Jump to content
Baseops Forums
Fud

AF Light Air Support Aircraft

Recommended Posts

The more I read about the A-37, the more I wonder why there aren’t more airplanes like it. The Scorpion is a good try, but it’s empty weight is almost that of an A-37 fully loaded.

By not using a turboprop, you have a convenient place for an internal gun and with the KC-46 we could go back to probe&drogue to easily add air refueling capability. With small FADEC turbofans from manufacturers like Williams, efficiency has to be much improved over the jets used in the A-37.

It makes me wish the AF hadn’t settled for the T-6 in the first place and had developed a Tweet replacement.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, MooseAg03 said:


It makes me wish the AF hadn’t settled for the T-6 in the first place and had developed a Tweet replacement.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Cessna did have a replacement.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_526_CitationJet

It lost to the T-6 in the JPATS competition. Potentially apocryphal rumor I heard was the Navy demanded a turboprop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys that flew the A-37 that I've spoken to are quite honest that they felt very under-gunned and vulnerable in it.  Lots of power, very maneuverable, but not the steed they wanted to be riding when iron was in the air.

One I spoke to who had been both a Raven FAC and later flew the A-37 said he felt safer in the O-1!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the T-46 articles posted by AvGeekery, but I had never really looked into the JPATS competition.  Looks like we had the JPATS because the T-46 never went in to production.  The Cessna jet looks like it would have made a great trainer.  Leave it to the Navy to screw up a good thing.

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/cessnas-defunct-jet-trainer-was-a-rich-wannabe-fighter-1729767897

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're gonna dream about resurrecting old iron with new bells and whistles... it's a repeat post but this modeler guy had it just about right (would have made it a two seater, you need one for the COIN/LIC mission)...

trr2.jpg

trr3.jpg

Methinks the exhaust should've been routed to the tail but whatever, it's vaporware...

Sidebar from actual light attack aircraft... as we dream about larger aircraft than the two offering currently being "considered" by the AF, is it that the AF has been sitting on the pot so long that the original requirements that were used to solicit proposals (sts) are no longer valid?  That is the fight(s) have moved on from the combat of Iraq circa 2004-2009 and Afghanistan 2001 to now?   

The Joint Team needs an ISR/Attack platform now that has greater range, payload, survivability, etc... but still be more economical than a 4/5 gen fighter?  It doesn't need a tanker to execute a typical mission profile and would ideally be in the $2500-5000 range per flight hour?  About $30 mil per tail... but we plan on the USAF being the principal operators of this Medium Attack Armed Reconnaissance aircraft, if Allies or PNs want/can afford it, great, but BPC is not a mission for the aircraft, maybe the program but we select the platform for this ISR/Attack mission set to fit into our way of doing business first...

I don't know, if the USMC can somehow Jedi mind trick Congress into thinking flying VSTOL jets is a good idea and get away with that for decades, I don't see why we can't convince them to let us resurrect the A-1, update it and field it.  I mean really, is buying a proven design updated with modern systems to fill a role in the doctrinally called for mission sets really as crazy as an VTOL fleet to operate from mini-carriers that have major performance limits in VSTOL profiles or just in the cost of having VSTOL in your design?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mooseag03,

 A little perspective from an “Old Guy”.  I went through UPT in 86, back then all the Tweet IP’s were excited about the T-46. One or two actually took a T-37 assignment in the hopes that they’d be flying the -46 before long.  None of it panned out!  It was a nice aircraft, but the program was so mis-managed by Fairchild that the AF axed the whole program.   Then a few years later the AF conducted the JPAT’s competition. Most thought the Cessna jet was a shoe in since it was the only American built jet. The other Jet contenders were foreign built, much like the current T-38 replacement competition. Everyone wrote off the turboprops (T-6, Tucano IIRC) because the AF would never train it’s pilots in a prop!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

If we're gonna dream about resurrecting old iron with new bells and whistles... it's a repeat post but this modeler guy had it just about right (would have made it a two seater, you need one for the COIN/LIC mission)...

trr2.jpg

trr3.jpg

Methinks the exhaust should've been routed to the tail but whatever, it's vaporware...

The purpose of the exhaust location here, just like on the Piper Enforcer, is to hide it from any low-aspect IR-SAM or MANPAD with the wing.

There is also a secondary "blown wing" effect by putting the exhaust over the top and increasing lift.

On a different subject, the reason this thing is a non-starter is that long-assed nose.  It is the same problem the Piper Enforcer had, lookdown angle needed for dropping gravity ordnance.

Most fighters have a lookdown angle of about 15 degrees...and this pig doesn't.  The PA-48 Enforcer had a lookdown over the nose of about 5 degrees.  So, you can't see the target through a HUD at the moment of pickle.  Kind of a bummer for a dedicated ground attack airplane.

That's one of the main reasons the PA-48 was a bust in the 70s and 80s (it was tested out by the AF twice, and rejected twice).

And it is the big reason for the short nose and jacked-up cockpit angle on the A-29.

Edited by Hacker
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

The Joint Team needs an ISR/Attack platform now that has greater range, payload, survivability, etc... but still be more economical than a 4/5 gen fighter?  It doesn't need a tanker to execute a typical mission profile and would ideally be in the $2500-5000 range per flight hour?  About $30 mil per tail... but we plan on the USAF being the principal operators of this Medium Attack Armed Reconnaissance aircraft, if Allies or PNs want/can afford it, great, but BPC is not a mission for the aircraft, maybe the program but we select the platform for this ISR/Attack mission set to fit into our way of doing business first...

This is the scorpion jet to a T, and the AF knee-capped it out of consideration a full 18 months before their proposal for light attack even went out. I remain skeptical that light attack ever pans out in any capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Hacker said:

The purpose of the exhaust location here, just like on the Piper Enforcer, is to hide it from any low-aspect IR-SAM or MANPAD with the wing.

There is also a secondary "blown wing" effect by putting the exhaust over the top and increasing lift.

On a different subject, the reason this thing is a non-starter is that long-assed nose.  It is the same problem the Piper Enforcer had, lookdown angle needed for dropping gravity ordnance.

Most fighters have a lookdown angle of about 15 degrees...and this pig doesn't.  The PA-48 Enforcer had a lookdown over the nose of about 5 degrees.  So, you can't see the target through a HUD at the moment of pickle.  Kind of a bummer for a dedicated ground attack airplane.

That's one of the main reasons the PA-48 was a bust in the 70s and 80s (it was tested out by the AF twice, and rejected twice).

And it is the big reason for the short nose and jacked-up cockpit angle on the A-29.

I thought the guy building the model might have thought the same thing also (exhaust over the wing for IR masking) but I'll be a contrarian and will push for a tail ducted exhaust but over the horizontal stab for some masking and keeps a large IR source away from the crew in the event of a MANPAD engagement.  Harriers in Gulf War 1 had a relatively higher loss rate due to MANPAD shots hitting the plane center mass due to the larger IR signature from the engine/exhausts and getting more damage in when they fuzed.  You might be right that having it masked over the wing would be a better overall design, more to preventing a hit vs. mitigating the damage one could do.

No disagreement that the long nose is a forward visibility problem and better engine placement would be better but some long nosed aircraft have had good records in the Attack mission set, ref the F4U Corsair in Korea and Westland Wyvern in the Suez Crisis used by the Royal Navy (cockpit seems raised and the nose tapered for vis, that could mitigate some forward vis  problems).  Point taken though that more have a shorter nose than a schnoze

wyvern_2560x1140_logo_com_28a5d746fb4beb

Not exactly what I envision for this never gonna happen idea but conveys the general idea.... would need to be larger to get the range and/or endurance I think a Medium Attack / ISR aircraft would need to make it worth the while.  600 NM combat radius with 2 hours on stations with an SCL and only one external fuel tank.

7 hours ago, nsplayr said:

This is the scorpion jet to a T, and the AF knee-capped it out of consideration a full 18 months before their proposal for light attack even went out. I remain skeptical that light attack ever pans out in any capacity.

Yup, I doubt it too (damn it) but one can hope...

Edited by Clark Griswold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

No disagreement that the long nose is a forward visibility problem and better engine placement would be better but some long nosed aircraft have had good records in the Attack mission set, ref the F4U Corsair in Korea and Westland Wyvern in the Suez Crisis used by the Royal Navy (cockpit seems raised and the nose tapered for vis, that could mitigate some forward vis  problems).  Point taken though that more have a shorter nose than a schnoze

If you look at what kinds of ordnance they were shooting (a lot of forward-firing stuff like rockets) and what kind of deliveries they were doing (high angle dive bombs, which have substantially less sight depression from the flight path than the 10s, 20s, and 30s that jets routinely do), then it makes sense why the long nose wasn't a problem then but it would be now.

Regarding the location of the exhaust, the Enforcer engineering team did a lot of testing about the design, location, and placement of that stack, and left side vs right side, how far forward, how far back, etc, and the way it is on the PA-48 was the best of the three designs (between the Turbo Mustang, the PE-1/2 Enforcer, and the PA-48 Enforcer).  A lot was initially learned about it from the YAT-28E program which used the same engine and gearbox setup, but was apparently a huge IR target.

When they flew the PA-48 Enforcer against the threat laydown at Tolicha Peak and Pahute Mesa up on the Nellis range, it did very well in terms of avoiding detection and tracking...so ops check good. 

I don't have it in front of me, but the "production" Enforcer design (which was going to have the shorter nose and stacked cockpit look like the A-29) had some changes to the design and location of the stack, but it was still basically there at the left wing root.

YAT-28E:

09B.jpg

PA-48:

1550533-large.jpg

Edited by Hacker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Hacker said:

If you look at what kinds of ordnance they were shooting (a lot of forward-firing stuff like rockets) and what kind of deliveries they were doing (high angle dive bombs, which have substantially less sight depression from the flight path than the 10s, 20s, and 30s that jets routinely do), then it makes sense why the long nose wasn't a problem then but it would be now.

Regarding the location of the exhaust, the Enforcer engineering team did a lot of testing about the design, location, and placement of that stack, and left side vs right side, how far forward, how far back, etc, and the way it is on the PA-48 was the best of the three designs (between the Turbo Mustang, the PE-1/2 Enforcer, and the PA-48 Enforcer).  A lot was initially learned about it from the YAT-28E program which used the same engine and gearbox setup, but was apparently a huge IR target.

When they flew the PA-48 Enforcer against the threat laydown at Tolicha Peak and Pahute Mesa up on the Nellis range, it did very well in terms of avoiding detection and tracking...so ops check good. 

I don't have it in front of me, but the "production" Enforcer design (which was going to have the shorter nose and stacked cockpit look like the A-29) had some changes to the design and location of the stack, but it was still basically there at the left wing root.

YAT-28E:

09B.jpg

PA-48:

1550533-large.jpg

Knowledge gained...

One more vaporware that's a Photoshop mod of the A-29....

hiper-tucano.jpg

Bears a passing resemblance to a P-38.  

Add ER saddle-bag tanks like the MC-12/KA350ER, take the fuel tank out of the backseat for a CSO station, keep the cannon in the nose but upgrade to a 25mm like the Rutan Ares concept had,  integrate an MX-20, etc... and you have a good medium attack / ISR platform... probably would need to grow some for that wish list but it's worth it...

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically that is an EMB-314 not an A-29 but meh...  

Two props forward it might actually have a reasonable CG range finally that would allow additional weight to the rear for ER tanks..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone. I'm a civilian pilot who is building a simulation of the Super Tucano for a video game and I have two questions:

1) What is the middle-top screen in the backseat as shown here?
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/2d/c2/bb2dc2e0cfc540a0c2e213300c2cd115.jpg

2) What is the extra paneling along the side of the fuselage under the canopy added to the American-sourced A-29s as shown here?
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LkgeladdlaI/maxresdefault.jpg

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Blue said:

From the article:  The number of aircraft has not been specified.

Any thoughts as to how many tails 1.8 bil gets you?

 

The “Afghanistan Security Forces Funds” is really just our taxpayer dollars which means it is a DoD acquisition program...so probably like 20 airplanes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 10:09 AM, Blue said:

From the article:  The number of aircraft has not been specified.

Any thoughts as to how many tails 1.8 bil gets you?

 

Based on what I had in the last program, aircraft were sold at $25m each for same packaging. 

 

The key question in the award is three words and how much those will cost.

Quote

Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) has been awarded a $1,808,000,000 contract for potential procurement, sustainment, modifications, ferry, and related equipment for the A-29

 

Some additional info actually only an 800m increase not 1.8b.
 

Quote

 

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has extended the indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract it has in place with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to deliver SNC-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop aircraft to Afghanistan.

The DoD announced on 4 September that it is extending the ID/IQ contract by a further five years from August 2019 to the end of December 2024, and raising the ceiling from USD1.043 billion to USD1.808 billion. Work will be performed at Moody Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia, as well as at Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazari Sharif air bases in Afghanistan.

 

 

Edited by RegularJoe
Updated info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A missed opportunity...

Indo-UK made new Hawk combat aircraft looks to take on China

IIRC, Scorpion was offered in 2014 to the IAF and about 2016 to the KSA, we should have pushed them hard as hell to buy offering a discounted FMS price, with us buying a first lot (probably around 100 tails) and then leveraging that into other potential customers in SE Asia, Africa, South America, etc...

I still can't believe we let the right one get away..

webtextron-scorpion-fires-hellfire.jpg?i

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2018 at 12:27 PM, Jester203 said:

Hi everyone. I'm a civilian pilot who is building a simulation of the Super Tucano for a video game and I have two questions:

1) What is the middle-top screen in the backseat as shown here?
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/2d/c2/bb2dc2e0cfc540a0c2e213300c2cd115.jpg

2) What is the extra paneling along the side of the fuselage under the canopy added to the American-sourced A-29s as shown here?
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LkgeladdlaI/maxresdefault.jpg

Thanks in advance!

1. It's a HUD repeater.

2. No idea, could a whole range of things from additional armor to where the nuclear rockets are stored.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...