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« Back To The Future: The Quest For The Grand Slam Homebuilt | Main | Video: More Amazing Turbine Powered A-10 Warthog RC Models »

A-10 Warthog Week Ends On Memorial Day


 It's Memorial Day, and this special week of looking at the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) is coming to an end.  It's quite fitting actually because fighting tools like the A-10 are built and operated to preserve freedom... and freedom is what those who have lost their life in U.S. Military service were fighting for.  War is ugly, war is painful, but war is a constant in the human experience.  Since the beginning of time, man has fought against man.  And while the hope for peace is a wonderful thing, we must always be prepared to fight to protect what is good.  Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who were prepared, and sacrificed their life.  May we all live like everyday is Memorial Day. 

'A-10 Warthog week' comes to an end

Catch the Air Combat Command A-10 East Demo Team
at the Indy Air Show June 12th and 13th

   The pic above shows an A-10 in the green camo paint that was used in the late 70's and thru the 80's.  It also gives a great overview of the design elements that make the Warthog so much different than all other modern military aircraft.  Two turbofan engines mounted high and outside the fuselage give excellent protection against foreign object damage from poor runway conditions.  The turbofan engines blow a lot of cool air around the hot exhaust gases which helps to reduce the infrared signature, and the twin vertical tails provide additional infrared shielding, while also providing a redundancy that can be very important in an aircraft likely to be hit by ground fire.

 The offset nose gear is easy to see in this picture, along with the fact that the 30mm cannon is mounted on the aircraft centerline.  The main landing gear retracts forward into the pods that hang just below the wing.  This keeps the wing structure from being interrupted by the gear legs making it much easier to build a strong wing.  The main gear tires even remain partially exposed when fully retracted for greater simplicity and to provide reduced damage to the airframe in the event of having to land with the wheels up.  The excellent visibility from the forward mounted cockpit is easy to see, but the titanium 'bathtub' that surrounds the pilot isn't.  This protective armor is designed to provide the pilot protection from 23mm cannon fire.

 This view shows vast array of locations for mounting missiles and bombs on the underside of the wing.  You can also see the substantial trailing edge flaps along with the split ailerons (decelerons) that also act as dive brakes.  A false canopy is painted on the fuselage bottom to make it harder to tell which side is up when the airplane is in combat.

 An excellent view of the decelerons in the fully deployed position is seen here.  With that much deflection, they must be extremely effective in providing aerodynamic braking!  The relatively slender aft fuselage is visible here as well.

 The A-10 Warthog has proven itself to be a very effective military aircraft, and with a program that's just getting underway to replace the wings with upgraded ones that are even stronger, the A-10 is expected to continue to be serviceable until at least 2028.

 The odd looking airplane that dared to be very different is now considered an extremely successful military aircraft.

 Only one 2 seat A-10 was built in 1979 and it wasn't as a trainer.  The Warthog proved to be easy enough to fly that no trainer version was needed.  This airplane was built to demonstrate the capabilities of the A-10 to be used in Night Adverse Weather (NAW) conditions.  The addition of a second crew member and an additional radar pod and FLIR pod were thought to make the airplane well suited to the task.  It may have been, but the USAF wasn't interested in buying the aircraft.

 There will certainly be more A-10 posts yet to come as this amazing airplane continues to fly for many years to come.  There are also many additional interesting features of it that weren't cover in 'A-10 Warthog Week', so we'll just have to get to them later.  I also hope to get some great pix and additional info on June 12th and 13th at the Indy Air Show... you can expect a few great A-10 posts to come out of that : )

  (click pic for hi-res)

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Reader Comments (1)

The Warthog 2 seater is at Andrews Airforce base on display outside next to an F4 Phatom.

February 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott Monfort

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