Warthog Fans Have Few Chances Left To See Legendary Aircraft Perform As Air Force Divests A-10C

A-10C
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II flies over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, June 29, 2020. The Thunderbolt II is a highly accurate, global reach airframe that provides U.S. and coalition forces a maneuverable close air support and precision strike platform. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Parsons)

The Luke Days 2024 airshow will take place March 23-24, marking one of the last times fans of the A-10 will have an opportunity to see the Warthog up close.

The Air Force has sought divestment of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft for years primarily because it is an economical and effective aircraft and does not benefit defense contractors. As a result, 2024 will be the final season for the A-10C Demonstration Team due to the Air Force’s decades-long attack on the legendary aircraft known affectionately as the Warthog.

The A-10C Demonstration Team has performed for more than 40 years. The Warthog’s slow and low demonstrations have been performed by dozens of pilots and teams at hundreds of air shows across multiple countries.

Warthog fans can see final performances at the few scheduled shows left across the US from Mar. 23. To Oct. 5. The full season schedule can be found at https://www.dm.af.mil/A-10-Demonstration-Team/.

In February 2024, the Air Force announced that after nearly 50 years at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the 355th Wing had begun divesting its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.

A-10C aircraft 82-648 was retired from service at Davis-Monthan and transited from the 354th Fighter Squadron to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group for final maintenance procedures and display preparation for the Davis-Monthan where hundreds of retired Aircraft are stored.

The U.S. Air Force is planning to divest the entire fleet of A-10 aircraft within the next 3-5 years. Pilots and maintainers at Davis-Monthan will move onto the extraordinarily expensive F-35 aircraft due to the divestment.

The divestment is expected to devastate Tucson’s already failing economy.

“I served as an A-10 electrician in the 1980’s,” said Pima County Board of Supervisors candidate John Backer. “Having been blessed with the first-hand experience of working on the airplane, I understand completely what a unique air frame the A-10 remains to this day. Through the years, countless Marines and Army soldiers have shared their love, respect, and gratitude for the A-10 – a majority feel the A-10 directly saved their lives.”

“Although Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is reportedly bringing in additional missions, the A-10 mission will be large boots to fill both in Close Air Support capabilities for our soldiers and financial impact for Pima County,” concluded Backer.

Originally designed for Close Air Support, or CAS, by Fairchild Republic, an Aircraft and Aerospace manufacturing company, the first A-10 model had the capability to carry bombs and rockets on 11 pylons and featured a 30mm GAU-8/A rotary cannon protruding from the nose of the aircraft.

USAF Moving Quickly To Mothball A-10, Public Misled

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10 Comments

  1. I see A-10’s every day. I live a block from Davis-Monthan and they fly overhead all the time.

  2. Hopefully they don’t sell them to foreign countries, Iran is still flying F-4 Phantoms that we sold them before they decided to become our sworn enemies.

  3. With a squadron of these patrolling our southern border we wouldn’t need fences or walls.

  4. will they mothball the infantry solider as well ?

    I love to watch the A-10s fly – my building next to DMAFB – practice is ‘excellent’ viewing.

    Being on the ground in a fight before many instances – would have loved to have had A-10’s to call in for ‘save me’ guys to call. Sorry to see them leaving service.

  5. This plane is slow, highly vulnerable to manpads missiles, and very, very expensive on the ground to arm & maintain. Other than, that it’s a way cool piece of technology that did great during its military heyday. With Johnny-Warball-McCain gone, Arizona has ZERO BIG STROKE anymore in the Pentagon & Congress….deal with it.

    • Yeah, because the F-35 is cheaper to maintain…. pffffft. I’ll bet there are a lot of ground pounders that would disagree with you. Been on the ground lately? Guess not.

  6. mockturtle and Davidson are correct.
    Yet another blow to our already weak, polarized and politically motivated military.

  7. Sad but typical move. Our military needs are determined by defense contractors rather than by practical common sense and economy. We’ll miss this plane!

  8. There is nothing better than the A=10 to support the troops in the battle! The AIR FORCE should keep the A-10 as the A-35 can not do what the A-10 can.

    AIR FORCE Veteran Weapons Mechanic

    • F-35s are now parked pending ‘delivery’ Military won’t accept (big price tag)
      – cooling cant keep up with onboard electronic systems and proposed upgrades
      – engine has major ‘clutch’ issues – same ones plaguing the V-22 Osprey ; can Boeing still build an airplane/ Osprey is for all intent an purpose ‘grounded’ till the cows come home – to many ‘unplanned off-field landings’..
      – The same engine plagues the F-22

      The B-2’s HAAAA no one provided any ‘ongoing maintenance’ to many different manufacturers – start over is the plan… really?!

      The A-10 built by a company that no longer exists – the old guys that can fix it are retried , or tired… which ever comes first. So building them back to current was quite the effort ; Thanks OLD GUYS!

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