The “Warthog” was repainted to resemble a P-51 Mustang from the World War II era.
The U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II demonstration team is being assigned a new jet ahead of the 2020 airshow season. The aircraft, serial 80-0275, was repainted between August and September by the 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
The Public Affairs Office of the 355th Fighter Wing already posted on its social medias some insights of the work that was going on in the paint shop and now shared the first photos of the repainted A-10C taking flight on September 23, 2019.
As can the photos and the video show, the “Warthog” has green paint overlapping the standard low-visibility gray scheme on the upper surfaces of the fuselage, engines, wings and horizontal stabilizers, while invasion stripes have been applied on the lower surfaces of the engines and the wings. The engines and wings also sport the same insignias used by the U.S. Army Air Forces until 1947, a few months before the official formation of the U.S. Air Force, instead of the current low-visibility markings.
Here’s a link to the video:
The special scheme is said to be inspired by P-51 Mustangs which used the same scheme during World War II; however we can’t but notice that the P-47 Thunderbolt had a much similar livery during WWII.
The Demo Team announced on Instagram that the new jet will debut this week during Wings Over Wine Country Airshow 2019, where it will perform along the Heritage Flight.
Another interesting news for the 2020 airshow season is the announcement from the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), reported by AirshowStuff, that the A-10C Demo Team has been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a CAT II aircraft. The FAA considers three categories for the aerobatic boxes during airshows: CAT I for fast aircraft required to maintain a 1500 feet separation from the public, CAT II for aircraft required to maintain a 1000 feet separation and CAT III for smaller aircraft such the Extra 300 of the Pitts special (often used during airshows and competitions) and required to maintain only a 500 feet separation from the public.
This means that Major “ShIV” Wilton, current A-10 Demo Team Commander and pilot, will be able to perform much closer to the crowd and showcase the new aircraft livery even better, as opposed to the other demo teams (F-16, F-22 and F-35) which are currently performing in the CAT I box.