There are not many of these planes around, as just over 700 of them have been made, but each and everyone is frightening as hell. Created specifically to provide close air support for ground troops, the airplane relies on 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannons that can spit out in incredibly rapid succession over 1,100 rounds at enemy troops.
Thanks to the many hardpoints it is equipped with, the plane can also carry rockets, missiles, bombs, and other gear, from targeting pods to drop tanks.
The one you see here, captured on camera while in the air by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds, is, as said, fielded by the 190th Fighter Squadron. The pic (click photo to enlarge) was taken while the airplane was traveling from the Air National Guard’s paint shop in Sioux City, Iowa, to its home at the Idaho Air National Guard at Gowen Field.
The plane exited the paint shop’s doors wrapped in a “World War II heritage paint scheme,“ chosen as a means to celebrate the squadron’s anniversary.
The colors are reminiscent of the ones used on the P-47 Thunderbolt, a fighter aircraft deployed during the war that made a name for itself in the hands of the pilots from the 405th Fighter Squadron, which would later become the 190th.
Just to give you a taste of what these guys were capable of during the war, it’s enough to say the 405th is responsible for destroying 122 German tanks and over 250 other vehicles during Operation Cobra in Normandy in 1944.