Flyover scheduled for Saturday's football opener

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –- A-10 Thunderbolts from the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith are performing a flyover at the Arkansas-Western Illinois football game on Saturday.

Arkansas plays host to the Leathernecks in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The flyover is scheduled for immediately following the national anthem with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

The A-10 Thunderbolt is a single-seat attack airplane capable of carrying a wide array of bombs, rockets, missiles and other ordnance. It is most widely known for the thunderous growl of its 30-millimeter “avenger” Gatling cannon, the most powerful cannon ever fitted to an air force attack airplane. It is capable of delivering 70 rounds in one second.

“The flyovers have always been a hit with Razorback fans,” says Matt Shanklin, associate athletic director for marketing. “The 188th Fighter Wing has been a great partner with the University of Arkansas athletics.”

A-10’s are currently deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan where their wide array of weapons and powerful cannon coupled with relatively quiet and efficient engines make it a good choice for operating close to friendly ground forces as they engage the enemy. This method of operation is called close air support, a mission the A-10 was specifically designed to complete.