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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A-10 Thunderbolt II

This photo was taken near the parade grounds of Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas of the A-10. More commonly known as the "Warthog" this is one of the toughest planes in the United States Air Force. The plane can still fly (fairly easily) with one of the engines completely destroyed, due to the unique positioning of the engines. A small excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the A-10:

"The A-10 was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces. A-10s shot down two Iraqi helicopters with the GAU-8 cannon. The first one of these was an Iraqi helicopter shot down by Captain Robert Swain over Kuwait occurred on 6 February 1991, marking the A-10's first air-to-air victory. Four A-10s were shot down during the war, all by surface-to-air missiles. Another three battle-damaged A-10s and OA-10As returned to base but were written off, some sustaining additional damage in crashed landings. The A-10 had a mission capable rate of 95.7%, flew 8,100 sorties, and launched 90% of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles fired in the conflict. Shortly after the Gulf War, the Air Force gave up on the idea of replacing the A-10 with a close air support version of the F-16."


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