If you like military things, the much famed A-10 Warthog close air support (CAS) vehicle of death will certainly bring smiles to your face.
This airplane has been on the chopping block for as long as I can remember, giving way in public’s eyes to some better looking and less capable airplanes like the F-35 for example. On the other hand, to many, this is one of the most ugly beautiful pieces of military hardware ever built.
The idea was simple: try to add the biggest gun you can to an aircraft. This was made by designing the plane around the massive seven barrel gattling gun, found in the plane. It delivers 30mm shells that can chop off parts of a tank and anything else that stands in its way, all without much trouble.
In the original design, the pilot could switch between two rates of fire: 2,100 or 4,200 rounds per minute; this was changed to a fixed rate of 3,900 rounds per minute. The cannon takes about half a second to come up to speed, so 50 rounds are fired during the first second, 65 or 70 rounds per second thereafter. The gun is accurate enough to place 80 percent of its shots within a 40-foot (12.4 m) diameter circle from 4,000 feet (1,220 m) while in flight. The GAU-8 is optimized for a slant range of 4,000 feet (1,220 m) with the A-10 in a 30 degree dive.
This video showcased the A-10 Thunderbolt performing the close air support role, delivering its payload (rockets, bombs and the canon shells too) in a close air support attack roles showcased in this exercise. Take a look at this interesting showcase of the airplane’s capabilities right below.