. The last six active F-1s, based at Tsuiki in Fukuoka Prefecture, were retired on 9 March 2006, having reached the 4,000 hour limit of their airframes.


  • FS-T2-Kai: The first two prototypes.
  • Mitsubishi F-1: Single-seat close air support, ground-attack and anti-ship fighter aircraft.


  • Japan: Japan Air Self-Defense Force


  • 60-8275 F-1 Fuchū Air Base, in Fuchu, Tokyo
  • 70-8207 F-1 Mitsu Seiki Co., Ltd. Taga Works, Awaji, Hyōgo
  • F-1 JASDF Kamo sub-base, Oga, Akita Prefecture
  • F-1 (nose section) Misawa Air Base, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture
  • F-1 Misawa Aviation & Science Museum, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture
  • F-1 (fire training) Ashiya Air Field, Ashiya, Fukuoka Prefecture
  • F-1 Kasuga Air Base, Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture
  • F-1 Tsuiki Air Field, Tsuiki, Fukuoka Prefecture
  • F-1 JASDF Erimo sub-base, Erimo, Hokkaido Prefecture
  • F-1 Hyakuri Airport, Omitama, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • F-1 National Defense Academy of Japan, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • F-1 JASDF Sado sub-base, Sado, Niigata Prefecture
  • F-1 Iruma Air Base, Sayama, Saitama Prefecture
  • F-1 Ōtsu JGSDF base, Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture
  • F-1 (Nose section) Fujisan Juku no Mori Park, Airfield cafe, Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture
  • F-1 Harada collection Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture
  • F-1 U.S.-Japan Joint Air Defense Command HQ, Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Tokyo
  • F-1 Hōfu Kita Air Base, Hōfu, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Specifications (F-1)

Data from Mitsubishi's Sabre Successor

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 17.86 m (58 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 7.88 m (25 ft 10¼ in)
  • Height: 4.48 m (14 ft 8⅓ in)
  • Wing area: 21.2 m² (228 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,358 kg (14,017 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 13,674 kg (30,146 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Ishikawa-Harima TF40-801A turbofan
    • Dry thrust: 22.8 kN (5,115 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 35.6 kN (7,305 lbf) each


  • Maximum speed: 1,700 km/h (918 knots, 1,056 mph) at 11,000 m (36,100 ft) (clean)
  • Combat radius: 556 km (483 nmi, 346 mi) High-Low-High profile with two ASM-1 missiles and one 830 L (183 Imp gallon) drop tank
  • Ferry range: 2,870 km (1,552 nmi, 1,785 mi) (max external fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 15,240 m (50,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 118 m/s (35,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 645 kg/m² (132 lb/ft²)
  • Climb to 11,000 m (36,100 ft): 2.0 min


  • Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) JM61A1 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon
  • Hardpoints: One, centerline, four underwing and two wingtip missile rails
  • Bombs: Various bombs, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and rocket pods on four underwing, two wingtip, and one underfuselage pylon. Weapons carried include AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mitsubishi AAM-1, Mitsubishi Type 80 Air-to-Ship Missile/Type 93 Air-to-Ship Missile anti-ship missiles, JLAU-3A 70 mm rocket pods, RL-7 70 mm rockets, RL-4 125 mm rockets, Mk-82 500 lb and M117 750 lb bombs, and GCS-1, IR-guided versions of the Mk-82 and M117.





FULL instructions






Review Summary
After 29 years in which he defended and attacked enemies and opponents in important missions and military operations and wars throughout the years received great honor and gained a great reputation and stood bravely against the stronger and faster than him and carried out his task uncompromisingly and without discounts and with a very fast engine even today and with the ability to carry missiles Strong and heavy weapons that were his main weapon of defense and assault during the time of military service is a tough and fearless adversary and won in difficult and dangerous battle arenas and thanks to long wings and a large back wing and a powerful engine that can reach a very large flight speed of about 1700 km gave him important advantages even in full training, is a very strong and impressive combat support. The picture is impressive and beautiful with a multicolored inscription that combines a quality product packaging and is very easy to open. The packing is tough and strong relative to the size of the kit. The color of the kit is brilliant gray and gives a great base for high quality paint. It is recommended to buy high quality or strong colors to get a realistic and beautiful finish. The assembly is very easy and convenient. And suitable for age 15 and over, this product gives great value for money, fun and very enjoyable

I would like to thank the manufacturer platz-hobby who sent me this sample for full review

***Highly recommended***

new full Review OF THE Platts 1/144 American Forces P-47D Thunderbolt "Bubble Top" (2 KITSׁׁ)


Military and civilian history and technical information about the aircraft

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States from 1941 through 1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 pounds (1,103 kg). When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons (tonnes) making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war. The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters.

The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with Allied air forces including France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. also flew the P-47.

The armored cockpit was relatively roomy and comfortable and the bubble canopy introduced on the P-47D offered good visibility. A present-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.

P-47 firing its M2 machine gunsduring night gunnery

The P-47 Thunderbolt was a design of Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli, and was to replace the Seversky P-35 that was developed earlier by Russian immigrant Alexander P. de Seversky. Both had fled from their homeland to escape the Bolsheviks. In 1939, Republic Aviation designed the AP-4 demonstrator powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted turbocharger. A small number of Republic P-43 Lancers were built but Republic had been working on an improved P-44 Rocket with a more powerful engine, as well as on the AP-10 fighter design. The latter was a lightweight aircraft powered by the Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled V-12 engine and armed with eight .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) backed the project and gave it the designation XP-47.

In the spring of 1940, Republic and the USAAC concluded that the XP-44 and the XP-47 were inferior to Luftwaffe fighters. Republic tried to improve the design, proposing the XP-47A but this failed. Kartveli then designed a much larger fighter, which was offered to the USAAC in June 1940. The Air Corps ordered a prototype in September as the XP-47B. The XP-47A, which had little in common with the new design, was abandoned. The XP-47B was of all-metal construction (except for the fabric-covered tail control surfaces) with elliptical wings, with a straight leading edge that was slightly swept back. The air-conditioned cockpit was roomy and the pilot's seat was comfortable—"like a lounge chair", as one pilot later put it. The canopy doors hinged upward. Main and auxiliary self-sealing fuel tanks were placed under the cockpit, giving a total fuel capacity of 305 U.S. gal (1,155 L).

A P-47 engine with the cowling removed. Uncompressed air enters through an intake under the engine and is carried to the turbosupercharger behind the pilot via the silver duct at the bottom. The olive-green pipe returns the compressed air to the engine[5]

Power came from a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row 18-cylinder radial engine producing 2,000 hp (1,500 kW)—the same engine that would power the prototype Vought XF4U-1 fighter to just over 400 mph (644 kph) in October 1940—with the Double Wasp on the XP-47B turning a four-bladed Curtiss Electric constant-speed propeller of 146 in (3.7 m) in diameter. The loss of the AP-4 prototype to an engine fire ended Kartveli's experiments with tight-fitting cowlings, so the engine was placed in a broad cowling that opened at the front in a "horse collar"-shaped ellipse. The cowling admitted cooling air for the engine, left and right oil coolers, and the turbosuperchargerintercooler system. The engine exhaust gases were routed into a pair of wastegate-equipped pipes that ran along each side of the cockpit to drive the turbosupercharger turbine at the bottom of the fuselage, about halfway between cockpit and tail. At full power, the pipes glowed red at their forward ends and the turbine spun at 21,300 rpm. The complicated turbosupercharger system with its ductwork gave the XP-47B a deep fuselage, and the wings had to be mounted in a relatively high position. This was difficult since long-legged main landing gearstruts were needed to provide ground clearance for the enormous propeller. To reduce the size and weight of the undercarriage struts and so that wing-mounted machine guns could be fitted, each strut was fitted with a mechanism by which it telescoped out 9 in (23 cm) when extended.

The XP-47B was very heavy compared with contemporary single-engined fighters, with an empty weight of 9,900 lb (4,490 kg), or 65 per cent more than the YP-43. Kartveli said, "It will be a dinosaur, but it will be a dinosaur with good proportions". The armament was eight .50 caliber (12.7 mm) "light-barrel" Browning AN/M2 machine guns, four in each wing. The guns were staggered to allow feeding from side-by-side ammunition boxes, each with 350 rounds. All eight guns gave the fighter a combined rate of fire of approximately 100 rounds per second.

The XP-47B first flew on 6 May 1941 with Lowry P. Brabham at the controls. Although there were minor problems, such as some cockpit smoke that turned out to be due to an oil drip, the aircraft proved impressive in its early trials. It was lost in an accident on 8 August 1942 but before that mishap, the prototype had achieved a level speed of 412 mph (663 km/h) at 25,800 ft (7,864 m) altitude and had demonstrated a climb from sea level to 15,000 ft (4,600 m) in five minutes.

P-47B-RE 41-5905 assigned to the 56th FG at Teterboro Airport. Note the windows behind the cockpit and the sliding canopy, an indication that this was an early production P-47B.

The XP-47B gave the newly reorganized United States Army Air Forces cause for both optimism and apprehension. While possessing good performance and firepower, the XP-47B had its share of teething problems:

  • Its sheer size and limited ground-propeller clearance in a fuselage-level attitude made for challenging takeoffs which required long runways—the pilot had to hold the tail low until considerable speed was attained on the initial run.
  • The sideways-opening canopy covers had a tendency to jam.
  • The multiple-gun installation, with its tight fit and cramped ammunition belt tracks, experienced jamming problems, especially during and after hard maneuvering.
  • Maneuverability was less than desired when compared with the Supermarine Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109.
  • The ignition system arced at high altitude.
  • Access to the rear engine accessory pad was difficult due to the short engine mount used.
  • At high altitude the ailerons "snatched and froze".
  • At high speeds the control loads were deemed excessive.

Republic addressed the problems by fitting a rearwards-sliding canopy that could be jettisoned in an emergency, a pressurized ignition system and all-metal control surfaces. The deficient maintenance access to the Double Wasp radial on the B-series subtypes had to wait until the P-47C introduced a new engine mount. While the engineers worked to get their "dinosaur" to fly right, the USAAF ordered 171 P-47Bs. An engineering prototype P-47B was delivered in December 1941, with a production prototype following in March 1942 and the first production model provided in May. Republic continued to improve the design as P-47Bs were produced and although all P-47Bs had the sliding canopy and the new General Electric turbosupercharger regulator for the R-2800-21 engine, features such as all-metal control surfaces were not standard at first. A modification on the P-47B, also required for the early marks of the U.S. Navy's Grumman F4F Wildcat and Grumman F6F Hellcat was the radio mast behind the cockpit that was slanted forward to maintain the originally designed antenna wire length in spite of the new sliding canopy.

The P-47B led to a few "one-off" variants. In September 1942, the 171st and last P-47B (41-6065) was also used as a test platform as XP-47E to evaluate the R-2800-59 engine, a pressurized cockpit with a hinged canopy and eventually a new Hamilton Standard propeller. The plans for production were canceled after increased emphasis on low-level operations over Europe. Another P-47B was later fitted with a new laminar flow wing in search of higher performance and redesignated XP-47F. In 1942 an example of the potentially 3,000 hp Fairey P-24 Monarch engine along with its Fairey Battle test bed was shipped to Wright Field for testing with a view to possible installation in the P-47. After around 250 hours of test flying of the P-24 engined Battle at Wright Field, the idea to re-engine the P-47 with the P-24 was abandoned.

Republic P-47C-2-RE Thunderbolts of the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group 41-6265 identifiable, 1943.

Production changes gradually addressed the problems with P-47B and the USAAF decided that the P-47 was worthwhile, quickly following the initial order for P-47Bs with another order for 602 more examples of an improved P-47C, with the first of this variant delivered in September 1942. The initial P-47Cs were very similar to the P-47B. Initial deliveries of the Thunderbolt to the USAAF were to the 56th Fighter Group, which was also on Long Island. The 56th served as an operational evaluation unit for the new fighter. Teething problems continued. A Republic test pilot was killed in the fifth production P-47B when it went out of control in a dive on 26 March 1942 and crashed, due to failure of the tail assembly, after fabric-covered tail surfaces ballooned and ruptured. Revised rudder and elevator balance systems and other changes corrected these problems.

Similar to the P-47B, the initial P-47C featured strengthened all-metal control surfaces, an upgraded GE turbosupercharger regulator and a short vertical radio mast. After the manufacture of a block of 57 P-47Cs, production moved to the P-47C-1, which had an 8 in (20 cm) fuselage extension forward of the cockpit at the firewall to correct center of gravity problems, ease engine maintenance and allow installation of a new engine mount. There were a number of other changes, such as revised exhausts for the oil coolers and fixes to brakes, undercarriage and electrical systems, as well as a redesigned rudder and elevator balance. The 55 P-47C-1s were followed by 128 P-47C-2s with a centerline hardpoint with under-fuselage shackles for either a 500 lb (227 kg) bomb or a 200 U.S. gal (758 l, 167 Imp gal) fuel tank that conformed to the underside of the fuselage. The main production P-47C sub-variant was the P-47C-5 which introduced a new whip antenna. With the use of pressurized drop tanks, the P-47C was able to extend its range on missions beginning 30 July 1943.By the end of 1942, most of the troubles with the P-47 had been worked out and P-47Cs were sent to England. The 56th FG was sent overseas to join the Eighth Air Force, whose 4th and 78th Fighter Groups would be equipped with the Thunderbolt as well.

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt.

Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, which was the most produced version with 12,558 built. The "D" model actually consisted of a series of evolving production blocks, the last of which were visibly different from the first.

The first P-47Ds were actually the same as P-47Cs. Republic could not produce Thunderbolts fast enough at its Farmingdale plant on Long Island, so a new plant was built at Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville plant first built a total of 110 P-47D-1-RAs, which were completely identical to P-47C-2s. Farmingdale aircraft were identified by the -RE suffix after the block number, while Evansville aircraft were given the -RA suffix.

The P-47D-1 through P-47D-6, the P-47D-10, and the P-47D-11 successively incorporated changes such as the addition of more engine cooling flaps around the back of the cowl to reduce the engine overheating problems that had been seen in the field. Engines and engine subsystems saw refinement, (the P-47D-10 introduced the R-2800-63, replacing the R-2800-21 seen in previous P-47s) as did the fuel, oil and hydraulic systems. Additional armor protection was also added for the pilot.

The P-47D-15 was produced in response to requests by combat units for increased range. "Wet" (equipped with fuel plumbing) underwing pylons were introduced to allow a bomb or drop tank pressurized by vented exhaust air to be carried under each wing, in addition to the belly tank. Seven different auxiliary tanks were fitted to the Thunderbolt during its career:

  • 200 U.S. gallon (758 l) ferry tank: A conformal tub-shaped jettisonable tank made of paper, which barely cleared the ground on grass airfields, was used as an interim measure between 30 July and 31 August 1943.
  • 75 U.S. gallon(284 l) drop tank: A standardized, all-metal teardrop-shaped steel tank with a prominent protruding horizontal seam, initially produced for the P-39 Airacobra, was adapted to the P-47 beginning 31 August 1943. It was initially carried on the belly shackle, but was used in pairs in 1944 as underwing tanks, and adopted as a standard accessory in the US inventory.
  • 108 U.S. gallon (409 l) drop tank: A cylindrical paper tank of British design and manufacture, used as a belly tank beginning in September 1943 and a wing tank in April 1944.
  • 150 U.S. gallon (568 l) drop tank: A steel tank first used as a belly tank 20 February 1944, and an underwing tank 22 May 1944.
  • 215 U.S. gallon (810 l) drop tank: A wide, flat steel tank developed by VIII Service Command was first used in February 1945.
  • 165 U.S. gallon (625 l) drop tank: This tank, produced by Lockheed, could be used either as a fuel tank or as a napalm container.
  • 110 U.S. gallon (416 l) drop tank: This tank was similar in shape to the 75 gallon drop tank, but was larger. It could also be used as a napalm container.

The tanks made of plastic-impregnated (laminated) paper could not store fuel for an extended period of time, but they worked quite well for the time it took to fly a single mission. These tanks were cheaper, lighter, and were useless to the enemy if recovered after being dropped—not only did they break apart, but they did not provide the enemy with any reusable materials that could be scavenged for their own war effort. With the increased fuel capacity, the P-47 was now able to perform escort missions deep into enemy territory. A drawback to their use was that fighters could not land with the tanks in place because of the hazard of rupture and explosion. Fighters recalled from a mission or that did not jettison their paper tanks for some reason were required to drop them into a designated "dump" area at their respective fields, resulting in substantial losses of aviation fuel.

The P-47D-16, D-20, D-22 and D-23 were similar to the P-47D-15 with minor improvements in the fuel system, engine subsystems, (the P-47D-20 introduced the R-2800-59 engine) a jettisonable canopy, and a bulletproof windshield. Beginning with the block 22 aircraft, the original narrow-chorded Curtiss propeller was replaced by propellers with larger blades, the Evansville plant switching to a new Curtiss propeller with a diameter of 13 ft (3.96 m) and the Long Island plant using a Hamilton Standard propeller with a diameter of 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m). With the bigger propellers having barely 6 in (152 mm) of ground clearance, Thunderbolt pilots had to learn to be careful on takeoffs to keep the tail down until they obtained adequate ground clearance, and on landings to flare the aircraft properly. Failure to do so damaged both the propeller and the runway. A modification to the main gear legs was installed to extend the legs via an electric motor (un-extending before retraction) to accommodate the larger propeller diameter.

Brazilian P-47 after impact with chimney; the pilot managed to land safely

Even with two Republic plants rolling out the P-47, the U.S. Army Air Forces still were not getting as many Thunderbolts as they wanted. Consequently, an arrangement was made with Curtiss to build the aircraft under license in a plant in Buffalo, New York. The Curtiss plant experienced serious problems and delays in producing Thunderbolts, and the 354 Curtiss-built fighters were relegated to stateside advanced flight training. The Curtiss aircraft were all designated P-47G, and a "-CU" suffix was used to distinguish them from other production. The first P-47G was completely identical to the P-47C, the P-47G-1 was identical to the P-47C-1, while the following P-47G-5, P-47G-10, and P-47G-15 sub-variants were comparable to the P-47D-1, P-47D-5 and P-47D-10 respectively. Two P-47G-15s were built with the cockpit extended forward to just before the leading edge of the wing to provide tandem seating, designated TP-47G, essentially to provide a trainer variant. The second crew position was accommodated by substituting a much smaller main fuel tank. The "Doublebolt" did not go into production but similar modifications were made in the field to older P-47s, which were then used as squadron "hacks" (miscellaneous utility aircraft).

Republic XP-47K (42-8702)

All the P-47s produced to this point had a "razorback" canopy configuration with a tall fuselage spine behind the pilot, which resulted in poor visibility to the rear. The British also had this problem with their fighter aircraft, and had devised the bulged "Malcolm hood" canopy for the Spitfire as an initial solution. This type of canopy was fitted in the field to many North American P-51 Mustangs, and to a handful of P-47Ds. However, the British then came up with a much better solution, devising an all-round vision "bubble canopy" for the Hawker Typhoon. USAAF officials liked the bubble canopy, and quickly adapted it to American fighters, including the P-51 and the Thunderbolt. The first P-47 with a bubble canopy was a modified P-47D-5 completed in the summer of 1943 and redesignated XP-47K. Another older P-47D was modified to provide an internal fuel capacity of 370 U.S. gal (1,402 l) and given the designation XP-47L. The bubble canopy and increased fuel capacity were then rolled into production together, resulting in the block 25 P-47D (rather than a new variant designation). First deliveries of the P-47D-25 to combat groups began in May 1944.

It was followed by similar bubble-top variants, including the P-47D-26, D-27, D-28 and D-30. Improvements added in this series included engine refinements and the addition of dive recovery flaps. Cutting down the rear fuselage to accommodate the bubble canopy produced yaw instability, and the P-47D-40 introduced a vertical stabilizer extension in the form of a fin running from the vertical stabilizer to just behind the radio aerial. The fin fillet was often retrofitted in the field to earlier P-47D bubble-top variants. The P-47D-40 also featured provisions for 10 "zero length" launchers for 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs), as well as the new K-14 computing gunsight. This was a license-built copy of the British Ferranti GGS Mark IID computing gyroscopic sight which allowed the pilot to dial in target wingspan and range, and would then move the gunsight reticle to compensate for the required deflection.

The bubbletop P-47s were nicknamed "Superbolts" by combat pilots in the field.

XP-47H / XP-47J


Two XP-47Hs were converted. They were major reworkings of existing razorback P-47Ds to accommodate a Chrysler IV-2220-11 liquid-cooled 16-cylinder inverted vee engine. The plane reached 490 mph in level flight, but, with the end of the war, it never saw production.

The XP-47J began as a November 1942 request to Republic for a high-performance version of the Thunderbolt using a lighter airframe and an uprated engine with water injection and fan cooling. Kartveli designed a completely new aircraft fitted with a tight-cowled Pratt & Whitney R-2800-57 with a war emergency rating of 2,800 hp (2,090 kW), reduced armament of six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, a new and lighter wing, and many other changes. The only XP-47J was first flown in late November 1943 by Republic test pilot Mike Ritchie. Less than a year later it flew into the aviation history books marking a new milestone for speed.

When fitted with a GE CH-5 turbosupercharger, the XP-47J achieved a top speed of 505 mph (440 kn, 813 km/h) in level flight on August 4, 1944 at 34,500 feet over a course in Farmingdale, New York, piloted by Mike Ritchie. Ritchie's achievement was not exceeded until August 21, 1989, when Lyle Shelton piloted Rare Bear, a highly modified Grumman F8F Bearcat using the rival, near-55 litre displacement Wright Duplex-Cyclone radial engine from the same era (1937) as the Double Wasp, and set a new official FAI record at 523.586 mph.


The P-47M was a more conservative attempt to come up with a higher-performance ("Sprint") version of the Thunderbolt, designed to chase V-1 flying bombs, done, in part, by reducing armament from eight .50-caliber Colt-Browning M2 machine guns to six. In September 1944, four P-47D-27-RE airframes (42-27385/27388) were modified into prototype YP-47Ms by fitting the R-2800-57 engine and the GE CH-5 turbo-supercharger, a combination which could produce 2,800 hp (2,089 kW) at 32,500 ft (9,900 m) when using Wartime Emergency Power(water injection). Air brakes were added to the wing's lower surfaces to allow braking after a dive onto its prey. The YP-47M had a top speed of 473 mph (410 kn, 761 km/h) and it was put into limited production with 133 (sufficient for one group) built. However, the type suffered serious teething problems in the field due to the highly tuned engine. Engines were unable to reach operating temperatures and power settings and frequently failed in early flights from a variety of causes: ignition harnesses cracked at high altitudes, severing electrical connections between the magneto and distributor, and carburetor valve diaphragms also failed. Persistent oil tank ruptures in replacement engines were found to be the result of inadequate protection against saltwater corrosion during transshipment. In the end, it was simply errors made by the R-2800-57 model engine's manufacturers which led to these issues with the P-47M. By the time the bugs were worked out, the war in Europe was nearly over. However, P-47Ms still destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, normal results for any fighter type in March–May 1945 when aerial encounters with the Luftwaffe were rare. The entire production total of 130 P-47Ms were delivered to the 56th Fighter Group, and were responsible for all seven of that group's jet shoot-downs. Twelve were lost in operational crashes with the 56th Group resulting in 11 deaths, two after VE Day, and two (44-21134 on 13 April 1945 and 44-21230 on 16 April 1945) were shot down in combat (both by ground fire).

The second YP-47M (of the batch of four converted P-47Ds) was later fitted with new wings and served as the prototype for the P-47N.


The P-47N was the last Thunderbolt variant to be produced. It was designed as an escort fighter for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers flying raids on the Japanese home islands. Increased internal fuel capacity and drop tanks had done much to extend the Thunderbolt's range during its evolution, and the only other way to expand the fuel capacity was to put fuel tanks into the wings. Thus, a new wing was designed with two 50 U.S. gallon (190 l) fuel tanks. The third YP-47M prototype (42-27387) was fitted with this wing and became the YP-47N; its designation was later changed to XP-47N. This redesigned aircraft first flew in July 1944. The redesign proved successful in extending the range to about 2,000 mi (3,200 km), and the squared-off wingtips improved the roll rate. The P-47N entered mass production with the R-2800-57 engine, and later used the upgraded R-2800-73 or -77. A total of 1,816 were built. The very last Thunderbolt to be built, a P-47N-25, rolled off the production line in October 1945.

At the end of production, a Thunderbolt cost $83,000 in 1945 U.S. dollars. A total of 15,636 Thunderbolts of all types were built.

Operational history

US service

By the end of 1942, P-47Cs were sent to England for combat operations. The initial Thunderbolt flyers, 56th Fighter Group, was sent overseas to join the 8th Air Force. As the P-47 Thunderbolt worked up to operational status, it gained a nickname: the "Jug" (because its profile was similar to that of a common milk jug of the time). Two Fighter Groups already stationed in England began introducing the Jugs in January 1943: the Spitfire-flying 4th Fighter Group, a unit built around a core of experienced American pilots who had flown in the RAF Eagle Squadrons prior to the US entry in the war; and the 78th Fighter Group, formerly flying P-38 Lightnings.

Beginning in January 1943, Thunderbolt fighters were sent to the joint Army Air Forces – civilian Millville Airport in Millville, New Jersey in order to train civilian and military pilots.

The first P-47 combat mission took place 10 March 1943 when the 4th FG took their aircraft on a fighter sweep over France. The mission was a failure due to radio malfunctions. All P-47s were refitted with British radios, and missions resumed 8 April. The first P-47 air combat took place 15 April with Major Don Blakeslee of the 4th FG scoring the Thunderbolt's first air victory (against a Focke-Wulf Fw 190).

By mid-1943, the Jug was also in service with the 12th Air Force in Italy and against the Japanese in the Pacific, with the 348th Fighter Group flying missions out of Port Moresby, New Guinea. By 1944, the Thunderbolt was in combat with the USAAF in all its operational theaters except Alaska.

. This one converged the eight guns into a point at about 1,100 ft (340 m).

Luftwaffe ace Heinz Bär said that the P-47 "could absorb an astounding amount of lead [from shooting at it] and had to be handled very carefully". Although the North American P-51 Mustangreplaced the P-47 in the long-range escort role in Europe, the Thunderbolt still ended the war with 3,752 air-to-air kills claimed in over 746,000 sorties of all types, at the cost of 3,499 P-47s to all causes in combat. By the end of the war, the 56th FG was the only 8th Air Force unit still flying the P-47, by preference, instead of the P-51. The unit claimed 677.5 air victories and 311 ground kills, at the cost of 128 aircraft. Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. Gabreski scored 28 victories,Captain Robert S. Johnson scored 27 (with one unconfirmed probable kill leading to some giving his tally as 28), and 56th FG Commanding Officer Colonel Hubert Zemke scored 17.75 kills.Despite being the sole remaining P-47 group in the 8th Air Force, the 56th FG remained its top-scoring group in aerial victories throughout the war.

With increases in fuel capacity as the type was refined, the range of escort missions over Europe steadily increased until the P-47 was able to accompany bombers in raids all the way into Germany. On the way back from the raids, pilots shot up ground targets of opportunity, and also used belly shackles to carry bombs on short-range missions, which led to the realization that the P-47 could perform a dual-function on escort missions as a fighter-bomber. Even with its complicated turbosupercharger system, its sturdy airframe and tough radial engine could absorb a lot of damage and still return home.

The P-47 gradually became the USAAF's best fighter-bomber, normally carrying 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, M8 4.5 in (115 mm) or 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs, also known as "Holy Moses"). From D-Day until VE day, Thunderbolt pilots claimed to have destroyed 86,000 railroad cars, 9,000 locomotives, 6,000 armored fighting vehicles, and 68,000 trucks.

Postwar service

With the end of World War II, orders for 5,934 were cancelled. The P-47 continued serving with the U.S. Army Air Forces through 1947, the USAAF Strategic Air Command from 1946 through 1947, the active duty United States Air Force until 1949, and with the Air National Guard until 1953, receiving the designation F-47 in 1948.

P-47s served as spotters for rescue aircraft such as the OA-10 Catalina and Boeing B-17H. In 1950, P-47 Thunderbolts were used to suppress the declaration of independence in Puerto Rico by nationalists during the Jayuya Uprising.

The P-47 was not deployed to Korea for the Korean War. The North American P-51 Mustang was used by the USAF, mainly in the close air support role. Since the Mustang was more vulnerable to being shot down, (and many were lost to anti-aircraft fire), some former P-47 pilots suggested the more durable Thunderbolt should have been sent to Korea. However, the P-51D was available in greater numbers in the USAF and ANG inventories.

Due to continued postwar service with U.S. military and foreign operators, a number of P-47s have survived to the present day, and a few are still flying.

The Cuban Air Force took delivery of 29 ex-USAF airframes and spares. By the late 1950s the P-47 was considered obsolete but were well suited for COIN tasks. Some fought Castro's rebellion.

P-47 in Allied, non-U.S. service

P-47s were operated by several Allied air arms during World War II. The RAF received 240 razorback P-47Ds which they designated "Thunderbolt Mark I", and 590 bubbletop P-47D-25s, designated "Thunderbolt Mark IIs". With no need for another high-altitude fighter, the RAF adapted their Thunderbolts for ground attack, a task for which the type was well suited. Once the Thunderbolts were cleared for use in 1944, they were used against the Japanese in Burma by 16 RAF squadrons of the South East Asia Command from India. Operations with army support (operating as "cab ranks" to be called in when needed), attacks on enemy airfields and lines of communication, and escort sorties. They proved devastating in tandem with Spitfires during the Japanese breakout attempt at the Sittang Bend in the final months of the war. The Thunderbolts were armed with three 500 lb (227 kg) bombs or, in some cases, British "60 pound" (27 kg) RP-3 rocket projectiles. Long range fuel tanks gave five hours of endurance. Thunderbolts flew escort for RAF Liberators in the bombing of Rangoon. Thunderbolts remained in RAF service until October 1946. Post-war RAF Thunderbolts were used in support of the Dutch attempts to reassert control of Batavia. Those squadrons not disbanded outright after the war re-equipped with British-built aircraft such as the Hawker Tempest.

During the Italian campaign, the "1º Grupo de Caça da Força Aérea Brasileira" (Brazilian Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron) flew a total of 48 P-47Ds in combat (of a total of 67 received, 19 of which were backup aircraft). This unit flew a total of 445 missions from November 1944 to May 1945 over northern Italy and Central Europe, with 15 P-47s lost to German flak and five pilots being killed in action. In the early 1980s, this unit was awarded the "Presidential Unit Citation" by the American government in recognition for its achievements in World War II.

From March 1945 to the end of the war in the Pacific—as Mexico had declared war on the Axis on May 22, 1942—the Mexican Escuadrón Aéreo de Pelea 201 (201st Fighter Squadron) operated P-47Ds as part of the U.S. 5th Air Force in the Philippines. In 791 sorties against Japanese forces, the 201st lost no pilots or aircraft to enemy action.

The French Air Force received 446 P-47Ds from 1943. These aircraft saw extensive action in France and Germany and again in the 1950s during the Algerian War of Independence.

After World War II, the Italian Air Force (AMI) received 75 P-47D-25s sent to 5˚ Stormo, and 99 to the 51˚. These machines were delivered between 1947 and 1950. However, they were not well liked, as the Italian pilots were used to much lighter aircraft and found the controls too heavy. Nevertheless, the stability, payload and high speed were appreciated. Most importantly, the P-47 served as an excellent transition platform to heavier jet fighters, including the F-84 Thunderjet, starting in 1953.

The type was provided to many Latin American air forces some of which operated it into the 1960s. Small numbers of P-47s were also provided to China, Iran, Turkey and Yugoslavia.

In Soviet service

The U.S. sent 203 P-47Ds to the Soviet Union. In mid-1943, the Soviet high command showed an interest in the P-47B. Three P-47D-10-REs were ferried to the Soviet Air Forces (VVS) via Alaska in March 1944. Two of them were tested in April–May 1944. Test pilot Aleksey N. Grinchik noted the spacious cockpit with good ventilation and a good all-around view. He found it easy to fly and stable upon take-off and landing, but it showed excessive rolling stability and poor directional stability. Soviet engineers disassembled the third aircraft to examine its construction. They appreciated the high production standards and rational design well-suited to mass production, and the high reliability of the hard-hitting Browning machine guns. With its high service ceiling, the P-47 was superior to fighters operating on the Eastern front, yielding a higher speed above 30,000 feet (9,000 m). The Yakovlev Yak-9, Lavochkin La-5FN, Messerschmitt Bf 109G and Focke-Wulf Fw 190A outperformed the early model P-47 at low and medium altitude, where the P-47 had poor acceleration and performed aerobatics rather reluctantly. In mid-1944, 200 P-47D-22-REs and P-47D-27-REs were ferried to the USSR via Iraq and Iran. Many were sent to training units. Less than half reached operational units, and they were rarely used in combat. The fighters were assigned to high-altitude air defense over major cities in rear areas. Unlike their Western counterparts, the VVS made little use of the P-47 as a ground attack aircraft, depending instead on their own widely produced—with 36,183 examples built during the war—special-purpose, armored ground-attack aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-2. At the end of the war, Soviet units held 188 P-47s.

In German service

The Luftwaffe operated at least one captured P-47. In poor weather on 7 November 1943 while flying a P-47D-2-RA on a bomber escort mission, 2nd Lt. William E. Roach of 358th Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Group made an emergency landing on a German airfield. Roach was imprisoned at Stalag Luft I. The Thunderbolt was given German markings.

  • T9+LK was probably used for several reconnaissance missions over England just before the D-Day invasion. It was recaptured in Göttingen in 1944 when the Germans were forced to make a rapid withdrawal to Bad Wörishofen.
  • T9+FK was the second of two P-47s used by 2/Versuchsverband Ob.d.L. In May 1945 it was recaptured at Bad Wörishofen.
  • YF+U is the Ex-358 FS plane. It was used in a Nazi propaganda film. Later was received the code 7+9 while under evaluation at Rechlin testing ground and used at demonstrations of the Zirkus Rosarius.

In Chinese/Taiwanese service

After World War II, the Chinese Nationalist Air Force received 102 P-47Ds used during the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Communists captured five P-47Ds from the Chinese Nationalist forces. In 1948, the Chinese Nationalists employed 70 P-47Ds and 42 P-47Ns brought to Taiwan in 1952. P-47s were used extensively in aerial clashes over the Taiwan Strait between Nationalist and Communist aircraft.

Flying the Thunderbolt

Initial response to the P-47 praised its dive speed and high-altitude performance while criticizing its turning performance and rate of climb (particularly at low-to-medium altitudes). The turbosupercharger in the P-47 gave the powerplant its maximum power at 27,000 ft (8,230 m), and in the thin air above 30,000 ft (9,144 m), the Thunderbolt remained comparatively fast and nimble relative to other aircraft.

The P-47 first saw action with the 4th Fighter Group. The Group's pilots were mainly drawn from the three British Eagle Squadrons who had previously flown the British Supermarine Spitfire Mark V, a much smaller and much more slender aircraft. At first, they viewed their new fighter with misgivings. It was huge; the British pilots joked that a Thunderbolt pilot could defend himself from a Luftwaffe fighter by running around and hiding in the fuselage. Optimized for high altitude work, the Thunderbolt had 5 feet (1.5 m) more wingspan, a quarter more wing area, about four times the fuselage volume, and nearly twice the weight of a Spitfire V. One Thunderbolt pilot compared it to flying a bathtub around the sky. When his unit (4th Fighter Group) was equipped with Thunderbolts, ace Don Blakeslee said, referring to the P-47's vaunted ability to dive on its prey, "It ought to be able to dive. It certainly can't climb." (Blakeslee's early-model P-47C had not been fitted with the new paddle blade propeller). The 4th Fighter Group's commander hated the P-47, and his prejudices filtered down to the group's pilots; the 4th had the fewest kills of any of the first three P-47 squadrons in Europe.

The U.S. ace Jim Goodson, who had flown Spitfires with the RAF and flew a P-47 in 1943, at first shared the skepticism of other pilots for their "seven-ton milk-bottles". But Goodson learned to appreciate the P-47's potential: "There were many U.S. pilots who preferred the P-47 to anything else: they do not agree that the (Fw) 190 held an overall edge against it."

The P-47's initial success in combat was primarily due to tactics, using rolls (the P-47 had an excellent roll rate) and energy-saving dive and zoom climbs from high altitude to outmaneuver German fighters. Both the Bf 109 and Fw 190 could, like the Spitfire, out-turn and out-climb the early model P-47s at low-to-medium altitude. Once paddle blade propellers were added to the P-47 in early 1944, climb performance improved significantly. The Thunderbolt was the fastest-diving American aircraft of the war—it could reach speeds of 550 mph (480 kn, 885 km/h). Some P-47 pilots claimed to have broken the sound barrier, but later research revealed that because of the pressure buildup inside the pitot tube at high speeds, airspeed readings became unpredictably exaggerated. But German pilots gradually learned to avoid diving away from a Thunderbolt. Kurt Bühligen, a high-scoring German fighter ace with 112 victories, recalled:

The P-47 was very heavy, too heavy for some maneuvers. We would see it coming from behind, and pull up fast and the P-47 couldn't follow and we came around and got on its tail in this way.

The arrival of the new Curtiss paddle blade propeller significantly increased climb rate at lower altitudes and came as a surprise to German pilots who had resorted to steep climbs to evade pursuit by the P-47.Other positive attributes included the P-47's ruggedness; it could sustain a large amount of damage and still be able to get its pilot back to base. With eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, the P-47 carried more firepower than other single-engined American fighters. P-47 pilots claimed 20 Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters and four Arado Ar 234 jet bombers in aerial combat.

In the Pacific, Colonel Neel E. Kearby of the Fifth Air Force claimed 22 Japanese aircraft and was awarded the Medal of Honor for an action in which he downed six enemy fighters on a single mission. He was shot down and killed over Wewak in March 1944.

Ground attack role

The P-47 proved to be a formidable fighter-bomber due to its good armament, heavy bomb load and ability to survive enemy fire. The Thunderbolt's eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns were capable against lightly armored targets, although less so than cannon-armed aircraft of the day. In a ground attack role, the armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) ammunition proved useful in penetrating thin-skinned and lightly armored German vehicles and exploding their fuel tanks, as well as occasionally damaging some types of enemy armored fighting vehicles (AFVs).

P-47 pilots frequently carried two 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, using skip bombing techniques for difficult targets (skipping bombs into railroad tunnels to destroy hidden enemy trains was a favorite tactic). The adoption of the triple-tube M10 rocket launcher with M8 high-explosive 4.5 in (110 mm) rockets (each with an explosive force similar to a 105 mm artillery shell)—much as the RAF's Hawker Typhoongained when first fitted with its own two quartets of underwing RP-3 rockets for the same purposes—significantly increased the P-47's ground attack capability. Late in the war, the P-47 was retrofitted with more powerful 5 in (130 mm) HVAR rockets.



Table of P-47 variants
Variant Number built Serial number(s) Notes
XP-47 1 40-3051 Prototype; cancelled during construction
XP-47A 1 40-3052 Prototype; cancelled during construction
Total XP-47, XP-47A 2
XP-47B 1 40-3052 (serial number transferred from abortive XP-47A) Prototype; R-2800-21 engine
Total XP-47B 1
P-47B-RE 171 41-5895/6065 R-2800-21 engine; modified metal-covered ailerons; trim tabs; sliding canopy; windshield defroster; 41-5938 converted to XP-47F with larger laminar flow wing; 41-6065 converted to XP-47E with pressurized cockpit and hinged canopy
Total P-47B 171
P-47C-RE 58 41-6066/6123 R-2800-21 engine; strengthened tail surfaces
P-47C-1-RE 54 41-6124/6177 R-2800-21 engine; eight-inch extension added to fuselage forward of cockpit
P-47C-2-RE 128 41-6178/6305 R-2800-21 engine; belly shackle provided for bomb or fuel tank
P-47C-5-RE 362 41-6306/6667 R-2800-21 engine; new radio, instruments, and antenna; cockpit heater
Total P-47C 602
P-47D-1-RE 105 42-7853/7957 R-2800-21 engine; nearly identical to P-47C-2-RE; additional cowl flaps and pilot armor
P-47D-1-RA 114 42-22250/22363 R-2800-21 engine; the first variant of the P-47 built at Republic's new factory in Evansville, Indiana; identical to P-47D-1-RE
P-47D-2-RE 445 42-7958/8402 R-2800-21 engine; turbocharger shroud removed
P-47D-2-RA 200 42-22364/22563 R-2800-21 engine; identical to P-47D-2-RE
P-47D-3-RA 100 42-22564/22663 R-2800-21 engine; minor upgrade to D-2-RA
P-47D-4-RA 200 42-22664/22863 R-2800-21 engine; Evansville-built P-47D-5-RE
P-47D-5-RE 300 42-8403/8702 R-2800-21 engine; used General Electric C-21 supercharger and had provision for water injection; belly shackle for bomb or fuel tank reintroduced and was standard on all P-47s from then on; 42-8702 fitted with bubble canopy and redesigned XP-47K
P-47D-6-RE 350 42-74615/74964 R-2800-21 engine; minor changes to electrical system
P-47D-10-RE 250 42-74965/75214 New R-2800-63 engine and changes to water injection system
P-47D-11-RE 400 42-75215/75614 R-2800-63 engine; contained all features introduced between the D-5 and D-10; water injection linked to throttle lever
P-47D-11-RA 250 42-22864/23113 R-2800-63 engine; identical to P-47D-11-RE
P-47D-15-RE 446 42-75615/75814, 42-76119/76364 R-2800-63 engine; first model of P-47 with underwing pylons; stronger wings
P-47D-15-RA 157 42-23143/23299 R-2800-63 engine; 42-23297 and 42-23298 converted to XP-47H with Chrysler IV-2220-11 inverted-vee engines; identical to P-47D-15-RE
P-47D-16-RE 254 42-75865/76118 R-2800-63 engine; minor changes to fuel system
P-47D-16-RA 29 42-23114/23142 R-2800-63 engine; identical to P-47D-16-RE
P-47D-20-RE 299 42-25274/25322, 42-76365/76614 New R-2800-59 engine; modified underwing pylons; 42-76614 fitted with increased fuel capacity and bubble canopy as XP-47L
P-47D-20-RA 187 43-25254/25440 R-2800-59 engine; identical to P-47D-20-RE
P-47D-21-RE 216 42-25323/25538 R-2800-59 engine; changes to water injection system
P-47D-21-RA 224 43-25441/25664 Identical to P-47D-21-RE
P-47D-22-RE 850 42-25539/26388 R-2800-59 engine; Farmingdale factory switched to Hamilton Standard paddle-bladed propeller
P-47D-23-RA 889 42-27389/28188, 43-25665/25753 R-2800-59 engine; Evansville factory switched to Curtiss Electric paddle-bladed propeller
P-47D-25-RE 385 42-26389/26773 R-2800-59 engine; bubble canopy; fuel capacity increased from 305 to 370 gallons
P-47D-26-RA 250 42-28189/28438 R-2800-59 engine; identical to P-47D-25-RE
P-47D-27-RE 615 42-26774/27388 R-2800-59 engine; improved water injection system
P-47D-28-RE 750 44-19558/20307 R-2800-59 engine; Farmingdale factory switched to Curtiss Electric paddle-bladed propeller; radio compass added
P-47D-28-RA 1,028 42-28439/29466 R-2800-59 engine; Identical to P-47D-28-RE
P-47D-30-RE 800 44-20308/21107 R-2800-59 engine; Dive brakes added under wings
P-47D-30-RA 1,800 44-32668/33867, 44-89684/90283 R-2800-59 engine; Identical to P-47D-30-RE
P-47D-40-RA 665 44-90284/90483, 45-49090/49554 R-2800-59 engine; Dorsal fin added to vertical stabilizer
Total P-47D 12,558
P-47G-CU 20 42-24920/24939 P-47Gs were built by Curtiss and used for stateside training; the P-47G-CU was identical to the P-47C-RE
P-47G-1-CU 40 42-24940/24979 Identical to P-47C-1-RE
P-47G-5-CU 60 42-24980/25039 Identical to P-47D-1-RE
P-47G-10-CU 80 42-25040/25119 Identical to P-47D-5-RE
P-47G-15-CU 154 42-25120/25273 Identical to P-47D-10-RE; two converted to TP-47G trainer variant
Total P-47G 354
XP-47J 1 43-46952 Lightweight prototype; newly-built airframe; reduced armament
Total XP-47J 1
P-47M-1-RE 130 44-21108/21237 High-speed variant using R-2800-57 engine designed to combat German jet and rocket-powered aircraft
Total P-47M 130
P-47N-1-RE 550 44-87784/88333 Long-range variant designed for service in the Pacific Theater; R-2800-57 engine; larger wings with squared-off tips; increased fuel capacity; automation of some engine controls
P-47N-5-RE 550 44-88334/88883 R-2800-57 engine; "zero-length" stubs for 5-inch rockets; autopilot
P-47N-15-RE 200 44-88884/89083 R-2800-73 or -77 engine; new bomb rack and gunsight; autopilot not fitted to this model
P-47N-20-RE 200 44-89084/89283 R-2800-73 or -77 engine; backup fuel system added
P-47N-25-RE 167 44-89284/89450 R-2800-73 or -77 engine; strengthened wings and more automation of engine control systems
P-47N-20-RA 149 45-49975/50123 R-2800-73 or -77 engine; the final P-47Ns, and hence the final P-47s, were built by the Evansville factory
Total P-47N 1,816
Total, all types 15,636

Surviving aircraft

Specifications (P-47D-30 Thunderbolt)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
  • Wing area: 300 ft2 (27.87 m2)
  • Empty weight: 10,000 lb (4,535 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 12,731 lb (5,774.48 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59B twin-row radial engine, 2,600 hp (1,938 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 433 mph at 29,000 ft (697 km/h at 8,839 m)
  • Range: 800 mi combat, 1,800 mi ferry (1,290 km / 2,900 km)
  • Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,180 ft/min (16.15 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 42.43 lb/ft2 (207 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.204 hp/lb (335 W/kg)


  • 8 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (3400 rounds)
  • Up to 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of bombs
  • 10 × 5 in (127 mm) unguided rockets




Broadcast radio interviews of several wartime P-47 pilots appear on the CD audiobook USAAF at War 1942–45, including an account by Lieutenant J.K. Dowling of ground support operations around Cherbourg in June 1944, and a group of four pilots from the 362nd Fighter Wing (Ninth Air Force) in conversation at their mess in Rouvres, France on 24 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.

Laughter and Tears, by Captain George Rarey, a posthumous publication of letters and sketches from a pilot in the 379th Air group flying P-47s based in England.

Pilots would often claim that one could fly a P-47 through a brick wall and live. In the post-war era one Air National Guard Thunderbolt plowed into the second story of a factory, shearing off its wings, with the crumpled fuselage eventually coming to rest inside the building; the pilot walked away alive.

The Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, while in residence in the US wrote an orchestral scherzo in 1945 entitled P-47 Thunderbolt (H 309) in homage to the aircraft and its role in World War II.

Other media include Thunderbolt, a 1947 color documentary film directed by John Sturges and William Wyler, featuring James Stewart and Lloyd Bridges and narrated by Robert Lowery. The film Fighter Squadron (1948) depicts a P-47 Thunderbolt unit.

"Thunderbolts: The Conquest of the Reich", a 2001 television documentary presented by the History Channel. Director Lawrence Bond depicted the last months of World War II over Germany as told by four P-47 pilots of the 362nd Fighter Group using original, all color 1945 footage. The P-47 Thunderbolt was the subject of an episode of the World's Deadliest Aircraft series broadcast by the Military Channel.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Samuel Johnson collaborated with aviation author Martin Caidin to write his autobiographical story of the 56th Fighter Group, Thunderbolt!, in 1958. Johnson scored 27 kills in the P-47 while flying with the 56th Fighter Group.


THE FULL BOX KIT + ART BOX AND Side views + decal options



FULL Assembly instructions



THE FULL KIT – Content box plastic parts + decals






Review Summary
In my personal opinion, it is one of the most successful aircraft ever built and has a very high reputation and has a very powerful engine that gives it a very high speed and with
And a pair of bombs weighing over 1000 pounds
And a machine gun with 3400 bullets was considered a lethal and extremely fast war machine
And also fought in assault and defense missions and in difficult wars
But thanks to a very strong and fast engine and arming machine gun and a pair of bombs could go unscathed and won strong and quick opponents easily and received medals of heroism and saved many souls on the battlefield and difficult wars and thus won great respect and became a tough opponent and very strong against others who fought him but His determination and courage and high morale gave him the status of a true hero
Kit This product is very high quality and detailed and accurate eye mirror
The package is very beautiful and very invested
The detail of the smallest parts and the largest parts shows a detailed thinking. A large investment in the product decided by the manufacturer of the kit and so successfully made. Dark gray / strong plastic gives an excellent base for high quality painting and the ability to reach a very realistic finish
It is recommended to use high quality fast glue and the colors listed in the kit manufacturer's assembly manual
The train is very light and does not require much knowledge
The kit is very challenging and fascinating
This product gives great value for money and is not expensive at all
Especially enjoyable
I would like to thank the manufacturer platz-hobby of the kit who sent me this product sample for full review

**highly recommended**

FULL Review OF THE f-toys Boeing Collection 2 B52H *1* 1/300 FOR platz-hobby

***History about the plane and full technical information***

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force(USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons, and has a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles (14,080 km) without aerial refueling.

Beginning with the successful contract bid in June 1946, the B-52 design evolved from a straight wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings. The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the Convair B-36. A veteran of several wars, the B-52 has dropped only conventional munitions in combat. The B-52's official name Stratofortress is rarely used; informally, the aircraft has become commonly referred to as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker).

The B-52 has been in active service with the USAF since 1955. As of December 2015, 58 were in active service with 18 in reserve. The bombers flew under the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was disestablished in 1992 and its aircraft absorbed into the Air Combat Command (ACC); in 2010 all B-52 Stratofortresses were transferred from the ACC to the newly created Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later, more advanced aircraft, including the canceled Mach 3 B-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry B-1 Lancer, and the stealth B-2 Spirit. The B-52 completed sixty years of continuous service with its original operator in 2015. After being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is expected to serve into the 2050s.


On 23 November 1945, Air Materiel Command (AMC) issued desired performance characteristics for a new strategic bomber "capable of carrying out the strategic mission without dependence upon advanced and intermediate bases controlled by other countries". The aircraft was to have a crew of five or more turret gunners, and a six-man relief crew. It was required to cruise at 300 mph (260 knots, 480 km/h) at 34,000 feet (10,400 m) with a combat radius of 5,000 miles (4,300 nautical miles, 8,000 km). The armament was to consist of an unspecified number of 20 mm cannon and 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of bombs. On 13 February 1946, the Air Force issued bid invitations for these specifications, with Boeing, Consolidated Aircraft, and Glenn L. Martin Company submitting proposals.

On 5 June 1946, Boeing's Model 462, a straight-wing aircraft powered by six Wright T35 turboprops with a gross weight of 360,000 pounds (160,000 kg) and a combat radius of 3,110 miles (2,700 nmi, 5,010 km), was declared the winner.On 28 June 1946, Boeing was issued a letter of contract for US$1.7 million to build a full-scale mock-up of the new XB-52 and do preliminary engineering and testing. However, by October 1946, the air force began to express concern about the sheer size of the new aircraft and its inability to meet the specified design requirements. In response, Boeing produced Model 464, a smaller four-engine version with a 230,000 pound (105,000 kg) gross weight, which was briefly deemed acceptable.

Subsequently, in November 1946, the Deputy Chief of Air Staff for Research and Development, General Curtis LeMay, expressed the desire for a cruising speed of 400 miles per hour (345 kn, 645 km/h), to which Boeing responded with a 300,000 lb (136,000 kg) aircraft. In December 1946, Boeing was asked to change their design to a four-engine bomber with a top speed of 400 miles per hour, range of 12,000 miles (10,000 nmi, 19,300 km), and the ability to carry a nuclear weapon; in total, the aircraft could weigh up to 480,000 pounds (220,000 kg). Boeing responded with two models powered by T35 turboprops. The Model 464-16 was a "nuclear only" bomber with a 10,000 pound (4,500 kg) payload, while the Model 464-17 was a general purpose bomber with a 9,000 pound (4,000 kg) payload. Due to the cost associated with purchasing two specialized aircraft, the air force selected Model 464-17 with the understanding that it could be adapted for nuclear strikes.

In June 1947, the military requirements were updated and the Model 464-17 met all of them except for the range. It was becoming obvious to the Air Force that, even with the updated performance, the XB-52 would be obsolete by the time it entered production and would offer little improvement over the Convair B-36; as a result, the entire project was postponed for six months. During this time, Boeing continued to perfect the design, which resulted in the Model 464-29 with a top speed of 455 miles per hour (395 kn, 730 km/h) and a 5,000-mile range. In September 1947, the Heavy Bombardment Committee was convened to ascertain performance requirements for a nuclear bomber. Formalized on 8 December 1947, these requirements called for a top speed of 500 miles per hour (440 kn, 800 km/h) and an 8,000 mile (7,000 nmi, 13,000 km) range, far beyond the capabilities of 464-29.

The outright cancellation of the Boeing contract on 11 December 1947 was staved off by a plea from its president William McPherson Allen to the Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington. Allen reasoned that the design was capable of being adapted to new aviation technology and more stringent requirements. In January 1948 Boeing was instructed to thoroughly explore recent technological innovations, including aerial refueling and the flying wing. Noting stability and control problems Northrop was experiencing with their YB-35 and YB-49 flying wing bombers, Boeing insisted on a conventional aircraft, and in April 1948 presented a US$30 million (US$313 million today) proposal for design, construction, and testing of two Model 464-35 prototypes. Further revisions during 1948 resulted in an aircraft with a top speed of 513 miles per hour (445 kn, 825 km/h) at 35,000 feet (10,700 m), a range of 6,909 miles (6,005 nmi, 11,125 km), and a 280,000 pounds (125,000 kg) gross weight, which included 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of bombs and 19,875 US gallons (75,225 L) of fuel.

Design effort

Side view of YB-52 bomber, with bubble canopy similar to that of the B-47

In May 1948, AMC asked Boeing to incorporate the previously discarded, but now more fuel-efficient, jet engine into the design. That resulted in the development of yet another revision—in July 1948, Model 464-40 substituted Westinghouse J40 turbojets for the turboprops. The Air Force project officer who reviewed the Model 464-40 was favorably impressed, especially since he had already been thinking along similar lines. Nevertheless, the government was concerned about the high fuel consumption rate of the jet engines of the day, and directed that Boeing still use the turboprop-powered Model 464-35 as the basis for the XB-52. Although he agreed that turbojet propulsion was the future, General Howard A. Craig, Deputy Chief of Staff for Material, was not very keen on a jet-powered B-52, since he felt that the jet engine had not yet progressed sufficiently to permit skipping an intermediate turboprop stage. However, Boeing was encouraged to continue turbojet studies even without any expected commitment to jet propulsion.

On Thursday, 21 October 1948, Boeing engineers George S. Schairer, Art Carlsen and Vaughn Blumenthal presented the design of a four-engine turboprop bomber to the chief of bomber development, Colonel Pete Warden. Warden was disappointed by the projected aircraft and asked if the Boeing team could come up with a proposal for a four-engine turbojet bomber. Joined by Ed Wells, Boeing vice president of engineering, the engineers worked that night in The Hotel Van Cleve in Dayton, Ohio, redesigning Boeing's proposal as a four-engine turbojet bomber. On Friday, Colonel Warden looked over the information and asked for a better design. Returning to the hotel, the Boeing team was joined by Bob Withington and Maynard Pennell, two top Boeing engineers who were in town on other business.

By late Friday night, they had laid out what was essentially a new airplane. The new design (464-49) built upon the basic layout of the B-47 Stratojet with 35 degree swept wings, eight engines paired in four underwing pods, and bicycle landing gear with wingtip outrigger wheels. A notable feature of the landing gear was the ability to pivot the main landing gear up to 20° from the aircraft centerline to increase safety during crosswind landings. After a trip to a hobby shop for supplies, Schairer set to work building a model. The rest of the team focused on weight and performance data. Wells, who was also a skilled artist, completed the aircraft drawings. On Sunday, a stenographer was hired to type a clean copy of the proposal. On Monday, Schairer presented Colonel Warden with a neatly bound 33-page proposal and a 14-inch scale model. The aircraft was projected to exceed all design specifications.

Although the full-size mock-up inspection in April 1949 was generally favorable, range again became a concern since the J40s and early model J57s had excessive fuel consumption.Despite talk of another revision of specifications or even a full design competition among aircraft manufacturers, General LeMay, now in charge of Strategic Air Command, insisted that performance should not be compromised due to delays in engine development. In a final attempt to increase range, Boeing created the larger 464-67, stating that once in production, the range could be further increased in subsequent modifications. Following several direct interventions by LeMay,Boeing was awarded a production contract for thirteen B-52As and seventeen detachable reconnaissance pods on 14 February 1951. The last major design change—also at General LeMay's insistence—was a switch from the B-47 style tandem seating to a more conventional side-by-side cockpit, which increased the effectiveness of the copilot and reduced crew fatigue. Both XB-52 prototypes featured the original tandem seating arrangement with a framed bubble-type canopy.

Pre-production and production

The YB-52, the second XB-52 modified with more operational equipment, first flew on 15 April 1952 with "Tex" Johnston as pilot. During ground testing on 29 November 1951, the XB-52's pneumatic system failed during a full-pressure test; the resulting explosion severely damaged the trailing edge of the wing, necessitating considerable repairs. A two-hour, 21-minute proving flight from Boeing Field, King County, in Seattle, Washington to Larson AFB was undertaken with Boeing test pilot Johnston and air force Lieutenant Colonel Guy M. Townsend. The XB-52 followed on 2 October 1952. The thorough development, including 670 days in the wind tunnel and 130 days of aerodynamic and aeroelastic testing, paid off with smooth flight testing. Encouraged, the air force increased its order to 282 B-52s.

Aircraft deliveries
B-52 model   Annual
1954 3 3 3
1955 13 13 16
1956 35 5 1 41 57
1957 2 30 92 124 181
1958 77 100 10 187 368
1959 79 50 129 497
1960 106 106 603
1961 37 20 57 660
1962 68 68 728
1963 14 14 742
Total 3 50 35 170 100 89 193 102 742 742

Only three of the 13 B-52As ordered were built. All were returned to Boeing, and used in their test program. On 9 June 1952, the February 1951 contract was updated to order the aircraft under new specifications. The final 10, the first aircraft to enter active service, were completed as B-52Bs. At the roll out ceremony on 18 March 1954, Air Force Chief of Staff General Nathan Twining said:

The long rifle was the great weapon of its day. … today this B-52 is the long rifle of the air age.

The B-52B was followed by progressively improved bomber and reconnaissance variants, culminating in the B-52G and turbofan B-52H. To allow rapid delivery, production lines were set up both at its main Seattle factory and at Boeing's Wichita facility. More than 5,000 companies were involved in the massive production effort, with 41% of the airframe being built by subcontractors. The prototypes and all B-52A, B and C models (90 aircraft)were built at Seattle. Testing of aircraft built at Seattle caused problems due to jet noise, which led to the establishment of curfews for engine tests. Aircraft were ferried 150 miles (240 km) east on their maiden flights to Larson Air Force Base near Moses Lake, where they were fully tested.

As production of the B-47 came to an end, the Wichita factory was phased in for B-52D production, with Seattle responsible for 101 D-models and Wichita 69. Both plants continued to build the B-52E, with 42 built at Seattle and 58 at Wichita, and the B-52F (44 from Seattle and 45 from Wichita). For the B-52G, it was decided in 1957 to transfer all production to Wichita, which freed up Seattle for other tasks (in particular the production of airliners). Production ended in 1962 with the B-52H, with 742 aircraft built, plus the original two prototypes.


A proposed variant of the B-52H was the EB-52H, which would have consisted of 16 modified and augmented B-52H airframes with additional electronic jamming capabilities.This variant would have restored USAF airborne jamming capability that it lost on retiring the EF-111 Raven. The program was canceled in 2005 following the removal of funds for the stand-off jammer. The program was revived in 2007, and cut again in early 2009.

In July 2013, the Air Force began a fleet-wide technological upgrade of its B-52 bombers called Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) to modernize electronics, communications technology, computing, and avionics on the flight deck. CONECT upgrades include software and hardware such as new computer servers, modems, radios, data-links, receivers, and digital workstations for the crew. One update is the ARC-210 Warrior beyond-line-of-sight software programmable radio able to transmit voice, data, and information in-flight between B-52s and ground command and control centers, allowing the transmission and reception of data with updated intelligence, mapping, and targeting information; previous in-flight target changes required copying down coordinates. The ARC-210 allows machine-to-machine transfer of data, useful on long-endurance missions where targets may have moved before the arrival of the B-52. The aircraft will be able to receive information through Link-16. CONECT upgrades will cost $1.1 billion overall and take several years. Funding has been secured for 30 B-52s; the Air Force hopes for 10 CONECT upgrades per year, but the rate has yet to be decided.

Weapons upgrades include the 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade (IWBU), which gives a 66 percent increase in weapons payload using a digital interface (MIL-STD-1760) and rotary launcher. IWBU is expected to cost roughly $313 million. The 1760 IWBU will allow the B-52 to carry eight JDAM 2000 lb bombs, AGM-158B JASSM-ER cruise missile and the ADM-160C MALD-J decoy missiles internally. All 1760 IWBUs should be operational by October 2017. Two bombers will have the ability to carry 40 weapons in place of the 36 that three B-52s can carry. The 1760 IWBU allows precision-guided missiles or bombs to be deployed from inside the weapons bay; previous aircraft carried these munitions externally on wing hardpoints. This increases the number of guided weapons a B-52 can carry and reduces the need for guided bombs to be carried on the wings. The first phase will allow a B-52 to carry twenty-four 500-pound guided JDAM bombs or twenty 2,000-pound JDAMs, with later phases accommodating the JASSM and MALD family of missiles.In addition to carrying more smart bombs, moving them internally from the wings reduces drag and achieves a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Air Force scientists are working to arm the B-52 with defensive laser weapons able to incinerate attacking air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles.



The B-52 shared many technological similarities with the preceding Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber. The two aircraft used the same basic design, such as swept wings and podded jet engines, and the cabin included the crew ejection systems. On the B-52D, the pilots and electronic countermeasures (EDM) operator ejected upwards, while the lower deck crew ejected downwards; until the B-52G, the gunner had to jettison the tail gun to bail out.

B-52H (AF Ser. No. 61-0023), configured at the time as a testbed to investigate structural failures, still flying after its vertical stabilizer sheared off in severe turbulence on 10 January 1964. The aircraft landed safely.

Structural fatigue was accelerated by at least a factor of eight in a low-altitude flight profile over that of high-altitude flying, requiring costly repairs to extend service life. In the early 1960s, the three-phase High Stress program was launched to counter structural fatigue, enrolling aircraft at 2,000 flying hours. Follow-up programs were conducted, such as a 2,000-hour service life extension to select airframes in 1966–1968, and the extensive Pacer Plank reskinning, completed in 1977. The wet wing introduced on G and H models was even more susceptible to fatigue, experiencing 60% more stress during flight than the old wing. The wings were modified by 1964 under ECP 1050. This was followed by a fuselage skin and longeron replacement (ECP 1185) in 1966, and the B-52 Stability Augmentation and Flight Control program (ECP 1195) in 1967. Fuel leaks due to deteriorating Marman clamps continued to plague all variants of the B-52. To this end, the aircraft were subjected to Blue Band (1957), Hard Shell (1958), and finally QuickClip (1958) programs. The latter fitted safety straps that prevented catastrophic loss of fuel in case of clamp failure. The B-52's service ceiling is officially listed as 50,000 feet, but operational experience shows this is difficult to reach when fully laden with bombs. According to one source: "The optimal altitude for a combat mission was around 43,000 feet, because to exceed that height would rapidly degrade the plane's range."

In September 2006, the B-52 became one of the first US military aircraft to fly using alternative fuel. It took off from Edwards Air Force Basewith a 50/50 blend of Fischer–Tropsch process (FT) synthetic fuel and conventional JP-8 jet fuel, which burned in two of the eight engines. On 15 December 2006, a B-52 took off from Edwards with the synthetic fuel powering all eight engines, the first time an air force aircraft was entirely powered by the blend. The seven-hour flight was considered a success. This program is part of the Department of Defense Assured Fuel Initiative, which aims to reduce crude oil usage and obtain half of its aviation fuel from alternative sources by 2016. On 8 August 2007, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne certified the B-52H as fully approved to use the FT blend.

Flight controls

Because of the B-52's mission parameters, only modest maneuvers would be required with no need for spin recovery. The aircraft has a relatively small, narrow chord rudder, giving it limited yaw control authority. Originally an all-moving vertical stabilizer was to be used, but was abandoned because of doubts about hydraulic actuator reliability.Because the aircraft has eight engines, asymmetrical thrust due to the loss of an engine in flight would be minimal and correctable with the narrow rudder. To assist with crosswind takeoffs and landings the main landing gear can be pivoted 20 degrees to either side from neutral. This yaw adjustable crosswind landing gear would be preset by the crew according to wind observations made on the ground.

The elevator is also very narrow in chord like the rudder, and the B-52 suffers from limited elevator control authority. For long term pitch trim and airspeed changes the aircraft uses an all-moving tail with the elevator used for small adjustments within a stabilizer setting. The stabilizer is adjustable through 13 degrees of movement (nine up, four down) and is crucial to operations during take off and landing due to large pitch changes induced by flap application.

B-52s prior to the G models had very small ailerons with a short span that was approximately equal to their chord. These "feeler ailerons" were used to provide feedback forces to the pilot's control yoke and to fine tune the roll axes during delicate maneuvers such as aerial refueling.Due to twisting of the thin main wing, conventional outboard flap type ailerons would lose authority and therefore could not be used. In other words, aileron activation would cause the wing to twist, undermining roll control. Six spoilerons on each wing are responsible for the majority of roll control. The late B-52G models eliminated the ailerons altogether and added an extra spoileron to each wing. Partly because of the lack of ailerons, the B-52G and H models were more susceptible to Dutch roll.


A view of the lower deck of the B-52, dubbed the battle station

Ongoing problems with avionics systems were addressed in the Jolly Well program, completed in 1964, which improved components of the AN/ASQ-38 bombing navigational computer and the terrain computer. The MADREC (Malfunction Detection and Recording) upgrade fitted to most aircraft by 1965 could detect failures in avionics and weapons computer systems, and was essential in monitoring the Hound Dogmissiles. The electronic countermeasures capability of the B-52 was expanded with Rivet Rambler (1971) and Rivet Ace (1973).

To improve operations at low altitude, the AN/ASQ-151 Electro-Optical Viewing System (EVS), which consisted of a Low Light Level Television (LLLTV) and a Forward looking infrared (FLIR) system mounted in blisters under the noses of B-52Gs and Hs between 1972 and 1976. The navigational capabilities of the B-52 were later augmented with the addition of GPS in the 1980s.The IBM AP-101, also used on the Rockwell B-1 Lancer bomber and the Space Shuttle, was the B-52's main computer.

In 2007 the LITENING targeting pod was fitted, which increased the effectiveness of the aircraft in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons, using laser guidance, a high-resolution forward-looking infrared sensor (FLIR), and a CCD camera used to obtain target imagery. LITENING pods have been fitted to a wide variety of other US aircraft, such as the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II.


The ability to carry up to 20 AGM-69 SRAM nuclear missiles was added to G and H models, starting in 1971. To further improve its offensive ability, air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) were fitted. After testing of both the Air Force-backed Boeing AGM-86 and the Navy-backed General Dynamics AGM-109 Tomahawk, the AGM-86B was selected for operation by the B-52 (and ultimately by the B-1 Lancer).A total of 194 B-52Gs and Hs were modified to carry AGM-86s, carrying 12 missiles on underwing pylons, with 82 B-52Hs further modified to carry another eight missiles on a rotary launcher fitted in the bomb-bay. To conform with SALT II Treaty requirements that cruise missile-capable aircraft be readily identifiable by reconnaissance satellites, the cruise missile armed B-52Gs were modified with a distinctive wing root fairing. As all B-52Hs were assumed modified, no visual modification of these aircraft was required.In 1990, the stealthy AGM-129 ACM cruise missile entered service; although intended to replace the AGM-86, a high cost and the Cold War's end led to only 450 being produced; unlike the AGM-86, no conventional (non-nuclear) version was built. The B-52 was to have been modified to utilize Northrop Grumman's AGM-137 TSSAM weapon; however, the missile was canceled due to development costs.

A B-52D with anti-flash white on the under side

Those B-52Gs not converted as cruise missile carriers underwent a series of modifications to improve conventional bombing. They were fitted with a new Integrated Conventional Stores Management System (ICSMS) and new underwing pylons that could hold larger bombs or other stores than could the external pylons. Thirty B-52Gs were further modified to carry up to 12 AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles each, while 12 B-52Gs were fitted to carry the AGM-142 Have Nap stand-off air-to-ground missile. When the B-52G was retired in 1994, an urgent scheme was launched to restore an interim Harpoon and Have Nap capability, the four aircraft being modified to carry Harpoon and four to carry Have Nap under the Rapid Eight program.

The Conventional Enhancement Modification (CEM) program gave the B-52H a more comprehensive conventional weapons capability, adding the modified underwing weapon pylons used by conventional-armed B-52Gs, Harpoon and Have Nap, and the capability to carry new-generation weapons including the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser guided bombs, the AGM-154glide bomb and the AGM-158 JASSM missile. The CEM program also introduced new radios, integrated Global Positioning System into the aircraft's navigation system and replaced the under-nose FLIR with a more modern unit. Forty-seven B-52Hs were modified under the CEM program by 1996, with 19 more by the end of 1999.

By around 2010, U.S. Strategic Command stopped assigning B61 and B83 nuclear gravity bombs to B-52, and later listed only the B-2 as tasked with delivering strategic nuclear bombs in budget requests. Nuclear gravity bombs were removed from the B-52's capabilities because it is no longer considered survivable enough to penetrate modern air defenses, instead relying on nuclear cruise missiles and focusing on expanding its conventional strike role.

Starting in 2016, Boeing is to upgrade the internal rotary launchers to the MIL-STD-1760 interface to enable the internal carriage of smart bombs, which previously could only be carried on the wings.

While the B-1 Lancer technically has a larger theoretical payload of 75,000 lb compared to the B-52's 70,000 payload, the aircraft are rarely able to carry their full loads, the most the B-52 carrying being a full load of AGM-86Bs totaling 62,660 lb. The B-1 has the internal weapons bay space to carry more GBU-31 JDAMs and JASSMs, but the B-52 upgraded with the conventional rotary launcher can carry more in other JDAM variants.


USAF B-52H Stratofortress engines

The eight engines of the B-52 are paired in pods and suspended by four pylons beneath and forward of the wings' leading edge. The careful arrangement of the pylons also allowed them to work as wing fences and delay the onset of stall. The first two prototypes, XB-52 and YB-52, were both powered by experimental Pratt & Whitney YJ57-P-3 turbojet engines of 8,700 lbf (38.70 kN) of static thrust each.

The B-52A models were equipped with Pratt & Whitney J57-P-1W turbojets, providing a dry thrust of 10,000 lbf (44.48 kN) which could be increased for short periods to 11,000 lbf (48.93 kN) with water injection. The water was carried in a 360-gallon tank in the rear fuselage.

B-52B, C, D and E models were equipped with Pratt & Whitney J57-P-29W, J57-P-29WA, or J57-P-19W series engines all rated at 10,500 lbf (46.71 kN). The B-52F and G models were powered by Pratt & Whitney J57-P-43WB turbojets, each rated at 13,750 lbf (61.16 kN) static thrust with water injection.

On May 9, 1961, B-52H started being delivered to the Air Force with cleaner burning and quieter Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3 turbofans with a maximum thrust of 17,100 lbf (76.06 kN).

Engine retrofit

For a study for the U.S. Air Force in the mid-1970s, Boeing investigated replacing the engines, changing to a new wing, and other improvements to upgrade B-52G/H aircraft as an alternative to the B-1A, then in development.

In 1982, Pratt & Whitney studied retrofitting B-52s with four Pratt & Whitney PW2000 (F117) engines, but this was not done, since all B-52s were to be replaced by B-1s and B-2s by the late 1990s. In 1996 Rolls-Royce and Boeing jointly proposed to fit B-52s with four leased Rolls-Royce RB211-535 engines, but this plan failed because of Air Force resistance to leasing combat assets and a negative Air Force economic analysis which was later disputed as flawed.

This would involve replacing the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines (total thrust 8 × 17,000 lb) with four RB211 engines (total thrust 4 × 37,400 lb), which would increase range and reduce fuel consumption, at a cost of approximately US$2.56 billion for the whole fleet (71 aircraft at $36 million each). However, an Air Force analysis in 1997 concluded that Boeing's estimated savings of US$4.7 billion would not be realized and that re-engining would instead cost US$1.3 billion over keeping the existing engines, citing significant up-front procurement and re-tooling expenditure, as well as the RB211's higher maintenance cost.

The Air Force's 1997 rejection of re-engining was subsequently disputed in a Defense Science Board (DSB) report in 2003. The DSB urged the Air Force to re-engine the aircraft without delay, saying doing so would not only create significant cost savings, but reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase aircraft range and endurance; these conclusions were in line with the conclusions of a separate Congress-funded study conducted in 2003. Criticizing the Air Force cost analysis, the DSB found that among other things, the Air Force failed to account for the cost of aerial refueling; the DSB estimated that refueling in the air cost $17.50 per gallon, whereas the Air Force had failed to account for the cost of fuel delivery and so had only priced fuel at $1.20 per gallon.

As the TF33 overhaul cost tripled in a decade, a joint Boeing/USAF study in 2003 recommended a $4–4.7 billion re-engining, allowing $11–15 billion cost savings while increasing B-52H combat range by 22% and tripling loiter time on station, proposing a competition between the RB211, PW2000, and eight CFM56 engines financed by an Energy Savings Performance Contract.

In 2014, the U.S. Air Force was reviewing industry studies of engine replacement. As of 2014, the engine retrofit has not been approved. In late 2014, it was reported that the DOD and unnamed private companies were exploring a leasing program where private lease companies would purchase new engines and lease them to the USAF. DOD costs would be determined by depreciation and actual usage with no up-front lump payments. In 2018, the USAF proposed another plan to re-engine the B-52, known as the Commercial Engine Re-engining Program (CERP). A request for proposals is planned for mid-2019, with service entry by 2024. Possible contender engines to replace the TF-33 including the General Electric TF34, the General Electric Passport, the Pratt & Whitney PW815 and the Rolls-Royce BR725.


Costs per aircraft. US dollars
X/YB-52 B-52A B-52B B-52C B-52D B-52E B-52F B-52G B-52H
Unit R&D cost 100 million (1955)
935 million (current)
Airframe 26.433 M (1955) 11.328 M (1955) 5.359 M (1955) 4.654 M (1955) 3.700 M (1955) 3.772 M (1955) 5.352 M (1955) 6.076 M (1955)
Engines 2.848 M (1955) 2.547 M (1955) 1.513 M (1955) 1.291 M (1955) 1.257 M (1955) 1.787 M (1955) 1.428 M (1955) 1.640 M (1955)
Electronics 50,761 (1955) 61,198 (1955) 71,397 (1955) 68,613 (1955) 54,933 (1955) 60,111 (1955) 66,374 (1955) 61,020 (1955)
Armament and
57,067 (1955)
533,736 (current)
494 K (1955)
4.62 M (current)
304 K (1955)
2.85 M (current)
566 K (1955)
5.296 M (current)
936 K (1955)
8.76 M (current)
866 K (1955)
8.10 M (current)
847 K (1955)
7.92 M (current)
1.508 M (1955)
14.1 M (current)
Flyaway cost 28.38 M (1955)
265.4 M (current)
14.43 M (1955)
135.0 M (current)
7.24 M (1955)
67.7 M (current)
6.58 M (1955)
61.5 M (current)
5.94 M (1955)
55.6 M (current)
6.48 M (1955)
61.5 M (current)
7.69 M (1955)
71.9 M (current)
9.29 M (1955)
86.9 M (current)
Maintenance cost
per flying hour
925 (1955)
8,651 (current)
1,025 (1955)
9,587 (current)
1,025 (1955)
9,587 (current)
1,182 (1955)
11,055 (current)
Note: The original costs were in approximate 1955 United States dollars. Figures in tables noted with current have been adjusted for inflation to the current calendar year.

Operational history


Although the B-52A was the first production variant, these aircraft were used only in testing. The first operational version was the B-52B that had been developed in parallel with the prototypes since 1951. First flying in December 1954, B-52B, AF Serial Number 52-8711, entered operational service with 93rd Heavy Bombardment Wing (93rd BW) at Castle Air Force Base, California, on 29 June 1955. The wing became operational on 12 March 1956. The training for B-52 crews consisted of five weeks of ground school and four weeks of flying, accumulating 35 to 50 hours in the air. The new B-52Bs replaced operational B-36s on a one-to-one basis.

Early operations were problematic; in addition to supply problems, there were also technical issues. Ramps and taxiways deteriorated under the aircraft's weight, the fuel system was prone to leaks and icing,and bombing and fire control computers were unreliable. The split level cockpit presented a temperature control problem – the pilots' cockpit was heated by sunlight while the observer and the navigator on the bottom deck sat on the ice-cold floor. Thus, a comfortable temperature setting for the pilots caused the other crew members to freeze, while a comfortable temperature for the bottom crew caused the pilots to overheat. The J57 engines proved unreliable. Alternator failure caused the first fatal B-52 crash in February 1956; as a result, the fleet was briefly grounded. In July, fuel and hydraulic issues grounded the B-52s again. In response to maintenance issues, the air force set up "Sky Speed" teams of 50 contractors at each B-52 base to perform maintenance and routine checkups, taking an average of one week per aircraft.

Three B-52Bs of the 93rd Bomb Wing prepare to depart March AFB for Castle AFB, California, after their record-setting round-the-world flight in 1957.

On 21 May 1956, a B-52B (52-0013) dropped a Mk-15 nuclear bomb over the Bikini Atoll in a test code-named Cherokee. It was the first air-dropped thermonuclear weapon. This aircraft now is on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, NM. From 24 to 25 November 1956, four B-52Bs of the 93rd BW and four B-52Cs of the 42nd BW flew nonstop around the perimeter of North America in Operation Quick Kick, which covered 15,530 miles (13,500 nmi, 25,000 km) in 31 hours, 30 minutes. SAC noted the flight time could have been reduced by 5 to 6 hours had the four inflight refuelings been done by fast jet-powered tanker aircraft rather than propeller-driven Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighters. In a demonstration of the B-52's global reach, from 16 to 18 January 1957, three B-52Bs made a non-stop flight around the world during Operation Power Flite, during which 24,325 miles (21,145 nmi, 39,165 km) was covered in 45 hours 19 minutes (536.8 smph) with several in-flight refuelings by KC-97s.

The B-52 set many records over the next few years. On 26 September 1958, a B-52D set a world speed record of 560.705 miles per hour (487 kn, 902 km/h) over a 10,000 kilometers (5,400 nmi, 6,210 mi) closed circuit without a payload. The same day, another B-52D established a world speed record of 597.675 miles per hour (519 kn, 962 km/h) over a 5,000 kilometer (2,700 nmi, 3,105 mi) closed circuit without a payload. On 14 December 1960, a B-52G set a world distance record by flying unrefueled for 10,078.84 miles (8,762 nmi, 16,227 km); the flight lasted 19 hours 44 minutes (510.75 mph). From 10 to 11 January 1962, a B-52H (60-0040) set a world distance record by flying unrefueled, surpassing the prior B-52 record set two years earlier, from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, to Torrejón Air Base, Spain, which covered 12,532.28 miles (10,895 nmi, 20,177 km). The flight passed over Seattle, Fort Worth and the Azores.

Cold War

When the B-52 entered into service, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) intended to use it to deter and counteract the vast and modernizing Soviet military. As the Soviet Union increased its nuclear capabilities, destroying or "countering" the forces that would deliver nuclear strikes (bombers, missiles, etc.) became of great strategic importance. The Eisenhower administration endorsed this switch in focus; the President in 1954 expressing a preference for military targets over civilian ones, a principle reinforced in the Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP), a plan of action in the case of nuclear war breaking out.

Southerly route of the "Operation Chrome Dome" airborne nuclear alert

Throughout the Cold War, B-52s and other US strategic bombers performed airborne alert patrols under code names such as Head StartChrome DomeHard HeadRound Robin, and Giant Lance. Bombers loitered at high altitude near the borders of the Soviet Union to provide rapid first strike or retaliation capability in case of nuclear war. These airborne patrols formed one component of the US's nuclear deterrent, which would act to prevent the breakout of a large-scale war between the US and the Soviet Union under the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Due to the late 1950s-era threat of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) that could threaten high-altitude aircraft, seen in practice in the 1960 U-2 incident, the intended use of B-52 was changed to serve as a low-level penetration bomber during a foreseen attack upon the Soviet Union, as terrain masking provided an effective method of avoiding radar and thus the threat of the SAMs. Although never intended for the low level role, the B-52's flexibility allowed it to outlast several intended successors as the nature of aerial warfare changed. The B-52's large airframe enabled the addition of multiple design improvements, new equipment, and other adaptations over its service life.

In November 1959, to improve the aircraft's combat capabilities in the changing strategic environment, SAC initiated the Big Four modification program (also known as Modification 1000) for all operational B-52s except early B models. The program was completed by 1963. The four modifications were the ability to launch AGM-28 Hound Dogstandoff nuclear missiles and ADM-20 Quail decoys, an advanced electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite, and upgrades to perform the all-weather, low-altitude (below 500 feet or 150 m) interdiction mission in the face of advancing Soviet missile-based air defenses.

In the 1960s, there were concerns over the fleet's capable lifespan. Several projects beyond the B-52, the Convair B-58 Hustler and North American XB-70 Valkyrie, had either been aborted or proved disappointing in light of changing requirements, which left the older B-52 as the main bomber as opposed to the planned successive aircraft models. On 19 February 1965, General Curtis E. LeMay testified to Congress that the lack of a follow-up bomber project to the B-52 raised the danger that, "The B-52 is going to fall apart on us before we can get a replacement for it." Other aircraft, such as the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, later complemented the B-52 in roles the aircraft was not as capable in, such as missions involving high-speed, low-level penetration dashes.

Vietnam War

Soviet specialists inspect the wreckage of the B-52 Stratofortress shot down near Hanoi on 23 December 1972

With the escalating situation in Southeast Asia, 28 B-52Fs were fitted with external racks for 24× 750 lb (340 kg) bombs under project South Bay in June 1964; an additional 46 aircraft received similar modifications under project Sun Bath. In March 1965, the United States commenced Operation Rolling Thunder. The first combat mission, Operation Arc Light, was flown by B-52Fs on 18 June 1965, when 30 bombers of the 9th and 441st Bombardment Squadrons struck a communist stronghold near the Bến Cát District in South Vietnam. The first wave of bombers arrived too early at a designated rendezvous point, and while maneuvering to maintain station, two B-52s collided, which resulted in the loss of both bombers and eight crewmen. The remaining bombers, minus one more that turned back due to mechanical problems, continued towards the target. Twenty-seven Stratofortresses dropped on a one-mile by two-mile target box from between 19,000 and 22,000 feet, a little more than 50% of the bombs fell within the target zone. The force returned to Andersen AFB except for one bomber with electrical problems that recovered to Clark AFB, the mission having lasted 13 hours. Post-strike assessment by teams of South Vietnamese troops with American advisors found evidence that the Viet Cong had departed from the area before the raid, and it was suspected that infiltration of the south's forces may have tipped off the north because of the South Vietnamese Army troops involved in the post-strike inspection.

Beginning in late 1965, a number of B-52Ds underwent Big Belly modifications to increase bomb capacity for carpet bombings. While the external payload remained at 24 of 500 lb (227 kg) or 750 lb (340 kg) bombs, the internal capacity increased from 27 to 84 for 500 lb bombs, or from 27 to 42 for 750 lb bombs. The modification created enough capacity for a total of 60,000 lb (27,215 kg) using 108 bombs. Thus modified, B-52Ds could carry 22,000 lb (9,980 kg) more than B-52Fs. Designed to replace B-52Fs, modified B-52Ds entered combat in April 1966 flying from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Each bombing mission lasted 10 to 12 hours and included an aerial refueling by KC-135 Stratotankers. In spring 1967, B-52s began flying from U Tapao Airfield in Thailand so that refueling was not required.

The B-52s were restricted to bombing suspected Communist bases in relatively uninhabited sections, because their potency approached that of a tactical nuclear weapon. A formation of six B-52s, dropping their bombs from 30,000 feet, could "take out"… almost everything within a "box" approximately five-eighths mile wide by two miles long. Whenever Arc Light struck … in the vicinity of Saigon, the city woke from the tremor..

 war correspondent, writing before the mass attacks on heavily populated cities including North Vietnam's capital.

On 22 November 1972, a B-52D (55-0110) from U-Tapao was hit by a surface-to-air missile(SAM) while on a raid over Vinh. The crew was forced to abandon the damaged aircraft over Thailand. This was the first B-52 destroyed by hostile fire.

The zenith of B-52 attacks in Vietnam was Operation Linebacker II (sometimes referred to as the Christmas Bombing), conducted from 18 to 29 December 1972, which consisted of waves of B-52s (mostly D models, but some Gs without jamming equipment and with a smaller bomb load). Over 12 days, B-52s flew 729 sorties and dropped 15,237 tons of bombs on Hanoi, Haiphong, and other targets. Originally 42 B-52s were committed to the war; however, numbers were frequently twice this figure. During Operation Linebacker II, fifteen B-52s were shot down, five were heavily damaged (one crashed in Laos), and five suffered medium damage. A total of 25 crew men were killed in these losses. North Vietnam claimed 34 B-52s were shot down.

During the war 31 B-52s were lost, including 10 shot down over North Vietnam. Of the losses, 17 were shot down in combat operations, one was a write-off because of combat damage, 11 crashed by accidents, 1 decommissioned because of combat damage, and 1 burned at the airport. However, some of the "crashed in flight accidents" crashed due to missiles or anti-aircraft guns. When landing at an airfield in Thailand one B-52 was heavily damaged by SAM, rolled off the runway and was then blown up by mines installed around the airfield to protect against guerrillas; only one crewman survived. Subsequently, this B-52 was counted as a "crashed in flight accidents".

Air-to-air combat

During the Vietnam War, B-52D tail gunners were credited with shooting down two MiG-21 "Fishbeds". On 18 December 1972 tail gunner Staff Sergeant Samuel O. Turner's B-52 had just completed a bomb run for Operation Linebacker II and was turning away, when a North Vietnamese Air Force MiG-21 approached. The MiG and the B-52 locked onto each other. When the fighter drew within range, Turner fired his quad (four guns on one mounting) .50 caliber machine guns. The MiG exploded aft of the bomber, as confirmed by Master Sergeant Louis E. Le Blanc, the tail gunner in a nearby Stratofortress. Turner received a Silver Star for his actions. His B-52, tail number 56-0676, is preserved on display with air-to-air kill markings at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington.

On 24 December 1972, during the same bombing campaign, the B-52 Diamond Lil was headed to bomb the Thái Nguyên railroad yardswhen tail gunner Airman First Class Albert E. Moore spotted a fast-approaching MiG-21. Moore opened fire with his quad .50 caliber guns at 4,000 yd (3,700 m), and kept shooting until the fighter disappeared from his scope. Technical Sergeant Clarence W. Chute, a tail gunner aboard another Stratofortress, watched the MiG catch fire and fall away; this was not confirmed by the VPAF. Diamond Lil is preserved on display at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. Moore was the last bomber gunner believed to have shot down an enemy aircraft with machine guns in aerial combat.

However, two B-52 tail gunner kills were not confirmed by VPAF, and they admitted to the loss of only three MiGs, all by F-4s. Vietnamese sources have attributed a third air-to-air victory to a B-52, a MiG-21 shot down on 16 April 1972. These victories make the B-52 the largest aircraft credited with air-to-air kills. The last Arc Light mission without fighter escort took place on 15 August 1973, as U.S. military action in Southeast Asia was wound down.

Post Vietnam service

B-52Bs reached the end of their structural service life by the mid-1960s and all were retired by June 1966, followed by the last of the B-52Cs on 29 September 1971; except for NASA's B-52B "008" which was eventually retired in 2004 at Edwards AFB, California. Another of the remaining B Models, "005" is on display at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, Colorado.

A few time-expired E models were retired in 1967 and 1968, but the bulk (82) were retired between May 1969 and March 1970. Most F models were also retired between 1967 and 1973, but 23 survived as trainers until late 1978. The fleet of D models served much longer; 80 D models were extensively overhauled under the Pacer Plank program during the mid-1970s. Skinning on the lower wing and fuselage was replaced, and various structural components were renewed. The fleet of D models stayed largely intact until late 1978, when 37 not already upgraded Ds were retired. The remainder were retired between 1982 and 1983.

The remaining G and H models were used for nuclear standby ("alert") duty as part of the United States' nuclear triad, the combination of nuclear-armed land-based missiles, submarine-based missiles and manned bombers. The B-1, intended to supplant the B-52, replaced only the older models and the supersonic FB-111.In 1991, B-52s ceased continuous 24-hour SAC alert duty.

After Vietnam the experience of operations in a hostile air defense environment was taken into account. Due to this B-52s were modernized with new weapons, equipment and both offensive and defensive avionics. This and the use of low-level tactics marked a major shift in the B-52's utility. The upgrades were:

  • Supersonic short-range nuclear missiles: G and H models were modified to carry up to 20 SRAM missiles replacing existing gravity bombs. Eight SRAMs were carried internally on a special rotary launcher and 12 SRAMs were mounted on two wing pylons. With SRAM, the B-52s could strike heavily defended targets without entering the terminal defenses.
  • New countermeasures: Phase VI ECM modification was the sixth major ECM program for the B-52. It improved the aircraft's self-protection capability in the dense Soviet air defense environment. The new equipment expanded signal coverage, improved threat warning, provided new countermeasures techniques and increased the quantity of expendables. The power requirements of Phase VI ECM also consumed most of the excess electrical capacity on the B-52G.
  • B-52G and Hs were also modified with electro-optical viewing system (EVS) that made low-level operations and terrain avoidance much easier and safer. EVS system contained a low light level television (LLTV) camera and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera to display information needed for penetration at lower altitude.
  • Subsonic-cruise unarmed decoy: SCUD resembled the B-52 on radar. As an active decoy, it carried ECM and other devices, and it had a range of several hundred miles. Although SCUD was never deployed operationally, the concept was developed, becoming known as the air launched cruise missile (ALCM-A).

These modifications increased weight by nearly 24,000 pounds, and decreased operational range by 8–11%. This was considered acceptable for the increase in capabilities.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, all B-52Gs remaining in service were destroyed in accordance with the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMRC) cut the 365 B-52s into pieces. Completion of the destruction task was verified by Russia via satellite and first-person inspection at the AMARC facility.

Gulf War and later

B-52 strikes were an important part of Operation Desert Storm. Starting on 16 January 1991, a flight of B-52Gs flew from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, refueled in the air en route, struck targets in Iraq, and returned home – a journey of 35 hours and 14,000 miles (23,000 km) round trip. It set a record for longest-distance combat mission, breaking the record previously held by an RAF Vulcan bomber in 1982; however, this was achieved using forward refueling. Those seven B-52s flew the first combat sorties of Operation Desert Storm, firing 35 AGM-86C CALCMs standoff missiles and successfully destroying 85–95 percent of their targets.B-52Gs operating from the King Abdullah Air Base at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom, Morón Air Base, Spain, and the island of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory flew bombing missions over Iraq, initially at low altitude. After the first three nights, the B-52s moved to high-altitude missions instead, which reduced their effectiveness and psychological impact compared to the low altitude role initially played.

The conventional strikes were carried out by three bombers, which dropped up to 153 750-pound bombs over an area of 1.5 by 1 mi (2.4 by 1.6 km). The bombings demoralized the defending Iraqi troops, many of whom surrendered in the wake of the strikes.In 1999, the science and technology magazine Popular Mechanics described the B-52's role in the conflict: "The Buff's value was made clear during the Gulf War and Desert Fox. The B-52 turned out the lights in Baghdad." During Operation Desert Storm, B-52s flew about 1,620 sorties, and delivered 40% of the weapons dropped by coalition forces.

During the conflict, several claims of Iraqi air-to-air successes were made, including an Iraqi pilot, Khudai Hijab, who allegedly fired a Vympel R-27R missile from his MIG-29 and damaged a B-52G on the opening night of the Gulf War. However, the U.S. Air Force disputes this claim, stating the bomber was actually hit by friendly fire, an AGM-88 High-speed, Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) that homed on the fire-control radar of the B-52's tail gun; the jet was subsequently renamed In HARM's Way. Shortly following this incident, General George Lee Butler announced that the gunner position on B-52 crews would be eliminated, and the gun turrets permanently deactivated, commencing on 1 October 1991.

Since the mid-1990s, the B-52H has been the only variant remaining in military service; it is currently stationed at:

  • Minot Air Force Base, ND – 5th Bomb Wing
  • Barksdale Air Force Base, LA – 2nd Bomb Wing (active Air Force) and 307th Bomb Wing (Air Force Reserve Command)
  • One B-52H is assigned to Edwards Air Force Base and is used by Air Force Material Command at the Air Force Flight Test Center.
  • One additional B-52H is used by NASA at Dryden Flight Research Center, California as part of the Heavy-lift Airborne Launch program.

From 2 to 3 September 1996, two B-52H bombers conducted a mission as part of Operation Desert Strike. The B-52s struck Baghdad power stations and communications facilities with 13 AGM-86C conventional air-launched cruise missiles (CALCM) during a 34-hour, 16,000-mile round trip mission from Andersen AFB, Guam – the longest distance ever flown for a combat mission.

On 24 March 1999, when Operation Allied Force began, B-52 bombers bombarded Serb targets throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including during the Battle of Kosare.

The B-52 contributed to Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 (Afghanistan/Southwest Asia), providing the ability to loiter high above the battlefield and provide Close Air Support (CAS) through the use of precision guided munitions, a mission which previously would have been restricted to fighter and ground attack aircraft. In late 2001, ten B-52s dropped a third of the bomb tonnage in Afghanistan. B-52s also played a role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which commenced on 20 March 2003 (Iraq/Southwest Asia). On the night of 21 March 2003, B-52Hs launched at least one hundred AGM-86C CALCMs at targets within Iraq.

B-52 and maritime operations

Many people do not know that the B-52 can be highly effective for ocean surveillance, and can assist the Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. For example, a pair of B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface. During 2018 Baltops exercise B-52s have conducted mine-laying missions off the coasts of Sweden, simulating a counter-amphibious invasion mission in the Baltic.

All this started in the 1970s, when US Navy worried that combined attack from Soviet bombers, submarines and warships could overwhelm its defenses and sink its aircraft carriers. After Falklands war US planners feared the damage that could be created by 200-mile-range missiles carried by Backfire bombers and 250-mile-range missiles carried by Soviet surface ships. New US Navy's maritime strategy in early 1980s called for aggressive use of carriers and surface action groups against the Soviet navy. To help protect the carrier battle groups, some B-52G were modified to fire Harpoon anti-ship missiles. These bombers were based at Guam and Maine from later 1970s in order to support both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. In case of war B-52s would coordinate with tanker support and surveillance by AWACS and Navy AWACS planes. B-52Gs could strike Soviet navy targets on the flanks of the US carrier battle groups, leaving them free to concentrate on offensive strikes against Soviet surface combatants. Mines laid down by B-52s could establish mine fields in significant enemy choke points (mainly Kurile islands and GIUK). These minefields would force the Soviet fleet to disperse, making individual ships more vulnerable to Harpoon attacks.

From the 1980s B-52Hs were modified to use Harpoons in addition to a wide range of cruise missiles, laser- and satellite-guided bombs and unguided munitions. B-52 bomber crews honed sea-skimming flight profiles that should allow them to penetrate stiff enemy defenses and attack Soviet ships.

Recent expansion and modernization of China's navy has caused B-52s to dust off abilities for finding and attacking ships. Quite recently B-52 fleet has been certified to use Quickstrike family of naval mines using JDAM-ER guided wing kits. This weapon will give the ability to lay down minefields over wide areas, in a single pass, with extreme accuracy, and all while standing-off at over 40 miles away. Besides this, with a view to enhance B-52 maritime patrol and strike performance, an AN/ASQ-236 Dragon's Eye underwing pod, has also been certified for use by B-52H bombers. Dragon's Eye contains an advanced electronically-scanned array radar that will allow B-52s to quickly scan vast Pacific Ocean areas, so finding and sinking enemy ships will be easier for them. This radar will complement Litening infrared targeting pod already used by B-52s for inspecting ships.

In August 2007, a B-52H ferrying AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for dismantling was mistakenly loaded with six missiles with their nuclear warheads. The weapons did not leave USAF custody and were secured at Barksdale.

Four of 18 B-52Hs from Barksdale AFB were retired and were in the "boneyard" of 309th AMARG at Davis-Monthan AFB as of 8 September 2008.

As of January 2013, 78 of the original 744 B-52 aircraft were operational in the U.S. Air Force.

B-52s are periodically refurbished at USAF maintenance depots such as Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Even while the Air Force works on a new bomber, it intends to keep the B-52H in service until 2045, nearly 90 years after the B-52 first entered service, an unprecedented length of service for any aircraft, civilian or military.

The USAF continues to rely on the B-52 because it remains an effective and economical heavy bomber in the absence of sophisticated air defenses, particularly in the type of missions that have been conducted since the end of the Cold War against nations with limited defensive capabilities. The B-52 has also continued in service because there has been no reliable replacement. The B-52 has the capacity to "loiter" for extended periods, and can deliver precision standoff and direct fire munitions from a distance, in addition to direct bombing. It has been a valuable asset in supporting ground operations during conflicts such as Operation Iraqi Freedom.The B-52 had the highest mission capable rate of the three types of heavy bombers operated by the USAF in the 2000–2001 period. The B-1 averaged a 53.7% ready rate, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit achieved 30.3%, while the B-52 averaged 80.5%. The B-52's $72,000 cost per hour of flight is more than the B-1B's $63,000 cost per hour, but less than the B-2's $135,000 per hour.

The Long Range Strike Bomber program is intended to yield a stealthy successor for the B-52 and B-1 that would begin service in the 2020s; it is intended to produce 80 to 100 aircraft. Two competitors, Northrop Grumman and a joint team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, submitted proposals in 2014; Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract in October 2015.

On 12 November 2015, the B-52 began freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea in response to Chinese man-made islands in the region. Chinese forces, claiming jurisdiction within a 12-mile exclusion zone of the islands, ordered the bombers to leave the area, but they refused, not recognizing jurisdiction. On 10 January 2016, a B-52 overflew parts of South Korea escorted by South Korean F-15Ks and U.S. F-16s in response to the supposed test of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea.

On 9 April 2016, an undisclosed number of B-52s arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, part of the Military intervention against ISIL. The B-52s took over heavy bombing after B-1 Lancers that had been conducting airstrikes rotated out of the region in January 2016.In April 2016, B-52s arrived in Afghanistan to take part in the War in Afghanistan (2015–present) and began operations in July, proving its flexibility and precision carrying out close-air support missions.

According to a statement by the U.S. military, an undisclosed number of B-52s participated in the U.S. strikes on pro-government forces in eastern Syria on 7 February 2018.


Production numbers
Variant Produced Entered Service
XB-52 2
(1 redesignated YB-52)
YB-52 1 modified XB-52 prototype
B-52A 3
(1 redesignated NB-52A)
test units
NB-52A 1 modified B-52A
B-52B 50 29 June 1955
RB-52B 27 Modified B-52Bs
NB-52B 1 Modified B-52B
B-52C 35 June 1956
B-52D 170 December 1956
B-52E 100 December 1957
B-52F 89 June 1958
B-52G 193 13 February 1959
B-52H 102 9 May 1961
Grand total 744 production

The B-52 went through several design changes and variants over its 10 years of production.

Two prototype aircraft with limited operational equipment, used for aerodynamic and handling tests
One XB-52 modified with some operational equipment and re-designated
Only three of the first production version, the B-52A, were built, all loaned to Boeing for flight testing. The first production B-52A differed from prototypes in having a redesigned forward fuselage. The bubble canopy and tandem seating was replaced by a side-by-side arrangement and a 21 in (53 cm) nose extension accommodated more avionics and a new sixth crew member.In the rear fuselage, a tail turret with four 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns with a fire-control system, and a water injection system to augment engine power with a 360 US gallon (1,363 L) water tank were added. The aircraft also carried a 1,000 US gallon (3,785 L) external fuel tank under each wing. The tanks damped wing flutter and also kept wingtips close to the ground for ease of maintenance.
The last B-52A (serial 52-0003) was modified and redesignated NB-52A in 1959 to carry the North American X-15. A pylon was fitted under the right wing between the fuselage and the inboard engines with a 6 feet x 8 feet (1.8 m x 2.4 m) section removed from the right wing flap to fit the X-15 tail. Liquid oxygen and hydrogen peroxide tanks were installed in the bomb bays to fuel the X-15 before launch. Its first flight with the X-15 was on 19 March 1959, with the first launch on 8 June 1959. The NB-52A, named "The High and Mighty One" carried the X-15 on 93 of the program's 199 flights.

The B-52B was the first version to enter service with the USAF on 29 June 1955 with the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Castle AFB, California. This version included minor changes to engines and avionics, enabling an extra 12,000 pounds of thrust using water injection. Temporary grounding of the aircraft after a crash in February 1956 and again the following July caused training delays, and at mid-year there were still no combat-ready B-52 crews.

Of the 50 B-52Bs built, 27 were capable of carrying a reconnaissance pod as RB-52Bs (the crew was increased to eight in these aircraft).The 300 pound (136 kg) pod contained radio receivers, a combination of K-36, K-38, and T-11 cameras, and two operators on downward-firing ejection seats. The pod required only four hours to install.
Seven B-52Bs were brought to B-52C standard under Project Sunflower.
The NB-52B was B-52B number 52-0008 converted to an X-15 launch platform. It subsequently flew as "Balls 8" in support of NASAresearch until 17 December 2004, making it the oldest flying B-52B. It was replaced by a modified B-52H.
The B-52C's fuel capacity (and range) was increased to 41,700 US gallons by adding larger 3000 US gallon underwing fuel tanks. The gross weight was increased by 30,000 pounds (13,605 kg) to 450,000 pounds. A new fire control system, the MD-9, was introduced on this model. The belly of the aircraft was painted with antiflash whitepaint, which was intended to reflect the thermal radiation of a nuclear detonation.
The RB-52C was the designation initially given to B-52Cs fitted for reconnaissance duties in a similar manner to RB-52Bs. As all 35 B-52Cs could be fitted with the reconnaissance pod, the RB-52C designation was little used and was quickly abandoned.
The B-52D was a dedicated long-range bomber without a reconnaissance option. The Big Belly modifications allowed the B-52D to carry heavy loads of conventional bombs for carpet bombing over Vietnam, while the Rivet Rambler modification added the Phase V ECMsystems, which was better than the systems used on most later B-52s. Because of these upgrades and its long range capabilities, the D model was used more extensively in Vietnam than any other model. Aircraft assigned to Vietnam were painted in a camouflage colour scheme with black bellies to defeat searchlights.
The B-52E received an updated avionics and bombing navigational system, which was eventually debugged and included on following models.
One E aircraft (AF Serial No. 56-0632) was modified as a testbed for various B-52 systems. Redesignated NB-52E, the aircraft was fitted with canards and a Load Alleviation and Mode Stabilization system (LAMS) which reduced airframe fatigue from wind gusts during low level flight. In one test, the aircraft flew 10 knots (11.5 mph, 18.5 km/h) faster than the never exceed speed without damage because the canards eliminated 30% of vertical and 50% of horizontal vibrations caused by wind gusts.
This aircraft was given J57-P-43W engines with a larger capacity water injection system to provide greater thrust than previous models. This model had problems with fuel leaks which were eventually solved by several service modifications: Blue BandHard Shell, and QuickClip.
The B-52G was proposed to extend the B-52's service life during delays in the B-58 Hustler program. At first, a radical redesign was envisioned with a completely new wing and Pratt & Whitney J75 engines. This was rejected to avoid slowdowns in production, although a large number of changes were implemented. The most significant of these was a new "wet" wing with integral fuel tanks, increasing gross aircraft weight by 38,000 pounds (17,235 kg). In addition, a pair of 700 US gallon (2,650 L) external fuel tanks were fitted under the wings on wet hardpoints. The traditional ailerons were also eliminated, and instead, spoilers provided roll control. The tail fin was shortened by 8 feet (2.4 m), water injection system capacity was increased to 1,200 US gallons (4,540 L), and the nose radome was enlarged. The tail gunner was relocated to the main cockpit and was provided with an ejection seat.Dubbed the "Battle Station" concept, the offensive crew (pilot and copilot on the upper deck and the two bombing navigation system operators on the lower deck) faced forward, while the defensive crew (tail gunner and ECM operator) on the upper deck faced aft.The B-52G entered service on 13 February 1959 (a day earlier, the last B-36 was retired, making SAC an all-jet bomber force). 193 B-52Gs were produced, making this the most produced B-52 variant. Most B-52Gs were destroyed in compliance with the 1992 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; the last B-52G, number 58-0224, was dismantled under New START treaty requirements in December 2013. A few examples remain on display for museums.
The B-52H had the same crew and structural changes as the B-52G. The most significant upgrade was the switch to TF33-P-3 turbofan engines which, despite the initial reliability problems (corrected by 1964 under the Hot Fan program), offered considerably better performance and fuel economy than the J57 turbojets. The ECM and avionics were updated, a new fire control system was fitted, and the rear defensive armament was changed from machine guns to a 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon (later removed in 1991–94). The final 18 aircraft were manufactured with provision for the ADR-8 countermeasures rocket, which was later retrofitted to the remainder of the B-52G and B-52H fleet.A provision was made for four GAM-87 Skybolt ballistic missiles. The aircraft's first flight occurred on 10 July 1960, and it entered service on 9 May 1961. This is the only variant still in use by the USAF. A total of 102 B-52Hs were built. The last production aircraft, B-52H AF Serial No. 61-0040, left the factory on 26 October 1962.

THE KIT BOX – Content box 




Large left wing
A big right wing
Parts of fitting and connecting aircraft engines to large wings
Back wing
Left rear wing
Right rear wing
Display Stand




Review Summary
This aircraft deserves great respect and a reputation it has accumulated for decades. It is a very impressive airplane with wide wings and is considered a very fast and sophisticated bomber.
He was very successful in important missions and in many wars and at the time of attack he had a very big advantage. His enormous size and impressive advantage. 4 great motors that gave him high speed and fought courageously and bravely against others who were faster and stronger than him and defeated them in difficult battles.
A great victory, the manufacturer of this kit invested precious time and resources and a great deal of thought and thought to create a very high quality, very fascinating and intriguing and enjoyable product, and gave great respect to the heavy bomber who won many wars and survived difficult and complex times. This product is very detailed in the smallest parts and in the largest parts. It is necessary to purchase color for this kit because all the parts are already painted in a color that is compatible with the real airplane. Very high quality plastic contains all the parts of the kit and is very detailed and precise. The assembly is very easy and it does not require much knowledge by assembling and pasting the parts. Quick uniform and clean, packing The exterior is very spectacular and includes basic knowledge and a comprehensive description of the plane and adds educational knowledge about aviation. In the inner package you will get all the kit parts needed for complete kit assembly and stickers. I would like to thank the manufacturer platz-hobby of the kit who sent me a product sample for complete review. And gives great value for money.

***Highly recommended***



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FULL Review FOR AMG 1/48 48-802 POLIKARPOV R-5

The Polikarpov R-5 was a Soviet reconnaissance bomber aircraft of the 1930s. It was the standard light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of the Soviet Air Force for much of the 1930s, while also being used heavily as a civilian light transport, some 7,000 being built in total.


Development and design

The R-5 was developed by the design bureau led by Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov as a replacement for the R-1 which served as the standard reconnaissance and light bomber aircraft with the Soviet Air Force.

The prototype first flew in autumn 1928, powered by an imported German BMW VI V-12 engine. It was an unequal-span single-bay biplane of mainly wooden construction.

After extensive evaluation, the R-5 entered production in 1930, powered by the Mikulin M-17, a licence-built copy of the BMW-VI, as a reconnaissance bomber. Further modified versions were produced to serve as floatplanes, ground-attack aircraft and civil transports.

The R-5SSS, an improved reconnaissance bomber with improved streamlining, served as the basis for the Polikarpov R-Z, which succeeded the R-5 in production.

Operational history

Polikarpov, R-5

The aircraft was designed by Nikolai Polikarpov in 1928. 1,000 aircraft were manufactured for Aeroflot under the designation P-5. The aircraft was also taken into the Soviet Air Force's use in 1931. They operated 5,000 aircraft under the designation R-5.

The R-5 became the standard reconnaissance and attack aircraft with the Soviet Air Force, being used in large numbers, with over 100 regiments equipped with the R-5. R-5s served with the Soviet Air Force and Mongolian People's Air Force during the 1939 Battle of Khalkhin Gol fought against the Japanese and, took active part in the Soviet invasion of Poland (1939), and the 1939-40 Winter Waragainst Finland, where they were known as the hermosaha ("nerve saw"). The Finns downed and captured several R-5s, but none were taken into operational service. They remained in service during the war against Germany in 1941-45, where they were mainly used as night bombers and liaison aircraft, serving until 1944.

R-5s were also used by the Spanish Republican Air Force in the Spanish Civil War, 31 being sold to Spain. These arrived in November 1936, and were quickly deployed on combat operations, but were found to be slow and were relegated to night bombing. Seven R-5s remained in good condition in March 1939. The aircraft was known as the "Rasante" (roughly translated as "Low flying") in the Spanish Republican Air Force.

Civil versions of the R-5 were used in large numbers, mainly by Aeroflot. They were used to carry up to 400 kg (882 lb) of freight, with many being fitted with an enlarged rear cockpit to carry two passengers. Other aircraft were fitted with enclosed cabins for passengers. P-5s could also be used to carry underwing containers (or Kasseta) for freight or passengers with one P-5 carrying 16 adults, including seven in each Kasseta. Ski-equipped P-5s carrying Kasseta paid a key role in the rescue of the crew of the icebound Soviet steamship Chelyuskin in 1934. Civil R-5s remained in service until after the end of the Second World War.



Main production reconnaissance bomber. Initial production powered by M-17B engine, M-17F from 1933. 4,914 produced.
Shturmovik ("ground-attack"). Ground attack variant. Additional gun armament consisting of four wing-mounted PV-1 machine guns. Used in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol.
Twin-float, reconnaissance seaplane. Also known as MR-5MR-5bis or Samolet 10. 111 built 1934-35.
Long-range version. One built.
R-5 Jumo
Experimental engine testbed, fitted with an enlarged rear cockpit to accommodate two observers. Also known as the ED-1.
This experimental version was fitted with a M-34 engine.
Single-seat torpedo bomber with divided undercarriage to allow a torpedo or 250-500 kg bomb to be carried under fuselage. Flown in 1934, a series of 50 built by 1935. Two-men crew for reconnaissance tasks.
Improved version with reduced drag and increased gun armament. Also known simply as SSS. Increased performance. Over 100 built 1935-36.
Light transport version for Aeroflot.M-17B engine. Approximately 1000 produced by 1940.
Twin-float version of P-5 – built in small numbers.
Limuzin ("limousine"). Passenger version with cabin for two passengers. Built in small numbers in 1931.
Revised passenger transport. Several built in 1933.
Rafaelyants PR-5
Final modernised transport version. New semi-monocoque fuselage with enclosed cabin for four passengers. 210 converted for use by Aeroflot.
Rafaelyants PR-12
Passenger monoplane based on PR-5. One built in 1938.
Arctic exploration version with enclosed, heated cockpit and streamlined containers for payload faired into lower wing and sides of fuselage. Two built.
Legkii Shtumovik ("light ground attack"). Light armoured attack aircraft – Modified design by Grigorovich. One built 1930.
Tyazheli Shtumovik ("heavy ground attack"). Heavily armoured ground attack aircraft (6 mm armour) based on R-5, again by Grigorovich. Three prototypes.
Refined derivative of Tsh-1 with new lower wings. Ten aircraft built.
Light attack version with folding wings built for counter insurgency operations against Basmachi rebels in Central Asia. 30 ordered.



  • Imperial Iranian Air Force
Spain Spanish Republic
  • Spanish Republican Air Force
  • Spanish Air Force – Post civil war.
  • Mongolian People's Army Aviation
  • Turkish Air Force
 Soviet Union
  • Aeroflot
  • Soviet Air Force

Specifications (1930 production)

Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft from 1875 – 1995 

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 10.56 m (34 ft 7½ in)
  • Wingspan: 15.5 m (50 ft 10¼ in)
  • Height: 3.25 m (10 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 50.2m² (540 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,969 kg (4,341 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,247 kg (7,158 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mikulin M-17B water cooled V-12, 507 kW (680 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 228 km/h (123 kn, 142 mph)
  • Range: 800 km (432 nmi, 497 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,400 m (21,000 ft)
  • Wing loading: 64.7 kg/m² (13.3 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.16 kW/kg (0.095 hp/lb)
  • Climb to 1000 m (3,300 ft): 2.1 min


  • 1 fixed forward firing PV-1 machine gun and 1 DA machine gun in rear cockpit
  • 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on bomb racks


On the face of it, it seems that the kit of this Review is very high quality and well established
And receive a great deal of value in relation to its price
And this is the latest version of this plane in the kite market today
The plane is really big and it's fun to assemble this kit
It's a plane that takes a lot of work and is worth a lot more than it offers
The product packaging is good with a graphic plane but very simple
So it costs relatively cheap and does not come with a very high price tag
The manufacturer gives great respect and reputation to the aircraft and invests in it quite a bit
This cream-colored plastic is an excellent base for high quality painting and a realistic and beautiful finish

Highly recommended for purchase

NEW FROM ICM 1/32 I-153 Full review

The Polikarpov I-153 Chaika (Russian Чайка, "Seagull") was a late 1930s Soviet biplane fighter. Developed as an advanced version of the I-15 with a retractable undercarriage, the I-153 fought in the Soviet-Japanese combats in Mongolia and was one of the Soviets' major fighter types in the early years of the Second World War. Three I-153s are still flying.

Operational history

I-153 captured by Finnish forces after a forced landing. Photo taken in June, 1941

The I-153 first saw combat in 1939 during the Soviet-Japanese Battle of Khalkin Gol in Mongolia. The Japanese Army Air Forces' Type 97 Fighter (Nakajima Ki-27) Nate proved a formidable opponent for the I-15bis and I-16, but was more evenly matched with the I-153, which retained agility inherent to biplanes while featuring improved performance. While the overall I-153 performance was satisfactory, some significant problems were revealed. Most troublesome was the absence of a firewall between the fuel tank mounted in front of the cockpit and the pilot. Combined with strong draft coming in through the wheel wells, fuel tank fires invariably resulted in rapid engulfment of the cockpit and severe burns to the pilot. In addition, the M-62 engine suffered from a service life of only 60–80 hours due to failures of the two-speed supercharger.

The Polikarpov I-153 Chaika never flew with any Spanish Air Force units during or after the Spanish Civil War. Two earlier variants of this aircraft, the I-15 and the I-15bis, did fly with the Republican Air Force during the conflict and, later, captured examples of both types were used by the Fuerzas Aéreas till the early 1950s.



A Finnish Air Force Polikarpov I-153.

  • Chinese Nationalist Air Force
  • Finnish Air Force operated 21 captured aircraft, 11 of which were bought from Germany, of which 10 were actually delivered. They flew with the serial numbers IT-11 to IT-31. In Finnish service, FAF pilots claimed at least 5 kills in I-153s against the Soviets.
 Nazi Germany
  • Luftwaffe operated captured aircraft.
 Soviet Union
  • Soviet Air Force
  • Soviet Naval Aviation

Design and development 

In 1937, the Polikarpov design bureau carried out studies to improve on the performance of its I-15 and I-15bis biplane fighters without sacrificing manoeuvrability, as Soviet tactical doctrine was based on a mix of high performance monoplane fighters (met by the Polikarpov I-16) and agile biplanes. Early combat experience from the Spanish Civil War had shown that the I-16 had problems dealing with the Fiat CR.32 biplanes used by the Italian forces supporting the Nationalists, which suggested a need to continue the use of biplane fighters, and as a result, Polikarpov's proposals were accepted, and his design bureau was instructed to design a new biplane fighter. Polikarpov assigned the task to the design team led by Aleksei Ya Shcherbakov, who was assisted by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich (who would later set up the MiG design bureau).

The new fighter (designated I-15ter by the design bureau and I-153 by the Soviet Air Forces (VVS)) was based closely on the design of the I-15bis, with a stronger structure, but was fitted with a manually retractable undercarriage to reduce drag. It reverted to the "gulled" upper wing of the original I-15 but used the Clark YH aerofoil of the I-15bis. The four 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns of the I-15bis were replaced by four ShKAS machine guns. While still rifle-calibre weapons, these fired much faster than the PV-1s, (1,800 rounds per minute rather than 750 rounds per minute) giving a much greater weight of fire. The new fighter was to be powered by a Shvetsov M-62 an improved derivative of the Shvetsov M-25 that powered the I-15 and I-15bis with twin superchargers.

The aircraft was of mixed metal and wood construction, with the fuselage structure being based on chromium-molybdenum steel with duralumin skinning on the forward fuselage, and fabric covering on the fuselage aft of the front of the cockpit. The aircraft's wings were made of fabric covered wood, while the tail surfaces were of fabric covered duralumin.The aircraft was fitted with a tailwheel undercarriage, with the mainwheels retracting rearwards, rotating through 90 degrees to lie flat in the wing roots, being actuated by cables operated by a pilot-driven handwheel. The solid rubber tailwheel did not retract, but moved in conjunction with the rudder.

The M-62 was not ready by the time the first prototype was complete, so it was fitted with a 750 hp (560 kW) M-25V engine when it made its maiden flight in August 1938. The first prototype failed factory testing due to numerous defects, but this did not stop production, with the aircraft entering production concurrently with ongoing testing and development. Early production I-153s powered by the M25 engine passed state testing during 1939, despite the loss of one aircraft which disintegrated in a 500 km/h (311 mph) dive. In test flights, the I-153 (M-25) achieved the top speed of 424 km/h (264 mph), service ceiling of 8,700 m (28,500 ft), and required 6 minutes 24 seconds to reach 5,000 m (16,404 ft).This performance was well in excess of that demonstrated by the I-15bis.

During 1939, production switched to a version powered by the originally planned M-62 engine, with an M-62 powered prototype undergoing state testing from 16 June 1939. While speed at sea level was virtually unchanged, the new engine improved performance at altitude. A speed of 443 km/h (275 mph) at 4,600 m (15,100 ft) was recorded, with a service ceiling of 9,800 m (32,100 ft). This performance was disappointing, and caused the aircraft to fail the state acceptance trials, although this did not disrupt production.While it was recognised that the I-153's performance was inadequate, the over-riding requirement was to not disrupt production until more advanced fighters could enter production.

While numerous improvements were proposed, many were too radical to be implemented since the aircraft was already in production. Desperate to improve performance, Polikarpov tested two I-153 with the Shvetsov M-63 engine with 820 kW (1,100 hp). However, the results were disappointing and it was becoming painfully obvious that the biplane airframe was incapable of higher speeds.

One of the rarely mentioned characteristics of the I-153 was its poor performance in a spin. While the Polikarpov I-16 had gained notoriety for entering spins, pilots found it easy to recover from a spin. In contrast, while the I-153 was difficult to spin, once it lost control, recovery was difficult to the point where intentional spinning was forbidden for some time. A spin recovery procedure was eventually developed but, while effective, it required flawless timing and execution.

By the end of production in 1941, a total of 3,437 I-153s were built.

Specifications (I-153 (M-62))

Data from Of Chaika and Chato…Polikarpov's Fighting Biplanes"

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 6.17 m (20 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.00 m (32 ft 9½ in)
  • Height: 2.80 m (9 ft 2¼ in)
  • Wing area: 22.14 m² (238.3 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,452 kg (3,201 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,960 kg (4,221 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2,110 kg (6,652 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Shvetsov M-62 radial engine, 597 kW (800 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 444 km/h (243 knots, 280 mph) at 4,600 m (15,100 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 297 km/h (160 knots, 184 mph) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)
  • Range: 470 km (254 nmi, 292 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,700 m (35,105 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 15 m/s (2,985 ft/min)
  • Climb to 1,000 m (3,300 ft): 0.85 min
  • Climb to 7,000 m (23,000 ft): 8.3 min


  • Guns: 4 × 7.62×54mmR ShKAS machine guns, 2,600 rounds of ammunition total


Even though it is an old assault aircraft that has protected quite a few wars and operations deer is still getting all the respect it deserves and fought without difficulty in other planes bigger and stronger than he still retained his reputation and became one of the best and fastest and then in trouble knew to get out of a cruel attack or hard because of speed advantage He was then in those days and did his job on the best side, his size limited him because he was very vulnerable but was quick thanks to the strong strong and fast and strong physical strength on the hard and treacherous battlefield, and here the manufacturer chose to spend a lot of time designing a good product quality and most detailed
The product packaging is very good with a beautiful graphic picture and the kit contains a lot of information about the airplane. A detailed booklet is very easy to understand and easy to use with clear caption
This is a very large kit, but the details here make up for almost everything, rough and strong gray plastic gives a very good base for high quality painting. It is recommended to buy very strong or high quality colors for a beautiful and genuine realistic finish. A product adds added value and knowledge about important military aviation and educational product for younger ages , The cost price is not cheap but yields a great value relative to the product itself.
This kit can be found for sale at prices ranging from $ 60 to $ 80
Highly recommended and very enjoyable

NEW FROM ACADEMY + [Review] 1/48 Focke-Wulf Ta183 Huckebein

The Academy has released the 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Ta183 Huckebein, which is repackaged by AMTech, which has been on display at the 2018 Harvey Fair Runner. Let's take a look at the contents of Focke-Wulf Ta183 Huckebein. 


The injection state of the kit itself is as clean as a new product. There is a part with a little injection fin, but there is no trouble at assembly of the thread at all. 

 The Academy has included etchings that reproduce cartographs, masking seats and seat belts in existing artifacts.

AMTech's revival of the product with the new release of Academy's new mold aero kit has been a bit slow

new from Academy + [Review] 1/48 USN SB2U-3 "Battle of Midway"

the Review

***full box***

The academy repackaged some Acquired miniature products in the past. The first product, the 1/48 scale USN SB2U-3 "Battle of Midway" was released, and this 2018 Harvey Fairy Runner was on display. Let's take a look at USN SB2U-3 "Battle of Midway". The alias for SB2U-3 is "Vindicator", but there are no licensing issues on the box.

***plastic parts***

Like the Ta183, the kit itself was released a long time ago, but the injection state is as clean as it is new.

The Academy has included etchings that reproduce cartographs, masking seats and seat belts in existing artifacts.

This product will be released at the beginning of May




Name: HMS Legion
Ordered: 31 March 1938
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Newcastle upon Tyne
Laid down: 1 November 1938
Launched: 26 December 1939
Commissioned: 19 December 1940
Identification: pennant number: G74
Fate: Sunk on 26 March 1942 in air attack
Badge: On a Field Blue, an eagle displayed upon a perch Gold.
General characteristics
Class and type: L-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,920 tons
Length: 362.5 ft (110.5 m)
Beam: 36.7 ft (11.2 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
  • Two shafts
  • Two geared steam turbines
  • Two drum type boilers
  • 48,000 shp (35.8 MW)
Speed: 36 kt (66.7 km/h)
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 221
  • 8 x QF 4-inch (100 mm) Mk.XVI guns, twin mount HA/LA Mk.XIX
  • 4 × QF 2 pdr Mk.VIII L/39 (40 mm), quad mount Mk.VII
  • 8 × QF 0.5 in Mk.III Vickers (12.7 mm), quad mounts Mk.III
  • 8 (2×4) tubes for 21 inch (533 mm) torpedoes Mk.IX

HMS Legion was an L-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She entered service during the Second World War, and had a short but eventful career, serving in Home waters and the Mediterranean. She was sunk in an air attack on Malta in 1942. The ship had been adopted by the British civil community of the Municipal Borough of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in November 1941.

Construction and commissioning

Legion was ordered on 31 March 1938 from the yards of Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Newcastle upon Tyne under the 1937 Naval Estimates. She was laid down on 1 November 1938 and launched just over a year later on 26 November 1939. During 1940 her main armament along with three others of the L class was changed. Twin 4 inch HA mountings were fitted and these four ships were re-classified as anti-aircraft destroyers. She was commissioned on 19 December 1940 at a total cost of £445,684, which excluded items such as weapons and communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. During trials, a number of defects were revealed, resulting in the ship being under repair at Greenock in Scotland until January 1941.

Her commanding officer was, from commissioning until she was sunk in 1942, Captain Richard (Dick) Jessel.

On completion of repairs, Legion was assigned to the Western Approaches Command at Greenock as part of the 11th Escort Group. She was deployed on convoy defence duties, and also successfully trialled a modified Radar Type 286M using a rotating instead of fixed aerial array. In February she escorted military convoys through the North Western Approaches. She set sail in support of Operation Claymore, a commando raid on the Lofoten Islands, on 1 March. Following the successful completion of these duties, she joined the 14th Escort Group. On 13 April she rescued survivors from the armed merchant cruiser Rajputana which had been torpedoed in the North Western Approaches by the German submarine U-108Legion rescued 177 men, although another 40 went down with Rajputana. The rest of April was spent escorting convoys.

In May she screened capital ships of the Home Fleet, searching for the German battleship Bismarck; but she had to refuel at Iceland, and so was not present at the sinking of the German battleship. Legion then returned to convoy escort duties.

On 22 June Legion and her sister Lance, escorted the aircraft carrier Furious to Gibraltar, on an operation to deliver aircraft to Malta. A few days later, (on 26 June), she and other destroyers screened the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, the battlecruiser Renown and the cruiser Hermione as they delivered aircraft from Gibraltar to Malta. This operation was repeated later in the month with Furious. In July Legion returned to Greenock to resume escort duties through the Western Approaches. On 20 August she was deployed to reinforce the escort of Convoy OG-71which was on passage to the UK and had come under attack from the U-boats U-559U-201 and U-564. The escorts were eventually successful in driving off the attackers; the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 25 August.

Malta convoys


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

Date convoy sailed Joined convoy as escort Convoy No. Left convoy Date convoy arrived
14/02/41 20/02/41 SLG 001A 22/02/41 22/02/41
15/03/41 27/03/41 HG 056 02/04/41 02/04/41
10/04/41 15/04/41 TC 010 19/04/41 19/04/41
30/04/41 30/04/41 SA 1 03/05/41 03/05/41
06/05/41 16/05/41 HG 061 20/05/41 20/05/41
24/06/41 03/07/41 OG 066 03/07/41 08/07/41
21/07/41 26/07/41 TC 012 29/07/41 29/07/41
28/07/41 07/08/41 HG 069 09/08/41 11/08/41
24/09/41 24/09/41 HALBERD 27/09/41 27/09/41
27/09/41 09/10/41 OG 075 12/10/41 13/10/41
22/10/41 22/10/41 HG 075 27/10/41 03/11/41
27/12/41 27/12/41 TA 006/M 29/12/41 29/12/41
05/01/42 05/01/42 AT 012/M 07/01/42 07/01/42

In September she and her flotilla returned to Gibraltar and resumed escorting capital ships supplying aircraft to Malta. She provided cover on 24 September for the convoys of Operation Halberd. During the operation, the ships came under heavy air attack but continued onward. On her return to Gibraltar after HalberdLegion and Gurkha attacked and sank the Italian submarine Adua with depth charges. October was spent escorting convoys to Malta. She made an unsuccessful attack on U-205 on 23 October and then rescued survivors from Cossack which had been torpedoed by U-563 west of Cape Spartel.

L-Class destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie at Newcastle on 31st March 1938 under the 1937 Programme and laid down on 1st November 1938. She was launched on 26th December 1939 as the 2nd RN ship to bear this name, introduced for a destroyer built in 1914 and sold in 1921. During 1940 the main armament for this ship and three others of this Class was changed. Twin 4in HA mountings were fitted and these four ships were re-classified as AA Destroyers. Build was completed on 19th December 1940 at a Tender cost was £445,684 which excluded items such as weapons and communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. After a successful  WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 this destroyer was adopted by the civil communityof the Municipal Borough of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

HELIGOLAND 1914  – DOGGER BANK 1915 – CAPE  BON 1941 – NORWAY 1941 – ATLANTIC 1941 – MEDITERRANEAN 1941 – MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42 – LIBYA 1941-42 – SIRTE 1942

***FULL ship Log***

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

1 9 4 0

December              Contractors trials and commissioned for service.

                 19th       Build completion and commenced First of Class Acceptance Trials.

                 21st       Taken in hand at commercial shipyard in Greenock for repair of defects arising during trials

1 9 4 1


                   3rd      Passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet

                   5th      Deployed at Scapa Flow for working-up.

                 29th      On completion of work-up took passage to Greenock for service in Western Approaches


February               Deployed at Greenock with 11th Escort Group for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

                              (Note: During this period carried out successful trial of modified Radar Type 286M

                                          using a rotating instead of fixed aerial array. For details of the development and use of

                                          radar by the RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse. The new aerial was then

                                          put into production and when fitted the modified RAF Air/Surface outfit became

                                         Radar Type 286P which was far more suitable for ship use.)

                   8th      Deployed with Polish destroyers ORP PIORUN and joined HM  Destroyers BROADWATER,


                              as Local Escort for military convoy WS6A during its passage in NW Approaches.

                  12th     Detached from WS6A with HM Destroyers ATHERSTONE, COTTESMORE, KEPPEL,

                              RESTIGOUCHE (RCN), ST LAURENT and ORP PIORUN and returned to Clyde.

                              (Note: Relieved by HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM, PHOEBE and HM Armed Merchant

                                            Cruiser CATHAY deployed as Ocean Escort.)

                  18th     Joined HM Destroyers HESPERUS and HURRICANE with ORP GARLAND and ORP

                              PIORUN in Local Escort for military convoy WS6B during passage in NW Approaches.

                              (Note: HM Cruiser MAURITIUS was also deployed as Ocean Escort.)

                  20th     Detached from WS6B with Local Escort and returned to Clyde with Local Escort.

                  24th     Deployed with ORP PIORUN and joined HM Destroyers BROADWATER, BEDOUIN,

                              MASHONA, MATABELE, SOMALI for Local Escort from Clyde of military convoy WS7.

                              (Note: HM cruiser EDINBURGH was also deployed. and HM Battleship REVENGE as

                                          Ocean Escort.)

                    26th   Detached from WS7 with ORP PIORUN and returned to Clyde.

                              Nominated for detached service with Home Fleet and took passage to Scapa Flow for

                              support of planned raid on the Lofoten Islands.

                     28th   Prepared for support of Operation CLAYMORE.

                               (Note: No. 3 and No. 4 Commandos carried out CLAYMORE.)


                       1st   Deployed with HM Destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, TARTAR and ESKIMO as escort for

                               two Landing Ships during passage to Lofoten Islands.

                               Cover provided by ships of Home Fleet.

                               For details see COMBINED OPERATIONS (HMSO), THE WATERY MAZE

                                            by B Fergusson and Naval Staff History.)

                       3rd   Provided support during landings

                       6th   Resumed convoy defence deployment in Western Approaches on release from CLAYMORE.


                       6th   Joined 14th Escort Group.

                     13th   Rescued survivors from HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAJPUTANA which had been sunk

                                in NW Approaches by U108. 177 men were saved but 40 lost their lives.

                               (Note: Deployment with HMS RAJPUTANA for convoy escort to be confirmed)

                     24th   Deployed with HM Destroyers HURRICANE, OTTAWA (RCN), ORP PIORUN and

                               RESTIGOUCHE and SAGUENAY (RCN) for Local Escort of military convoy WS8A.

                               Joined HM Destroyers HARVESTER, HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, BEAGLE, and ERIDGE

                               also part of escort.

                     29th   Detached from WS8A with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                               (Note: HM Battlecruiser REPULSE and HM Cruiser NAIAD provided Ocean Escort.)


                     22nd  Deployed with HM Canadian Destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY as screen for

                               HM Battlecruiser REPULSE during passage from Clyde to join HM Battleship KING

                               GEORGE V in Butt of Lewis.

                               (Note: This was prior to commencement of later Home Fleet search for the German

                                           battleship BISMARCK.

                               On arrival deployed for screening of Home Fleet major warships.

                     24th   Detached from Home Fleet screen during initial stage of search for BISMARCK and

                               took passage to Iceland to refuel.

                     28th   Rejoined Home Fleet screen after sinking of BISMARCK.

                               On release took passage to Clyde to resume convoy defence duties.

                     31st   Deployed with HM Destroyers BRIGHTON, SAGUENAY. ST MARY’S, SHERWOOD.

                               VANSITTART, WILD  SWAN and WIVERN as Local Escort for military convoy WS8X

                               during passage in NW Approaches from Clyde.

                               (Note: HM Cruiser NORFOLK was deployed as Ocean Escort during passage to Freetown.)


                       3rd   Detached from WS8X with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                     22nd  Provided escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS with HM destroyer LANCE during

                               passage to Gibraltar prior to Malta Aircraft delivery.

                     25th   Arrived at Gibraltar.

                               (Note: Aircraft were transferred to HMS ARK ROYAL for launch in western Mediterranean).

                     26th   Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FURY and LEGION as screen for

                               HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and HM Cruiser HERMIONE

                               to provide cover for Malta aircraft delivery by HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation RAILWAY I)

                     28th   Returned to Gibraltar with covering force after launch of aircraft.

                     30th   Deployed with HM Destroyers FEARLESS and FOXHOUND as screen for HMS FURIOUS

                               and HM Cruiser HERMIONE as Group A during delivery of aircraft in western Mediterranean

                               by HMS FURIOUS (Operation RAILWAY II).

                               (Note: Cover was provided by ships of Force H based at Gibraltar.

                                           Aircraft were also launched from HMS ARK ROYAL deployed as Force B.)

                                           Completion of Phase two by Group B was delayed by a fire in HMS FURIOUS when

                                           an aircraft crashed on launch. See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

July                        On release from service at Gibraltar took passage to Greenock to resume deployment in Western

                               Approaches with Special Greenock Escort Group.

                               Deployed for convoy defence in Western Approaches.


                       2nd  Provided Local Escort for military convoy WS10 during passage from Clyde in NW Approaches

                               with HM Destroyers BROADWAY. GURKHA, LANCE and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS.

                       6th   Detached from WS110 with Local Escort and returned to Greenock.

                               Nominated for service at Gibraltar with 4th Destroyer Flotilla and took passage from Clyde.

                               On arrival at Gibraltar deployed for anti-submarine patrol and local escort of convoys to

                               and from UK

                               (Note: Deployment as part of escort for OG71 to be confirmed.)

                     20th   Deployed to reinforce escort for Convoy OG71 on passage to UK and under attacks by U559,

                               U201 and U564. which were unable to penetrate screen and attacks failed.

                               Joined by HM Destroyer  LANCE which had established positions of U-Boats with newly

                               fitted  Direction Finding equipment.

                               (See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair details of attacks on OG71 and SEEK AND

                               STRIKE by W Hackmann for details of use of D/F equipment.).

                     23rd   Submarine attacks discontinued by strong escort and availability of air cover.

                     25th   Detached on arrival of OG71 at Liverpool.

                               (Note: HM Destroyer BATH, HM Corvette ZINNIA and seven mercantiles were lost on


                     31st    Joined military convoy WS11 in Clyde and deployed with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers

                                COSSACK, HIGHLANDER, LIVELY, WINCHELSEA, ZULU Polish destroyers ORP

                                 PIORUN, GARLAND and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS as escort during Atlantic passage.


                      4th   Detached from WS11 and took passage to Gibraltar to resume Flotilla duties.

                      7th   Deployed with Flotilla at Gibraltar

                              (Note: Flotilla included HM Destroyers COSSACK, LANCE. LEGION, LIVELY,

                                         MAORI, SIKH and ZULU.)

            8th           Deployed with HM Destroyers FORESTER, LANCE and LIVELY as screen for HM Aircraft

                            Carrier ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser HERMIONE during Malta aircraft delivery.

                            (Operation STATUS I).

            9th           Returned to Malta with same ships after launch of HURRICANE aircraft.

          10th           Deployed with HMS ZULU, HMS LANCE and HMS LIVELY as screen for HM Battleship

                            NELSON and HMS ARK ROYAL as Force A to provide cover during Malta aircraft delivery

                            (Operation STATUS II).

          14th           Returned to Gibraltar with Ships of Force A after launch of aircraft from HMS FURIOUS and

                            carrying out series of exercises in preparation for planned Malta relief operation.

          24th           Deployed with HM Destroyers DUNCAN, GURKHA (ii), LANCE, LIVELY, FURY, Dutch

                            destroyer ISAAC SWEERS, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND and PIORUN as screen for Force

                            A comprising HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, PRINCE OF WALES and HMS ARK ROYAL

                            to provide cover for passage to Sicilian Narrows of Convoy GM2 destined for Malta under escort

                            of Force X (Operation HALBERD)

          26th           Under threat of surface attack by Italian battle squadron but this was not located by an air search

                            from HMS ARK ROYAL,

                            (Note: It was later established that the Italian warships had retired when the strength of the

                                        British covering force was known.)

                            Under air attacks.

          27th           Under further air attacks during which HMS RODNEY was hit by an aircraft torpedo but

                            remained in covering force at a reduced speed.

                            Remained west of Narrows to provide cover during passage of Convoy MG2 and returning

                            Force X ships during passage to Gibraltar.

          28th           Under threat of air attacks but these were deterred by effective use of aircraft away from Force A

          29th           Met returning warships and under threat of submarine attack.

                            (Note: HMS NELSON was detached and returned to Gibraltar with HMS PRINCE OF WALES,

                                        HM Cruisers KENYA and HMS SHEFFIELD (Force X), HM Destroyers LAFOREY,

                                        LIGHTNING, ORIBI, FORESIGHT, FORESTER (Force X) and HMS FURY (Force A).

          30th           During return passage carried out anti-submarine operations with HMS GURKHA (ii) and sank

                            Italian submarine ADUA in position 37.10N  00.56E by depth charge attacks.


                      1st    Returned to Gibraltar with remainder of ships of Force X and Force A

                     10th   Deployed with HM destroyers COSSACK, SIKH, ZULU, FORESTER and FORESIGHT

                               as screen for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE to [provide cover for Malta aircraft

                               delivery from HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation CALLBOY)

                     19th   Returned to Gibraltar with covering force on completion of CALLBOY.

                     22nd  Sailed from Gibraltar with HMS COSSACK, HM Destroyers LAMERTON, DUNCAN and

                               VIDETTE as Local Escort for inward Convoy HG75 during initial stage of passage to Liverpool.

                               (Note: Ocean Escort included CAM Ship ARIGUANI, Free French Sloop COMMANDANTE

                                           DUBOC and four corvettes.)

                     23rd   Carried out unsuccessful anti-submarine operations against U205.

                                Rescued survivors from the disabled destroyer HMS COSSACK after being torpedoed by U563

                               during an attack on HG75 200 miles west of Cape Spartel

                               See WARSHIP LOSSES in WW2 by D Brown.)

November              Part of 4th Destroyer Flotilla.

                     10th   Deployed with HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, SIKH, ZULU, GURKHA and

                               Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS as screen for HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft

                               Carriers ARK ROYAL. ARGUS and HM Cruiser HMS HERMIONE during provision of

                               cover for Malta aircraft delivery from the two aircraft carriers (Operation PERPETUAL)

                     13th   Carried out unsuccessful anti-submarine operations after torpedo attack from U205.

                               Under attack by U81 during which HMS ARK ROYAL was hit by torpedo and disabled.

                               Stood by stricken ship with HMS LIGHTNING.

                               Embarked 1,560 survivors and later returned to HMS ARK ROYAL for transfer of key

                               personnel for damage control

                     24th   Arrived back at Gibraltar after HMS ARK ROYAL sank during tow.

December               Transferred with HM Destroyers SIKH, MAORI and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS to Alexandria

                                for service with Mediterranean Fleet.

                     11th   Sailed from Gibraltar to join Fleet based at Alexandria.

                     13th   Intercepted Italian cruisers ALBERTO DI GUISSANO and ALBERICO DA BARBIANO.

                               off Cape Bon.

                               Engaged with main armament and torpedoes. Both ships were sunk whilst taking fuel and

                               and stores to Tripoli. Italian torpedo boat CIGNO in company was able to escape.

                               (Note: This attack was made after Italian signal traffic had been decyphered.)

                     14th   Arrived in Malta to stirring reception and deployed with Force K.

                               (Note: Force K had been formed specifically to carry out attacks on Axis convoys on passage

                                           in central Mediterranean for support of military operations.)

                     15th   Sailed from Malta with HM Cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE, HM Destroyers LANCE,

                               LIVELY, MAORI, SIKH, ZULU and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS as Force K to meet HM Supply

                               Ship BRECONSHIRE during passage from Alexandria escorted by ships of Mediterranean

                               Fleet deployed as Force C (Operation MF1)

                     16th   Passage of HMS BRECONSHIRE under threat of attack by Italian warships escorting Convoy

                               M42 on passage to North Africa and covered by another Italian battle squadron.

                               After meeting Force C. Force K remained with the Mediterranean Fleet ships to ensure that

                               improved protection was available for HMS BRECONSHIRE.

                               (Note: HM Cruiser NEPTUNE, HM Destroyers JAGUAR and KANDAHAR at Malta and

                                            identified as Force B were ordered to join Force C and K.)

                     17th   Under air attacks.

                               Took part in brief engagement with Italian warships which retired when a threat of night torpedo

                               attack by British destroyers with radar fitted was anticipated (1st Battle of Sirte.)

                     18th   Under air attacks.

                               Joined Ships of Force C with and took passage with them to Alexandria.

                     19th   Arrived at Alexandria with Force C.

                               (Note: Italian submarine SCIRE with three human torpedoes entered Alexandria when Boom

                                           was raised to allow Force C to enter harbour. The enemy then laid explosive charges

                                           on HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT and tanker SAVONA with

                                           devastating results. See references.)

                     28th   Took part in sinking of U75 with HM Destroyer KIPLING off Mersa Matruh in position 31.50N

                               26.40E after 2½ hour hunt following the sinking of British ss VOLO.

                               (Note: This is not confirmed in U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp which gives credit to

                                           HMS KIPLING. Support of Tobruk garrison may be assumed for both ships.

1 9 4 2

January                   Alexandria deployment for Fleet duties.

                     16th   Escorted Convoy MW8B from Alexandria with HM Destroyers MAORI.

                               GURKHA and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS for passage to Malta (Operation MF3)

                     17th   Under attack by U133 north of Bardia during which HMS GURKHA (i) was sunk.

                     18th   Convoy merged with MW8A to form MW8 for passage to Malta.

                               On arrival of Force K ships from Malta to take over escort of MW8 joined

                               Force K with HMS MAORI as part of escort into Malta.

                     19th   Arrived in Malta with HMS PENELOPE. HM Destroyers  LANCE, MAORI,

                               LIVELY, SIKH and ZULU.

                     25th   Deployed with HMS PENELOPE, HMS LIVELY, HMS LANCE, HMS MAORI and HMS

                               ZULU as Force K and sailed from Malta escorting Convoy ME9 for initial part of passage to

                               Alexandria. (Operation MF4).

                               (Note: ME9 comprised HMS GLENGYLE and ss ROWALLAN CASTLE.)

                     26th   Remained with Force K when escort of ME9 was transferred to Force B from Alexandria

                               and returned to Malta.

                               (Note: HM Destroyer KINGSTON from Force B replaced HMS LANCE which took passage

                                            back to Egypt with Force B.

                     27th   Taken in hand for repair to ASDIC equipment by HM Dockyard, Malta.

                               (Note: One source records this was due to near misses in air attack.)

February                 Under repair.

                                Transferred to 22nd Destroyer Flotilla as part of re-organisation of destroyer Flotillas.

                     13th   Rejoined Force K and sailed from Malta with HMS PENELOPE, HM Destroyers DECOY,

                               SIKH, FORTUNE, LIVELY and ZULU as escort for Convoy ME10 for passage to meet Force

                               B from Alexandria which was escorting Convoy MW9. (Operation MF4).

                     14th   After exchange of convoys HMS DECOY and HMS FORTUNE transferred to Force B.

                               and HMS LANCE detached from Force B and joined  Force K.

                               Deployed with Force K as escort for MW9 for passage into Malta.

                               (Note: ss ROWALLAN CASTLE was the only ship remaining from the three which sailed

                                           from Egypt. This convoy had been under sustained attack by aircraft.

                                           For details see above references.)

                               Under air attacks during which ROWALLAN CASTLE was hit and disabled.

                               Towing attempt was unsuccessful and this mercantile had to be sunk.

                               HMS ZULU, HMS SIKH and HMS LIVELY detached from Force “K” and took passage to

                               join Force B.

                     15th   Arrived in Malta with HMS PENELOPE and HMS LANCE.

                               (Note: Operation MF4 was therefore a failure as no relief supplies were landed in Malta.)

March                     Force K deployment in continuation.

                     21st   Sailed from Malta with HMS PENELOPE to take over escort of Convoy

                               MW10 from ships of Force B (Operation MG1).

                     22nd  Joined HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS DIDO, HMS EURYALUS and destroyer

                               screen escorting MW10 and remained with these ships and the convoy because of threat from

                               Italian battle squadron known to be on passage to intercept this attempt to provide relief

                               supplies to the island. (See above references.)

                               Took part in engagement with Italian ships and carried out torpedo attack (2nd Battle of Sirte).

                               (Note: The Italian squadron withdrew from the action after a confused exchange of shots and

                                           because of threat of torpedo attacks by British destroyers which were fitted with radar

                                           for fire-control of main armament. For details see above references, Naval Staff History,

                                           BRITISH DESTROYERS by E March and  MEDITERRANEAN MAELSTROM by

                                           GC Connell.)

                     23rd   Detached to join HM Destroyer ERIDGE escorting ss CLAN CAMPBELL and under air attack

                               during which damage was sustained by near miss.

                               Ship able to proceed using only one engine after damage control and beached in Marsaloxx

                               SE Malta.

                               (Note: Air cover from Malta had been promised to cover passage of MW10 into Malta but the

                                           24 hour delay caused by the engagement prevented this being available.)

                     25th   Taken in tow to HM Dockyard, Malta

                     26th   Alongside at Boiler Wharf awaiting repair.

                               Hit by two bombs during air raid on Grand Harbour and sustained further serious damage when

                               forward magazine exploded.

                               Ship sank and rolled over with bridge and funnel lying on jetty.

F i n a l   N o t e

HMS LEGION was cut in two during 1943 and attempts made to refloat were unsuccessful. After the end of WW2 breaking-up in situ was carried out but not completed until 1946




Content box

***plastic parts*

***a lot of PE parts***

Detailed assembly booklet -Page number 1

Detailed assembly booklet Page number 2+Marking

***more plastic parts***

***Ship parts***

Armaments and weapons

torpedo missiles

***Ship parts in great detail***

The deck of the ship 2

The deck of the ship

Although it was a relatively small warship compared to other ships, it was a very powerful and fast ship and was equipped with 8 torpedoes and a very small number of very deadly weapons. In 1937 She was order despite her expensive cost and there was the feeling that she would bring peace and Quiet times even in In difficult years and wars times
and she was built and a few months later it was commissioned in 1938 by March 31 The British Sea in December 1939 entered the sea after passing many tests and was ready for battle and serve the British Navy

A few months later, it entered long periods of time and was very vulnerable to prolonged attacks. Nevertheless, it was at the forefront of the British naval force and attacked ships of rival and hard-fought armies day and night, defeating a considerable number of ships on its way. Its operational service over the years: efficiency and speed and firmness.

The ship's kit is indeed invested and very high quality, because the manufacturer chose to invest a lot of time in planning the product and gave great respect to an 80-year ship from the British Navy. You can start from this and see in the ship's pictures that it is a very significant ship and has a great history that took a fair part in world wars. This is a very rich kit and not only in size but also in the quality and wide detail of the parts of the ship and the rest of the kit, wherever they are, a very high quality plastic is used in thick, shiny gray color that gives a base Excellent coloring for realistic and natural finish, recommended This kit requires a lot of free time and great patience, focusing on the construction of small parts of the hull and the construction of the whole kit, a very detailed assembly booklet is explained in a comfortable way with a clear black inscription that is visible, there are also instructions for coloring and marking Fullness of the ship and please buy quality tools for good performance to avoid assembly errors coloring and pasting, and it is advisable to read the assembly instructions to the end before the assembly process.

This kit is highly recommended and definitely gives great value for fun and fun money
And has great historic value for a warship that was the spearhead 80 years ago