A-10 Thunderbolt II

These photos were taken by Uncle Rick Chin, Burkhard Domke, Steve Filak and Bryan Ribbans.

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Photos directly below were taken at the airport at Calgary, Canada June 17,2000.

These photos were all taken by Uncle Rick Chin of Uncle Bills Hobby

Descriptions were kindly sent in by  Chris Andreychik.

 

 
A-10 gun bay door....This could be more accurately termed the gun reloading or ammunition door, though it is also one of the doors that allows the gun to be dropped for maintenance.  There are actually several gun bay doors that open from the bottom of the fuselage and allow the entire GAU-8/A gun, power assembly, ammo chutes and helical ammo container to drop out for maintenance.  This is the door that is popped by ordnance crews to allow the 30 mm power loader to hook up to the ammo container.  If you look closely in the opening, you will see a square metal frame with a reinforcing metal cross in  the middle of it.  This is part of the ammo chute assembly, and will help give proper orientation of the following pictures that show the inside of the bay.   This view of the door is from the left side of the aircraft.  When looking at the 'Hog, this door on the underside of the fuselage and is roughly in line with the emergency canopy jettison panel with the large black 'RESCUE' arrow pointing at it.  The piece of metal at an angle on the very left edge of the picture is the rear nose gear door.  In the background is an AV-8B Harrier of VMA-223, the Marine squadron featured in the movie 'True Lies.'  
A-10 gun bay door....Close up of the first picture, showing reloading door internal bracing.  This shows the eight locking mechanisms that keep the panel closed.   The locking mechanisms are inside the  reinforced bracing; six lock fore/aft, and two lock into the left edge opposite the hinge.  It is easy to see through the upper four locking mechanism latches in this picture.   A-10 gun bay...This is an EXCELLENT picture.  This shows (from the bottom of the photo) the ammo chute reinforcing (rectangular framing with the 'double cross' in the middle), power drive assembly (gears), and helical 30 mm ammo container to the right of the drive assembly.  This is also a picture that should be referred to for orientation when viewing the close-up detail shots that follow. 
A-10 gun bay looking up....Looking straight up from the ground into the open
panel.  Uncle Rick must have had a sore neck after taking these!  The front of the aircraft is to the top of the picture.  The ammo chute is visible, as well as the 30 mm ammo container to the right of the ammo chute.  Just above
the ammo container are the gears for the power assembly.
A-10 gun bay looking up.....Close up of the last picture.  This gives a good view of the linkless ammo feed system.  For those that are unfamiliar with a linkless feed system, the 30 mm rounds are loaded onto the airplane without the connecting links that are common to machine guns such as the 7.62 mm M-60 or .50 caliber M-2.  If you look behind the metal reinforcing, you can see what almost looks like a tank tread.  Actually, this is what allows the gun to fire up to 70 rounds a SECOND without jamming.  The 'tank tread' is actually a half-circle that holds the 30 mm round by its casing.  All these retainers are linked together, and become the 'links' that most machine gun ammo use.  The ammo container has a helix inside, with the tips of the 30 mm rounds pointing towards the middle of the container.  The rounds are taken out of the container, worked into the linkless feed chute, go to the gun, are fired, and the empty casing is returned to the ammo drum via a separate return chute.  Unlike W.W.II fighters and their .50 caliber machine guns, the A-10 keeps its spent shells to help keep the aircraft within its center-of-gravity for landing.  When the power loader hooks up to this feed system, it offloads spent casings and loads live rounds at the same time to reduce turn around time.  

 

 
A-10 gun bay....Uncle Rick's neck MUST be sore!  The best way to orient this picture is by realizing the gray strip of metal on the very lower left hand side of the picture is the ammo container.  All the gears are part of the drive system, and in the upper middle of the picture are two 30 mm feed chutes.  A-10 gun bay....This is similar to the last picture, but Uncle Rick has moved slightly to the right.  The ammo drum is at the bottom of the picture again, meaning the front of the airplane is towards the top of the picture.  More gears for the power drive, as well as some hydraulics lines, bundled electrical wires, and other piping made up of braided aluminum.   A-10 gun bay....This is looking straight back inside towards the tail.  Port is to the right, starboard to the left.  On the bottom you can see the lip with the holes in it that the panel locking tabs slide into.  Filling the left side of the picture is the 30 mm ammo container.  Some electrical wiring can be seen to the right of the ammo drum, as well as ribs and stringers making up the internal structure behind the fuselage 'skin.' 
hero shot of Uncle Rick in A-10....Uncle Rick looks right at home in the 'Hog cockpit!  Notice the pilot's checklist on the cockpit instrument coaming.  Also noticeable is the container for the pilot's helmet bag slightly behind and below the pilot's headrest.  It is the black, cylindrical container just below where the operating piston for the canopy disappears.  This container is removable, and the straps that hold it down were originally designed to hold a thermos. With the latest EGI modification, this container and its associated straps go away and a Data Transfer Unit is mounted in its place. 
Uncle Rick's own M.B. 2 ejection seat....No, kids, DON'T pull the red  handles!  If this looks  nothing like the seat in your A-10 kit or detail set, that's a GOOD thing.  This is a Martin Baker  ejection seat,the A-10 uses an ACES II seat.  I wonder how often Uncle Rick has to  replacing ceiling panels because someone sat down and wanted to see if it worked?

 


Photos directly below were taken in England by Bryan Ribbans.

A10 cockpit thru canopy A10 Instrument Panel A10 rear of cockpit Bryan Ribbans in pilots seat of the A-10

 


These directly below were photos were taken by Burkhard Domke

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These directly below were photos were taken by Steve Filak

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If you feel there is a need for descriptions for this walk around, then feel free to type them up and quote the photo numbers above and forward the descriptions to Steve Bamford, so they can be put up into this walkaround.  We could really use our viewers help with this.  An expert on this aircraft could write much better descriptions than we could.