Friday, August 14, 2009

Two 81st Fighter Squadron A-10s depart Lajes Field enroute to CONUS

Updated 16 August 2009

By Joachim Jacob

As Portuguese photographer and Warthog News contributor João Toste reported, on morning August 13, 2009, A-10s 80-0281 and 81-0951 (both without unit markings) from the 81st Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, departed Lajes Field, Azores, enroute Continental United States (CONUS). They had arrived for stopover August 10, 2009.

A-10 81-0951 taxis for take-off. (Photo by João Toste)

A-10 81-0951 taxis for take-off. (Photo by João Toste) Hi-res

A-10 80-0281 (formerly marked 81 FS as squadron or boss bird) taxis for take-off. Clear visible are some panels in another grey tone, possibly repainted to eliminate former unit markings (crew names below the windshield, squadron emblem below the old antenna behind the cockpit, tailcode and special markings on the tail. Also painted over are the fin caps (formerly yellow with a black lightning. (Photo by João Toste) Hi-res

Related info:
Two 81st Fighter Squadron A-10s caught at Lajes Field enroute to CONUS

From the photo archives:

A-10 81-0951 at Spangdahlem AB March 15, 2007. (Photo by Roel Reijne) Full size

Close-up: Ladder door art "81ST Keeping Death Busy", signed by Monte [R..] 2007, on A-10 81-0951. (Photo by Roel Reijne) Full size

Anybody who can/will tell me full name and rank of the artist?

Background info:

After the withdrawal of 80-9281 and 81-0951, the 81st Fighter Squadron still operates the following 22 A-10s (probably all as primary aircraft): 81-0945, 81-0952, 81-0956, 81-0960, 81-0962, 81-0963, 81-0965, 81-0966, 81-0976, 81-0978, 81-0980, 81-0983, 81-0984, 81-0985, 81-0988, 81-0991, 81-0992 (marked 52nd OG), 82-0646, 82-0649, 82-0650, 82-0654, 82-0656. (Credits: Michael Tafel, Warthog News contributor from Germany)

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