Come visit us at The Museum of Military Memorabilia. We have thousands of military artifacts from all branches of the Military. The Museum is located in the Naples Municipal Airport which was originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to train pilots for the pacific theater in WWII.

What has begun as a Museum Honoring Military Aviation in WWII has evolved into so much more. You can now see historical artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War and all the way up to the present day Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.

2012 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Naples Airport as a WWII Army Air Forces Training Base.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun


First there was this gun…

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

a-10 gun

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun, It was developed by General Electric, the “We bring good things to life” people.      It’s one of the modern-day Gatling guns. It shoots very big bullets… It shoots them very quickly…Someone said, “Let’s put it in an airplane.”Someone else said, “Better still, let’s build an airplane around it.”

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

So they did. And “they” were the Fairchild Republic Airplane people.  And they had done such a good job with an airplane they developed back in WWII …..called the P-47 Thunderbolt!……… They decided to call it the A10 Thunderbolt.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun



They made it so it was very good at flying low and slow and shooting things with that fabulous gun.  But since it did fly low and slow, they made it bulletproof, or almost so. A lot of bad guys have found you can shoot an A10 with anything froma pistol to a 23mm Soviet cannon and it just keeps on flying and shooting.

When they got through, it looked like this.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

It’s not sleek and sexy like an F18 or the stealthy Raptors and such, but I think it’s such a great airplane because it does what it does better than any other plane in the world.

It kills tanks.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun


Not only tanks, as Sadam Hussein’s boys found out to their horror, but armored personnel carriers, radar stations, locomotives, bunkers,fuel depots… just about anything the bad guys thought was bulletproof turned out to be easy pickings for this beast.

See those engines. One of them alone will fly this plane.The pilot sits in a very thick titanium alloy “bathtub.”That’s typical of the design.

They were smart enough to make every part the same whether mounted on the left side or right side of the plane, like landing gear, for instance. Because the engines are mounted so high (away from ground debris) and the landing gear uses such low pressure tires, it can operate from a damaged airport, interstate highway, plowed field, or dirt road.

Everything is redundant. They have two of almost everything. Sometimes they have three of something.

Like flight controls, there’s triple redundancy of those, and even if there is a total failure of the double hydraulic system, there is a set of manual flying controls.

But let’s get back to that gun. It’s so hard to grasp just how powerful it is.

This is the closest I could find to showing you just what this cartridge is all about.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

A 50 cal. Browning machine gun round and the 20mm cannon round . which is smaller than the 30 mm round from the Gatling Gun in the nose of the A-10

What the guy is holding is NOT the 30mm round, but a”little” 50 Browning machine gun round and the 20mm cannon round which has been around for a long time.

The 30mm is MUCH bigger.

Down at the bottom are the .50 BMG and 20×102 Vulcan the fellow was holding.

At the bottom right is the bad boy we’re discussing.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Bullet Sizes


Let’s get some perspective here: The .223 Rem (M16 rifle round) is fast. It shoots a 55 or so grain bullet at about 3300 feet/sec, give or take. It’s the fastest of all those rounds shown (except one).When you move up to the .30 caliber rounds, the bullets jump up in weight to 160-200 grains. Speeds run from about 2600 to 3000 fps or so.The .338 Lapua is the king of the sniper rifles these days and shoots a 350 grain bullet at 2800 fps or so.

They kill bad guys at over a mile with that one. It’s really huge with a bullet that weighs 750 grains and goes as fast the Lapua.

I don’t have data on the Vulcan, but hang on to your hat.

The bullet for the 30×173 Avenger has an aluminum jacket around a spent uranium core and weighs 6560 grains  (yes, over 100 times as heavy as the M16 bullet, and flies through the air at 3500 fps (which is faster than the M16 as well). The gun shoots at a rate of 4200 rounds per minute, Yes, four thousand.  Pilots typically shoot either one- or two-second burst which set loose 70 to 150 rounds.                  The system is optimized for shooting at 4,000 feet.

OK, the best for last.  You’ve got a pretty good idea of how big that cartridge is, but I’ll bet you’re like me and you don’t fully appreciate how big the GA GAU-8 Avenger really is.                    Take a look.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Actual size of the Gun, next to a Volkswagen

Each of those seven barrels is 112″ long.  That’s almost ten feet. The entire gun is 19-1/2 feet long.

Think how impressive it would look set up in your living room.

Oh, by the way, it doesn’t eject the empty shells but runs them back into the storage drum.   There’s just so dang many flying out, they felt it might damage the aircraft.

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Fairchild Republic and The A-10 Gun

Oh yeah, I forgot, they can hang those bomb and rocket things on ’em too, just in case.

After all, it is an “airplane”!

Like I said, this is a beautiful design.    I’m glad it’s ours.

A-10 Warthog: Attack Run


A veteran – whether active duty, retired, National Guard or Reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life,

wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.


information courtesy of



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