A-10A “Thunderbolt II”

News, Plane of the Week April 20, 2017

Fairchild A-10A “Thunderbolt II”

S/N 73-1666
Crew:  One
Engines:  Two General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans; 9,065 lbs thrust each
Wingspan:  57 ft 6 in
Length:  53 ft 4 in
Height:  14 ft 8 in
Weight:  max: 50,000 lbs
Speed:  max: 450 mph; cruise: 335 mph
Range:  2,900 miles
Service Ceiling:  45,000 ft
Armament:  One 30mm GAU-8/A rotary cannon; up to 16,000 lbs mixed ordnance
Cost:  $8,800,000

The A-10A was manufactured by Fairchild Republic Aviation and delivered to the United States Air Force in June 1975. The aircraft in the Hill Aerospace Museum is one of the first six A-10As produced, all of which were used for Development Test and Evaluation, DT&E. The program was designed to qualify the production of aircraft for all aspects of operational mission in preparation for initial delivery to active duty Air Force units.

The A-10A was transferred to the Air Force Flight Test Center in March 1980 at Edwards Air Force Base as a YA-10A. After five years, the Air Force Armament Development Test Center (AFSC) took possession of the aircraft where it remained until September 1989. The aircraft was sent to Sheppard Technical Training Center, Air Training Command, where it functioned as a GYA-10A for ground instructional airframe training.

In April 1992 the aircraft was removed from active service for the United States Air Force and became property pf the Untied States Air Force Museum system where it was assigned to Hill Aerospace Museum for static display. The aircraft was repainted in February 1997 and in October 1997 volunteers from the 388th Operations Group loaded surplus AGM-65 Maverick Missiles on the A-10A to show some of the weapons the Thunderbolt II carried during Operation Desert Storm.

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