510th Fighter Squadron

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Aircraft (7)

The 510th Fighter Squadron has flown 7 different types of aircraft throughout our history.  Currently, the F-16C/D models are being flown from Aviano Air Force Base, Italy.  You can read more about each jet in the below articles.

General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon

Written by Published in Aircraft

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.

In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

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Fairchild-Republic A-10A Warthog

Written by David Sarvai Published in Aircraft

The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The primary mission of the A-10 is to provide day and night close air combat support for friendly land forces and to act as forward air controller (FAC) to coordinate and direct friendly air forces in support of land forces. The A-10 has a secondary mission of supporting search and rescue and Special Forces operations. It also possesses a limited capability to perform certain types of interdiction. All of these missions may take place in a high or low threat environment.

The A/OA-10 aircraft was specifically developed as a close air support aircraft with reliability and maintainability as major design considerations. The Air Force requirements documents emphasized payload, low altitude flying capability, range and loiter capability, low speed maneuverability and weapons delivery accuracy. The A-10 is slow enough to be an observation plane. This greatly increases the A-10's effectiveness at protecting ground troops.

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North American F-100D Super Sabre

Written by Published in Aircraft

The F-100 was the USAF's first operational aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (760 mph) in level flight. The F-100 is best remembered for the years it spent on the United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. The F-100 achieved distinction as the world’s first production aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound. The Super Sabre made its combat debut in Vietnam where it performed a fighter-bomber role in ground support missions. The F-100 measured 54 feet two inches long, 16 feet two inches high, and weighed 38,048 pounds. The $704,000 Super Sabre reached a top speed of 926.6 MPH and reached a cruising range of 1,970 miles.

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Republic F-84F Thunderstreak

Written by Published in Aircraft

The Republic F-84, like the subsequent F-105 Thunderchief, was a descendant of the first bearer of the "Thunder" name, the company's P-47 Thunderbolt, famed "jug" of World War II Conceived as a jet successor to the Thunderbolt and first designated the P-84, the F-84 was designed around the General Electric TG-180 (J-35) turbojet and was of straightforward design and construction.

The General Operational Requirements called for development of a mid-wing day fighter having top speed of 600 miles per hour (521 kn), combat radius of action' of 850 miles (738 nm), and an armament installation of eight .50 caliber machineguns or six .60 caliber guns. It was soon recognized, however, that military requirements were penalizing the plane too severely. In the final version of the basic airplane, armament was reduced to six .50 caliber guns, or an alternate installation of four .60 caliber machineguns, and radius of action was decreased to 705 miles (612 nm). The object of these deviations was to reduce weight, which, together with low thrust, constituted the aircraft's most serious problem.

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Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Written by David Sarvai Published in Aircraft

Toward the end of WW II, better than 40 percent of all AAF fighter groups serving overseas were equipped with the rugged P-47s.

Single-engined, single-seat escort fighter and fighter-bomber. Conceived, tested, produced, and put into action wholly within the period of World War II. P-47 Thunderbolts (F-47Ds and F-47Ns) equipped SAC, TAC, and ADC squadrons for a number of postwar years. They subsequently reached the Air National Guard and did not pass out of service until 1955. The F-47 was the Air Force's last radial-engine fighter.

All P-47s had an inherent ground handling challenge exacerbated by torque of the large propeller and the large nose that was difficult to see over during taxiing. Ground crewmen sometimes sat on the wing and used hand signals to provide directions to the pilot. The heavy weight resulted in a long takeoff run and, once in the air, the P-47 was not particularly maneuverable, though it became more agile, in comparison to most other fighters, at high altitudes. It did possess a good roll rate and climb/dive performance. Its success in combat depended on utilizing energy-conserving "dive-and-zoom" tactics. One Thunderbolt pilot compared it to flying a bathtub around the sky. On the positive side, the P-47 was rugged and well-armed. It could sustain a large amount of damage and still be able to get its pilot back to base

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Bell P-39C Airacobra

Written by David Sarvai Published in Aircraft

In 1937, the Army Air Corps issued a specification for a new fighter that could be produced quickly. Other competing designs included the Curtiss P-40, an outgrowth of a previous design, and the Lockheed P-38, which utilized a complex twin-engine twin boom configuration. Although Bell's limited fighter design work had previously resulted in the unusual Bell YFM-1 Airacuda, the Model 12 proposal adopted an equally original configuration with an V12 Allison engine mounted in the middle of the fuselage, just behind the cockpit, with the propeller driven by a shaft passing beneath the pilot's feet (under the cockpit floor).

The main purpose of this configuration was to free up space for the heavy main armament, a 37 mm Oldsmobile T9 cannon firing through the center of the propeller hub for optimum accuracy and stability when firing. In fact, the entire design was made to accommodate this gun in the aircraft. This happened because H.M. Poyer, designer for project leader Robert Woods, was really impressed by the power of this weapon, and he pressed to design an aircraft made with this weapon, though the original concept had been a gun of 20-25 mm mounted in a conventional manner in the nose. This was unusual, because the fighters had always been designed around the engine, not a weapon system. Although devastating when it worked, the T9 had very limited ammunition, a low rate of fire, and was prone to jamming.

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Douglas A-24

Written by David Sarvai Published in Aircraft

The Douglas A-24 was the Army's version of the Navy SBD carrier-based dive bomber. It was almost identical to its Navy counterpart, but the Army's A-24 never achieved the degree of success and immortality as did the SBD. Its relative lack of success in combat led to its early withdrawal from operational service and its relegation to training and other support roles.

The US Navy had been a pioneer in the development of dive-bombing techniques as a means of attack enemy shipping. In contrast, the US Army Air Corps had long been committed to strategic bombing, and had almost completely neglected dive bombing. However, the spectacular results obtained by German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers during the offensives against Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and France at the beginning of the Second World War sparked a renewed interest in dive bombing on the part of the USAAC. To explore the possibility of acquiring dive bombers for its own use, in July 1940, the Army borrowed a number of newly-issued Marine Corps SBD-1 Dauntless dive bombers, and had them evaluated by the 24th Bombardment Squadron.

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