27 Facts About A-10


Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic attack aircraft developed by Fairchild Republic for the United States Air Force.

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The A-10 was designed to provide close air support to friendly ground troops by attacking armored vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces; it is the only production-built aircraft designed solely for CAS to have served with the US Air Force.

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A-10 was intended to improve on the performance and firepower of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider.

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A-10 served in the Gulf War, the American–led intervention against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, where the aircraft distinguished itself.

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The A-10 participated in other conflicts such as in Grenada, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and against the Islamic State in the Middle East.

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Two YA-10 prototypes were built in the Republic factory in Farmingdale, New York, and first flown on 10 May 1972 by pilot Howard "Sam" Nelson.

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The YA-10 had an additional fly-off in 1974 against the Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II, the principal USAF attack aircraft at the time, to prove the need for a new attack aircraft.

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The first production A-10 flew in October 1975, and deliveries commenced in March 1976.

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On 10 February 1976, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Clements authorized full-rate production, with the first A-10 being accepted by the Air Force Tactical Air Command on 30 March 1976.

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In 1978, the A-10 received the Pave Penny laser receiver pod, which receives reflected laser radiation from laser designators to allow the aircraft to deliver laser guided munitions.

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A-10 has a cantilever low-wing monoplane wing with a wide chord.

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A-10 is designed to be refueled, rearmed, and serviced with minimal equipment.

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In manual reversion mode, the A-10 is sufficiently controllable under favorable conditions to return to base, though control forces are greater than normal.

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A-10's durability was demonstrated on 7 April 2003 when Captain Kim Campbell, while flying over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, suffered extensive flak damage.

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A-10 was intended to fly from forward air bases and semi-prepared runways where foreign object damage to an aircraft's engines is normally a high risk.

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Since the A-10 operates very close to enemy positions, where it is an easy target for man-portable air-defense system, surface-to-air missiles, and enemy aircraft, it carries both flares and chaff cartridges.

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The A-10 is equipped to carry GPS- and laser-guided bombs, such as the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, Paveway series bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions, Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser and AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon glide bombs.

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Two most common markings applied to the A-10 have been the European I woodland camouflage scheme and a two-tone gray scheme.

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A-10 was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, with 132 being deployed.

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The A-10 flew 32 missions in which the aircraft dropped propaganda leaflets over Iraq.

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A-10 has been involved with killing ten US troops in friendly-fire over four incidents between 2001 to 2015 and 35 Afghan civilians from 2010 to 2015, more than any other US military aircraft; these incidents have been assessed as "inconclusive and statistically insignificant" in terms of the warplane's capability.

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In 2007, the USAF expected the A-10 to remain in service until 2028 and possibly later, when it would likely be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

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The Air Force said that the A-10 was more vulnerable to advanced anti-aircraft defenses, but the Army replied that the A-10 had proved invaluable because of its versatile weapons loads, psychological impact, and limited logistics needs on ground support systems.

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On 25 March 2010, an A-10 conducted the first flight of an aircraft with all engines powered by a biofuel blend.

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On 28 June 2012, the A-10 became the first aircraft to fly using a new fuel blend derived from alcohol; known as ATJ, the fuel is cellulosic-based and can be produced using wood, paper, grass, or any cellulose based material, which are fermented into alcohols before being hydro-processed into aviation fuel.

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A-10 has been flown exclusively by the United States Air Force and its Air Reserve components, the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard.

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The A-10 is the last of Republic's jet attack aircraft to serve with the USAF.

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