Thunderbolt Research Centre
Research, Restoration, and other topics related to non-modeling aspects of P-47 history.
P-47 Drop Tank Types
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: December 23, 2005
KitMaker: 6,249 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 06:33 AM UTC
Heres the different types of drop tank used on P-47s.

200 gal ferry tank.

Flush fitting, and only used on P-47C's and early D's with the flat keel.
These were used operationally in the ETO by the 4th, 56th and 78th FG in late July and August 1943. Despite a 200gal capacity they usually carried only 100gal as, amongst other problems, they were unpressuried and fuel could not be drawn from them over 10'000ft.

75 gal tank.

Using air pressure from the vacuum pump normally lost in the exhaust, thermostats sourced in the UK, and the glass elbow tube designed to stop the tanks "hanging up", fuel was now able to be drawn at high altitudes and this became standard for the 75 gal and other tanks.
Introduced at the end of August 1943.

108 gal tank.

Introduced later in 1943. 2 types. Pressed paper and metal. Pressed paper, coloured silver, were manufactured in the UK due to a metal shortage. The USA manufactured metal tanks were painted grey.

At the beginning of 1944 the wing pylons started to be fitted, and plumbing for fuel installed. P-47C's didn't have the "wet wings" and were unable to carry fuel tanks on the wings.

150 gal "slipper" tank.

Introduced in Feb 1944.

200 gal flat tank.
A rush design at the end of 1944, intended to allow the wing pylons to removed from the 56th FG P-47s and still allow the maximum amount of fuel to be carried. Slightly wider and flatter than the 150 gal tanks. Often seen under the wings of the P-47M though.

Outside of the ETO, 3 other types of tank were commonly seen.
Im the MTO and PTO for example, the 110 gal tank type more usually associated with Mustangs were used by the 79thFG amongst others.

175 gal "teardrop" tanks,which could only be carried on the wings due to the limited ground clearance under the fusalage.

The "Brisbane Tank".

Manufactured by Ford Motor Company in Brisbane Australia as a temporary measure due to long shipping times from the USA. Essentially a field modification.

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Florida, United States
Joined: November 24, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 03:15 PM UTC
Two different types of tanks on same a/c.
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: December 23, 2005
KitMaker: 6,249 posts
P47 Heaven: 1,470 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 - 08:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Two different types of tanks on same a/c.

Both variants of the 150 gall tank. Probably from different manufacturers.
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: September 27, 2016
KitMaker: 1 posts
P47 Heaven: 1 posts
Posted: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 03:55 PM UTC
Hello Nige.

I found this topic very informative.

If you have the time and information ...I always asked myself about the 150 gal tank under the left wing of the Belle of Belmont....is it bare metal, or some sort of light gray?

Also you said that the metal 108 gal tanks (the ones manufactured in US) were painted grey. It was the same neutral gray found on the undersides of the camouflaged US planes?

Thanks and regards!

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Utah, United States
Joined: December 28, 2009
KitMaker: 14 posts
P47 Heaven: 13 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 08, 2020 - 02:13 AM UTC
At least one original Ford "Brisbane" tank has been found in Australia. See the attached link and scroll down about half way to the "Drop Tank" article. Modelers in Australia are hoping to take detailed photos and measurements that can be used to make a resin reproduction.

I had no idea any of these Brisbane tanks survived the war.