SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, UNITED STATES
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- An aircrew of an A-10 Thunderbolt II held a pair of aerial demonstrations during the 2010 Airpower Over The Midwest Airshow on Sept. 11-12, at Scott AFB.
According to its Air Force fact sheet, the A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is an highly accurate weapons-delivery platform. The aircraft can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings with 1.5-mile visibility. The wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.
The Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems, or NVIS, goggle compatible single-seat cockpits forward of their wings and a large bubble canopy which provides pilots all-around vision, the fact sheet states. The pilots are protected by titanium armor that also protects parts of the flight-control system. The redundant primary structural sections allow the aircraft to enjoy better survivability during close air support than did previous aircraft.
The aircraft can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. Their self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up their redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. This permits pilots to fly and land when hydraulic power is lost.
The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close air support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil.
The upgraded A-10C reached initial operation capability in September 2007. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies. The aircraft has participated in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
During the Scott AFB airshow, more than 180,000 people visited and watched the A-10 in action, officials said.
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