Yesterday, I saw a strangely-shaped aircraft in the sky.

Searching for "aircraft silhouette" on the web, I found this picture within seconds on a vector graphics site. It describes perfectly what I saw, so there is nothing else I can say about the aircraft.

enter image description here

But I did not find any information what aircraft it is.

The wings are not swept and those stubs at their front look like propeller engines. But it seems as if there are fans at the rear of the fuselage...

So, does anybody know what aircraft this is?


@DeltaLima: Not bad. I'm pretty sure that this picture really shows an A-10. The picture is part of a larger one, and the other aircrafts were military ones, too.

I saw the aircraft it in Geneva, near GVA airport. Now, I doubt that I saw an A-10 there, as the last A-10 left Germany a while ago, and afaik there are none in Switzerland or France. If I neglect the stubs (which I may have noticed on the picture only), it could also have been one of those at the GVA airfield, which have a comparable shape.


Meanwhile, I'm quite sure that it was one of those labelled A, B, C on this picture from google maps (though, B and C are pretty much the same):

air field of geneva airport, taken from google maps

The airfoils as well as the elevator were definitively not (significantly) swept and there was no gap between the airfoils and the fans in the silhouette.

Maybe, it was one of those, maybe, it was a similar aircraft. May be, it really was an A-10.

So, this are three 'maybes'. Lets add another:

Maybe, we put this question on hold as there will be no definitive answer.

But thanks a lot for your contributions!

  • $\begingroup$ While Switzerland and France don't have them, they might have US planes en route to middle east. Unless they were low as if on departure or approach; they have decent ceiling and would have no reason to cruise low over Europe (and, as all US Air Force aircraft, they are aerial refuelling capable, so they wouldn't really need to make stops; though they could, of course). $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Dec 14, 2014 at 20:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi sweber, I've voted to put this question on hold because I'm concerned that it's no longer "What is the aircraft that this silhouette represents" (which is a good, answerable question), and start being "What airplane am I thinking of?" (which is likely to turn into a guessing game) $\endgroup$
    – Steve V.
    Dec 15, 2014 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec - it is not true that all US Air Force aircraft are air-refuelable, though most certainly are (and the A10 definitely is) $\endgroup$
    – SSumner
    Dec 15, 2014 at 2:17
  • $\begingroup$ @SSumner: True, some helicopters are not and some trainers/utility/transport are not either. But all fixed-wing combat aircraft should be. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Dec 15, 2014 at 5:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The three aircraft you label differ from your silhouette significantly. They all have forward-swept wing trailing edges and tapered tailplanes, and none has protrusions forward of the wing leading edge, which the silhouette has. $\endgroup$ Dec 15, 2014 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


It seems to me that it is an Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, commonly know as "Warthog".

A-10 (Source: wikipedia)

The "stubs at the front of the wings" are pods in which the main landing gear is stowed after retraction.

If you are in doubt that it was military, it might have been a business jet like the Cessna Citation II / Bravo / Mustang, which has a similar planform albeit without the stubs in front of the wing.

enter image description here

Using the replay function of Flightradar 24 you may be able to find out which exact aircraft it was. The coverage at low levels is not so good for all aircraft though.

  • $\begingroup$ Not bad! However, I'm not that sure anymore that I saw an A-10. See my edit. $\endgroup$
    – sweber
    Dec 14, 2014 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I meanwhile think it was one like this business jet. $\endgroup$
    – sweber
    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:35

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