Fairchild Republic OA-10A Thunderbolt II (81-0954 / SP) from the United States Air Force
at the Czech International Air Fest 2005, Brno-Tuřany (Czech Republic)
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s.
It is the only United States Air Force production aircraft designed solely for close air support, including attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with limited air defenses. The A-10 was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon that is its primary armament and the heaviest automatic cannon mounted on an aircraft. The A-10's airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 1200 pounds
(540 kg) of titanium armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying.
The A-10A single-seat variant was the only version built, though one A-10A was converted to an A-10B twin-seat version. The A-10's official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, a fighter that was particularly effective at close air support. The A-10 is more commonly known by its nicknames "Warthog" or "Hog". Its secondary mission is to provide airborne forward air control, directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. Aircraft used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.