Military Aviation

Warthog pilot tells why ‘Taxiing in the A-10 feels like leg day at the gym.’ (Not all of the Warthogs have a parking brake!)

The A-10 Warthog

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (affectionally dubbed as the Warthog) was designed specifically for the close air support (CAS) mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil.

In the Gulf War, A-10s had a mission capable rate of 95.7%, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90% of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles.

The Warthog can be serviced and operated from bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft’s parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers.

Not all of the A-10 Warthogs have a parking brake!

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.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. A-10C Thunderbolt II 355th FW, 354th FS Bulldogs, FS/82-684. Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ – 2015

‘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.’

Taylor concludes;

‘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.)

‘BRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTT!’

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

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.
Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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