Welcome to the second A-10A tag from JET EYES. Our first tag has been sold out for some time, and like the first, our new tag was cut from aircraft that featured the iconic Euro 1 camouflage paint scheme.
The saga of how it came to be is of interest to all, it’s durability and weapons are memeified all over the internet, its service-life extensions are borderline comical, and it holds a special place in the heart of even the most fair-weather aviation enthusiast: it's the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Forged from the gap of a dedicated attack aircraft in the skies of the Vietnam conflict, the A-10 was the result of the US Air Force looking to upgrade its Korean War era A-1 Skyraiders and the US Army desiring to improve on the hastily designed-yet-effective AH-1 Cobra. US military aircraft requirements have frequently swung between multi-role (McNamara’s Vietnam War era and modern 5th gen fighters are great examples) and dedicated missions (think WWII pursuit aircraft and century series interceptors), but thankfully the A-10 was built in the latter mindset; its design exemplifies this: a fuselage-length GAU-8 cannon, a titanium armor bathtub to keep the cockpit safe from ground fire, and an airframe so focused on survivability that its… lack of a sleek aesthetic… has earned it the infamous “Warthog” nickname.
The Gulf War was where this mighty bird cut its teeth. The depleted uranium armor-piercing shells of its autocannon decimated Iraqi ground targets; it even scored two air-to-air victories against enemy helicopters! AGM-65 Mavericks and additional ordnance were hurled from its hard points at everything ranging from troop positions to SCUD missiles. Though some were lost (mostly from surface-to-air missiles), the A-10 gained an almost legendary status for coming home with battle damage that would have split lesser aircraft in two.
The bean counter and fighter pilot-dominated brass of the USAF have routinely sought to retire the aging CAS master (it first flew in 1972), but its role is just too vital. Surprisingly, it was not its sole service operator, but the US Army which came to its defense; when on the potential chopping block in FY2015, the Army expressed interest in again flying fixed-wing attack aircraft, making an offer to take them from the Air Force. Unsurprisingly, the USAF reconsidered, and its retirement has been put on indefinite hold, much to the joy of ground troops and aviation fans the world over. – A.T. Roberts
The proper way to do up an A-10 tag is with frontal art; that’s where all the good stuff is. Our original tag featured frontal art and this new release comes with a custom frontal laser-etched A-10 that captures the attitude of this aircraft with its GAU-8 autocannon, bulletproof windscreen, and high-mounted TF34 engines.
At JE we like you to know where your tag once lived on the aircraft. This 300 tag run is comprised of tags cut from various components off an A-10A: Fuselage panels, Windscreen Frame, and Horizontal Stabilizer Skin. The tags are broken down further by color/type into 8 unique variants: Windscreen Frame, Stab Olive Green, Stab Grey, NO STEP, Fuselage Green, Fuselage Olive, Fuselage Grey, and Multi-Color.
- The Windscreen Frame tags were cut from the metal frame that held the bulletproof windscreen. They are thick solid aluminum tags and many have very neat angles and shape to them. These tags really capture the lines of the aircraft and come from a critical component. They are all Green and some were cut to include the yellow primer. These will be fulfilled randomly. These tags are very limited and are the most unique of the bunch.
- The Horizontal Stabilizer Tags were cut from the leading edge of a horizontal stabilizer. They are offered in Stab Olive Green and Stab Grey. Many of these tags have rivet holes and all have honeycomb and/or composite backs. The honeycomb is rectangular with a purple base coat the first we’ve seen like that. The backs of these tags vary based on where they were cut… some are full-thickness and some have been cut down to ¼” thick. There are only a handful of Grey tags.
- The Fuselage tags were cut from various skin panels we had on the shelf. These are available in Fuselage Green, Fuselage Olive, Fuselage Grey.
- The NO STEP tags (<10) were cut from the Horizontal Stabilizer feature portions of the NO STEP stenciling.
- The MultiColor tags are comprised of Fuselage and Horizontal Stabilizer tags that feature >1 color. The color transitions on these is subtle on some and more pronounced on others.
Also offered is an Avenger Set, which includes a Windscreen Frame, Multi-Color, Fuselage Grey, and a Stab Olive tag. That gets you one of every color and in every part variety.
All tags come with an intense card by BVR and an aggressive frontal view of an A-10, complete with teeth. This A-10 tag is also the first to feature the new Attack/Strike tag shape – a shape that all of our air to ground attack aircraft tags will be cut to.
Only 300 will ever be made.