P-47D razorback

Heavier than some small bombers of its day, Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt was the largest single-engine fighter operationally flown by the USAAF during World War II, and represented the pinnacle of the Seversky/Republic piston-engined fighter line dating back to the P-35. The original XP-47 concept was actually for a completely different, lightweight fighter powered by a liquid-cooled Allison engine and armed with only a pair of machine guns. This was never built, in favor of pursuing the much more formidable R-2800 powered XP-47B. Flight testing of the prototype began in May 1941, and although the first Thunderbolt would be lost in a crash in August of that year, the way had been paved for an initial order for 773 aircraft.

P-47D walk around NMUSAF

P-47D landing gear machine guns

P-47 propeller
 

Bibliography:

Michael and Billy Crisler  "Comparitive Review: Modern 1/72 Scale P-47D Thunderbolts"   Aerospace Modeler  Winter 2007
 

Aviation Reviews, Photos and References