WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — McConnell Air Force Base says it is adding a little more muscle to this weekend’s air show. In addition to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and other acts that are already on the schedule, McConnell is bringing in four A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.
Two of the A-10s will perform simulated bombing and strafing runs, using pyrotechnics for the air show audience. The other two will be on display so visitors can get an up-close view.
The A-10C Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. The twin-engine jet aircraft can be used against light maritime attack aircraft and all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.
The Thunderbolt II’s primary weapon is a 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun which can fire 3,900 rounds a minute. After that, it can carry a variety of air-to-surface weapons depending on mission requirements, including laser and GPS-guided munitions, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
With the addition of the Thunderbolts, McConnell’s Frontiers in Flight Open House and Air Show has 12 performing acts, including skydivers, a jet-powered truck, World War II reenactors, civilian aerial performers, and the Thunderbirds.
The air show is the first one at the base in four years. It is free and runs both Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25. The gates open at 9 a.m. each day. The air show performances start at noon. The Thunderbirds take to the sky at 3 p.m.