Friday, April 1, 2011
Just found: Impressive A-10C upgrade shots from Hill AFB
By Joachim Jacob
Be sure, that's not an April fool! In response to an urgent request from Ken Neubeck, author of "Walk Around A-10 Warthog" (Squadron/Signal Publications, 1999), I'm trying Google again for A-10C cockpit shots, and I've just found a very interesting blog entry, already posted on April 25, 2007, by scientist and photographer Bryan William Jones from the United States.
Bryan wrote: Last Wednesday I got tapped to run up the road to Hill Air Force Base and shoot some images of the A-10 Thunderbolt II (a.k.a Warthog) going through repair, refurbishment, maintenance and updating at the Air Logistics Center with the 309th Maintenance Wing. The point of the trip was to obtain images for Defense Technology, part of the Aviation Week group for an article with David Axe on the A-10 that is currently undergoing updating to the A-10C configuration.
During his visit, Bryan took a lot of very interesting exclusive shots, including the following:
A-10C cockpit. (Photo by Bryan William Jones)
Each A-10 that comes into the 309th Maintenance Wing undergoes a complete renovation that includes the principal A-10C upgrade comprising a new instrument panel, updated computational capabilities that help control the new cockpit displays and a digital stores management system that helps the pilot to monitor and deploy weapons while also jacking the weapons into a new data link. Other upgrades include a more modern HOTAS control system for the A-10, new power systems that meet the increased power demands and new weapons pylons to accommodate the smart or high precision weapons. Additionally, while the aircraft are at the 309th, they also undergo intensive maintenance on almost every aspect of the aircraft, including the fuel systems, electrical systems, structural wing components and any repairs that need to be performed. All of this work happens within a 90 day window at the Hill AFB facility and to date, the project is running on-time and under budget saving the US Government millions of dollars on top of the hundreds of millions that would have been required to replace the platform with another aircraft. (Photo by Bryan William Jones)
Currently, Ken is working on another significant book about the history of the A-10 up to the present time and he hope to have this submitted to Squadron/Signal publishers in about six months. Anyone who can/will provide some more A-10C cockpit shots?