All control surfaces are prehinged, and all
that you’ll need to connect during the “build”
are the ball-linked pushrods, which are also
set up for you. Each of the four flap assemblies
gets its own servo to drive it, and the three-unit retract system is preinstalled and wired.
One of the features I really appreciated was
that all the wiring to the servos, retracts, lights,
and anything else was also preinstalled as
harnesses that terminate at a single modular
connector where the wing panels join the
fuselage. No separate flap, retract, and aileron
extensions or Y-harnesses on this baby—just
one neat connection and two screws on each
wing panel and you are ready to roll. I love it!
;e nacelle package that houses the 80mm
EDF units is complete, modular, and easy to
install after joining the two fuselage sections
using supplied adhesive and a carbon-fiber
tube. ;e only tricky part here is snaking all that
wiring located in the aft fuselage through the
forward section, where a preinstalled “connector
board” is located. Freewing even helps you out
here by providing a looped wire so that you can
snake the wire through successfully.
;e 80mm fan unit is premounted in front of the speed
control, which is cooled by air though the nacelle.
;ere’s a nice transition of the molded-foam nacelle
inlet to the fan shroud to smooth airflow to the fan face.
My association with the
A- 10 began in 1976, when I
joined the engineering team
at Fairchild Republic. At
that time, ship #30 (of 713)
was just about coming off
the line, and deliveries to
operational Air Force units
was underway. The first unit
to receive our new machine
was the 355th Tactical
Fighter Wing (TFW) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in
Tucson, Arizona. The 355th had been an A- 7 Corsair II unit and had been designated
as the Air Force training base through which all future A- 10 drivers would pass. At
that time, rumor was that the existing A- 7 community at Davis-Monthan was not
particularly happy with the new “ride” that had been selected for them, considering
the re-equipment as a step backward. Given the near Mach capability of the A- 7,
400 knots in a funny-looking airplane with the twin tails, straight wing, and what
appeared to be two large trash cans located aft of the wing near the top of the
airplane may have seemed ludicrous. The other end of the fuselage is what made the
difference. The GAU-8A Avenger 30mm cannon could spit out 70 shots per second,
which meant that, when you had a moving ground target acquired, you could fly the
airplane, bang the proper rudder in the direction of the target’s movement, squeeze
the trigger, and hose whatever was there and turn it to dust, all while watching it
happen. Fun days on the Arizona desert!
I spent a lot of time in those early days at Davis-Monthan; the “Hog,” as it was to be
called, was new and had the typical “teething” problems of any new weapon system.
A second wing of airplanes, the 354th TFW, was established at Myrtle Beach, South
Carolina, followed by the 81st TFW at Bentwaters, England. The latter location was
selected because the strategists decided that, if an armored invasion of Europe were
to occur, a base in northeast England would be an ideal spot from which to launch
tank busters, the likes of which had never been seen before. Given the climate of
potential conflict, a restructuring of the Air Force’s assets was implemented, allowing
selected Air Guard outfits to receive brand-new, right-off-the-production-line A-10As.
These went to Bradley (in Connecticut), Barnes (Massachusetts), and Baltimore
(Maryland)—talk about a bunch of happy people! The Guard guys no longer had to be
equipped with Air Force “hand-me-downs,” and their mission stepped up significantly.
In the eight years that I was in the program, I managed to get around the world
with the A- 10, met some great people, shared some amazing experiences, built some
long-lasting friendships, and stored away some wonderful memories. It was a great
and unforgettable adventure, for which I am thankful; I often remind my wife that the
A- 10 even allowed us to buy our first house. Thanks, Mr. Warthog!
I’m sitting in the cockpit of a full-scale mock-up of our T- 46 trainer,
Here I am, spreading the A-10A capability info to
one of many interested groups. We always knew
that it would become a legend! Fun times!