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A-10A Thunderbolt II #78-0621 "Black Lightning" 

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Witty Wings 1:144 144-09001
A-10A Thunderbolt II #78-0621 "Black Lightning"

Historical Note:


About the 103rd Fighter Wing:     The wartime 324th Fighter Group was re-designated as the 103d Fighter Group, and was allotted to the Connecticut Air National Guard, on 24 May 1946. It was organized at Bradley Army Airfield, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and was extended federal recognition on 7 August 1946 by the National Guard Bureau. The 103d Fighter Group was bestowed the lineage, history, honors, and colors of the 324th Fighter Group. 

The mission of the 103d Fighter Group was the air defense of Connecticut. It was assigned the 118th Fighter Squadron, equipped with F-47D Thunderbolts. Other support units assigned to the 103d were the 103d Headquarters, 103d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 103d Combat Support Squadron, and the 103d USAF Dispensary. 

In 1979, the unit was assigned new A-10 Thunderbolt IIs as part of the as part of the "Total Force" concept which equipped ANG units with front-line USAF aircraft. The USAFE commitment continued, deploying the "Warthog" to bases in West Germany and Italy.

 About the A-10 Warthog:      The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. The A-10 was designed for a United States Air Force (USAF) requirement to provide close air support (CAS) for ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with a limited air defense capability. It was the first USAF aircraft designed solely for CAS. 

The A-10 was designed around the GAU-8 Avenger, a heavy rotary cannon that forms the aircraft's primary armament. (It is, to date, the heaviest rotary cannon ever mounted on an aircraft.) The A-10's airframe incorporates over 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of armor and was designed with survivability as a priority, with protective measures in place which enable the aircraft to continue flying even after taking significant damage.

 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 nickname "Warthog" or simply "Hog". As a secondary mission, it provides airborne forward air control, guiding other aircraft against ground targets. A-10s used primarily in this role are designated OA-10. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10's service life has been extended to 2040.

Info:      A-10A Thunderbolt II (Warthog) - USAF 103rd Fighter Wing, 118th FS, "Black Lightning", Bradley, CT, ANG


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