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CAF’s P-47 Thunderbolt Heads to California

Camarillo, California (March 26, 2018) - The P-47 was one of the most produced American World War II aircraft, with more than 15,000 built. It is an important aircraft in the CAF’s fleet, but this P-47 is no longer airworthy. The Flying Museum Board of the Commemorative Air Force recently made the decision to assign the P-47 restoration project to the Southern California Wing in Camarillo, California.

In 2006, the CAF P-47 was on a test flight in Albuquerque after a maintenance period. Moments after takeoff the aircraft’s engine caught fire. The pilot executed an extremely skilled landing, saving the aircraft and his own life. On landing, one wing broke, dropping the airplane onto its belly. Quick action by the fire department allowed the aircraft to avoid complete destruction in the fire. In the months after the accident, the airplane was brought to Addison, Texas and work began to restore it to flying condition. The fuselage was repaired – a new canopy and windshield sourced and fitted. The control surfaces were re-built and painted. A replacement wing was located and purchased – no easy feat on an airplane as rare as the P-47N. To begin the next phase of putting the P-47 back in the air, the project will need to have a dedicated and skilled restoration crew. The airframe is currently at the CAF Headquarters Hangar facilities in Dallas. The aircraft will be transferred over to the Camarillo Airport as soon as arrangements can be made. Updates regarding the status of the project will be delivered by the Southern California Wing and published via the CAF media outlets as well. The Southern California Wing is brimming with enthusiasm and pride for having been selected as the guardians of this noteworthy aircraft. Those wanting to donate to the restoration efforts of this aircraft may do so through the Southern California Wing’s Website at this link- CAF DONATE Please note under area of support- Designation: Other, P-47 Thunderbolt, N47TB.

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