Fairchild Republic A-10A 'Thunderbolt II'

Fairchild Republic A-10A 'Thunderbolt II' at the New England Air Museum


First Flight:   1972
Length:   53' 4”
Height:   14' 8”
Wingspan:   57' 6”
Rotor Diameter:   
Empty Weight:   19,856 lbs.
Gross Weight:   40,269-46,786 lbs. (depending on mission) lbs.
Cruise Speed:   
Maximum Speed:   460 mph
Service Ceiling:   37,800'
Powerplant:   2 x General Electric TF34-GE-100 Turbofans
Armament:   1 x 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger Rotary Cannon with 1,174 rounds, 11 hardpoints with a capacity of 16,000 pounds of ordnance
Serial No.:   
Location:   Military Hangar

Courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Air Force

The A-10 is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed specifically for close air support. Although its official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter that proved effective in the close air support role, the A-10 has also become affectionately known as the “Warthog.”

The aircraft was designed around its primary armament, a Gatling-style (rotary) autocannon and is protected by more than 1,200 pounds of armor around the cockpit and flight control systems. As a result, the A-10 has a reputation for survivability, with many recorded examples of aircraft taking significant damage and remaining airborne. It also has superior maneuverability at low speeds/altitudes and is capable of short takeoffs and landings, enabling it to operate from more primitive forward bases.

The A-10A entered service in March of 1976 and first saw combat during the Gulf War in 1991, flying over 8,000 sorties. It has become popular amongst pilots and ground troops due to its success as a close air support platform. Later models are still in service and there are no immediate plans to retire the aircraft. This example, serial number 79-0173, flew combat missions during the Gulf War and later served in the CT Air National Guard.

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