The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). It is commonly referred to by the nicknames “Warthog” or “Hog“, although the A-10’s official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets. The A-10 was designed for close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks, and providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It entered service in 1976 and is the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF that was designed solely for CAS. Its secondary mission is to provide forward air controller-airborne support, by directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. Aircraft used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.
The A-10 has a cantilever low-wing monoplane wing with a wide chord. The aircraft has superior maneuverability at low speeds and altitude because of its large wing area, high wing aspect ratio, and large ailerons. The wing also allows short takeoffs and landings, permitting operations from primitive forward airfields near front lines. The aircraft can loiter for extended periods and operate under 1,000-foot (300 m) ceilings with 1.5-mile (2.4 km) visibility. It typically flies at a relatively low speed of 300 knots (350 mph; 560 km/h), which makes it a better platform for the ground-attack role than fast fighter-bombers, which often have difficulty targeting small, slow-moving targets
Fairchild / Republic aircraft
Fairchild A-10 Thunderbold – Fairchild PT-19 Trainer – Fairchild C-89 Packet – Fairchild C119 Boxcar – Fairchild C123 Provider – Fairchilf 61 FC-2
Fairchild 24 – Fairchild 21 – Fairchild Pilgrim – Fairchild/Dornier 328Dornierjet – Fairchild Metroliner / Merlin – Fairchild Swearingen
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Post-World War II development of conventionally armed attack aircraft in the United States had stagnated. Design efforts for tactical aircraft focused on the delivery of nuclear weapons using high-speed designs like the F-101 Voodoo and F-105 Thunderchief. Designs concentrating on conventional weapons had been largely ignored, leaving their entry into the Vietnam War led by the Korean War-era Douglas A-1 Skyraider. While a capable aircraft for its era, with a relatively large payload and long loiter time, the propeller-driven design was also relatively slow and vulnerable to ground fire. The U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps lost 266 A-1s in action in Vietnam, largely from small arms fire The A-1 Skyraider also had poor firepower
An air force, also known in some countries as an aerospace force or air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare.