Half the Warthogs remain on the ground

Wing cracks take out half of A-10 fleet

As of early December, 168 attack jets — nearly half the service’s 356 Warthogs — remain grounded because of wing cracks. Those planes should be repaired by June, said Maj. David Ruth, A-10 weapons system team chief at Air Combat Command headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

The grounding began Oct. 3 after inspectors at Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah, where A-10s are sent for major overhauls and upgrades, raised concerns about wing cracks.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

Pilots have been rotating from base to base in order to get flying hours during the grounding.

What we need is a way to build more of these bad birds.

Comments

  1. Yeah, right – the Air Farce is going to build more A-10’s. If the AF Brass had their way, they would all be scrapped. The Army and/or Marine Corps would be willing to buy more. They had to use that threat to get them built originaly.

  2. Funny you should mention this a couple days after the B-52 post.

    IIRC, A-10s were built in the same factory that once built wings for the B-52.

  3. I agree with Murdoc but I recall reading that Fairchild Republic destroyed the tools, dies and molds needed to build the A10 when they went belly up. The Air Force refused to pay for them at the time. To build a new A10 you would have to start from almost scratch. I guess they broke the mold when God created the A10.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  4. I heard the same thing about the tooling. No idea if it’s true. I keep hoping it was business gamesmanship and the stuff is all in a warehouse somewhere.

  5. I doubt that tooling from around 1975 would be worth much these days anyway. Manufacturing processes have changed big time since then. And if the propaganda on the plane is true, there’s nothing too exotic in there. The avionics, weapons, and engines are all newer stuff anyway.

    As long as the engineering drawings for the airframe are still around, tooling up for new production shouldn’t be hard. There’s no need to go through all the design debug and proving tests that add so much time and money to new designs.

    Ditto for the Buff.

  6. “I agree with Murdoc but I recall reading that Fairchild Republic destroyed the tools, dies and molds needed to build the A10 when they went belly up.”

    WHAT?

    Why didn’t Fairchild get a government bailout?

  7. @Bram: ROFL much?

    I agree that we should build more of them. I also think we could check the designs and improve on them.

    Now, if I were a multi-billionaire, I would know what my gift to the military would be. Offer to build the machinery to make of these beautiful birds at my own expense.

  8. @kuki,
    oh please, the migs are pos as they have no armor and one hit will destroy it or cripple it(odds are destroy it).

    The A-10 Thunderbolt has the armor, nimble, and will always bring the pilot home because from what I have heard and read they could lose half(or whole, cannot remember which) and get back to base, or even lose an engine or tail and again still make it home.

    besides the A-10 are tank killers while the faster and no armored fighters like the mig are meant to move fast and for dog fighting at higher altitudes.

    besides A-10s are NOT faulty or else they wouldn’t have done so well as they have been.

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