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Thunderbolts Inbound to AirVenture Oshkosh

May 11, 2017 - Fans of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, will be doubly excited to learn that we’ll be welcoming not one but two of the rare fighters to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017. The Tennessee Museum of Aviation, a “living” museum located in Sevierville, has announced its plan to bring Hun Hunter XVI and Wicked Wabbit to be featured in the Warbirds area at AirVenture this summer.

The P-47 Thunderbolt, better known, affectionately, as “the Jug,” was a brute of an airplane, the largest single-engine fighter of World War II, and served with distinction in every theater of the war after its introduction in the spring of 1942. The P-47 was originally built as a fighter, armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, but, because of its size and strength, it quickly developed into an able fighter-bomber. In that role, the P-47 became a feared ground attack aircraft, capable of carrying rockets and up to 500 pounds of bombs, in addition to its regular complement of machine guns. The P-47 was synonymous with the famed 57th Fighter Group, and the museum’s examples, both D-models, are painted in that group’s colors.

Hun Hunter XVI is owned by Neal Melton, and honors Gil O. Wymond, while Wicked Wabbit, owned by John Shoffner, pays tribute to James C. Hare. Of the more than 15,000 produced, it’s estimated that less than a dozen remain flying today. 

To see some of the other aircraft we expect to host this summer, keep an eye on the regularly updated aircraft highlights gallery on our blog. If you’re bringing an aircraft that you think we should feature here, let us know! Send a picture and short description to editorial@eaa.org.

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