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Wings Over The Pacific
Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
Well, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but fear is in the eye of enemy ground forces when the Warthog appears over a burm.
The A-10A first flew on May 10, 1972. Best described as a flying gatling gun. The airframe is such that it is essentially designed around the gun itself. High battlefield survivability is built into the A-10 with heavy titanium platen around the pilot and vital control components. Landing gear is spaced to provide optimum placement of ordinance. The large General Electric turbofans are placed high on the rear fuselage exhausting above the tailplanes to partially mask the infra red signature to ground based missiles.
Click on the gallery to see more of the Warthog
The General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger seven barreled 30 mm Gatling rotary cannon is 6.71 m (22') long and weighs 1,858 kg. (4,091 lbs.) The shells each weigh 0.91 kg. (2 lbs.) The ammunition drum can accommodate 1,174 rounds (high explosive or armour piercing.) There are two rates of fire, either 2,100 rpm. or 4,200 rpm. Two hydraulic motors are used to feed the ammunition belt at the higher rate of fire, one at the lower rpm. The design fire duration is ten two second bursts with a sixty second cooling off period between each burst.
There are eight underwing and three under fuselage hard points for a variety of ordinance/fuel configurations.
Specifications; Engines (two) General Electric TF-34-GE-100 high bypass ratio turbofans 40.3 kN. (9,065 lbs. st.), Wing span; 17.53 m. (56' 7"), Length; 16.26 m. (53' 4"), Maximum take-off weight; 21,500 kg. (47,400 lbs.), Maximum speed; 722 km/h. (449 mph.), Combat radius; 1,000 km. (620 miles.)
It just proves you don't have to be beautiful to pack a punch