The official designation for this aircraft is the A-10 Thunderbolt II, named after its illustrious WWII predecessor the P-47 Thunderbolt. However, the nickname “Warthog” is so popular and well loved that it appears in official documents. This is a beloved airframe: a robust ground attack aircraft proven time and again in battle. And the stories behind it are just as interesting as its combat record.
10The A-10 Was Designed to Meet the Changing Needs of War
The A-10 Warthog reflects the changing nature of warfare at the time. As the Vietnam conflict developed, it became apparent that the U.S. Military needed a new generation of ground-attack aircraft. These birds must be faster and more robust to deliver firepower to the battlefield while evading enemy fire. The U.S. Army solution was the development of a new generation of attack helicopter, beginning with the AH-1 Cobra and culminating years later with the AH-64 Apache. The Air Force had another idea, and looked for a fixed wing solution. The existing prop-driven attack planes were woefully ill suited, so they took things in a new direction. Enter: The A-10.