Fairchild-Republic A-10A was designed to kill tanks. The A-10 first flew in 1972. Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines provide reliable thrust in the low altitude environment. Its weapons include a GE GAU-8/A “Avenger” 30-mm seven-barrel cannon, and the capability to carry up to 8 tons of external weapons on eight under-wing and three centerline pylons. Designed to counter the threat in the 1980s of the massive Soviet numerical superiority in tanks in Europe, the design incorporated many features to ensure its survivability. Although relatively slow, maximum speed of 400 knots, it could fly long distances, remain on station a very long time and employ a large number of various weapons. The aircraft saw its first combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 where it verified its reputation and also was used extensively to provide long-range air cover for search and rescue of downed aircrews. Efforts to retire the A-10A and AO-10A (attack and FAC have been reversed and extensive navigation systems, night warfare capabilities and more reliable electronics have been added to keep the airplanes in the active force.
USAF S/N 76-540 is an A-10A, one of 713 built by Fairchild-Republic at Hagerstown, Maryland. It was delivered to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina in 1978. In August 1983 it was sent to the 706th TAC Fighter Squadron (AFRES), NAS New Orleans, Louisiana. During an Operation Desert Storm mission on January 31, 1991, the aircraft suffered major damage when struck by a surface-to-air missile. Although all hydraulic controls were lost, the pilot, Major Jim Rose, managed to bring it home using backup systems. After repairs, it was flown to McClellan on August 22, 1991 to supply parts to other A-10s before being retired to the museum.
Power Plants: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans, rated at 9,065 lb. thrust.
Span: 57 ft 6 in.
Length: 53 ft 4 in.
Height: 14 ft 8 in.
Weight: Empty – 20,246 lbs.
Maximum Gross – 47,400 lbs.
Speed: Maximum – 518 mph.
Range: 2,647 miles.
THIS AIRCRAFT IS ON LOAN FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE USAF