Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

1972

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Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic and Northrop each built two prototypes for evaluation under the US Air Force's A-X programme, initiated in 1967, for a close support aircraft. The first Fairchild Republic prototype, designated YA-10A, flew for the first time 10 May 1972. It was announced 18 January 1973 that Fairchild was the winner of the competitive evaluation of the prototypes, and received a contract for six A-10A aircraft, the first of which flew 15 February 1975.

The first flight by a production A-10A Thunderbolt II was made 21 October 1975. Purchase of a total of 739 aircraft was planned; but funding was terminated in 1983 after a total of 713 production A-10s had been ordered and delivered. Delivery was completed 20 March 1984. Northrop Grumman acquired the A-10 programme from Fairchild in 1987. The Thunderbolt II was used during the 1991 Gulf War.

Export versions of the A-10 were available as single-seat night attack and two-seat combat-ready trainer aircraft. Night capability is provided by the addition of a Westinghouse WX-50 radar, Texas Instruments AAR-42 FLIR, Litton LN-39 inertial navigation system, Honeywell APN-194 radar altimeter, AiResearch digital air data computer, Ferranti 105 laser range-finder and Kaiser head-up display. It is expected that night/adverse weather capability can be improved with the addition of a LANTIRN (Low-Altitude Navigation Targeting Infra-Red for Night) fire-control pod.

The first combat-ready A-10A wing was the 345th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to which deliveries began in March 1977.

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

Specification 
 CREW1
 ENGINE2 x GE TF-34-GE-100, 40.9kN
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight19026-21000 kg41945 - 46297 lb
  Empty weight10196 kg22478 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan16.8 m55 ft 1 in
  Length16.0 m53 ft 6 in
  Height4.5 m15 ft 9 in
  Wing area47.0 m2505.90 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed834 km/h518 mph
  Cruise speed550 km/h342 mph
  Ceiling8000 m26250 ft
  Range w/max.fuel4200 km2610 miles
  Range w/max payload1000 km621 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 30mm machine-guns, 8390kg of bombs and missiles

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

Comments1-20 21-40
Michael Davis, e-mail, 01.03.2021 03:16

I've loved this fighter-bomber since it came out. Looks like it will be retired about the same time as I do.

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Tom Fung, e-mail, 26.04.2017 10:33

Coming out of Aviation High '73 got my first job on the first 20 unit drilling /reaming (quakenbush) the engine, wing & gun mounts fitting, it been over 40 years, still remember like it was yesterday. working with a bunch nice guys out in Farmingdale. boy those were the days! it give me pride that I had work on the Thunderbolt II (warthog). It bring my fond memory of my youth every time I hear about it in the news. KEEP Them FLYING! we built them to last FOREVER!.

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Don Sorensen, e-mail, 02.03.2015 05:43

Assigned as production acceptance pilot at Hagerstown, MD. Flew the 12th aircraft produced at The Republic Co. In Farmingdale NY. Delivered the first operational A-10 to Myrtle Beach. Got a lot of verbal harassment from the A-7s in the area. Great plane.

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Brad, e-mail, 24.07.2013 19:18

Appreciate comments on why the A10 could not have a costal defense mission for Third World countries ie Philippines. Remember some testing of the A10 and the Harpoon. With C upgrades the planes capabilities appear to be greatly increased and an as usual with the Hog unnoticed and unappreciated.

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Tom Green, e-mail, 20.01.2013 04:37

Just found this site. Worked with Jim Green (no relation) at the Edwards A-10 test, then on to Davis-Monthan for a year then to Nellis. Left Nellis and the A-10.
At Edwards worked the weapons tests (simultaneous 30mm and two 20mm gun pods), and max bomb loads we don't see anymore because of mid-air bomb collisions, and the many ammo loader tests. Lifted many 86 pound ammo cans. The A-10 was a gift to the ground crews. Didn't have to drag out any ground power units for electric or hydraulics. Quiet and high intake. Gun system that cleared by reversing made reloads easy. Next aircraft was an F-15 that needed ground power and air conditioning carts for everything we needed power for. What a pain!

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Don Ollis, e-mail, 11.09.2012 06:05

ASSIGNED TO A-10 AT EDWARDS AFB in'74 as the APG AFETS . LEAD THE FO 410 TECH. DATA TEAM THRU EDWARDS,VERIFICATION PROGRAM, DAVIS MONTHAN AF & THEN TO MBAFB. VERY ACTIVE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE A-10 & THE ENGINE RUN PROGRAM. STILL PROUD OF THE TEST TEAM & BEING A PART OF IT . GREAT AIRPLANE. I RETIRED IN MB IN 1988.

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Mike "WAZ" Wieczynski, e-mail, 12.06.2012 21:29

After being out of the service for about 9 years I joined the MD ANG in 1980, they had just received the new A-10 Thunder Bolt, what a great munitions platform it is. It truly is a "TANK KILLER" with the best ground support capability to be found this day an age. We loaded bombs, rockets, chafe, flair, air to ground and air to air missiles and 30MM ammo. Her only drawback is the need for speed, which is why it's so good at every thing else. Easy to load, not to high or to low and you don't need a great deal of tools. I loved loading this plane until I retired in 2002 after a brief TDY in Kuwait supporting Southern Watch as my last combat mission. I could tell many stores of the way the A-10 can out fly other aircraft and out maneuver ground based anti aircraft systems. Can't say enough about the A-10. In fact if it were up to me we still be making them, maybe in an ARV version. If you were their send me an email.

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Mike Sexton, e-mail, 24.04.2012 22:50

I was one of the test pilots in the A-10 /A-7 Fly Off Eval spring 1974. If you needed to find and kill tanks in the Fulda Gap in bad weather; never a question which aircraft you wanted to be in. Hell of a gun.

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Don Ramm, e-mail, 21.12.2011 11:05

Re: cruise fuel burn: I took an A-10 from DM to McClellan AFB (up toward Sacramento CO) in about 1980. I was single ship (not normal) so decided to see how long I could stay up. Once I got to alititde (probably FL240 or so) I pulled the power back to 1,000 pounds per hour fuel flow per engine. After 4+ hours I arrived at McClellan with fuel to spare.

Realistic cruise fuel burn? About 2,000 pounds per hour per engine.

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Jim Green, e-mail, 30.11.2011 04:02

Like John Amos who posted earlier (our neighbor at Edwards) I was one of the first to be assigned to the A-10 test program as weapons supervisor. Went on to Davis Monthan FOTE, then Myrtle Beach AFB the first A-10 fighter wing. A-10 one of the best aircraft ever.

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Lance Marafiote, e-mail, 31.08.2011 10:44

correction: the TFW mentioned in this article is incorrect. MBAFB was the 354th TAC Fighter Wing, as opposed to the 345th TFW.
Thanks.
Lance

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Lewis Godfrey, e-mail, 19.08.2011 22:26

I was in the 355th EMS at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ from Oct 1977-Sep 1980. We were converting from A-7D's to the brand spanking new A-10A's. Worked in the Armament Systems Shop on the GAU-8 /A Avenger 30mm gun along with all 11 bomb racks (MAU-40 /A & MAU-50. Probably the quietest airplane I ever work on!

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Gunny, e-mail, 05.04.2011 06:17

Worked as a crew chief for 12 years,on this bird. There is a bond, that cannot be broken once in your blood. Any time I hear that sound I always look up, and smile with pride to know that we put a hurting on them during the Gulf War for the grunts on the ground.

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LOUIS TRONGALE, e-mail, 08.03.2011 07:04

ONE OF THE BEST OVERALL PLANES EVER BUILT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, AND DEEPLY FEARED BY THOSE UNDER IT'S FIRTE!
PILOTS LOVED IT!

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Mike, e-mail, 20.02.2011 06:50

I was at Bentwaters when we converted from F4's to A-10's then was at England AFB when we converted from A-7's to the A-10. Workd Munitions and was one of the first CMU chiefs when Tac started that program. Loved the Warthog but it sure went thru a lot of 30mm. Another former Flying Tiger.

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John Amos, e-mail, 01.02.2011 01:30

Was one of the first be be assigned to the test team for TAC ,at Edwards ,AFB,Ca, moved to tuson,az with the A-10 summer of 1976,and went to Bentwaters RAFB, England in summer of 1978, The A-10 was a great acft to work on , acft that I worked on DTE(B-58A)(KC-135)DTE(FB-111)(F-105)(F-4E)(F-111)DTE(A-10) (B-52G /H)

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g.slavov, e-mail, 20.12.2010 20:17

@Fred there was an option to fit it with an alternative 20 mill gat.gun by Philco-Ford and trials were made-its probaly what you have seen.

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Phil Sharpe, e-mail, 03.12.2010 04:12

I need help from anyone who flew /flies or worked on the A10. I'm writing novel about an A10 pilot who goes down in the mountains in 1998. What model was in use during 1998. From the pilots or ex pilots, what was it like to fly A10. Please answer by e-mail. Thank you very much. Phil Sharpe

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Michael, e-mail, 12.11.2010 21:37

I helped build these birds back in the '70's and early '80's at Fairchild Republic Corporation in Farmingdale Long Island. I specifically constructed the leading edge ring of the Nacelles. I miss aircraft work and the sound of rivet guns going all day. I hope the "death cross" flies forever and if anyone ever needs a good riveter for restoration on these old girls I'd be happy to help.

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Louis, e-mail, 26.09.2010 07:22

I worked on A-10's for 4 yrs at England AFB, Louisiana as a Flying Tiger. They were better in dog fights because they could fly "Low and Slow". I was told by the pilots that usually they would win in dog fights because of the fact they could fly low and blend in with the terrain. The one that spotted the other first could get off the first shot and that gave the A-10 the advantage. Also since they could turn on a dime, A-10's could turn inside other fighters and fire on them knocking them out of the sky. Add the ground attack capabilities with all it's fire power and accuracy, not to mention it's survivability and it was a favorite for everyone. It wasn't too bad to work on either.

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1-20 21-40

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