The P-47N in Aces High II
The P-47N is certainly the best P-47 model in the game and quite competitive. Under some circumstances it might even be considered dominant, especially at high altitudes, although typically most AH fights are under 10K, an area where it can only be considered good.
The P-47N addressed the main shortcomings of the prior models and is a very capable MA aircraft. It's maybe not the best for someone whose tool-kit of offensive and defensive maneuvers is tailored to only flying the fastest aircraft, but if you spend some time in one you can learn to love it. The ability to take a hit and continue on fighting is second to none plus the chainsaw effect of the eight guns is effective against just about everything, even not at perfect convergence settings. The P-47N is probably going to stay popular in the MA as probably the ultimate swing-role aircraft, capable of carrying a large ordnance load over a long distance and then converting into a very capable fighter.
Good down-low, exceptional up-high. The P-47N really isn't intended for the low-medium altitudes of most AH combat but certainly isn't out of place against the vast majority of opponents. While low level military power speed seems low, 328mph, the addition of fantastic WEP improvement adds a full 37mph to that yielding 365mph for sprints. That is a good number and compares favorably to most aircraft except the real low-alt speed demons. Speed increase with altitude gain is linear at 3-4mph/1,000ft while WEP gains are similar if slightly more. 5K gives 344mph (382mph WEP), 10K 361mph (400mph), 15K 378mph (411mph WEP), all the way to 30K 433mph (474mph WEP). Notice that up high the P-47N is probably the fastest perk-free propeller driven aircraft in the game. First impression of acceleration/climb is that it is good at low levels and only gets better with altitude, not unexpected. Over 20K and it's probably the match for anything in the game and significantly better than most.
Fuel duration is exceptional, the P-47N has increased internal fuel tankage to a total of 550 gallons due the inclusion of wing tanks yielding a duration of slightly over 57 minutes. The option to add wing tanks can increase that to 925 gallons and over 2 hours. Rarely should drop tanks be required to extend range although they are useful to allow lighter internal fuel loads for combat. Fuel burn order is AUX, RW/LW and then Main with 100 gallons (18%), 180 gallons (33%) and 270 gallons (49%) respectively. The fuel gauges can be a bit confusing also, the left-hand gauge represents total internal fuel % remaining while the right-hand gauge shows fuel in the currently selected tank. Fuel burn is constant at 580 gallons/hr, except while using WEP that drops slightly to 552 gall/hr, otherwise altitude makes no difference in regards to fuel burn.
Aces High II Performance Charts
Essentially unchanged from the earlier P-47 models, you have the choice of either six or eight gun .50 cal packages with the option for 267 rounds/gun or 425 rounds/gun. With earlier P-47s a favourite choice was the 8 gun, light ammo, package as a trade off for performance yet good hitting power. The short range/duration of the earlier P-47s simply meant you tended to run out of fuel before ammunition but that has changed with the P-47N. The high ammo package provides a full 30 seconds of firing, exceptional, while the light ammo load still provides ~19seconds worth of firing. The impact of the extra weight doesn’t feel as significant probably due to the increased wing area and engine power.
Convergence is a matter of preference but in general in AH2 shorter ranges are better. If you are very consistent in target range then set it short-medium, D400 or less, at a point. This will give very good hitting power as the volume of fire from 8 guns is incredible. If you tend to get inconsistent distanced shots then setting a convergence zone by spreading the guns over a small range (D100 or so) is a good tactic as it gives a decent shot-gun effect. It is also possible, if intending to strafe or attack bombers, to set the convergence out of maximum at D650 to give some standoff. Velocity on the guns is very good so there is little appreciable drop in round flight, aiming tends to be quite easy and flat.
P-47s have always been great jabo aircraft and the P-47N is probably the best of the bunch for a number of reasons. Primarily, it has the extra engine power to handle the heavy load-outs with much less difficulty. It also has the internal fuel capacity to avoid having to take external drop tanks over medium ranges, something other P-47s had trouble with, thus freeing up all the weapons pylons for ordnance. Externally, the P-47N has the same options as other P-47s, up to three external bombs (two 1,000lb and a 500lb) plus ten 5 inch rockets. The pylons mounted to the wings are also standard so you don’t really add any additional drag because of them once the bombs/rockets are dropped. This is unusual and most aircraft experience serious performance impacts due to residual pylons but not the P-47N. Add the bombs to the strafing potential and you have a top 5 attack aircraft with the ability to quickly convert back to fighter use once the ordnance is dropped.
Great. For an aircraft so large and heavy, the P-47N is remarkably maneuverable. The P-47N did introduce a few changes in a larger wing and a fillet extension to the tail, both of which have positive impacts. The stability, especially in yaw, are quickly noticeable compared to older model P-47s which had a tendency to wander a bit. The P-47N also doesn't seem to get quite the same wallowing, mushy or heavy feel that late model D versions had. You still need to be careful, there is nothing lightweight about the P-47N and it can take time to overcome a high sink rate at the bottom of a loop or to push through a corner. Stalls in general are also more benign, stall speed decreasing to under 80mph with flap, stall stability improving, and high speed stalls seeming to be less common. Roll rate is excellent, maybe not elite like a 190 but better than most everything else. The roll-rate also seems to be good over a slightly larger range of speeds from slow to very fast. The P-47N loves speed too so don't be afraid to push it very hard, the only barrier it should fear is the sound-barrier. The flaps are combat capable and can be used to improve turn-rates at medium speeds. They should be handled appropriately as the drag produced tends to have negative long-term impacts for short term turning gains.
Fighting in the P-47N
The P-47 was always better than it was given credit for, although to be good in one took some practice and understanding. It didn't help that most P-47s were used like guided missiles or bomb-trucks, not fighters, giving a poor impression of the full capabilities the P-47 possesses.
The P-47N is simply better in almost every way than the earlier models. It is a competitive ride and more likely to catch on in the Main Arena, pretty much putting the earlier models into obscurity. The P-47N addressed the issue of engine power, range and stability, all of which are much improved. The P-47N's improved speed, climb and acceleration all give it a better energy potential and can allow it to play an energy fight much better. Fuel capacity of the P-47N was increased significantly to improve endurance and make external fuel carriage almost unnecessary. This did come with some weight penalty but a larger wing and extended tail fillet improved stability, making it a much better gun platform.
Standard P-47N use will probably be as a BnZ fighter but the P-47N can be pretty good in close also. Just ensure you start out from a decent energy position and plan not to fight uphill for very long. Typically this would mean entering the fight slightly high and then working your way down until you reach your exit altitude and egress. No need to climb ultra-high unless the enemy is up that high also. The P-47N is great up high of course but typically that's not where the main fight is. Use your speed, energy retention, roll and great firepower to hammer people. Given a short dive the P-47N can pick up a lot of speed and maneuver hard, using short bursts of flaps to gain angles for shots. Don't be cheap on the ammunition either, take every shot you can and hold your trigger just that little extra to ensure you land hits. Roll rate and high speed handling in general are excellent, as is stability, at most fuel weights. The mass of the P-47N allows it to hold energy better while the vastly improved power buys back energy more quickly. You still don't want to get into a pure energy fight though unless you are at very light internal weights. Once you start to feel some pressure, roll out into a vertical dive and egress to re-build energy.
Defensively the P-47N can hold a lot of tricks. The standard dive and run should be more effectively with the improved deck speed on WEP of the P-47N but you are still slower than quite a few opponents so expect to mix it up more. Try and extend to simply thin the herd following you as some guys drop off rather than chase. Use the P-47's mass to hold energy and use the great roll and instantaneous turn to make for a difficult target to hit. The P-47s were always good overshoot creators given their ability to dump speed under power cuts and flap usage, just be careful because this can also lead you very vulnerable if the enemy recognizes the bait and doesn't bite. The P-47N can take a hit too, a couple of stray rounds are not likely to cause any serious damage, even so, it's worthwhile saving a couple of gallons in the wing tanks (maybe 10/tank) before running the MAIN tank all the way. This gives a short reserve for rtb when the MAIN runs out and also gives you a bit of range should your MAIN get holed and leak dry. Be aggressive in your defense though, the P-47N can be man-handled a bit more and might just surprise some opponents by its ability to maneuver in such a large aircraft.
Fighting against the P-47N
The P-47N is a totally different beast from earlier models and will likely comprise 90%+ of all P-47s you encounter. It is very dangerous, capable of maneuvering beyond most expectations and the upgraded power grants it the option to now get into more vertical or upwards engagements.
Be aggressive with a P-47N and try to get them slowed down. You are unlikely to win angles on one at high speeds and they simply have better than average capabilities in most maneuvering characteristics at medium-high speeds. While the P-47N was a great leap in engine performance there are still several aircraft who can do better in climb and acceleration. Watch out for overshoots, a classic P-47 tactic, the P-47N might be one of the best scissoring aircraft in the game though it is still large and generally an easy target. That doesn't make it an easy kill, the P-47 can often take massive punishment and fly away. I've been in P-47s hit by a dozen or more 20mm rounds and still be entirely able to fight. If the P-47N heads into a vertical dive and you can't catch it in the initial acceleration then it is likely to escape unless you are committed to the long chase.
Defending against a P-47N can be tough, they typically carry a lot of speed on their attacks and any sort of shot opportunity you give up is likely to be met with a hail of .50 cal rounds. Exploit its less than stellar turn radius to get inside of it and cause it trouble. The P-47N can balance this issue with use of flaps in the short term but the longer the fight the more the flaps will hurt the P-47N. Don't try and out-dive the P-47N and be really cautious using rolling techniques to defeat one. The P-47N is still heavy and pushes a bit through the corners when loaded with fuel. Don't count on this though, a light P-47N is a different beast, able to shed massive weight as fuel load lightens. Hard break turns at off-angles can be tough for a P-47N to adjust to though, the extra speed most P-47N pilots are carrying can cause them issues with G blackout or inability to pull enough lead angle.
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