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Paul

First there was this gun...

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It was developed by General Electric, the "We bring good things to life" people. It's one of the modern-day Gatling guns. It shoots very big bullets. It shoots them very quickly.

Someone said, "Let's put it in an airplane."

Someone else said, "Better still, let's build an airplane around it."

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So they did. And "they" were the Fairchild-Republic airplane people.

And they had done such a good job with an airplane they developed back in WWII...


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...called the P-47 Thunderbolt, they decided to call it the A10 Thunderbolt.


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They made it so it was very good at flying low and slow and shooting things with that fabulous gun.


But since it did fly low and slow, they made it bulletproof, or almost so. A lot of bad guys have found you can shoot an A10 with anything from a pistol to a 23mm Soviet cannon and it just keeps on flying and shooting.



When they got through, it looked like this...


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It's not sleek and sexy like an F18 or the stealthy Raptors and such, but I think it's such a great airplane because it does what it does better than any other plane in the world.


It kills tanks.


Not only tanks, as Sadam Hussein's boys found out to their horror, but armored personnel carriers, radar stations, locomotives, bunkers, fuel depots...just about anything the bad guys thought was bulletproof turned out to be easy pickings for this beast.


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See those engines. One of them alone will fly this puppy. The pilot sits in a very thick titanium alloy "bathtub."


That's typical of the design.


They were smart enough to make every part the same whether mounted on the left side or right side of the plane, like landing gear, for instance.



Because the engines are mounted so high (away from ground debris) and the landing gear uses such low pressure tires, it can operate from a damaged airport, interstate highway, plowed field, or dirt road.

Everything is redundant. They have two of almost everything. Sometimes they have three of something. Like flight controls. There's triple redundancy of those, and even if there is a total failure of the double hydraulic system, there is a set of manual flying controls.


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Capt. Kim Campbell sustained this damage over Bagdad and flew for another hour before returning to base.


But about that gun...


It's so hard to grasp just how powerful it is.


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This is the closest I could find to showing you just what this cartridge is all about. What the guy is holding is NOT the 30mm round, but a "little" .50 Browning machine gun round and the 20mm cannon round which has been around for a long time.


The 30mm is MUCH bigger.


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Down at the bottom are the .50 BMG and 20x102 Vulcan the fellow was holding. At the bottom right is the bad boy we're discussing.


Let's get some perspective here: The .223 Rem (M16 rifle round) is fast. It shoots a 55 or so grain bullet at about 3300 feet/sec, give or take. It's the fastest of all those rounds shown (except one). When you move up to the .30 caliber rounds, the bullets jump up in weight to 160-200 grains. Speeds run from about 2600 to 3000 fps or so.


The .338 Lapua is the king of the sniper rifles these days and shoots a 350 grain bullet at 2800 fps or so. They kill bad guys at over a mile with that one.


The .50 BMG is really big. Mike Beasley has one on his desk. Everyone who picks it up thinks it's some sort of fake, unless they know big ammo. It's really huge with a bullet that weighs 750 grains and goes as fast the Lapua.


I don't have data on the Vulcan, but hang on to your hat.


The bullet for the 30x173 Avenger has an aluminum jacket around a spent uranium core and weighs 6560 grains (yes, over 100 times as heavy as the M16 bullet, and flies through the air at 3500 fps (which is faster than the M16 as well).


The gun shoots at a rate of 4200 rounds per minute. Yes, four thousand. Pilots typically shoot either one- or two-second burst which set loose 70 to 150 rounds. The system is optimized for shooting at 4,000 feet.

 

EDIT: The above strike through text is now incorrect. Originally, pilots had a choice of two cyclic rates of fire, either  2,100 or 4,200 rounds per minute. Now, the gun has a fixed rate of fire, at 3,900 rounds per minute, or about 65 rounds per second.

OK, the best for last.


You've got a pretty good idea of how big that cartridge is, but I'll bet you're like me and you don't fully appreciate how big the GA GAU-8 Avenger really is.



Take a look...


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Each of those seven barrels is 112" long. That's almost ten feet. The entire gun is 19-1/2 feet long.


Think how impressive it would look set up in your living room.


Oh, by the way, it doesn't eject the empty shells but runs them back into the storage drum. There's just so dang many flying out, they felt it might damage the aircraft.


Like I said, this is a beautiful design.


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I'm glad it's ours.

Edited by Paul
updated incorrect information on the gatling gun
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Horse hockey!!! Depleted uranium bullets have to get into your body to harm you. Of course, if they do, you are dead very quickly and you won't be having babies. Blaming deformed babies (in a country

First there was this gun... It was developed by General Electric, the "We bring good things to life" people. It's one of the modern-day Gatling guns. It shoots very big bullets. It shoots them very

If and When the US and Europe gets attacked next, I really hope the "Whinny Liberal Socialist Pacifist" that get hit first. I personally hate hearing their bantering snippy little comments from coward

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Citizen Smith

depleted uranium ?

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Mailman

Being near DMAFB (Home of the Warthog) in Tucson, you see these beasts flying around all the time.

 

Always dug them. The gun has a very unique sound and, evidently, is how it got the 'warthog' name.

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Headshot

depleted uranium ?

I googled it for you...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium

 

Because it has more mass than lead, depleted uranium will go through materials that lead can't penetrate. I worked on the Utah Test and Training Range and the "Warthogs" (A-10's), as they were affectionately called by their drivers, would come in to practice strafing. Whereas other jets, such as F-16's would hit their strafing target about 5% of the time, A-10's would not only hit the targets every time, but would consistantly leave a pile of rubble in their wake. If the Air Force ever gets rid of this weapon platform, it will be a huge mistake. No other aircraft on Earth can do what the A-10 does as well as it does it. Rather than phasing them out, we should be building more. This is a design that is as good today as it was when it was created. Go Warthogs!!

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Cipro

depleted uranium ?

 

Pretty sure. 7000gr is one pound if memory serves, so it's almost a pound of DU in each shot.

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Citizen Smith

depleted uranium ?

I googled it for you...

 

http://en.wikipedia....epleted_uranium

 

Because it has more mass than lead, depleted uranium will go through materials that lead can't penetrate. I worked on the Utah Test and Training Range and the "Warthogs" (A-10's), as they were affectionately called by their drivers, would come in to practice strafing. Whereas other jets, such as F-16's would hit their strafing target about 5% of the time, A-10's would not only hit the targets every time, but would consistantly leave a pile of rubble in their wake. If the Air Force ever gets rid of this weapon platform, it will be a huge mistake. No other aircraft on Earth can do what the A-10 does as well as it does it. Rather than phasing them out, we should be building more. This is a design that is as good today as it was when it was created. Go Warthogs!!

 

 

Guess half a million deformed babies in Iraq, and their parents, might disagree with you on that one.

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Headshot

Being near DMAFB (Home of the Warthog) in Tucson, you see these beasts flying around all the time.

 

Always dug them. The gun has a very unique sound and, evidently, is how it got the 'warthog' name.

You are right about the weird sound, but the "warthog got its name because everybody considers it an "ugly" aircraft and because of the big bumps (engines) it sports on either side of the fuselage.

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broden

Like they say Paul

 

 

Solving Problems 4200 times a minute

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Headshot

Guess half a million deformed babies in Iraq, and their parents, might disagree with you on that one.

Horse hockey!!! Depleted uranium bullets have to get into your body to harm you. Of course, if they do, you are dead very quickly and you won't be having babies. Blaming deformed babies (in a country where good sense and medical care...of any kind...are extremely rare commodoties) on depleted uranium is pretty far-fetched. There have been no abnormalities noted among the families of Air Force personnel that work around this ammo all the time. Why would I believe that it has affected the Iraqis differently? When we put our guys up in the air and send them off to fight our enemies, I want them to have the very best, most effective weapons and ammunition available. This weapon and ammunition is exactly that. It is designed to kill the enemy, and it does a VERY good job of it. Anyone who would send our people to combat with less than the best is doing a great disservice to our warriors, and in my mind, is NOT worthy of listening to. I want OUR guys to come home after combat. I would just as soon the ENEMY doesn't go home afterwards.

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Cipro
Guess half a million deformed babies in Iraq, and their parents, might disagree with you on that one.

 

What mechanism do you imagine DU would have that might cause that? I guess decades of bio and chem warfare probably has nothing to do with it ....

 

Would it be better to stick to good old safe lead?

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Cipro
Depleted uranium bullets have to get into your body to harm you. .... Anyone who would send our people to combat with less than the best ...

 

The biggest issue *I* have with it is that the DU can be made into fuel VERY easily. We're essentially shooting our future energy supply out all over some sand dunes in a squabble over oil. Idiocy.

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Headshot
Depleted uranium bullets have to get into your body to harm you. .... Anyone who would send our people to combat with less than the best ...

 

The biggest issue *I* have with it is that the DU can be made into fuel VERY easily. We're essentially shooting our future energy supply out all over some sand dunes in a squabble over oil. Idiocy.

Actually, the DU is the WASTE product from making fuel rods. U-234 and U-235 are used for fuel. DU is U-238. It is way too stable to use as fuel. For fuel, you want a material that really wants to be something else (like U-234 and U-235). Besides, the future of energy on this planet is in the sun, not in fossil or fissile fuels.

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DeezNuz

I've flown an A10 many many times. Old reliable.

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JamesMusslewhite

If and When the US and Europe gets attacked next, I really hope the "Whinny Liberal Socialist Pacifist" that get hit first. I personally hate hearing their bantering snippy little comments from cowardice individuals proudly voicing their negative bias feelings; having been given this right, through the sacrifices of heroes. :scratch_head:

 

 

Sorry the military does not just shoot foam bullets and bean bags and just throw down their guns and surrender and the slightest altercation. Idiots. Sometimes I wish the computers had a button called "Bitch Slap" which allows you to reach out and touch someone.

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samatm

Paul,

 

where did u get this info. Its really good! I had no idea that things cannon was as bigger than a VW bug. No wonder it could fit Big Rob. :scratch_head:

 

yeah.. Paul can u add a B. Slap button as musslewhite suggested and also a simple "thats funny" button would be great too.

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