Republic P-74D TwinBolt

The Republic P-74 TwinBolt was based on the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and was originally designed as a long-range escort fighter for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress in World War II. In March 1942, the USAAF placed an order for two P-74 prototypes as a heavy fighter comprised of two P-47 Thunderbolt fuselages joined by a new centre section. The first flight was in June 1943. First trials showed that the fuselages needed to be lengthened to achieve stability. The first YP-74A prototypes with a lengthened fuselage flew in January 1944.

Small numbers were deployed in the pacific at the end of 1944 but even though heavily armed, the aircraft were not manoeuvrable enough in dogfights against the Japanese fighters. Most P-74s were withdrawn in 1945.

In the post-war era, Strategic Air Command used the planes as a long-range escort fighter. Radar-equipped F-74s were used extensively by the Air Defense Command as replacements for the Northrop P-61 Black Widow as all-weather day/night interceptors. During the Korean War, Japan-based F-74s were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea. The first three North Korean aircraft destroyed by U.S. forces were shot down by F-74s, the first being a North-Korean Yak-11 downed over Gimpo Airfield by the USAF 68th Fighter Squadron.

1951 was the last full year of F-74 operations in Korea, as they were gradually replaced by the jet-powered F-94 Starfire. USAF claimed the TwinBolts destroyed 20 enemy aircraft, four in the air and 16 on the ground during the conflict.

Model: 2 x Academy P-47D 1/72

Last updated: 04/01/2023