Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

November 3, 2012


One of the most successful, if not the most successful, fighter the United States has ever produced is the A-10 Thunderbolt.  Lovingly referred to as the “warthog”.  To be properly grounded, let’s take a look at several JPEGS that will show the configuration.

 

 As you can see, this is not the sleekest aircraft ever produced but it has a remarkable “track record” when looking at its performance relative to designed intent.  That intent is close-air support for ground troops in combat situations.  The A-10 generally, is dependent upon forward air controllers (FACs) to coordinate and communicate target locations.   This, of course, is to avoid “friendly fire” situations that all too often happen when combat forces engage each other within limited areas.  In looking at the specifications and specifics, we find the following:

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

 

Primary Function: Close air support, Airborne Forward Air Control, Combat Search and Rescue
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust: 9,065 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Weight: 29,000 pounds (13,154 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds (22,950 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 11,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Payload: 16,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Speed: 450 nautical miles per hour (Mach 0.75)
Range: 2580 miles (2240 nautical miles)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,636 meters)
Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound (225 kilograms) Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Crew: One
Unit Cost: $18.8 million
Initial operating capability: A-10A, 1977; A-10C, 2007
Inventory: Active force, 187; Reserve, 49; ANG, 107

 

 As you can see, this is a single seat airplane in which the PIC (Pilot in Commend) is truly in command.  No weapons officer flying as the reel.  I have a friend who flew the A-10 during Desert Storm.  He told me the aircraft was truly a pilot’s airplane in that you felt completely in control each time you got behind the stick.  It was all you. 

 

 The cockpit has a fairly standard layout as shown by the photograph below.  One note, the display is mostly analog in the rendition.  Later versions of the A-10 have been upgraded to digital displays. 

 One very distinct feature of the A-10 is the very large bubble canopy.  This is to give the PIC the greatest visibility both forward and backward. 

 

The A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform. The aircraft can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate in low ceiling and visibility conditions. The wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.

Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems, or NVIS, goggle compatible single-seat cockpits forward of their wings and a large bubble canopy which provides pilots all-around vision. The pilots are protected by titanium armor that also protects parts of the flight-control system. The redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft. The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Their self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost.

The A-10 has received many upgrades over the years. In 1978, the aircraft received the Pave Penny laser receiver pod, which sensed reflected laser radiation from a laser designator. Pave Penney has now been discontinued in favor more capable advanced targeting pods. The A-10 began receiving an inertial navigation system in 1980. Later, the Low-Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancement (LASTE) upgrade provided computerized weapon-aiming equipment, an autopilot, and a ground-collision warning system. In 1999, aircraft began to receive Global Positioning System navigation systems and a new multi-function display. In 2005, the entire A-10 fleet began receiving the Precision Engagement upgrades that include an improved fire control system (FCS), electronic countermeasures (ECM), upgraded cockpit displays, the ability to deliver smart bombs, moving map display, hands on throttle and stick, digital stores management, LITENING and Sniper advanced targeting pod integration, situational awareness data link or SADL, variable message format, or VMF, GPS-guided weapons, and upgraded DC power. The entire A-10 fleet has been Precision Engagement modified and now carries the A-10C designation.

The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from austere bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft’s parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers. Avionics equipment includes multi-band communications; Global Positioning System and inertial navigations systems; infrared and electronic countermeasures against air-to-air and air-to-surface threats. And, it has a heads-up display to display flight and weapons delivery information.

The Thunderbolt II can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions or JDAM, wind corrected munitions dispenser or WCMD, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, rockets, illumination flares, and the GAU-8/A 30mm cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including tanks.

 

The first unit to receive the A-10 Thunderbolt II was the 355th Tactical Training Wing, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in March 1976. The first unit to achieve full combat-readiness was the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina, in 1978. Deployments of A-10As followed at bases both at home and abroad, including England AFB, Louisiana; Eielson AFB, Alaska; Osan Air Base, South Korea; and RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge, England. The 81st TFW of RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge operated rotating detachments of A-10s at four bases in Germany known as Forward Operating Locations (FOLs): Leipheim, Sembach Air Base, Nörvenich, and Ahlhorn.

 

A-10s were initially an unwelcome addition to many in the Air Force. Most pilots switching to the A-10 were very reluctant because fighter pilots traditionally favored speed and appearance.   In 1987, many A-10s were shifted to the forward air control (FAC) role and re-designated OA-10.   In the FAC role the OA-10 is typically equipped with up to six pods of 2.75 inch (70 mm) Hydra rockets, usually with smoke or white phosphorus warheads used for target marking. OA-10s are physically unchanged and remain fully combat capable despite the re-designation.

 

The A-10 was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 other military vehicles and 1,200 artillery pieces, making it by far the most effective aircraft of the war.   A-10s also shot down two Iraqi helicopters with the GAU-8 cannon. The first of these was shot down by Captain Robert Swain over Kuwait on 6 February 1991, marking the A-10’s first air-to-air victory.  Four A-10s were shot down during the war, all by surface-to-air missiles. Another three battle-damaged A-10s and OA-10As returned to base but were written off, some sustaining additional damage in crashed landings.   The A-10 had a mission capable rate of 95.7%, flew 8,100 sorties, and launched 90% of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles fired in the conflict.  Shortly after the Gulf War, the Air Force gave up on the idea of replacing the A-10 with a close air support version of the F-16.

 

I would encourage you to take a look at the GE Aviation web site to learn more about the engines themselves.  This site may be found by logging into the following site: http://www.geaviation.com/engines/commercial/genx/

 

 This aircraft proves that sometimes ugly can get the job accomplished.  I do know one thing, those pilots who have flown the A-10 loved the experience and go back time and time again for additional thrills.

 

 

 

Advertisements

63 Responses to “Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II”


  1. Very good post.Thanks with regard to crafting this unique insightful blog post and enlightening us with your opinions.I hope you may continue to keep this kind of great work at a later date as well.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Alisa. Thank you so much for your very very kind comment. Fairchile Republic is one of the most-read posts. I now have, as of today, 300 posting through WordPress. I try hard to make them meaningful. I think my readers deserve that. Again, many thanks. Bob

      Like


  2. Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Thank you Nike Air.I certainly appreciate you taking a look at my post. Fairchild A-10 is by FAR one of the most often-read post I have written. Apparently it has a great deal of appeal. Again, many thanks for taking a look and please do come again. Take care.

      Like


  3. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Well written!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Best Android.I certainly appreciate the kind words and happy you enjoyed my post. “Fairchild” is very very popular. I try very hard to make reading my posts beneficial because I hate wasting my reader’s time. Thank you so much for taking a look and please come back. Take care. Bob J.

      Like

  4. Preston Says:

    charming inspiring collection.gorgeous created designs here!Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Preston-Thank you so much for your very kind comments. “Fairchild” is one of the most-read posts I have written. Most dealing with “heavy metal” seem to be favorites with many people. Really hope you will come again. Take care. B.J.

      Like


  5. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!
    joshua eebest8

    Like

  6. fiverrr23Jz Says:

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post. Want more.
    fiverrr23Jz

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Thank you very much fiverrr. I certainly appreciate the very kind comments and do hope you will return. I have several other postings I am working on at this time. I try to get at least four per month but sometimes it is tough due to schedule.

      Like

  7. Ellie Says:

    Thank you to your refreshing statement. It has been a enjoyment looking at it. Appear forwards to far more articles coming from you!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hey there Ellie–Really happy you enjoyed this one and thank you so much for your very kind words. I really appreciate you taking a look and do hope you will visit again. Take care. Bob

      Like

  8. Clive Says:

    I have read your blog and really like the content, keep up the posts as I will be back.
    http://website132.com/
    Look at my site

    Like

  9. Habibi Says:

    I visited plenty of website but I conceive this one contains something unique in it in it

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Habibi–Thank you so much for your very kind comments. As you can see, my subject matter is fairly narrow. Most of my writing involves STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math ) subjects. I really appreciate you taking a look and hope you will come back soon. Also, any suggestions you have for subjects matter will be greatly appreciated. Take care. Bob

      Like

  10. snoring Cure Says:

    Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the great
    spirit.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I certainly appreciate you taking the time to read my posting and hope they provide “value-added”. Take care. Bob

      Like


  11. great.yourjournal is good

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I certainly appreciate you taking the time to read my posting and hope they provide “value-added”. Take care. Bob

      Like


  12. wonderful inspiring collection.lovely created designs here!Many thanks for sharing.

    Like

  13. http://textyourexbacktruth.wordpress.com/ Says:

    I got this web site from my pal who told me regarding this web page and at the
    moment this time I am browsing this site and
    reading very informative articles here.

    Like

  14. Marka plotso Says:

    The Slave of the Husband

    Looking for forward to finding out additional from you afterward!…

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      The A-10 post seems to be one of the favorite for those taking a look at my postings. Happy you enjoyed the information and thank you for your comments.

      Like


  15. Hi there exceptional website! Does running a blog such as this take a massive amount work? I’ve no expertise in programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject but I simply needed to ask. Thank you!

    Like


  16. I really like your writing style, great info , regards for posting : D.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Ryann . Elanor Roosevelt said: ” Intelligent people talk about ideas, average people talk about events and below average people talk about people”. I really try to talk about ideas that provide value-added to my readers. Happy you came by and please do come again.

      Like


  17. Title…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nonetheless definitely really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 study about Mid East has got far more problerms as well […]…

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Momuby. The A -10 provided close-air support for troops on the ground during many deployments. It has proven itself as a great complement to air power for the Air Force. Thank you so much for your comments and please come again. B

      Like


  18. I should express my passion for your generosity for individuals who must have assistance with this particular niche. Your extremely own commitment to acquiring the message up and down had become extraordinarily valuable and have constantly permitted associates like me to get to their ambitions. The useful guideline denotes so much a person like me and in addition to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Namitha. Thank you so much for your kind comments. The A-10 posting was fun to write. I actually saw one of these “flying machines” several years ago. It’s a huge plane–huge. Again, many thanks for taking a look.

      Like


  19. Hi there sweetheart, from a young girl reader, I love this sort of thing! Don’t stop!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Replacement–I definitely will keep on posting if you keep on calling me sweetheart. The A- 10 is a real machine–a real machine. Hope you liked the blog. Do come again. Take care. B.

      Like

  20. View video Says:

    hi, your web site is amazing. I truly do several thanks for operate

    Like


  21. Following study a few of the net web-sites with your web site now, we genuinely considerably like your suggests of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web-site list and will also be checking back quickly. Pls verify out my internet web-site too and figure out what you look at.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      The A-10 has been one of the most visited posting I have done. I think people really enjoy fast cars, fast planes and fast downloads. Many thanks for taking a look. I have three additional postings I will make some time this week so please “stay tuned”. Take care. B.

      Like


  22. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get truly enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you get admission to consistently swiftly.

    Like

  23. loans Says:

    Thank you for sharing with us, I feel this web page genuinely stands out : D.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Dear Loans. You would not believe the number of people, like you, who have commented on the A-10 posting. Must be a good one. Thank you for taking a look. I have been blogging now for about three (3) years and find it a good way to be not only creative but informative. I stay with fairly narrow subject matter; i.e. technology and personal improvement but that’s ok. I had much rather have readers who go for quality rather than quantity. Again, many thanks. Take care.

      Like


  24. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our neighborhood. Your web-site offered us with precious info to work on. You have completed a formidable job and our entire neighborhood will likely be thankful to you.

    Like


  25. You’ve got an extremely good layout for the blog” i want it to make use of on my site as well “

    Like


  26. Very interesting topic , thankyou for posting . “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” by Herbert Spencer.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Chau, You would not believe the number of positive comments I have had on the A-10. Apparently readers really enjoyed the subject matter which makes it fun to write. Many thanks for the kind comments.

      Like

  27. halogen oven Says:

    I just added this internet site to my feed reader,

    Like


  28. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

    Like


  29. What i don’t realize is actually how you are not actually a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You already know thus significantly in relation to this matter, made me in my opinion consider it from so many various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated until it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. At all times deal with it up!

    Like

  30. Murray Benek Says:

    I think that it’s best to write more on this matter. It may not be a taboo subject however typically persons are not enough to speak on such topics.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Mr. Benek–Glad you enjoyed the site. I have written two or three other blogs; i.e. B-29 Bomber, SR-71 and A-10 Hawkeye you might enjoy also. Again, many thanks.

      Like


  31. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

    Like


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: