via Classic Wings magazine
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the most significant fighter aircraft to go into combat during WW-II but sadly, despite over 15,000 being built, barely a dozen remain in flyable condition worldwide today. And unlike the Spitfires, Mustangs and Kittyhawks that they fought alongside, there is no move to rebuild Thunderbolts in anything but drip-feed numbers in 2022. So when a P-47 appears on the market in any condition at all, it is a rare occasion.
This aircraft is a well known veteran of the Pacific Theatre which was force-landed largely undamaged into swampy ground in New Guinea in October 1943. It remained mostly untouched until the mid 1960s when efforts were made to bring it out. It ended up being recovered and shipped to New Zealand where it was mocked up for static display, later being traded to Australia. By the time restoration started, the aircraft was requiring substantial metal replacement to replace corroded areas from its time in the swamp in PNG.
Fast forward to today and this aircraft, one of the oldest remaining P-47s and the earliest survivor from the Pacific campaign, is now well along the way towards restoration. The fuselage has been structurally completed awaiting the final installation of controls, wiring etc., the tail group has been rebuilt, the engine mount has been rebuilt along with the windshield and canopy. The wings have been stripped and the components refurbished or replaced as required, ready for reassembly. The cowlings and many other aspects of the restoration are underway.