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Author Topic: A-10/OA-10 THUNDERBOLT II  (Read 12471 times)
Koen
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« on: 28 February 2009, 21:59:38 »
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source: http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=70

feel free to add, I've always been very interested in this airplane

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Mission
A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings (303.3 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.

Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems, or NVIS, goggle compatible single-seat cockpits forward of their wings and a large bubble canopy which provides pilots all-around vision. The pilots are protected by titanium armor that also protects parts of the flight-control system. The redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft.

The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Their self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost.

The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft's parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers.

Avionics equipment includes multi-band communications; Global Positioning System and inertial navigations systems; infrared and electronic countermeasures against air-to-air and air-to-surface threats. And, it has a Pave Penny laser spot tracker system; a heads-up display to display flight and weapons delivery information; and a low altitude safety and targeting enhancement system, which provides constantly computed impact and release points for accurate ordnance delivery. There is also a low-altitude autopilot and a ground collision avoidance system.

The A-10 is currently undergoing the precision engagement modification, which adds upgraded cockpit displays, moving map, hands on throttle and stick, digital stores management, LITENING and Sniper advanced targeting pod integration, situational awareness data link or SADL, GPS-guided weapons, and upgraded DC power. Precision engagement modified aircraft are designated as the A-10C.

The Thunderbolt II can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions or JDAM), wind corrected munitions dispenser or WCMD, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, rockets, illumination flares, and the GAU-8/A 30mm cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including tanks.

Background
The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close air support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil.

The upgraded A-10C reached initial operation capability in September 2007. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies. The aircraft has participated in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom..

General Characteristics
Primary Function: A-10 -- close air support, OA-10 - airborne forward air control
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Power Plant: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust: 9,065 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Weight: 29,000 pounds (13,154 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds (22,950 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 11,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Payload: 16,000 pounds (7,257 kilograms)
Speed: 420 miles per hour (Mach 0.56)
Range: 800 miles (695 nautical miles)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,636 meters)
Armament: One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound (225 kilograms) Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Crew: One
Unit Cost: Not available
Initial operating capability: A-10A, 1977; A-10C, 2007
Inventory: Active force, A-10, 143 and OA-10, 70; Reserve, A-10, 46 and OA-10, 6; ANG, A-10, 84 and OA-10, 18

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Koen
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« Reply #1 on: 28 February 2009, 22:02:03 »
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source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/a-10-history.htm

History

In the Vietnam conflict concentrated small-arms fire, ground-to-air missiles, and other more sophisticated defenses were particularly lethal to aircraft flying close-support missions. This situation resulted in dramatic changes in philosophy for the capabilities of aircraft conducting these missions. A need arose during the Vietnam conflict for a specialized aircraft capable of giving close air support to troops operating in the forward battle area. Needed was a heavily armed aircraft that could respond rapidly to a call for help and had the ability to destroy tanks, artillery batteries, and other types of enemy strongholds. Neither a fast aircraft nor one with long range was required; good maneuverability, extended loiter time in the battle area, and a lethal weapons load were needed. Low cost, easy maintenance with minimum turnaround time, and high survivability in the face of enemy ground fire were other characteristics desired. The aircraft was intended only for daytime operations in fair weather.

On 6 March, 1967, requests for proposals went to twenty-one companies for design studies on a low-cost attack aircraft given the designation A-X or "Attack-Experimental" aircraft. In the years following 1967, the A-X mission requirements began to change as the threat of Soviet armor and all-weather operations became embedded in military priorities.

In 1970, the requirements for the A-X mission were changed, and the Air Force issued a new request for proposals (RFP). Detailed requirements for such a close-air- support aircraft were issued by the USAF in May 1970. Six companies responded to the RFP. Fairchild- Republic and Northrop were given contracts for the construction of prototypes to be used in a flyoff competition from which a winner would be selected for production. Northrop's YA-9A and the Republic Aviation Division of Fairchild-Hiller's YA-10A became finalists in the contract bid. The Air Force gave each company funding in order to build prototypes of their aircraft for testing. At the end of the flight and maintenance comparison, on 10 January 1973, the US Air Force announced the selection of the Fairchild aircraft.

First flight of the aircraft occurred in May 1972, and the first squadron to be equipped with the A-10A became operational in October 1977.

Since the A-10 was built around the General Electric GAU-8 Avenger 30-mm cannon, its performance in testing was crucial in determining how many A-10's would be built. The GAU-8 Avenger exceeded all expectations. Not only was it extremely accurate, it could fire from 2100 to 4200 shots per minute without complications. The 30-mm projectile has two times the range, three times the mass, and half the time of flight of projectiles carried on CAS aircraft comparable to the A-10. After designers integrated the Avenger into the A-10's design, Fairchild-Republic made preparations for full production. Technicians at NASA's Ames Research Center provided additional wind tunnel tests of Fairchild's YA-10A late in 1973. Here, the A-10 received its final design refinements before entering mass production. As Fairchild delivered the first units, the A-10's unusual appearance and odd flight characteristics led to its nickname of the "Warthog".

The first production A-10 flew in October 1975. Delivery of this model began in March, 1976 to the 355th Tactical Training Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Fairchild Republic produced A-10s in their Farmington, N.Y., plant for 11 years. At peak production, 12 of these rugged aircraft rolled out each month. A-10 production ceased in 1984, twelve years after the first YA-10 rolled out of Fairchild-Republic's factory in 1972. In those twelve years, 715 A-10's were built and, with the exception of the two prototypes and one tandem-seat modification, the basic airframe design has remained unchanged.

Designed specially for the close air support mission and with the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, the A-10 proved to be vital assets to America and its allies during Operation Desert Storm. In the Gulf War, A-10s, with a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles. A-10's were seldom grounded due to maintenance problems or conditions unsuitable for flying during the Operation DESERT STORM. No other aircraft could carry as much ordnance over a target for so long, doling out and taking as much punishment, and return to an unimproved field to turn around quickly and strike at an enemy again.

According the Iraqi POWs, the single most recognizable and feared aircraft at low altitude was the Thunderbolt II. This black-colored jet was seen as deadly accurate, rarely missing its target. Seen conducting bombing raids three or four times a day, the A-10 was a seemingly ubiquitous threat. Although the actual bomb run was terrifying, the aircraft loitering around the target prior to target acquisition caused as much, if not more, anxiety since the Iraqi soldiers were unsure of the chosen target.

Specifications

Primary Function    A-10 -- close air support, OA-10 - airborne forward air control
Contractor    Fairchild Republic Co.
Power Plant    Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans
Thrust    9,065 pounds each engine
Length    53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Height    14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Wingspan    57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Speed    420 miles per hour (Mach 0.56)
Ceiling    45,000 feet (13,636 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight    51,000 pounds (22,950 kilograms)
Range    800 miles (695 nautical miles)
Armament    One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun;

up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and:
MK-82 (500 pound bomb)
MK-84 (2000 pound bomb)
MK77 incendiary
10 MK20 Rockeye II (4 - 6 standard load)
10 CBU-52 (4 - 6 standard load)
10 CBU-58 (4 - 6 standard load)
10 CBU-71 (4 - 6 standard load)
10 CBU-87 (4 - 6 standard load)
10 CBU-89 (4 - 6 standard load)
CBU-97
10 BL755 (4 - 6 standard load)
AGM-65 Maverick missiles
GBU-10 laser-guided bomb
GBU-12 laser-guided bomb
AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles
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Koen
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« Reply #2 on: 28 February 2009, 22:10:01 »
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more pictures: LINK

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Koen
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« Reply #3 on: 28 February 2009, 23:57:33 »
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FACman
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« Reply #4 on: 1 March 2009, 00:12:02 »
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Though I have never been on the recv'g end of one of these, I have seen them frequently during my training excercises. During Team Spirit 86, I found my APC in their crosshairs on more than one occasion. Needless to say, when that A10 does his wingover at less than 1000 ' feet and you are looking straight down the business end of this baby, you know you would have been toast. I have occasionally found myself in my M113 at greater altitude than the A10s...simply amazing.

J
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Heinrich505
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« Reply #5 on: 1 March 2009, 01:05:08 »
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I knew a guy who flew the "Warthog" and absolutely loved it.  He said there was an amazing feeling of invulnerability when flying this plane, due to the armored cockpit and the extreme redundancy of the systems.  It was like flying an armored crop duster.  The ground crews often had to clear debris out of the undercarriages, as the pilots flew so incredibly low.

            Heinrich505
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Rattler
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« Reply #6 on: 22 April 2009, 04:32:38 »
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From the Warthog Blog http://warthognews.blogspot.com/2009/04/reunion-april-2009-media-day-at-bezmer.html

Nice pic (that I do not recall have seen before in this combination): A Su 25 Frogfoot and and A-10 Warthog in one photo:





Pix were taken at the "Reunion Aprill 2009" meeting of Bulgarian and US fighter pilots.

Rattler
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« Reply #7 on: 20 September 2009, 16:16:04 »
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A truly wonderful aircraft design.
Truth is, I think they should open a new assembly line for these birds.  Can't see them retiring for a long time.
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Rattler
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« Reply #8 on: 20 September 2009, 17:13:32 »
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Truth is, I think they should open a new assembly line for these birds.  Can't see them retiring for a long time.


Absolutely agree. I guess they will keep them alive, now that they went into modernizing...

Rattler
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"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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