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Details for new A-10 Drop tank?


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Good Afternoon,

 

After scrolling through pictures for some unrelated A-10 research I noticed that there was a different fuel tank loaded on the centerline of some of the A-10s. The previously used tank was the same as used on the F-111 and can be seen here:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/71646081@N05/52218010350/

 

Here is the picture of the new tank:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryhill/52114645392/

 

What initially caught my eye were the fins, which had a perpendicular trailing edge rather than the forwarded angled on the older pattern tanks. That caused me to look closer at the photos and I found a number with the "new" tank installed. It also looks to be shorter in length and wider in diameter than the old tank. After doing some googling, the only mention I could find of it was in this article - The War Zone - where the following is written:

 

"The Conversion Fuel Tank (CFT) is a modification of the A-10’s existing large ferry fuel tank that has fewer restrictions including a higher g-loading, which means it can be carried on combat missions. This will increase loiter time and reduce air refueling needs as well as increase the A-10’s already robust austere capability."

 

Does anybody have any details on the tank, perhaps even measurements?

 

Thanks!
Hoops

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Well doing some more searching with quotation marks this time, I found the following in a USAF budget request:

 

"Conversion Fuel Tanks (CFT) procurement - The Conversion Fuel Tank (CFT) program's intent is to convert excess F-15 external fuel tanks for utilization as A-10 external fuel tanks. These tanks, once converted, enhance combat operations"

 

I guess I answered my own question, now the rest of you have the information as well.

 

Cheers,

Hoops

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There were two types of 600gal ext tanks when I was in. There was the modified F-111 type tank which the majority of A-10 squadrons used. Then there were the Sargent Fletcher made 600 gal tank and they were used by a far fewer amount of aircraft. They also tended to stay in the same squadron. That appears to be a Sargent Fletcher tank on that 2nd A10 pic. 

I don't know anything about the F-15 tank conversion but I have been retired since 2011.

 

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The increased range and wider performance envelope are the obvious benefits, but one of the critical selling points of that particular tank was the fact that its shorter length allows the necessary gun bay panels to be opened for gun reloads without dropping the tank, both for ICT's and regular turns.  

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