|Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II|
|Role||Close air support, and ground-attack aircraft|
|Length||53 ft 4 in||16.26 m|
|Wingspan||57 ft 6 in||17.42 m|
|Height||14 ft 8 in||4.42 m|
|Wing area||505 sq ft||47.01 m²|
|Empty||24,959 lb||9,761 kg|
|Maximum takeoff||50,000 lb||22,680 kg|
|Engine||2 × General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans|
|Power (each)||9,065 lb st||40.32 kN|
|Maximum speed||420 mph (Mach 0.56)(Sea Level 439 mph)||(Sea Level) 706 km/h|
|Cruising speed||560 km/h|
|Rate of climb||6,000 ft per min||1,829 m per min|
HistoryEditThe A-10 Thunderbolt II is the result of the Attack Experimental (A-X) program, which was formed in 1966 to develop a new close air support attack aircraft to succeed the A-1 Skyraider. 21 companies were prompted to make first concepts for such an aircraft in 1967. Three years later, designs were submitted by Boeing, Cessna, Fairchild, General Dynamics, Lockheed and Northrop. Fairchild-Republic's and Northrop's designs were declared as the winners on 18 December 1970.
Both companies manufactured one prototype, the YA-9 by Northrop and the YA-10 by Fairchild-Republic. The competition was won by the YA-10.
The first A-10 aircraft were delivered in October 1975 to the Davis–Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. A total of 715 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft have been produced.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is literally built around its 30-mm General Electric GAU-8 Avenger seven barrel cannon, the most powerful gun ever fitted to an aircraft of this class, designed to be used for tank burst. The A-10 features eleven under-wing/under-fuselage hard-points and can carry 16,000lb of ordnance -- including AGM-65 Maverick anti-armor missiles, cluster bombs, LGBs, and AIM-9 AAMs.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II received its popular nickname "Warthog" (sometimes simply hog) from the pilots and crews of the USAF attack squadrons who flew and maintained it.