US Air Force F-35 pilot says the legendary A-10 is like ‘Chewbacca with chainsaw arms’


A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot maneuvers into formation while waiting for his wingman to conduct refueling operations with a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron Detatchment 1, over Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, March 12, 2018.

A US Air Force F-35 pilot participating in the ongoing Red Flag exercise described the legendary A-10 Thunderbolt II as “Chewbacca with chainsaw arms.”
The Thunderbolt, a cannon with wings, was the first Air Force aircraft specifically built for close air support of ground forces, but it is expected to eventually be replaced by the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
The F-35A ought to provide more advanced capabilities to defeat emerging threats from near-peer adversaries.

The A-10 is a flying death machine, a plane built around a cannon that is capable of firing 4,200 rounds per minute and eliminating anything in its path, but this fearsome gunship’s days are numbered.

Some US Air Force pilots are currently transitioning to flying other aircraft, like the new F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that are supposed to replace many of the A-10s for ground attack missions.

Here’s what one pilot had to say about the shift during the Air Force’s Red Flag air combat exercises.

Captain James Rosenau, a former A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, described the transition from the Warthog to the stealth fighters in an interview with the Air Force.

“I loved the A-10 and its mission,” he told the Air Force, “It’s like a flying tank. Like Chewbacca with chainsaw arms. A very raw flying experience. Obviously, the F-35 is completely different. It’s more like a precision tool.”

Chewbacca, Han Solo’s beloved co-pilot from the “Star Wars” movies, was a creature known as a wookie that was a physical beast. Nobody wanted to mess with Chewie.

The A-10, a gunship famous for the “BRRRT” of its 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun, was the first Air Force aircraft built specifically to provide close air support to ground forces.

Read More: ‘It’s just awesome’ — An A-10 pilot reveals what it’s like to tear through the skies …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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