Author Topic: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt  (Read 540 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« on: December 29, 2018, 05:57:01 AM »


While the Republic P-43 Lancer is a little-known step in the development of the famous P-47 Thunderbolt,



even more obscure is an aircraft it spawned, the YP-43L2 Lancer II.



The ultimate refinement of the original Lancer, this fighter had enough updates to be worthy of a new USAAF designation, but since it had been sold to congress as modification to an existing design, it would be branded with the ignominious P-43 number.



Officially known as the YP-43L2, this slick pursuit would be known in (very brief) service as the Lancer II or more often, the sobriquet from blistered ground crew, the "Lance it, too!"



The tight fit of the aircraft's panels aside, it was well-streamlined and powered by a 14 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2200 Twin Wasp II which gave the Lancer II a top speed of 387 m.p.h. and a ceiling just south of 40,000 feet.



The new fighter was heavily armed with two 20 mm cannon, two .50 caliber machine guns in the wings and two more .50s on the engine decking synchronized to fire through the propeller. The cowling blast tube fairings which were such a prominent feature of the P-43 were omitted on the P-43L2 to ease maintenance.



The Lancer II's sole claim to fame is local air defense during the bombing of Boise City, Oklahoma in 1943.

On that fateful (painfully early) morning, the continental United States was bombed for the first time, but unfortunately, by their own air force.



Fortunately, the service-test batch of Republic YP-43L2s was providing local air defense based just outside the sprawling metropolis of Enid.



At the first panicked sign of trouble, those brave pilots took to the sky to defend America from the enemy. Then they met the enemy only to discover that enemy was them.



A training flight of Flying Fortresses had gotten lost on their way to the bomb range. Before any guns could be fired in anger, YP-43L2 #76 "Little Luke" picked up the B-17s on a single side-band frequency and after verifying I.F.F. via the C-14 discriminator, was able to abort interception.



Even though no air victories were scored in that action, the fact that no actual axis enemy ever attacked Oklahoma during World War II is stunning testimony to the potency of this forgotten fighter.



Only built in small numbers, the Lancer II was superseded by better types before entering service and none survive today. Still, the YP-43L2 remains a crucial, if almost unknown, step closer to the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 06:22:29 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 06:44:50 AM »
This all started when a 1/72 KP Lavochkin La-5FN showed up recently (thanks a million, hamsterman!) Isn't that box art great?



I sure miss box tops with paintings like that. There's a even great paint guide on the back.



Oodly enough, I actually came close to using that Czech scheme minus the markings.

What's in that well adorned, slim as a Parisian chanteuse box might seem basic by today's standards.



However, there's plenty of details and you can even build up a nice 'pit if that's your thing.

So did you ever have one of those moments when once you figure out what to do with something that you couldn't wait to build it? It was this kit for me. I had this front cowling left-over from a Nakajima Ki-84 sent from the late, great HOG almost 10 years ago. It fit well after I did a little sanding.







Originally this was going to be a Romanian IAR-86 (it was 86'd by the Soviets, get it?) but after discussion with Bill, I was convinced this had a Republic flavor to it so I proceeded accordingly.



I already had most of the paint on when I changed course, so the YP-43L2 is finished in non-standard U.S. equivalent colors or in this case, Model Masters Green Drab acrylic on top and Polly Scale Light Blue underneath, both applied with the old hairy stick.



The canopy was tinted on the inside with Polly Scale RLM-something Lichtblau and the exhausts were done with Model Masters Jet Exhaust.



The guns were given a custom gunmetal mix. Those guns are all spare bits but the ammo cans and prop came from a P-36.



Decals were a mix from spares.



It took me four days to put this together and it was a nice, relaxing build.



Before I forget, here's the "money shot" (U.S. penny for scale):



I'd like to thank Bill for his kindness in sending me this cool kit and the great back-and-forth. I couldn't have done it without you!



I hope you enjoyed the YP-43L2 Lancer II and reading about another forgotten step on the way to the P-47, even if the so-called "experts" think it all hits too close to home to be believed.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 06:52:04 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 07:10:41 AM »
Great concept Brian! Love the Republic backstory. With that Hayate cowling nose, going Japanese would have been another route to go.
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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 08:43:11 AM »
Convincing evolutionary step between P-43 and P-47.  :smiley:   Woulda been competitive among WW2 fighters.
Ya got it right and interesting back story.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 01:30:30 PM »
Looks like a convincing Republic brute.

Offline Camthalion

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 02:19:39 PM »
Very cool

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 02:43:44 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 07:48:16 AM »
The airframe, cowling and propeller really do work well together.  :smiley:
Cheers,
Moritz

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Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: The Republic YP-43L2 - Another Lost Step to the Thunderbolt
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 01:57:09 PM »
That looks awesome.  Looks like it truly belongs in the P-47 lineage.