After Republic had finished the production run of the P-35A, it set about to develop a more advanced version of that aircraft. Two different projects resulted from this, the XP-41, and the P-43. Both had more powerful engines than the P-35A, and a redesigned airframe that was far more aerodynamic than its predecessor. Testing of these prototypes resulted in a USAAC contract for 13 P-43s in March 1939. The service test YP-43 aircraft were delivered to the USAAC from September 1940 to April 1941. While the production P-43s were delivered to the USAAC from May 1941 onwards, it had become obvious that the latest improvements were still not up to par with the new aircraft developed in Europe. Although Republic had already developed a more advanced version known as the P-44, all types that had been ordered were cancelled in September 1940 in favor of a more advanced design which was to become the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. While the P-47 was being developed, the USAAC ordered 54 P-43s and 80 P-44s, and 107 more examples were delivered to China. The P-43s and P-44s in USAAC service were considered unsuitable for combat operations, and all were converted for use as photo-reconnaissance aircraft.
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(updated February 2009)
Republic P-43 Lancer
Type: single seat fighter Crew: 1: Pilot Armament: two .50 cal machine guns two .30 cal machine guns plus six 20 lb. bombs Specifications: Length: 28' 6" (8.69 m) Height: 14' 0" (4.27 m) Wingspan: 36' 0" (10.97 m) Wing area: 223 sq. ft (20.72 sq. m) Empty Weight: 5996 lb (2720 kg) Max Weight: 8480 lb (3846 kg) max at takeoff Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-57 Twin Wasp radial Horsepower: 1200 hp Performance: Range: 650 miles (1046 km) Cruise Speed: 280 mph ( 451 km/h) Max Speed: 356 mph ( 573 km/h) at 20,000 ft Ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,975 m)
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