YouTube – A-10 Warthog
A-10 Warthog Specifications
$17,716 per hour
close air support
2- 9,065 lbs. ea.
1- 30 mm
53 ft. 4 in.
57 ft. 6 in.
The origins of the A-10 Warthog, officially the A-10 Thunderbolt II, originally produced by Fairchild Republic, trace back to around 1970. First of all, at the time, the U.S.A.F. wanted a ground attack aircraft capable of going up against the heaviest armor of the Soviet Union.
Fighter planes used in the ground attack role proved vulnerable to enemy fire during the Korean and Vietnam wars. For that reason, the U.S.A.F. wanted a dedicated ground attack aircraft that could take punishment from enemy fire, deliver a heavy weapons load, and therefore bring its crew back unharmed.
Certainly, the A-10 Warthog is the answer that the U.S.A.F. was looking for. They deliver a powerful punch, can carry a heavy weapons load, can deliver their ordnance with accuracy, can withstand punishment, and bring their crews home safe and sound.
Above all, the A-10 Warthog was specifically designed to fly low-level missions against enemy armor and artillery in a battlefield environment. It has large control surfaces on wings which produce a great amount of lift at slow speeds. As a result, the combination provides the aircraft with excellent maneuverability while carrying heavy loads. Unlike conventional fighter aircraft, due to its short take off and landing distances, the A-10 can operate near front lines on short, unfinished landing strips.
Because the A-10 Warthog is built for survivability, all major control systems have at least dual redundancy. Its cockpit is surrounded by titanium armor capable of repelling small arms fire. Internal and external self sealing retardant foam protects the fuel tanks. Important controls can continue to function even without hydraulic pressure. Many of the parts of the airplane can be used interchangeably on either side of the aircraft. This includes the vertical stabilizers, engines, and main landing gear.
The turbofan jet engines of the A-10 Warthog are very efficient therefore this permits a long mission loiter time. In addition, the heat signature of the engines is less than that of turbojet engines. This makes them less vulnerable to attack from heat seeking missiles. Location of the engines is high in the rear fuselage, hence giving them protection from ground fire.
The primary weapon of the A-10 Warthog is its Gatling gun. Most of the space in the nose of the aircraft is taken up by the gun and its ammunition. The gun can fire 30 mm armor piercing shells at a rate of 35 rounds per second. A single shell contacting a vital point has been known to destroy a tank from one mile away. The airplane is also armed with bombs, rockets, and armor-piercing missiles.
A-10 Warthog pilots use an advanced helmet designed to connect them directly with their aircraft. In addition to providing oxygen through a sealed mask, a visor to protect the eyes from the sun, radio and an interface with flight instruments, a Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracking (HOBIT) system allows pilots to deploy their weapons more accurately.
A monocle over the right eye displays color symbols in real time which can show the relationship of the aircraft with targets, friendlies, and other aircraft. This augments the pilot’s view from the cockpit, increasing situational awareness. It is accomplished by the use of a camera in conjunction with several fixed points around the cockpit which show the system where the pilot is looking. Colors and shapes are assigned to the various symbols, such as red triangles for targets and green for friendlies. The system is available day and night by the use of a day visor and night goggles respectively.
The A-10 Warthog was first deployed in 1977, primarily in Europe. It was in combat against Iraqi forces during the Gulf War in 1991 when neutralizing over 1,200 enemy artillery batteries, over 1,000 tanks, and some 2,000 vehicles. It was in action in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1994 to 1995 and again in 1999.
The A-10 was also used in support of the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. Most recently they have conducted missions in Afghanistan and Libya.
In 2007 Boeing was awarded a contract for some US$1.1 billion to replace 184 pairs of A-10 Warthog wings. Work under that contracted was completed on Aug. 14, 2019. It is anticipated that the new wings will last 10,000 flight hours before needing a depot inspection.
On Aug. 23, 2019 it was announced that Boeing Co. and one South Korean contractor will be replacing up to 112 pairs of A-10 Warthog wings and providing up to 15 additional wing kits as per a US$999.9 million “indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity” contract. It is anticipated that work will be finished by Aug. 23, 2030.
Oct. 15, 2019: The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has awarded Terma North America US$60 million for up to 328 3D audio systems for the A-10 Warthog. We are told that the systems, “drastically improve the spatial, battle space and situational awareness of the A-10 Warthog pilots.” Work is expected to be completed by Feb. 28, 2024.
“To install the whole thing takes more than you would think for a small update,” said Senior Airman Dane Richards, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron fighter aircraft integrated avionics specialist. “Even though it’s just an integrated flight and fire control update, we have to first update the portable automated test station. To do that we have to wipe that computer clean, put all the operational flight programs on, including the new one, and then hook it up to the jet and push it through the data bus system.”
Feb. 11, 2020: It was disclosed today that U.S. Air Force budget documents show the removal of 44 A-10 Warthog aircraft from its total inventory.
According to U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John Pletcher, the removal will be of “the oldest and least-ready aircraft” in order to modernize a combat-capable fleet of 218 A-10 Warthog aircraft. The Air Force currently has an inventory of 281 A-10 Warthog aircraft.
Feb. 21, 2020: The United States Air Force Sustainment Center awarded Williams Aerospace US$40,000,000 “for the acquisition of A-10 Warthog upper and lower left speed brakes assemblies and upper and lower right speed brakes speed brake assemblies”. Work should be finished by February of 2026.
RC A-10 Warthog
The Freewing RC A-10 Warthog has a wingspan of 67 in. and length of 61 in. Included with the PNP are two 3530 – 1900 kV motors turning 80 mm EDF units and retracts.
Beaulieu has 78 in. wingspan RC A-10 Warthog plans available.
The Mibo Jets RC A-10 Warthog has a wingspan of 118 in. and a length of 108 in. You can power it with two turbines that produce from 18 to 27 lbs of thrust each.
Wowplanes has a RC A-10 Warthog with a wingspan of 74 in. It is available in kit form.
The Riccs RC A-10 Warthog is PNP with a 38 in. wingspan and includes 3900 kV motors, a radio, flight battery and charger.
The GWS RC A-10 Warthog has a wingspan of 38 in. and a length of 34 in. Recommended power comes from EDF 50 motors driving EDF 2030X5 fan units.
Aero-naut Modellbau has two models of the RC A-10 Warthog. Both have the same dimensions, with the difference being that one is an all wood kit and the other has a GRP fuselage. Wingspan is 51 1/2 in. and length is 40 in.