Without a doubt, the A-10 cockpit is one of the world’s coolest offices.
Capt. Todd Campbell, A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot from the 66th Weapons Squadron, United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., parks his jet prior to the start of exercise Hustler Trough II, at Biggs Army Airfield on Fort Bliss, Texas, Oct. 31, 2015. Hustler Trough II is a week-long joint fires exercise designed to enhance synergy between more than ten different Army and Air Force units. (U.S. Army photo by: Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl)
An air-to-air right side view of, from foreground: an F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, an F-111A aircraft, an F-15C Eagle aircraft and an A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. The F-16C, F-15C and the A-10A are from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron while the F-111A is from the 431st Test and Evaluation Squadron. The aircraft are in-flight over Hoover Dam.
After a ton of requests to make a photo series about this much loved plane, here it is.
Photo series #6
BRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTT, this is the Fairchild Republic O/A-10 Thunderbolt II or as the commonly referred name “Warthog” or just “Hog”.
This twin engine, single seat, jet aircraft is one of the most (if not the most) sucessful CAS aircraft in the world. Although designed to be solely a CAS aircraft, it also fills the ground attack and foward air controller roles (when on foward air control role the A-10 becomes OA-10).
Introduced in March 1977, the A-10 was designed around it’s cannon, the GAU-8 Avenger, a seven barrel Gatling-type 30mm autocannon manufactured by General Electric. It was also built with durability in mind, the cockpit is armored with 540kg (1,200 pounds) of titanium to protect the pilot and the aircraft systems, it was also designed for short takeoffs and landings combined with it’s easy and low cost maintenance the Warthog can be deploy from improvised airfields close to the front lines or from highways adapted to be makeshift runways such as the ones in Germany.
The A-10 has flown in a number of combats such as the Gulf War in Op. Desert Storm,
Afghanistan, Iraq, and against ISIS in the Middle East. During these combat it’s durability has been tested, one such event was during Operation Iraqi Freedom when Captain Kim Campbell suffered heavy damage from flak fire resulting in damage to the engine and hydraulic system which required her to fly the Hog manually for an hour but managed to land safely.
One of the biggest battles the Warthog is fighting today is against the budget cuts and it’s replacement to the new fifth generation strike fighter, the F-35. So long it has managed to stay in service and some rumors say that the US Air Force is planning a big upgrade to keep it in service all the way to 2040s and one of these upgrades would include a engine swap removing the two General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans and changing it for new and more powerful engines.
Well, this is it for this photo series, don’t forget to like and reblog.
If you have any suggestions, contribution or want to send a complete photo series, don’t be shy, send them up and i’ll upload them!