mirrodie
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Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:37 am

I've always found this warbird beautiful.

I was reading about it this evening and this book mentioned that having the engines inset from the double tail helped ward off heat seekers. Doesn't make much sense to me so I figure I'd ask here.

What plane suceeded this one? I know it is still in use after a seemingly short career. But what's going to replace it?

Any former pilots of the "warthog" here? Thanks.
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dash80
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:54 am

Your book was right, the engines were placed high on the rear fuselage inboard of the v stabilizers to help mask the heat signature from SAMs, also the high bypass engines used help decrease the heat signature in air-to-air situations.

The A-10 was specifically designed as a tank killer in the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact environment. As that threat disappeared the "love affair" with the A-10 waned as the USAF operators who love pointy airplanes that go fast made the F-16 the "go to" aircraft for the air-to-mud role.
 
LY744
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 10:06 am

The JSF is going to "replace" the A-10, unfortunately.

LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
2912n
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 10:15 am

The JSF will replace the A-10 until someone figures out that the people down on the ground need a close air support airplane that can loiter for long periods, has the ability to withstand a great deal of punishment and can drop huge amounts of bombs etc...with a great deal of precision. Then the wheel will be reinvented and A-10's will be taken from storage etc...
 
jwenting
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 5:37 pm

F-16s were planned to replace the A-10. Then Desert Storm happened and someone noticed that F-16s can't carry 24 Mk.82s and a 30mm gun and still loiter over the frontlines for an hour or more at low altitude without being shot down.
As a result a crash program was initiated to modernise the A-10 fleet, 300 aircraft are now being upgraded to last another 10-20 years.

No similar aircraft is planned. This will probably turn out to be a mistake once the Hogs start displaying problems because their airframes run out.
I wish I were flying
 
broke
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 11:01 pm

Ground support and a subsonic max speed are not sexy for some brass. If you talk to A-10 pilots, they absolutely love that airplane. I met Paul Johnson at the Air Force Museum in 1998. During Desert Storm, he had an anti-aircraft round go through the right wing forward spar, severing it; it wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but he brought the airplane home. On most airplanes, if that happened, there would have been a fire ball in the sky and a smoking hole in the ground. The highway of death out of Kuwait City at the end of the war was primarily the work of A-10's.
 
Spacepope
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 11, 2002 11:59 pm

Now, the I/R shielding that the wing and tailplane provide are not foolproof, but that is where this extremely rugged airframe shines. In the Kosovo conflict, one A-10 took a direct hit in the No.2 engine, blowing it completely off. It made it back to a base in Bosnia where another engine was spliced on. This was obvious, since the Warthog was grey and the new engine was a nice dark green. Photos are availiable on one of the threads here, the russian one that continually asserts that hundreds of NATO aircraft were shot down, as evidenced by the presence of drop tanks. Ha! The lost engine parts are also shown on the site, the different views being used as evidence for about 3 A-10 kill claims.
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jwenting
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Fri Jul 12, 2002 3:50 am

Ah, Venik... The troll and flamebaiter of the military aviation newsgroups.

Long live the Hog! The B-25 of the jetage.
I wish I were flying
 
NoUFO
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Fri Jul 12, 2002 8:03 am

The Russians, in contrast, still have the Su-39 as a successor of the close air-supporter Su-25 on their agenda and also the truly impressive Su-34 as a successor of the Su-24. The Su-34/32FN, not designed for close air support, though, comes with a 17 mm (must be around 3/4 Inch) titanium shell and other thingies improving "bring back"-capability of this aircraft.

Regards,
NoUFO
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TomH
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Sun Jul 14, 2002 6:02 am

I served 12 years in an ANG A-10 unit. I went in as a skeptic, and came out a believer. I remember one very rainy day hauling munitions to the flightline. I thought I was wasting my time, that the ammo loaders would get some practice in the rain and missions would be called off. Not so. There was a ceiling (bottom of clouds) of maybe 200 feet. The A-10s took off, flew the mission, and came back like it was all routine. I'm not a pilot, but I can tell you that upon return it appeared as though they came down through the cloud (undoubtedly on instruments) and then flew a visual low-level break under the cloud bottoms right down the runway. One or two even did go-arounds without ever needing to climb up into the cloud, or for that matter without having to leave the airfield boundary. An interesting use of the power and maneuverability of this aircraft, to say the least.

Even before Desert Storm, the A-10 was in continual upgrade. Limited air-to-air capability with the addition of the AIM-9 Sidewinder, a collision avoidance system and gun accuracy enhancement, night-vision capability (my unit did many of those NVG upgrades) and other improvements have kept the Warthog at the top of list for effective close air support. Another mission for which the A-10 is imminently suited is that of FAC. Usually flown with a Warthog considered (but not officially designated) an OA-10A, the A-10 is an effective forward air control platform. Additionally, the Warthog was the perfect jet replacement for the preceding Douglas A-1 Skyraider in the armed search and rescue SANDY role. The A-10s endurance enables it to keep enemy heads down all day long if necessary, during rescue of downed pilots in hostile territory.

I photographed the A-10 that shot down the helicopter during Desert Storm. It seems unlikely, but I believe the weapon used was a laser-guided bomb.

My feeling was that Desert Storm more or less led to the rebirth of faith in the A-10 Warthog. Or, at least at top USAF levels it seems to have resulted in a late blooming positive attitude for a dedicated aircraft that is neither pretty nor fast-but damn effective.

The A-10 has not had a short career. It has been in service for more than a quarter of a century. Like others on this thread, I doubt it will be truly replaced. More than likely, the current all-purpose aircraft school of thought will result in someone making the claim that JSF (or some other electronic whizz-bang jet)can do the mission. Or at least that's what computer simulation will tell them, and hey, that's enough these days. Yeah, but not to the troop on the ground. He wants bombs on target-period.

Gotta stop here. I'm sounding like a salesman.
 
2912n
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Sun Jul 14, 2002 6:39 am

I was active duty in the late 70's when some of the joint warfare doctrine was being developed with the Army and Air Force. Army helicopters are there for the express idea of supporting the troops on the ground, as opposed to most of the Air Force, which is dedicated to flying very fast, very high and shooting down other airplanes. So it was really refreshing to work with the A-10 types who loved to be down in the mud with us ground pounders. Even though it was all in a training environment it was amazing to watch these airplanes acting almost like helicopters, tight low level turns and manuvers that would make your head spin! And then to go to the range and watch them put rounds down range...What a great airplane!
 
TomH
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2912n

Sun Jul 14, 2002 11:14 am

You comment reminds me of this photo I took:

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Photo © Tom Hildreth


and as a guy who has spent time in the 50th Armored Division, I know what you mean about appreciating the attitude of the hog drivers.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:18 pm

Does the East Coast A-10 Team have a website or a schedule?
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
mirrodie
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Mon Jul 22, 2002 9:10 pm

Hello.

I just returned from the Finger Lakes Region on NY this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that there is National Warplane Museum at Elmira/Corning Airport! Right out the front, an A-10 is being restored!!!

We didn't have the time to visit but for those interested, take a look. All I did was take a few photos of the A-10.



Some has mentioned above that 300 are being upgraded as we speak? It was my understanding that most of them were being retired. What year did they first enter service?
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
LY744
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:07 pm

"What year did they first enter service?"

1976.

LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
2912n
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Tue Jul 23, 2002 9:33 am

I was up at the March ARB museum over the weekend and saw the Northrup competion to the A-10. The A-9 had 12 underwing hardpoints that could carry just about anything in the AF inventory. Interesting differences in design between this and the A-10.


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airforce1995
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 25, 2002 12:57 pm

I love the A-10. Got a chance to work on them in Germany for three years. If you ask me, there is no aircraft that will replace it. nothing can take that much abuse and still get the pilot back home. Here at Edwards there is a two seater A-10, I think that it is the only one that has survived all these years. I have heard the only two or three were built but they crashed but this one. Although it dosent fly anymore, it is awosome to look at after seeing all the one seaters. I have taken a few photos and will post them on here soon.

Long Live the HOG!!

Ken
 
L-188
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Jul 25, 2002 5:40 pm

Actually a more interesting comparison for me is to look at the similarities between the A-9 and the SU-25.


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Photo © Philippe Noret



A lot of simularities in the concept.
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n949wp
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:19 pm

Are there any record of air-to-air victories by the A-10 using its 30mm cannon?
 
ContinentalFan
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Aug 01, 2002 10:05 pm

I think one took out an Iraqi helicopter during the Gulf War.
 
CX747
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Wed Aug 07, 2002 10:41 am

If memory serves me correctly, the Hog took out the helicopter with a few rounds from its 30mm gun. As others have stated, the Gulf War was the rebirth of the A-10 as it was set to retire until the brass learned that the majority of armor was destroyed by the A-10 and not the F-16. A-10s are constantly being upgraded and birds that are currently in storage in AMARC are being returned to front line service. I would expect another 15-20 years of service out of the Hog until the last one is set out to the pen.

P.S. A-10s were vital to the successful completion of Operation Anaconda and once again helped the grunts on the ground.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
PPGMD
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:40 am

If memory serves correct (and anyone that has a copy of Every Man a Tiger at hand can check, mine is away at the moment) the A-10 got the first two air to air kills during Desert Storm, shooting down two Iraqi helos withs its 30mm.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
jwenting
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Wed Aug 07, 2002 4:26 pm

Don't know if they were the first, but possibly.
They also shot down at least one helicopter with a laser guided bomb of all things. Talk about precision shooting!
I wish I were flying
 
PPGMD
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Thu Aug 08, 2002 12:01 am

If a remember correctly (I have yet to see it mentioned in a verfiable scoure), but I believe the LGB on the helo was dropped by a F-15E. I could be wrong, I have no refrence material at hand at the moment.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
boeingnut
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Fri Aug 09, 2002 10:24 am

Im not an expert on these guys, but they are beautiful in their own great way. I live right near BDL, and I love it when the ANG there does their practice flights. A-10s flying right over my house, with a perfect view through my skylights
Excuse me, but what does God need with a starship?
 
Beefmoney
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Sat Aug 10, 2002 3:34 pm

I also believe that the helo taken out by the GBU was blown out of the sky by an F-15E driver who couldnt lock onto the chopper with Air to Air missiles because the helo was hovering and the missile couldnt lock onto it, so he used a laser guided bomb on it.
 
PPGMD
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Sun Aug 11, 2002 9:21 am

The story I heard, it was later on in the war, they were inbound to take out a target and he had a spare bomb, he saw the helo asked for premission and blew it out of the sky.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
TomH
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Sun Aug 11, 2002 10:12 am

I'm surprised to see the F-15E mentioned as the type that used the LGB against the helo. Maybe there were two such kills, as I photographed an A-10 that had what appeared to be an official kill star on it with type of helo downed and date-I'll try to dig it out and scan the closeup of the kill star. Might help us get this sorted out-my hunch is we do not have the full answer yet.

 
PPGMD
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RE: Learning About The A-10 Thunderbolt.

Tue Aug 13, 2002 1:40 am

Tomh, that might be one of the two A-10s that downed a helo with its main gun.
At worst, you screw up and die.

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