Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The A-10 Thunderbolt II

So this was another of my new diecast acquisitions.  I've wanted one of the A-10 Thunderbolt for a while.  It is just too cool of an aircraft to pass up.
 So as I was looking at places that had them, I stumbled across one in markings for Selfridge Air Force Base.  That was basically the kicker as I could have one with a Michigan connection.  I don't think I've seen this serial number before but I have seen A-10s from Selfridge.
 The A-10 came into being as a result of the Air Force's A-X program in 1966 looking for a low cost attack aircraft.  The Air Force found that it lost too many aircraft in the close attack mission during the Vietnam War.    Fairchild-Republic ended up winning the contract.
 The A-10 first flew in 1972 and a total of 715 aircraft were produced with the last one rolling of the line in 1984.  It was designed with maximum survivability.  The pilot is encased in a titanium bathtub to protect him (or her) from small arms fire.  The engines have enough power that the plane could fly on one engine.  It can also fly with one tail (if necessary).  There is a story of one plane that had most of a wing shot off and it returned to base.  These planes have a long loiter time, so they can stick around.
 A shot of the engine and tails.
The main feature is the 20mm cannon.  Because most tanks are lightly armor on the top, it can do a fine job chewing them up.  The plane is very effective in its role but it basically has to fight for its existence.  While the official name is Thunderbolt II, the unofficial name is Warthog.

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