posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 08:09 AM
To me - as an airman stationed at Biggin-Hill during the 70's, when they first arrived in the UK - the A-10 Thunderbolt II was an airborne
The very shape of it, built around the 'infamous' GAU-8 30 mm Gatling gun, the long upturned wings, huge armoured fuselage with even 'n-word'
turbo-fan engines that are almost silent! WOW!
When the A-10s had landed and were parked up on the apron, I had a chat with one of the pilots who said they were an absolute joy to fly, could turn
on a dime and you could throw it about the sky all day, with half of it hanging off!
Up close, and to touch, those six 30 mil barrels look huge. So big, so dark and so cold. Hard to imagine that a few rounds can open up a tank like a
hot knife through butter.
I once had the opportunity to whitness a firepower demonstration at 'The Bowl' in Warminster, Wilts.
The highlight was two passes by an A-10 Thunderbolt II. Using a'slow' rate of fire - i.e 1200 rounds per minute, the pilot quickly destroyed a
couple of burnt out hulks but on his second pass, he really opened up.
Selecting the highest rate of fire (then 7500 rpm) the pilot devastated an area about 100 metres long and about 50 wide. The firing sounded like one
long rasp but lasted only a couple of seconds.
This demonstration was carried out in pouring rain, with a very low ceiling and cloud base, with pinpoint accuracy!
What a pity the GR1 Harriers could not fly. Something to do with adverse weather.
But why oh why are they replacing the A-10s with F-16s?