I believe it’s in all of our best interest to put down our weapons in the A-10 debate for a day, and this day in particular. Why? Because we want to celebrate the first flight of this absolutely incredible aircraft, one that has served this country proudly for over 35 years.
On this day in 1972, what would be become one of the most lethal aircraft in the U.S. arsenal took to the skies for the first time. She won’t win any beauty contests, but to those who have had their butts on the line, there was never a more beautiful sight. Spending a portion of my youth a stone’s throw from Davis Monthan Air Force Base, I had the pleasure of seeing these magnificent beasts almost daily, and attending air shows there gave me a chance to learn more about this unique platform.
She is the best in the world at what she does, and her GAU-8 30mm cannon, survivability, titanium-reinforced cockpit, and long loiter time all combine to make her an absolute nightmare for anybody dumb enough to poke their head out.
The A-10 will always have a special place in our hearts and no matter when they decide to withdraw her from service. She will go down in history as one of the most feared, respected, and sought-after aircraft in U.S. Air Force history.
Enjoy the BRRRRRT!