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Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/05/2018 3:10 PM

One of the things that (it appears so, anyway) most of the CR4 members agree on is that the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt (The Warthog) is a ridiculously effective fixed-wing weapons platform.

Popular Mechanics has recently posted a 14 minute film that shows just how unwelcome a visitor these aircraft would be should you happen to be on the wrong end of a series of sorties. "There is no sense running, you'll only die tired".

If you too are a Warthog fan, here is the film and supporting article: The Badass A-10 Warthog

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#1

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/05/2018 4:37 PM

For the F-35 to even get close to the A-10 in time over target, it's needs tanker support.

20 minutes vs 90 without refueling should be a no brainer, without even going to cost comparisons.

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#2

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/05/2018 5:08 PM

You can fill one so full of holes that it looks like a cheese grater and it will still put major hurt on target, complete the mission and get the pilot back home safely. I love technology but sometimes you just can't beat the mean pit bull from the junk yard.

Years ago there were warthogs stationed nearby. Someone in my neighborhood had to have been a friend or relative of a hog driver. Numerous times I'd be out working in my yard and then "BOOM", there was a hog on top of me hitting power. They can dial back the smoke an thunder and you never hear or see them coming. I would hate to get one mad at me.

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#3

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/05/2018 6:09 PM

30 mm rapid fire cannon(70 rounds per second!!) that creeps like the grim reaper himself....

You can't hide from this kind of firepower, it'll blow the crap out of anything....

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#4

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/05/2018 11:51 PM

The A-10 is one tough, ugly, durable, brute of a ground support attack plane. I remember brand new(?) A-10 planes flying frequently out of Republic airfield in Farmingdale back in the 60's. Both of Grumman's fabrication airfields were too far from my house to see any Tomcats or Intruders.

It seems that the USAF is abandoning the role of purely ground support aircraft to the US Army and their fleet of rotary wing helicopters. A notable exception to this observation is the class of AC-130 gunships used in special operations and mostly at night. I suspect the Army won this turf war for close support. (pun intended)

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#5

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/06/2018 6:11 AM

Just watched program on PBS (in the UK) freeview which did about half hour on this.

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#6

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/06/2018 10:55 AM

Thanks for that, it looks awesome.

It seems they're due to get new wings soon too.

Air Force Searching for New Company to Re-Wing A-10s

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#7

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/06/2018 10:39 PM

The Airforce has been trying to get rid of the A-10 for years. I guess it is not sexy enough. Both the Army and the Marines have said they would take it if the Airforce didn't want it. It has one major drawback for the Marines. It can not land on an aircraft carrier. Those long landing gear won't take the punishment. The Army is not supposed to have fixed wing aircraft after the 1964 Johnson-McConnell agreement.

There is not true replacement for the A-10. Nothing in the air today has the station time, low altitude/low speed maneuverability, or hammer to the face punch of the Warthog.

As a retired infantryman I can say that there is nothing as beautiful as the Buuurrup of the A-10.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/07/2018 12:15 AM

The 1964 Johnson-McConnell agreement? --are you serious?

Change the decrepit law. We live and fight Isamo-terrorists in the 21st century and need all the effective hardware to be brought to bear against America's enemies, not done away with.

/The Air Force doesn't want the A-10, because the Air Force doesn't need the A-10.

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#9
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Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/07/2018 7:09 AM

Yes it is a very good platform, why not just keep upgrading its systems (like the avionics) to keep it current. I can understand why the Army would want it to remain available.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/07/2018 7:45 AM

Metal fatigue will limit how many upgrades are possible. Nothing lasts forever, particularly something that gets shot at a lot.

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#11

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/07/2018 9:49 AM

Which is why I find it absolutely hillarious that people try to sell me the ridiculous notion that their AR15 is somehow going to defend them against this.

Darwin Award Winners in waiting. ROFL!

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#12

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/07/2018 11:13 AM

One of my favorites was a predecessor to the A10. That was the YOV10D. It was based on the OV10, but had an infrared camera turret slaved to a turret mounted 20mm Gatling gun. It was used in Vietnam for area surveillance and denial in the Mekong Delta.

My understanding was that the border patrol had a few of these at one time to use infrared capability to watch the southern border.

It is probably not surprising that the A10 looks a lot like the German WW2 Folksjaeger which saw very little use at the very end of the war, made of plywood, but had a single top mounted jet engine.

The A10 is pure gold in a permissive air environment. I remember the results from the first Iraqi war.

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/08/2018 10:13 AM

Again, the Air Force only wants 'sexy' planes, but they realize the A-10 is too good a weapons platform to give away to the Army or Marines (landing gear systems can be changed to make the A-10 a carrier-based vehicle, but the Air Force doesn't want to give the Marines any help in this).

Also, upgrade options are limited because more modern avionics are designed around fly-by-wire/fly-by-fiber-optic systems, and the A-10 is a fly-by-steel-cable system; it's part of what makes it able to shrug off hits that would 'confettify' a 'sexy' fighter jet.

I've heard stories about the shape of A-10's landing after a fight. they took out the target, but the defenses tore off half a wing and force-fed it to the engine on that side, and the Warthog still limped back to base, bringing the pilot home safe and sound, condition of underwear notwithstanding.

And that is the biggest reason I love the A-10. Not the amazing ground support it can provide, not the fact that it can trade punches with a Main Battle Tank; those tie for second place. I love the A-10 because it can Bring Our Boys Home after the fight better than any other 'low-level' fighter.

(The B-52 is in a class by itself, since it can stay so high during the mission that it's all but untouchable by the ground forces)

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#14

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/09/2018 10:42 PM

The beauty of the A-10 is that it was designed to do a job and survive all but the most damaging hits.

It's not beautiful or glamorous, but it can get the pilot home 99+ percent of the time.

They could have named it the "Timex" - it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

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#15

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/09/2018 10:53 PM

I vaguely remember a rare quirk of the gatling cannon integral to this plane. The recoil of cannon is so extreme it exceeds the thrust of the two engines. Talk about braking power.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 9:00 AM

"...but it can get the pilot home 99+ percent of the time."

That is what MAKES it so beautiful and glamorous in my eyes.

There is only one mission in war: to make the pour soul on the other side die for the glory of his country before he makes you die for the glory of your country(1). That the Air Force prefers vanity over survivability just shows what idiots they have in their upper ranks.

Notes:

  1. It's even better when the pour soul on the other side surrenders instead of fighting to the death, but for some reason the old generals feel the need to insure that the battlefield is watered with the blood of the young. Life would be so much simpler if we could settle the battles with a game of rock-paper-scissors, or better yet, make the two opposing generals fight it out, mud-pit style, thongs and all(2).
  2. "It is best that war be terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."
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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 9:03 AM

And think of the advantage in combat. For a brief moment it is not strafing, putting each round on fresh, untouched armor, but focusing its firepower on one spot, drilling through the armor to reach the soft, tender bits inside.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 11:57 AM

Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 12:12 PM

I assume you know the story behind Rollerball.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 3:58 PM

It has been so long since I've seen that movie, I actually forgot it existed until just now.

By "the story behind Rollerball," do you mean in-universe or "the making of the movie"?

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#21
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Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

05/14/2018 4:18 PM

The in-universe meaning or more to this point, what the game result of Rollerball meant to the non-game playing characters in the movie that "organized" the games. I read the short story "Roller Ball Murders" before I saw the movie. While the short story was OK, I believe this is one of the few times the artistry of the movie was better than the written word.

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#22

Re: Reminiscing About The Warthog

10/31/2018 3:49 PM

My dad flew the prelude to the warthog in WW11. View it on BATHEAD.com/noseart5.html. To see 10 50calibers and skip bombs coming at you.....well not for long. The B-25 's were the first to Japan on April 19th 1942, and the "B-25 straffers" cleared the field 4 years later. I think they got it rite with both these aircraft.

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