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13 Little Known Facts About The A-10 Thunderbolt II

It looks tough, and it is. Check out these 13 little known facts that make the A-10 Thunderbolt II an amazing aircraft...

1) The A-10 is the only US Air Force production aircraft solely designed for close air support of ground forces.

1 USAF


2) The A-10's cockpit is surrounded by a 1,200 pound titanium "bathtub" to protect the pilot.

2 USAF


3) The A-10 carries the heaviest automatic cannon ever mounted on an aircraft, the 30 mm GAU-8/A Avenger. The gun is approximately 16% of the aircraft's weight.

3 Wikipedia


4) The wing and tail leading edges are made with a honeycomb panel design, making them more resistant to battle damage.

4 Wikipedia


5) Many A-10s have a false canopy painted on the belly of the aircraft to confuse enemy forces about the attitude of the aircraft.

5 USAF


6) The front landing gear is offset to allow room for the 30mm cannon.

6 USAF


7) The ailerons are significantly larger than most aircraft, making the A-10 highly maneuverable at slow speeds.

7 USAF


8) The main landing gear wheels stick out from the nacelles even when they are retracted, causing less damage to the aircraft if it has to land gear-up.

8 USAF


9) The aircraft is designed to fly with one engine, one tail, one elevator, and half of one wing missing.

9 USAF


10) The high-mounted engines are angled upward 9 degrees to prevent the aircraft from pitching down.

10 USAF


11) The 30 mm gun shoots depleted uranium shells at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute.

11 USAF


12) The A-10's first air-to-air victory was in 1991 - it shot down a helicopter with the GAU-8 cannon.

12 Wikipedia


13) In total, over 700 A-10s have been produced. And with tens of thousands of missions flown over 37 years, it's the most successful close air support aircraft of all time.

13 Wikipedia

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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