The U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt is one of those military icons that never gets old. Developed and manufactured by Fairchild-Republic, the Warthog has been in service close to 40-years and counting. Introduced as a fixed-wing close air support, forward air control, and ground-attack aircraft; the A-10 Thunderbolt Warthog has surpassed any and all expectations during its extremely distinguished career.
The beloved icon is slated for retirement in the coming decade. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy as much as possible of the always fun, loved, and efficient Warthog. Like here, where we get treated to a prime seat aboard the Thunderbolt. In this cockpit footage, the Warthog pilot narrates and describes different air maneuvers during an airshow as they happen. Truly a treat for all of those Warthog fans out there.
Numerous pre-checks are conducted before entering the aircraft which is loaded with cameras so we can all see what’s going on in there. Once Captain Matthew Kouchoukos gets the all clear for take-off, it’s time to roll out. He runs the engines and makes a few confirmations.
The aircraft will accelerate pretty quickly, and it will rotate at around 150 knots. It then lifts off into the air immediately and he raises the gear up. He levels off at 30 feet and accelerates to about 300 knots. He then establishes a 45 degree climb and head away from the crowd.
Matthew will try to establish the perimeter for the crowd below and how far away from the spectators he should be. He levels off at 300 feet AGL and prepare for a vertical 360-degree turn. He goes into a descending maneuver starting at 8,000 feet. He’s headed toward show center down to 300 feet AGL.
At about 180 knots he hangs upside down. The opening and closing of the speed brakes on the A-10 gives a faster roll rate. Next, a 270 degree roll for the crowd. Remember, there are never any bullets in the aircraft’s gun. More turns, twists and maneuvers that deliver gasps from the crowd.
Off to the west and with a slowdown from about 300 knots to 200 knots and there goes the gear handle and the flaps go down. He rolls out at about 150 knots and 300 feet down the show line. This show takes place on a very long show line.
Matthew says once he is done it is a great opportunity to see the size of the crowd and take a look at what’s going on and just enjoy the show.