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A-10 Thunderbolt Looks Like a Hammer Taking Off, Couldn’t Care Less

When one thinks of military airplanes, beauty is a word that perfectly describes most of them. In the chase to come up with the best design for whatever use airplanes are intended for, companies have almost always come up with great-looking airborne machines, that seem to perfectly blend form and function.
A-10 Thunderbolt taking off 12 photos
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That’s not the case with A-10 Thunderbolt II. Arguably the ugliest airplane currently being flown in the skies of the world with war in mind, the Warthog, as it’s also known, is one of those beasts that does not need to be stealthy and sleek to get the job done.

The way the thing looks, especially with fangs, teeth and eyes painted all over the front end by the various units that field the plane, has long inspired awe in friendly forces and dread in the hearts of the enemies.

One would think that there should be at least one angle from where the plane would shine a beautiful smile. But as the countless stills of the A-10 released by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) over the years have shown, there’s nothing beautiful about it.

As part of the 2021 Year in Photos album, made public last week, the military branch made sure we get that by showing the A-10 while taking off. It’s an image captured back in March 2021, when the plane, deployed with the 104th Fighter Squadron of the Maryland Air National Guard, departed from Hill Air Force Base in Utah on a weapons system evaluation program named Combat Hammer.

The photo gives us a perfect glimpse of the plane’s rugged body, with blunt edges and large contours, and showing all the fibers of its muscular body for all to see.

The A-10 was born in the hangars of Fairchild Republic in the 1970s. Its primary role is close air support and uses two General Electric turbofan engines to go about its business. America is the only nation that has this plane, made over the years in a little over 700 examples.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other A-10s.

 
 
 
 
 

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