Developed to provide air support for ground troops, the A-10 Warthog has become synonymous with destruction. Here are five facts that you need to know about this iconic jet:
1. It was originally thought of as too ugly to fly
It first entered service in 1976 and quickly became one of the most reliable, versatile, and deadly planes in the US Air Force.
2. The airplane was named the A-10 Thunderbolt 2, though its nickname, Warthog has stuck around
Some claim that the nickname was given because of the sound it makes when firing, saying that it’s somewhat the same as the guttural growl of a wild hog. However, many Fairchild Republic aircraft had similar nicknames like Superhog and Ultrahog.
3. The A-10 is powered by two large, jet engines found on either side of the fuselage in front of the tail
These engines give the plane a maximum speed of 300 knots, which is around 350 miles per hour or 560 kilometers per hour. Though considered slower than other modern jets, having high maneuverability at this speed provides the plane high accuracy when aiming and moving ground targets.
4. The wingspan is abnormally long, almost as long as the entire airplane
The wings are straight in design with a wingspan of 57 feet or 17 meters. It gives the jet its high mobility but also extra space to attach bombs and laser-guided missiles.
5. The nose of the plane features the legendary GAU-8A Avenger
This 30 mm autocannon is one of the most powerful guns to ever be equipped on an airplane. Its seven rotating barrels of fire-depleted uranium rounds that weigh 750 each for about a pound and a half, specifically designed to penetrate tank armor.