Thunderbolt’s turbo charger a well-oiled machine

  • By Cory Graff Flying Heritage Collection
  • Wednesday, October 3, 2012 2:30pm
  • LifeFlight Paths

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

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

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

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