40-year-old A-10 Thunderbolts get new wings as Air Force continues to look for a permanent replacement
Maintainers have installed new wings to the venerable A-10 Thunderbolt, effectively breathing new life into a platform that is having trouble finding a suitable successor.
The 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron swapped wings on 162 A-10s at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, as part of the A-10 Enhanced Wing Assembly replacement program. An additional eleven wing sets were installed at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea.
According to Military & Aerospace Electronics, the new wings will last around 10,000 flight hours without the need of a depot inspection and are designed to be removed without as much structural stress that the previous generation of wings was subjected to.
Now over 40 years old, the A-10 is a priceless platform that has survived several attempts to have it phased out, dating all the way back to before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Several modifications were made to the wings using cannibalized parts from “retired” A-10s, which sit out in the desert “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
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