A-10C first flight

On January 20, 2005, more then 30 years after YA-10A first flight, the highly modernized variant called A-10C made its first flight at Eglin AFB, Florida . The pilot was Maj. Michael Trey "Lou" Rawls, 40th Flight Test Squadron (46th Test Wing) pilot.

some more info and nice pictures can be seen here: http://www.philippecolin.net/A10C.html

YA-10B first flight

The first preproduction A-10A (s/n 73-1664) was returned to the Republic factory in March 1979 for conversion to two-seat prototype of the A-10. The modifications took about 3 months and when complete the aircraft was redesignated as N/AW (Night/Adverse Weather) A-10.

It was designed to operate at night and during weather conditions unsuitable for the A-10A. USAF investigated also the conversion into two-seat trainer aircraft. So, the aircraft is also known as YA-10B.

The first flight was flown by noted test pilot Wendell H. Shawler on May 4, 1979 at Edwards AFB.
Neither training nor N/AW variant were ever produced. N/AW program was cancelled due to plans to put the LANTIRN pod on the standard A-10A.


Colonel Wendell Shawler was Chief of Fighter Flight Test at Edwards Air Force Base and the first director of the F-15 Joint Test Force. He became the first USAF pilot to fly the F-15 Eagle. After retiring from the USAF; Shawler became Chief Test Pilot and Edwards Test Site Director for Fairchild Republic Company for the A-10 and T-46. He later became a test pilot for the National Test Pilot School.

He flew a total of 296 combat missions encompassing 580 hours in combat in the Korean War and Vietnam.

During a flight test career spanning 40 years, Shawler flew over 9,000 hours in 78 types of aircraft, including the U-2, T-39, F-94, F-101, F-102, F-104, F-4, A-7, A-37, 0-1, T-38, T-46, the 62% Scale Next Generation Trainer, F-14, F-15 and MiG-17.

Colonel Shawler is a Fellow and past President (1989) of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He has been honored with the Legion of Merit twice, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 13 Air Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals and the Aerospace Walk of Honor.

YA-10A first flight

YA-10A first flight was performed by Fairchild-Republic chief test pilot Howard W. "Sam" Nelson on May 10, 1972 at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.

Five years later, on June 3, 1977, he died in the crash of U.S. Army A-10 during air display at Le Bourget Air Show.

Roll-out of the first prototype

YA-10A first prototype (s/n 71-1369) in flight above Mojave Desert

Spin chute deployment test of Fairchild Republic YA-10A prototype (sn 71-1370) at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 21, 1974

Development test pilots walk past two Fairchild Republic A-10A prototypes and a DT&E airframe.jpg

YA-10A first prototype (s/n 71-1369) weapons tests

YA-10A firing its GAU-8 30mm gun during a test, Edwards AFB, 7 Feb 1974

gunner aboard a YA-10A fires GAU-8 30mm gun, Edwards AFB, Feb 1974

YA-10 aircraft with the ammunition bay open, Edwards AFB, Feb 1974

YA-10A refueled on the ground by KC-135 Stratotanker, Edwards AFB, 1974

YA-10A refueled by KC-135 Stratotanker, Edwards AFB, Feb 1974


Following pictures shows YA-10A prototype aircraft with different weapons mounted on a pedestal during a radar test at the Rome Air Development Center's Newport Test Site, Griffiss Air Force Base, July 1984