The “Jugs”, despite being the biggest and heaviest single seat fighters to see service in WW2 were renowned by their outstanding performances. So, what could happen if you lighten them a little bit?. That’s what the people of Republic had in mind with this prototype. They took a newly built airframe and reduced its armament to the American 6x.50 MG standard instead of the P-47’s eight and supped it up with various combinations of water-injected R2800 engines, props and turbosuperchargers. First flown in late 1943, the performances displayed by the unique prototype (43-46952) were superb achieving a max speed of just over 500mph…hence its “Superbolt” nickname. Regrettably, Republic’s almost contemporary XP-72 looked more promising and that plus the advent of jet propulsion meant the end… from both projects.
The Superbolt returning with elan to its nest (Republic Farmingdale factory, maybe). It was a really hot -and really ugly- potato. That shortened and reconfigured engine cowling couldn’t hardly be less graceful.