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MUSEUM COLLECTION
 HISTORY SPECIFICATIONS AIRCRAFT ON DISPLAY UNIT HISTORY  PHOTOS
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Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II 
Crew Chief: Open
DISPLAYED ON HERITAGE HILL
 
HISTORY
 

The winner of the USAF’s A-X fly off evaluation, the Fairchild- Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II was developed as a result of the Air Forces problems of providing ground support in the Vietnam. The Thunderbolt is essentially a “airplane built around a gun”, that is reference to it’s tank-busting “Avenger” Gatling gun which can fire foot long 30mm shells at a rate of 4000 rounds per minute. Along with the 30mm Gatling gun the A-10 could carry a wide variety of weapons under its wings, which gives the A-10 more flexibility than any other attack aircraft in the USAF inventory.

The armor plated Thunderbolt II can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles up to 23mm. The A-10’s self-sealing fuel cells are protected by internal and external foam. Manual systems back up the A-10’s redundant hydraulic flight-control systems. The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft's parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers.

The first operational squadron was activated at Myrtle Beach AFB, SC in June 1978, and in September 1979 it was announced that the Air National Guard would begin operating the A-10 making it  the first first-line aircraft assigned to ANG. By March 1984 713 aircraft had been delivered to TAC, USAFE, PACAF, ANG and AF Reserve.

The A-10 affectionately nicknamed  “Warthog” played a vital role for the USAF in “Operation Desert Storm” flying 8,100 missions destroying 987 tanks, 926 artillery pieces, 500 armored personnel carriers, 1106 trucks and 300 additional targets.

On January 5, 1993 the 354th Fighter Squadron activated at McChord AFB and became a geographically separated unit of the 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB. The 354th's 26 aircraft (twelve A-10s, nine OA-10 and five back-up aircraft) were tasked to support the troops at Fort Lewis and the Yakima Training Center but a good deal of its 15,000 sorties were flown squadrons 11 deployments to operations and exercises in Argentina, Chile, Italy, Japan, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf.  

Because of the Air Forces desire to add a A-10 squadron to a planned composite wing (F-16/A-10 mix) in Georgia, the 354th was slated for inactivation. With its flag moving to Davis Monthan, AZ the squadron was deactivated October 1, 1994.

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SPECIFICATIONS
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  • TYPE: Close Air Support (A-10A), Airborne Forward Air Control (OA-10A)

  • POWER: Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans each with 9,065 lbs thrust

  • SPEED: 420 mph (Mach 0.56) 

  • RANGE: 2,541 miles (with three 600 gal external fuel tanks) 

  • SERVICE CEILING: 44,200 ft

  • WEIGHT: Empty - 24,959 lbs,  Max T/O - 51,000 lbs 

  • DIMENSIONS: Span - 57 ft 6 in,  Length - 53 ft 4 in Height - 14 ft 8 in

  • ARMAMENT: One 30mm GAU8/A Gun with 940 rounds, external load of up to 16,000 lbs of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three fuselage stations .

  • CREW: ONE 

  • PRODUCTION TOTALS: 2 (YA-10A), 6 (A-10A/B pre production/ & NAW conversion), 707 (A-10A)

  • COST: $ 9.8  million dollars 

  • McCHORD BASED UNIT: 354th FS (1993-1994)

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A-10A S/N 75-0270
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In late 1976, the Museums A-10A Thunderbolt II S/N 75-0270 is shown here (second from the camera) flying in formation over Tucson, AZ. An early production model (twelfth produced)-270 was among the first group of A-10s to go into service with the 355th Tactical Fighter Training Wing.

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UNIT HISTORY
 
1976
To 333d Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, 
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ  
(Tactical Air Command)
 
DATE UNKNOWN 
To 337th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, 
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ  
(Tactical Air Command)
 
01 NOVEMBER 1991  
To 357th Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ  
(Air Combat Command)
 
OCTOBER 1992  
To 354th Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Wing, McChord AFB, WA 
(Air Combat Command)
 
JANUARY 1993  
To GA-10A, 354th Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Wing, McChord AFB, WA  
(Air Combat Command)
 
JANUARY 1993  
Inactive Status, McChord AFB, WA
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SEPTEMBER 1993  
Loaned to McChord Air Museum, McChord AFB, WA for display.  

(United States Air Force Museum Program)

 
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ADDITIONAL PHOTOS
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Website provided and maintained by:
 
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
McChord AFB, WA. 98438-0205
253-982-2485
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org 
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