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One of the largest and heaviest single engined fighters of the second world war weighing twice as much as the P51. The prototype first flew on 6th May 1941, with production aircraft entering service in 1942. The P47B first saw combat in 1943 escorting eighth air force bomber on raids and conducting fighter sweeps. The P47D was the most numerous of the P47 variants and accounted for 80% of all production. Deliveries of the P47D began in early 1943 and differed little from the earlier P47C but successive production batches introduced successive improvements including more powerful engines, strengthened wings capable of carrying bombs and other ordinances.
The major external change was introduced on P47D-25 when the original Razorback, canopy and rear fuselage was replaced with a bubble canopy and cut down rear fuselage. This configuration was first tested using a canopy from the Hawker Typhoon.
With the introduction of the P51 the P47D began to be used increasingly as a fighter bomber, serving in Europe and the Pacific. The RAF used the P47D exclusively with South East Asia Command beginning in September 1944, replacing the Hawker Hurricane in the fighter bomber role.