Yesterday under a beautiful sunny Minnesota sky, the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 performed its first engine run under the experience supervision of experienced warbird pilot Bernie Vasquez. As our reader would know the aircraft is being restored by AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota. This is a very important milestone and for the occasion, we caught up with Eric Trueblood, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at AirCorps Aviation.
“At AirCorps Aviation we have been blessed to work with great people and for great people over these eleven years. Efforts like this P-47 don’t just happen by chance, there are plenty of days that aren’t easy. Restorations like this both humble and challenge you. The glamour of an engine run that was nearly flawless captured in the video looks much easier than it appears, as is the case with most things in the warbird industry. ” Eric told us. ” As we continue to expand our restoration abilities and explore the idea of what makes a restoration excellent we need to recognize the people, shops, institutions, and community that helped make this restoration possible.”
Running the R-2800-59 is a major milestone in the restoration of P-47 42-27609. The Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp R-2800 used in the P-47 is an eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial weighing approximately 2350 pounds. The cylinder bore is 5.75 inches and the piston stroke is 6 inches. The cylinder volume swept by all 18 pistons combined is 2804 cubic inches. For a rough analogy of the sheer size of the cylinders, consider that at 155.7 cubic inches (or 2.55 liters,) each cylinder displaces slightly more than the entire standard 4 cylinder engine in a Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion.