A US Air Force (USAF)-operated Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II from the Indiana Air National Guard’s (ANG’s) 122nd Fighter Wing (FW) has been painted in a distinctive, non-standard black and grey colour scheme to commemorate 100 years of aviation in the Indiana ANG.
In a departure from the standard tactical two-tone grey camouflage, the A-10C – serial 80-0244 ‘IN’ – from the 122nd FW’s 163rd Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Blacksnakes’ at Fort Wayne International Airport, Indiana, had the special scheme applied at the Iowa ANG’s 185th Air Refueling Wing paint facility in Sioux City, Iowa. After the new livery had been applied to the aircraft, it was subsequently rolled out at the facility on July 2, before being flown back to Fort Wayne on the same day.
Indiana’s two ANG units, the 122nd FW in Fort Wayne and the 181st Intelligence Wing (IW) in Terre Haute, both have a long history of flying single-seat fighter aircraft. The creators of the design venerated both the ‘Blacksnakes’ of the 122nd FW and the ‘Racers’ of the 181st IW as part of the A-10’s paint scheme.
The livery on the A-10 paint lines on the wings, engines and fuselage. The nose of the aircraft is wreathed with a distinctive 122nd FW green-eyed snake, complete with fangs, which surrounds the aircraft’s 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger rotary cannon. One side of the aircraft has a 122nd FW tail flash, with the text ‘Fort Wayne’ embossed in yellow over an Indian state-flag-blue background. The opposite tail flash shows a ‘Racers’ chequered flag, complete with the text ‘Terre Haute’ of the disbanded 181st FW, now the 181st IW.
The Thunderbolt II’s distinctive twin engines are embossed with an Indiana ANG centennial logo, displaying the text ‘Indiana Air National Guard’ under a large number ‘100’, along with the years ‘1921-2021’.