Republic XP-72 Ultrabolt

Developed in parallel with the Republic XP-69, the XP-72 was proposed as a replacement for the P-47.

The aircraft was a development of the bubbletop P-47D, but was to be powered by 3,450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-4360-13 Wasp Major 28-cylinder radial engine driving contra-rotating six-bladed Aero products propellers and armed with six M2 Browning’s.

The USAAF ordered two prototypes on June 18, 1943.

The first prototype, with a four-bladed propeller due to delayed delivery of the intended unit, was first flown on February 2, 1944, and the second prototype with the intended propeller followed on June 26 of that year.

The second XP-72 crashed early in the test program, but the USAAF was impressed with its performance and placed an order for 100 production P-72 aircraft with R-4360-19 and four 37 mm cannons in place of the Browning’s.

However, this order was cancelled as the war neared its end.



Share on facebook