On Wednesday, under a beautifully sunny Minnesota sky, the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 performed its first engine run under the experienced supervision of veteran warbird pilot Bernie Vasquez. As our regular readers will know, AirCorps Aviation has been restoring this aircraft for several years now at their facility in Bemidji, Minnesota. An aircraft’s first engine run is always an important marker during its restoration, so we asked AirCorps Aviation’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing to give us his impressions of today’s achievement…
“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 was a major milestone in the restoration of P-47D 42-27609. This engine, the Double Wasp, is an eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial weighing approximately 2,350 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 2,804 cubic inches. To give you an idea of the sheer size of these cylinders, you must consider that, at 155.7 cubic inches (2.55 liters), each cylinder displaces slightly more than the entire 4 cylinder engine powering a standard family automobile such as a Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion!
To learn more about AirCorps Aviation and their projects, visit www.aircorpsaviation.com