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A-10 Thunderbolt II

A-10 Thunderbolt II Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2005 Title A-10 Thunderbolt II
Author Tom Zmuda Publisher Kagero
Published 2005 ISBN 83-89088-82-7
Format 44 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $14.98


Book Review
Book Review

Kagero's latest installment in the 'Topshots' series covers the A-10 Thunderbolt II. This title is 44 pages long, contains 130 full-color photographs, one color profile, and a set of decals.

Nicknamed the 'Hog' for its good looks, the A-10 is the most formidable tank killer ever built. It was designed to be a stable gun platform for the huge GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon. It was also designed to absorb an incredible amount of battle damage and still bring the pilot home safely. Several pilots have first-hand experience with the Hog's survivability.

Despite the A-10's excellent capabilities, US Air Force planners had tried to retire the aircraft on several occassions and replace the mission with variants of the F-16. While the Viper is a capable aircraft, in the close air support and especially the tank killing role, the Hog is King. When the platforms for the Forward Air Control (FAC) mission became too old, notably the OV-10 Bronco and subsequently the OA-37B Dragonfly, a number of Hogs were modified with additional communications to become the OA-10 FAC. The beauty of the OA-10 over its predecessors is its ability to remain in visual contact with the target, mark the target with white phosporous rockets, guide the F-16s and F/A-18s onto the target, and if they still miss, it can use its GAU-8 to gun the brains out of the threat and move on.

In this title, the author has collected an excellent full-color detailed walk around of the A-10. You can see from the photos that the photos are of recent vintage as only a few shots were of green airplanes, the vast majority are of Hogs are gray (again).

This monograph also has a complimentary set of decals in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 of an OA-10A, 80-0258 of the 172 FS/110 FW/MI ANG printed by Techmod.

Unlike the Kagero titles in other series, this series has a single page of historical summary about the aircraft in English, with the remainder of the title driving straight into the photo coverage with captions in English and Polish.

The aviation historian and modeler alike will want to add this to their reference libraries - especially considering the VERY reasonable retail price!