‘The Warthog does two things quickly: shoot bullets, and taxi. That pup wants to roll,’ Lynn Taylor, former A-10 Pilot.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately nicknamed “The Warthog,” was specifically developed for the US Air Force (USAF) to perform the Close Air Support (CAS) mission.
A-10 aircraft have been utilized to great effect in both the Desert Storm conflict of the 1990’s and in the more recent Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Global War on Terror engagements.
The Warthog design features a titanium “bathtub” that protects the pilot from injury, and dually redundant flight control systems that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft out of enemy range, despite severe damage such as complete loss of hydraulic capability.
Something that almost nobody knows is that until 2019 the A-10 didn’t have a parking brake.
‘It doesn’t have a parking brake,’ says Lynn Taylor, former A-10 Pilot, on Quora.
‘You’d think that wouldn’t be a big deal, right? I mean, why would you need one? When it’s parked on the ground you simply put chocks under the wheels. Problem solved.
‘Except when your takeoff gets delayed and you’re waiting in line for five, ten, or fifteen minutes. Or longer. The whole time you have to keep constant pressure on the brake pedals.
‘And it’s not like the brakes in your car where resting a foot on the pedal will do the trick. No, sir. The Hawg does two things quickly: shoot bullets, and taxi. That pup wants to roll. So, after your minutes on the pedals stretch into double digits, it starts to feel like leg day at the gym.’
‘So, yeah, a parking brake would have been nice. It’s on my list of given carte blanche, how would you improve upon the A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog”? (Wherein we also discuss how the “autopilot” in the A-10 is almost semi-useful.)
Actually the Guard and Reserve A-10s received a parking brake in 2019. Researched and developed, uses the backup braking reservoir to provide pressure. Active units did not get it, since it was not funded.
Photo credit: Arpingstone via Wikipedia
I’m pretty sure that the devices that bring the A-10 to a stop or prevent it from rolling are called brakes, not breaks. Amazing how long it took USAF to address the issue.