353rd FG "Republic's Cavalry"

For the 1996 season, the P-47 had a slight colour scheme change from the 78th FG at Duxford to the 353rd FG at Raydon. It was a short lived scheme as the P-47 crashed mid year while being flown by a friend, though the crash was not his fault. The aircraft suddenly rolled and pitched down, vertically into the grass at Cosford shortly after take off. At the time, the cause of the loss of control was unknown as the radio worked fine again afterwards. The wing, rear fuselage and tail survived.
"Rebel Angel"

The P-47 was rebuilt over the winter of '96/97 and was ready to fly in May at the Longhorsley show. The trusty old Zenoah 38 was destroyed in the crash, so the new P-47 was fitted with a spare 3w-40cc engine which gave it much more power.

Range checks and engine tests at Chester-le-Street prior to the first flight. The first few flights were ok, then during one display flight, the aircraft suddenly rolled again, before pitching down and hitting the ground about 20 degrees nose down, wings level, resulting in the same damage as before. Why when the radio was working fine, did it suddenly repeat a similar radio problem to the first crash?

Close inspection of the radio system found a fracture in the signal wire leading to the two elevator servos, hidden inside the insulation. Pulling it this fracture caused all the servos to chatter ( causing the sudden roll and loss of elevator control ). The P-47 was rebuilt again in six weeks, and test flown at the former RAF Oakington ready for the show at Cosford the following week.

Flying at Longhorsley '97. The rest of the '97 season was without incident for the P-47.
The P-47 made its 100th flight at the 100th Bomb Group Museum open day in 1998.
By 1999, I had a new P-47N Thunderbolt ( seen ablve ) to replace the tired P-47D. "Rebel Angel" was sold to a friend. It is seen to the left on its last flight in my ownership, mid 1999.

The new owner was caught out by the torque swing on his first take off, clipped a fence post with the wing tip, and ripped the wing out of the middle of the fuselage.

I got the bits back to rebuild for him.