The A-10 Warthog was built around the GAU-8: a 600 pound seven-barrel cannon barfing out 30mm tank-slaying rounds so fast that 1,000 of them make a single sound, which became the plane’s signature song. Not quite as vicious as a Nerf gun, but awesome in a different way.
After years of infighting, the U.S. Air Force finally gave in and spared the A-10 Warthog from the slaughterhouse. The alarming part is that it took a new war and a looming Cold War for the jet’s masters to acquiesce, and they still plan on to begin killing the respected attack aircraft far before most realize.
The USAF's leadership wants the A-10 Warthog retired seemingly at all costs. Now it appears that USAF went far beyond broken logic and used-car salesmanship to make their anti-Warthog case, cooking the books and apparently putting an informal gag order on officers that may otherwise tell the truth about the jet's…
This is the 30 mm Gatling cannon out of an A-10 Warthog. As you can see in this old Air Force photo-op, it's bigger than a Volkswagen.
Jacob LaDuke served with the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan in 2002 as an A-10 crew chief. Here, LaDuke explains one of his first nights at Bagram AFB and his near fatal brush with a big ol' Canadian transport. — Ed.