With a deep sense of pride and anticipation we announce the decision by the Commemorative Air Force HQ to entrust the SoCal wing with the restoration of the P47N Thunderbolt, N47TB.
In a 2002 accident, an engine fire in the CAF’s P-47 forced an extremely skilled emergency landing. The pilot walked away with minimal damage and a heck of a story to tell, the P47’s damage was a little more extensive, consisting of collapsed undercarriage, a broken wing and fire damage forward of the cockpit, requiring extensive repair.
In the intervening 12 years, tremendous work has been done towards repairs to the airframe, however much more needs to be done to return the aircraft to flying condition; and the CAF SoCal restoration crews as well as our general membership, are brimming with enthusiasm and justified pride for having been selected as the guardians of this noteworthy aircraft.
The CAF’s P-47 was built at the Republic Aviation Factory in Evansville, Indiana and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59B 2,600HP twin-row radial engine.
According to the Warbird Registry, this P47N S/N 45-53436 has been part of the Commemorative Air Force since 1962, most recently registered as N47TB “Meat Chopper”. The original “Meat Chopper” served with the 464th FS/507th FG in 1945 based on Ie Shima in the Pacific theater.
An interesting account of this aircraft’s history with the Guatemalan Air Force can be found HERE.
The airframe is currently hangared at the CAF facilities in Dallas, TX and will be transferred over to the Camarillo Airport as soon as further arrangements can be made. We will bring you updates to the process as appropriate.
Donate to help this Meat Chopper get back in the air and honor those who sacrificed so much for our freedom!