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(Arizona Daily Independent)   Talk of retiring the A-10 Warthog spurs effort to save it. Still say it looks like a Puma   (arizonadailyindependent.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, warthogs, Operation Desert Storm, boots on the ground, iraqi freedom, Raul Grijalva  
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10174 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2013 at 10:00 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-20 11:45:03 AM  

you have pee hands: LedZeppelinRule: For that matter he's right, the Mustang would cream the Warthog in a dogfight. Same level speed, lower wing loading, lower stall speed. Probably a better roll rate. It would take a lot of rounds to bring an A-10 down, but it's only a matter of time really.

The A-10 has an enormously better climb rate and a higher flight ceiling.  Running a ground attack aircraft up into the stratosphere would be a pretty weird thing to do normally, but it would let it dictate the engagement with the Mustang.  Also, it can take a lot of .50 cal rounds while it only needs to get a couple hits in before the game's over.


You do know that the A-10 now carries Sidewinders?  In a theoretical  P-51 vs A-10 fight to the death... the P-51 would die quickly.
 
2013-08-20 11:45:21 AM  

I'm an Egyptian!: BlackCat23: SheltemDragon: BlackCat23: Here's a thought, you knuckle dragging farkwits in DC....

GIVE THEM BACK TO THE FARKING AIR GUARDS.

/good friend was an A-10 pilot for the CT AG
//THIS IS WHERE WE'D PUT OUR A-10S.... IF WE HAD ANY.[i.imgur.com image 640x446]
/I have a lot of great stories, but I'm still bitter about them taking the screamin' hogs away.

Amen, I was in the Iowa Air National Guard during the roll over to F-16s. We just about cried.

/ Not for long though. I hurt my foot and got a honorable medical. In less then a year.
// But more then 6 months!

Hey, at least you kept some sort of "attack" aircraft, originally, CT was supposed to go F-16, as well, but they turned our AG into little more than a diplomatic limo service  instead :\

/Never understood why they changed us to an "airlift" squad
//Westover is farking 15 miles away.
///I miss hearing them do MoE training. It was fun to wave to them when they flew next to the highway.
//or over the house
/very... very low.... doing loops. Showoffs.

I used to remeber them doing low runs over my house. I loved it, but it scared the hell out of my mom. My appreciation grew for them when I had them at my back in Iraq. Retiring these would be one of the worst mistakes they could make.


We used to joke about the insane amount of leeway the governor gave them in the name of "training". They also used to do parade/sports flyovers, where they got a chance to show off their loops, rolls, etc. Good times.They never got in trouble for any of the stunts they pulled, and eventually earned a reputation as being a bit of a show-off squad.

That said, I have a lot of friends that did time in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they mirror your sentiment. While it's my own fascination with the aircraft that makes me greedy and want it back in the state, the value of it to those on the ground is incalculable in the real world, yet the beancounters seem to think it's oddly about the same as the value of a few F35s, even when the rest of the world(troops, pilots, etc)disagree with that vehemently.
 
2013-08-20 11:46:55 AM  

NutWrench: slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.

Seriously. Bring back the Army Air Corps and let them design and fly their own CAS planes.


We split it up so they wouldn't be pissing on each other's turf, generating unneeded duplication. This was more of a problem when they were just splitting the AF off the Army. The CAS mission is also why Helos are Army.

The valid reason being, if the Army had it's way, the Air Force would've been less a branch of service than the Marines.

While it is a great plane, it does need a replacement to deal with new threats. How many terrorists do you see with armies of tanks rolling across a battlefield?
 
2013-08-20 11:47:34 AM  

fluffy2097: The warthog brings home pilots in situations where there is really no logical reason why it would be capable of flying. A female A-10 pilot got hit over Iraq, lost almost all flight control and then proceeded to write the book on flying a wounded A-10 on differential thrust alone. She landed back at base safely.


Close, she put it into manual and used differential thrust in addition to the manual control entry

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Stories1/001-100/0016_A-10-bat tl e-damage/story0016.htm

Still a farking amazing story though, and she has brass ovaries because of it.
 
2013-08-20 11:47:38 AM  

BlackCat23: Believe me. They saw you. And the timing of their break was probably to mess with you. Because they're like that.


it was a long time ago but i remember it was broad daylight, like mid morning, and we were close enough that the sound was pretty farking loud.  well, not like marshall stack loud but, loud enough, that's how close we were.  cool shiat.

the other cool stroy i have is when i was in virginia, i remember seeing a stealth bomber coming, which was highly unusual.  we never really saw Air Force jets but yeah, he was coming in.  that night on the news, they were like, "a stealth bomber had to divert to Oceana NAS for a mechanical emergency, treating the Navy to one of the nation's most fearsome weapons...."

oh the other cool one, was i was driving home about, ehhhh, 15 or so miles away from SunDevil Stadium one sunday afternoon at about 2PM (hint), and I saw a little squadron of fighter jets, like F15s, F16s, who knows, Air Force, and they were zipping towards me at a good clip.  i realized they were in line to do a fly by of the Cardinal game that was about to kick off.  I don't know how fast they were going but i imagine they covered the 12-15mi in probably, i don't know, 30 seconds or so.  when i realized what they were about to do, i kicked over to the game and heard the announcers like, "wow, a flyby from the Air Force...."
 
2013-08-20 11:49:17 AM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


FARKING THIS. NOTHING more badass. With NO weapons.
 
2013-08-20 11:49:38 AM  

clkeagle: dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.

The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-35A is about $150 million per aircraft. They are designed to replace the F-16 and A-10... which means it will also cost the Air Force/Reserve/Guard untold millions to retrain all the pilots, mechanics, and other support personnel... not to mention establishing a new logistics chain and repair/replacement distribution system.

However, we could buy brand-new F-16E or F-16V aircraft for about $25-$30 million each and brand-new A-10 aircraft for around $20 million each. We already know how to fly and fix them. So why not scrap the F-35 contracts, buy twice as many new F-16s and A-10s, a crapload of MQ-9 drones, and have enough change leftover to upgrade/replace some tankers and transports? How the hell does the F-35 make sense compared to that? Plus,I'm sure the USN and USMC can make the same argument for their F-35 variants.


I certainly agree that the F-35 isn't an appropriate replacement for the A-10. However, your numbers aren't right.

The F-35A has a LRIP flyaway cost that had just fallen below $100M. That number is projects (as of this year) to be in the $80-70M range when they hit full production and complete testing.

I actually can't find a flyaway cost(that I trust) for an F-16 Block 60. They are all over the place $110-50M. Another factor at play is the fact that most upgraded 4th Gen fighters don't come with much of the equipment that is standard on the F-35. Everyone looks at the fact that it is VLO and assume that is the primary cost driver. The F-35 has an APG-81 AESA radar, EOTS, DAS, and the multifunction data link all built in with the network infrastructure and software to make it manageable for the pilot. When you start bolting that onto an F-16 the cost becomes comparable.

By the way. The A-10C has a new wing. It should reset the clock slightly with the fatigue issue.
 
2013-08-20 11:50:16 AM  
The f35 program is a massive failure and needs to be shut down.
 
2013-08-20 11:54:28 AM  

MonoChango: You do know that the A-10 now carries Sidewinders? In a theoretical P-51 vs A-10 fight to the death... the P-51 would die quickly.


I think the original hypothetical said something like "guns only" because obviously the Sidewinder takes all the fun out of it.
 
2013-08-20 11:54:56 AM  

schnee: I remember driving between Phoenix and Tucson one sunny day, in my bright red Pontiac. Off in the distance, two specs flying and getting closer and closer. A couple of seconds later, two A-10s screamed nearly overhead.

Nothing like being target practice.

/cool plane
//I'm a confirmed kill


That's funny
 
2013-08-20 11:54:59 AM  

rickythepenguin: he other cool stroy i have is when i was in virginia, i remember seeing a stealth bomber coming, which was highly unusual.  we never really saw Air Force jets but yeah, he was coming in.  that night on the news, they were like, "a stealth bomber had to divert to Oceana NAS for a mechanical emergency, treating the Navy to one of the nation's most fearsome weapons...."


This happened once up here, as well. They were flying back from Eastern EU(Bosnia/Serbia conflict, iirc), and apparently had some engine trouble. We saw it flying low over my town, in an apparent attempt to burn off/dump fuel. I called my friend(A-10s were still here at the time, and he himself had just returned from that conflict), and was given some vague answers to my questions about what was going on. Basically giving me a lot of "maybe"'s. So we hopped in the car, and drove balls out to the airport. They had BDL completely blacked out, with only markers and night strobes lit. Terminals were dark, everything.

 Later, after it landed safely, and all had calmed down, he told me what was going on. They didn't know if the B2 would make it to Chicopee(Westover AFB), which had longer runways, and as such, they shut down BDL for an hour and a half "just in case". I never even got a really good look at the plane, only seeing it's vague black outline in the ink of night, but I knew damn well what it was. Fortunately, other than minor mechanical issues, and the incredibly paranoid measures taken(there was, in the end, no risk of the plane not getting to Chicopee. None. Zip. Nada.), everything turned out fine. It was farking eerie to see a main regional airport blacked out, with just the runway strobes going, though.
 
2013-08-20 11:56:35 AM  

Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.


I've heard that ground units call the sound "freedom farts".

It's a badass bird. Big fan of the B1 too. And I the B2... I got to touch it once right after they unveiled it and flew it to DC for a dog and pony show for Congress Critters.
 
2013-08-20 11:57:34 AM  

Deep Contact: Giving them to local police.


I think I just shat myself.
 
2013-08-20 11:58:06 AM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]


Sort of the point. The A-10 is slow, easily spotted, and designed to take a pounding. The F-35 is fast, supposedly stealthy, and designed to avoid being hit. The thinking is the stealth and speed puts the F-35s survivability in the range of the A-10 while providing better electronic eyes in the sky. The reality is until tested in battle no one will ever know if the F-35 is as good, better, or worse then the A-10 in this role.

The biggest problem as others have pointed out is that it will take three or four F-35's to bring as much ordinance to the battlefield as one A-10.
 
2013-08-20 11:59:46 AM  

mizchief: clkeagle: dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.

The drone argument applies to pretty much every mission (except dogfighting against first-world aircraft). They're cheaper and safer than manned aircraft, and they can operate for a much longer period of time.

That's what bothers me most about the F-35 contract. The flyaway cost to the Air Force for the F-3 ...

The only thing the F-35 had going for it was to have a utility stealth aircraft, but who gives a shiat about stealth with you can use unmanned aircraft? It made sense when each branch was considering it's own specific new stealth aircraft, but not so much anymore.


Again, see my previous post. The least of what the F-35 has going for it is stealth.
 
2013-08-20 12:01:30 PM  

vygramul: Click Click D'oh: fluffy2097: The P-51 mustang doesn't have a jet engine.

Then I suggest you buy some for the airforce, because you might have accidentally found the best CAS bird and dogfighter ever.    Go back to your videogame.

I'm not sure why people are now comparing a WWII aircraft with the A-10 in air-air combat to begin with. You may as well point out the F-35 would wipe the floor with A-10s in air-air.




It shouldn't be a bad comparison.
WWII aircraft were built with low and slow CAS combat in mind, which is exactly where "old miscellaneous" sky raiders operated and what the A-10 excels at.
Prop fighters just don't have the lift to be fast and armored anti-armor platforms.

The F-35 won't be very happy in this role since its just too costly to operate and will be built in small numbers. The "one fighter to rule them all" plan has some serious shortcomings when it comes to replacing the grunt aircraft.

/what they should do is dig up the YA-10 plans, navalize it, and toss in some better electronics.
/or maybe convert f-16's to the xl version for more payload.
/what they probably will do is give up and hand these jobs over to drones.
 
2013-08-20 12:06:39 PM  

BlackCat23: This happened once up here, as well. They were flying back from Eastern EU(Bosnia/Serbia conflict, iirc), and apparently had some engine trouble. We saw it flying low over my town, in an apparent attempt to burn off/dump fuel. I called my friend(A-10s were still here at the time, and he himself had just returned from that conflict), and was given some vague answers to my questions about what was going on. Basically giving me a lot of "maybe"'s.


huh.  i didn't go to Oceana NAS so i don't know what security measures were put in place, but I remember seeing it fly overhead.  no idea how "protected" they made it but, this would have been the mid-90s so I imagine there was a pretty massive presence.

i guess my last CSB is a good friend of mine interned at the White House in the mid 90s (she didn't "know" monica, but they were there at the same time and my friend was aware of her, as there were stories of her doing stupid shiat like inviting the Joint Chiefs / Cabinet to her birthday party, so people knew Monica was a bit nutty).  she was invited to fly AF1 to arkansas for some fundraiser thing.  she has pictures of her iwth Hillary, Stephanapoulous, and a few other bigwigs taken on AF1.

she also has (getting off point here, iwth the jet theme, just saying) pictures of a south lawn BBQ for some longtime white house staffer.  Parzadent Clinton with a chef hat on, grilling burgers and dogs.  no media, just about 30-50 people, kids and toddlers.  hey, we all love cooking out, don't we?
 
2013-08-20 12:09:13 PM  
You guys obviously don't get it.  You see, the military already has a bunch of A-10s.  Maintaining and continuing to use those existing aircraft doesn't help Lockheed Martin meet its projected revenues.
 
2013-08-20 12:10:49 PM  

vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.


Pretty sure the Army and Marines don't like the Air-force doing CAS anyway.
 
2013-08-20 12:11:09 PM  

rickythepenguin: she also has (getting off point here, iwth the jet theme, just saying) pictures of a south lawn BBQ for some longtime white house staffer.  Parzadent Clinton with a chef hat on, grilling burgers and dogs.  no media, just about 30-50 people, kids and toddlers.  hey, we all love cooking out, don't we?


Damn, Clinton was a classy mofo.

Yeah, the security measures they took here was to basically black everything out, get the plane on the ground, and roll it into the large hanger on the AG base. But since it never got that far, it was just a practice in "How do we scare the shiat out of everyone in the terminal?"

/I'm all tapped out of stories for the time being, mainly because I need to run
//though I still have plenty!
 
2013-08-20 12:12:19 PM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


Indeed. Although, I think I'd vote for this one, personally:
upload.wikimedia.org

How is this:
upload.wikimedia.org
Or this:
upload.wikimedia.org

Not the scariest silhouette of an aircraft ever?

/Always looked to me like a plane design from the future
 
2013-08-20 12:12:19 PM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


Better yet, split up all their planes between the Army Navy and Marines and get rid of the Air Force.
 
2013-08-20 12:13:39 PM  
The A10 has performed admirably, but there is an elephant in the room. IF we ever get involved with an enemy that is well supplied with the latest generator of MANPADS, its going to have a big problem.
Seekers are greatly improved, and more importantly, warhead effectiveness has increased by a literal order of magnitude. If these kinds of weapons are fielded, particularly in numbers where multiple rockets can get fired against single targets, no airframe, not even the A10, can soak up that kind of damage and just keep flying.

The only effective defense, is not to get hit.

of course it will still be great against neolithic sheephearders armed with AK47s and RPGs
 
2013-08-20 12:14:20 PM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


Yeah, well, that's just like your opinion, man.

/good info :)
 
2013-08-20 12:14:28 PM  

Mithiwithi: I remember playing an A-10 Flight Simulator as a kid. If you tried to do too much dogfighting, the in-game narration would chide you "You aren't an F-15!"

I'm no military aviation expert, but it just seems intuitive to me that a purpose-built war machine will do better at that purpose than a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none like the F-35. Indeed, many of the F-35's problems, from my limited perspective, seem to stem from the design compromises required for it to be all things to all air missions.


The US can do jack of all trades aircraft well, such as the F-4 and (as much as I despise it) the F-16. The problem is, they know the F-35 is not going to do this well, and they are going full tilt anyway.
 
2013-08-20 12:14:59 PM  
With a Warthog you never have to ask "Will it blend?"
 
2013-08-20 12:20:23 PM  
Improve the Warthog by having the engines tilt up and down.  Oh man....sweet....
 
2013-08-20 12:20:41 PM  

mainsail: ArkPanda: I'm not an Army guy, but isn't that what helicopters are supposed to be doing now?  Or is the role not quite the same?

They can't move as much mud as the A-10, nor can they move anywhere near as fast.


Rotary craft also have the added disadvantage of having to close to within most enemy's AAA coberage to launch anything.
 
2013-08-20 12:24:03 PM  

slayer199: vygramul: In other news, the Air Force doesn't like the CAS mission and would just as soon not have it at all.

I'm sure the Army would be happy to take them off their hands if the USAF doesn't want them anymore.  The Army loves the Warthogs.


How many times do they need to be proven worthy? They wanted to retire them and then desert storm happened and everyone was like "ZOMG! Those are awesome!"
 Can a F-35 loiter at 5k feet, erase enemy armor from existance with cannon fire alone, take a shell directly to the cockpit without having any harm done to the pilot, and return home with no rudder, half a wing missing, 20% aileron control, 0 avionics, 200 individual bullet holes, landing gear that only works because of gravity, and with one engine out? I think not.

No other plane in the world terrifies enemy ground troops as much as the A-10.
 
2013-08-20 12:27:14 PM  
The Air Guard here use Potato Hill for A-10 target practice. Not for much longer.

I had to do some work out there a few years ago when an A-10 let go of a burst from on high. Sounded like a sewing machine. No telling how many rounds were let go in that one-second or so burst.

Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.
 
2013-08-20 12:27:18 PM  
My fun A-10 story.

While working with my dad building a bridge in SC, we'd often get straffed by A-10's from the now closed Myrtle Beach AFB.  Usually between 9:30am - 10:30am, a pair of A-10's would sneak up on us flying a couple hundred feet above the marsh grass and if you were not paying attention, they'd scare the bejeebus out of you.

Knowing the A-10's were doing training using our bridge as target practice on their camera guns, I started anticipating and hiding behind stuff like "the crane" or "the bridge pilings" or "front end loader" and I'd see the planes approaching and a the last minute, raise a 2x4 or shovel to my shoulder and play like I was shooting at the planes.

All hell would break loose.  The pilots had themselves a live target and would bank, climb, swerve and do what ever they could to get a shot on me.

I'd love to have one of those camera photos locked away in the basement of the Pentagon of me getting shot to hell.

Good times.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:06 PM  

Shryke: duffblue: A10 is the coolest plane ever. That is all.

Hrm. Coolest modern attack plane? Yes.

Coolest plane ever?

[iliketowastemytime.com image 850x637]
Here it is. Looking at you.


This.  As an added bonus, the airframes are stronger now than when they were originally built.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:30 PM  
One of the cooler things about the A-10 is how its design came to be.  Its design team were required to read the biography of  Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II. The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war.  Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, 4 armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.

Though a determined Nazi, he was probably the most knowledgeable CAS expert who ever lived.  He was more than happy to give design pointers on the A-10, which is a good reason that it is one of the most effective weapons ever designed.
 
2013-08-20 12:29:52 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-20 12:30:11 PM  

dittybopper: xxmedium: Why the hell would you direct a petition at the Obama Administration when it's the Senate and the DoD procurement that are making these determinations?

Because the Democrats hold the Senate, and the president can lean on the senators of his party.  That doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it does carry at least some weight.

BTW, I don't see the A-10 being replaced by the F-35, or any other manned aircraft for that matter.  Seems to me the most likely replacement would be a drone.  Cheaper in terms of material, fuel, and personnel costs, and you can make a relatively fast moving drone, especially if it's controlled from nearby.

For example, you could control several "fast mover" CAS drones in real time relatively locally with a stand-off aircraft manned by drone pilots.  A Boeing airliner refitted could cruise at 40,000 feet and it would have 'line of sight' communications to the drones out to nearly 300 miles.   Put the control aircraft far back from the action, and send the drones in.  Alternatively, if you have ground control pods, you can just put up a relay aircraft, and have the pilots nearly 600 miles away.  The relay aircraft, which can be a drone itself, retransmits the drone and control information back and forth.  Because the distance is much, much shorter than the path it would take to a geosynchronous satellite and back, you can make "fast mover" drones that can maneuver radically, in real time.

If the drones lose a lock on the signal, they would go into a "safe mode"  where they increase height and head back towards base,  until they either regain airborne lock, back-up satellite lock, or local control at the base.


But lose your relay aircraft and you lose your whole fleet of drones. Best case scenario, they auto-pilot back to base. Meanwhile, the guys on the ground just lost all their air support. Sure, use drones, but don't depend on them entirely. Gotta have some manned aircraft providing support
 
2013-08-20 12:31:17 PM  
i42.tinypic.com
 
2013-08-20 12:31:51 PM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]


Great pictures.  I love to contrast of these photos with other platforms in operation, most other platforms would crash after being shot up that bad. Some of the tougher ones might be able to limp back over friendly territory so the pilot can safely eject without fear of being captured. The A-10 continues to expend ordinance and then lands at base.  As others have pointed out the whole plane is one giant middle finger to the enemy.

I mean come on the thing can get tank crews to abandon their vehicle just at the sight of it or sound of it's engines. These are tank crews that were willing to commit suicide by going against the M1-Abrams in open ground. A tank that between reactive plating and Chobham armor is almost impossible to damage in a gun fight and has a main gun that can penetrate the front (thickest) armor of most opposing vehicles.
 
2013-08-20 12:31:53 PM  
I like it in blue.

imageshack.com
 
2013-08-20 12:32:28 PM  

dryknife: Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.


Cannon is the plane's reverse gear.

During early firing tests the gases produced by all the rounds being fired had a nasty habit of being sucked into the engine sand flaming them out. This was sorted out before they went into service.
 
2013-08-20 12:35:28 PM  
In my AF days, I participated in a condensed Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) exercise designed to equip me with a better understanding of the tactics I was charged with briefing pilots prior to their sorties.  During the training, I had the distinct privilege of vectoring in CAS of some local A-10s via direct radio communication.  I located them on the horizon, provided guidance, popped smoke, and called in a "strike" on a nearby vehicle.  It was the coolest live-action remote control experience ever.  Save the A-10.
 
2013-08-20 12:36:13 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: Retiring the bestest plane

 gun that happened to have wings and engines attached  evar? What will replace it?

FTFY

/Love the A-10
 
2013-08-20 12:42:14 PM  
USA! USA! USA!

/Got nothin'
 
2013-08-20 12:43:27 PM  
Sorry folks, the A-10 just does not have high enough marks in redistribution of wealth.
It has gotta go.
 
2013-08-20 12:43:37 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: fluffy2097: Earguy: I once took part in an Army training exercise, I was a "wounded soldier", complete with cinema-makeup broken arm, and got to hang out on the ground waiting for the Rangers to come rescue me.  A10s circled overhead providing coverage.

What impressed me most was the machine guns.  The rounds fire off so fast they don't go bang-bang-bang, they go VVVVVVVVRRRBBBBT.

They are also as big as a Volkswagon The ammo can ALONE for it is bigger then a Volkswagen.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x543]
And the bullets are this big.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 309x350]

My friend, the former Ranger school instructor calls the sound of that gun, "God farting."
It sounds about like that, too.
For some amazing M-I porn, google up youtube and search for "A-10 attack."


you may even get to see the one where they blow the shiat out of some british guys
 
2013-08-20 12:44:46 PM  

dryknife: The Air Guard here use Potato Hill for A-10 target practice. Not for much longer.

I had to do some work out there a few years ago when an A-10 let go of a burst from on high. Sounded like a sewing machine. No telling how many rounds were let go in that one-second or so burst.

Supposedly the cannon alters flight characteristics and actually slows the plane by a few miles per hour.


The force generated from the recoil is equal to the force generated by the engines at max thrust.
 
2013-08-20 12:45:04 PM  

slayer199: belhade: It's a flying tank. that flies. HOW CAN YOU RETIRE THAT??

There really is no better plane for CAS (though you could argue that helicopters can do the job).

Seriously, the A-10 is built around a ridiculous gun that can cut through tanks like butter....and has a great record for survivability.  I highly doubt that the F-35 or any other plan could survive as well as the A-10.
[www.ww2aircraft.net image 400x300]
[simhq.com image 565x354]
[blogs.defensenews.com image 850x461]



You should see some of the damage I've come back home with in my fighter pilot days
www.emuviews.com
lparchive.org
 
2013-08-20 12:45:06 PM  
I wouldn't worry too much.  The US Army has repeatedly said that if the USAF no longer wants their A-10's they will happily take them over.  Though it's supposed to be a tank killer, and does a lovely job of that...it is also the best close infantry support/ demoralize the screaming hell out of your enemy weapon currently in the US military
 
2013-08-20 12:45:28 PM  

you have pee hands: I think the original hypothetical said something like "guns only" because obviously the Sidewinder takes all the fun out of it.


Consider that the Warthog only needs to get you in its sights, just once, and you've just had a Very Bad DayTM. It will turn the very air the P-51 is flying through into a hyper-velocity slurry of very finely spaced projectiles the size of soda bottles. The P-51's only chance is to be totally missed, which is really not much chance at all, since all the A-10 need do is nose up, get as much altitude as possible, (which is a lot more than the P-51 can,) turn its sights on its quarry below, and riddle the entire vicinity. at the rate it tosses ammo, it could cut the P-51 in half, in its first pass.
 
2013-08-20 12:45:35 PM  
Saved my butt a few times and it always felt good to know one was just hanging around up there ready to come to your aid.
 
2013-08-20 12:47:05 PM  
 
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