I would like to understand the hardpoint use for the A-10A during the 1980s. From various official and model-building sources, there are eight wing and three fuselage pylons, all permanently installed, with a total capacity of 16,000 lbs. It seems that the sum of the individual loads is greater than that, with restrictions on which pylons can be fully loaded at the same time. I've seen them numbered 1 to 11 from left to right, with 5 to 7 being the fuselage pylons.
- I've variously read that 4+6+8 or just 4+8 were wet hardpoints for fuel tanks. Yet a 600-gallon ferry tank would be about two tons, more than 4+8 are supposed to carry. Was the 600-gallon tank only carried on the centerline, and if so what tanks were carried on the wings? Is there a difference between the A-10A and the A-10C in this regard?
- As I understand it, external tanks were not rated for combat during the Cold War era. This seems understandable considering the crowded potential battlefield in the Fulda Gap. Was there a difference in nominal capacities for combat use and ferry tanks?
- 3+9 can carry triple racks with AGM-65. Not 4+8 as well? The weights would seem well within limits.
- Could 6 be used at all if 5+7 were loaded, or was it either-or?
Basically my question is how much each pylon could carry.
The underlying question is what a historically accurate yet visually interesting loadout for a Cold War tankbuster would be. Mavericks, Rockeyes, what else?