Share This Article

Republic’s A-10 Thunderbolt II: A Pictorial History, by Don Logan, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, Pa., 1997, $49.95.

At the risk of committing verbal incongruity, one might best describe Republic’s A-10 Thunderbolt II as a one-weapon coffee-table book. Anyone who knows anything about U.S. Air Force combat aircraft, and a good many people who do not, know that the Thunderbolt II–or “Warthog”–is still the premier ground-support aircraft in the world 20 years after its introduction. The A-10 was not designed to be sleek and swift, nor to be stealthy. The aircraft was designed for ground-support missions, and its appearance and characteristics flowed from the requirements of those missions.The product of U.S. Air Force experience in Vietnam, the Thunderbolt II is a subsonic, twin-engine turboprop aircraft of relatively simple design and manufacture that allows complete interchangeability of parts, even including skin surface plates, and considerably lower production costs. The pilot is protected by a titanium armor “bathtub” that is capable of stopping direct hits by 23mm and 57mm rounds. The aircraft can sustain an incredible amount of battle damage and still get home on one engine. Its fixed armament is a 30mm Gatling-type rapid-fire cannon that is capable of firing 2,000 to 4,000 rounds a minute. Equipped with ammunition made of depleted uranium, it is capable of destroying most armored vehicles in use today.

Republic’s A-10 Thunderbolt II: A Pictorial History is filled with color pictures from all existing A-10 squadrons, as well as squadron patches and aircraft art.

John I. Witmer