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21 hours ago, Tank said:

Choosing between these three…

F2C72ECC-7629-4538-AAFB-CCDFCF1E2EFF.jpeg

That South African Bronco-thing always seemed like more vaporware than anything else.  Any idea why the Caravan was eliminated?

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9 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

In a recent exercise the AT-802 flew an unrefueled 8.2 sortie and landed with 1.5 reserve.  Three sensors, monstrous weapons load, and burns less hourly fuel of the non-compliant MC-145.  Also, the AT-802 carries all weapons the MC-145 can plus some including gun.

Unfortunately, politics will play greatly into the decision which is NOT how OTAs are supposed to play out.

I'm not savvy on all the capes of these different platforms, but damn.  That kind of sortie duration seems impressive.

This is the AT-802 from L-3, right?  Wasn't Iomax, and maybe some other companies doing combat mods to the AT-802?  Was there something specific that drove the selection of the L-3 version, vs Iomax?

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43 minutes ago, Blue said:

That South African Bronco-thing always seemed like more vaporware than anything else.  Any idea why the Caravan was eliminated?

Apparently...Hellfires are hard...

26 minutes ago, Blue said:

This is the AT-802 from L-3, right?  Wasn't Iomax, and maybe some other companies doing combat mods to the AT-802?  Was there something specific that drove the selection of the L-3 version, vs Iomax?

Yes, L3Harris.

IOMAX had a different Crop Duster that is now out of production and was not as capable.

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Not a tail-dragger (AT-802). 
Not an ejection-seat aircraft (AT-6).  
 
I’ve flown the C-145 and it is NOT a comfortable aircraft to fly but it’s multi-engine and fills the C-130 mafia niche’.  

The fact that the aren’t planning on ejection seats is very concerning given the A29 accident a couple years back.


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A bit of BO.net lore, but if only we had some “spec ops fighter pilots” around that could fill this niche role. I’ve heard bqzips mom could be cadre. 

Edited by Standby
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So I’ll doxx myself here to people that know me, but I was the demo pilot for this program. I got trained on all of the offerings and flew them with the exception of the Bronco due to their gear collapse issue* and the 145 due to catching the ‘Vid (alternate flew that one). Each one is good at certain things and not as great with others. I have nothing to do with the selection and don’t have any inside info, but I am excited to see how it shakes out.

*This is just a funny story. The AT-6 and Bronco 2 were there for their evaluation and the 5th flight of their evaluation was with the AF guy to evaluate a variety of things. We went to their factory and got trained on how their stuff worked and then a 2 hour refresher the day prior to the flight on how to use HOTAS etc. Before that eval, the Bronco had their issues so I never flew it. Anyway, the next day after flying the AT-6 I land and check my phone and have a bunch of messages, missed calls, etc from my Chain. Somehow that telephone game made it back that I was in the airplane and it went off the runway and cartwheeled due to a gear collapse and no one could get in touch with me (completely false haha). I finally called back and said I was fine and had no issues and (in the most military thing ever) got bitched at for not reporting back or something. Good times at the end of the rumor whip.

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15 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

I finally called back and said I was fine and had no issues and (in the most military thing ever) got bitched at for not reporting back or something.

Lol

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15 hours ago, Props said:

That would be cool, I also read “the Oklahoma Air Guard would receive some of the planes too” 

I’d bet they’re talking about the MC12 unit down in OKC. 

Oklahoma ANG at Will Rogers is scheduled to be the FTU for AO.  

Active Duty and Guard are the two supposed to fly it with the Reserves left out.  

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12 hours ago, Danger41 said:

So I’ll doxx myself here to people that know me, but I was the demo pilot for this program. I got trained on all of the offerings and flew them with the exception of the Bronco due to their gear collapse issue* and the 145 due to catching the ‘Vid (alternate flew that one). Each one is good at certain things and not as great with others. I have nothing to do with the selection and don’t have any inside info, but I am excited to see how it shakes out.

I was a demo pilot on the AT-6B back in the day, landed it on a lakebed out west and did a little FARP.  I understand the C model has the A-10 mission system.  I found the B system very easy to use.  Even a ham-fisted stick monkey like me could easily strafe and plop rockets in the circle.  Great airplane in certain aspects but not a great plane in the dirt and VERY limited in duration unless it loaded with a crap ton of externals.

This program and how it falls out will have repercussions for years.  For those not following, the ACQ folks are increasingly moving towards the OTA construct where they ask industry to take great risk up front.  The problem comes when they diverge from the stated evaluation criteria.  They played this game once before with The Lite Attack Experiment and it if they go down the same path it is going to end the process as industry will no longer play.  Ultimately the American Warfighter will not get the best equipment.  Let me give you an example:

Dear Industry, here is an OTA for a 6th gen fighter.  Each company can submit a White Paper and the government will have an onsite evaluation.  From that we will down-select to four offerings and each company will get $20M to build a prototype for the flyoff.  Yes we know that covers 1/3 your cost, but those are our rules.  For the evaluation we have the following Tier 1 requirements, if you fail any of these you are automatically removed. 

1. Supercruise

2. Objective RCS less than .01

3. Internal Weapons capacity for 12 X Aim 120

4.  Fuel Flow < 8,000 PPH

Company A designs and flies a prototype that exceeds all Tier 1 requirements as well as all Tier 2 requirements in the fly off - SOCOM Answer - Continue in the competition.

Company B designs and flies an airplane that fails a Tier 1 requirement and half the Tier 2 requirements in the flyoff.  Company B complains "we don't like the way you measure Fuel Flow and count AIM-120s - SOCOM Answer - Continue in the competition.

Company C designs a plane that does not Supercruise, has an RCS of .1, holds 4 X Aim 120 and has a fuel flow of 20,000 PPH.  Company C says "so what...this is what we have so this is what you really want" - SOCOM answer - Continue in the competition.

 

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So do you see this program turning out like the AF light attack program?

It seems like it’s tentatively funded, at least that’s what the internet told me and that’s never wrong. 

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One thing I will add that is purely one mans opinion and not representing  the opinion of the US Government, AFSOC, SOCOM, etc…the tail dragger configuration is different, but I hope that isn’t viewed as a bridge too far. If the 802 isn’t chosen on the basis of other factors, then okay. But if that’s the only reason, I would be very disappointed. Yes, all fixed wing pilots are trained by the AF in tricycle gear aircraft and there are some differences, but that’s nothing that can’t be overcome by training. I view it the same way as training guys to AR, do assault landings, or any of the 100 other skills that are outside what they learned in UPT. 
 

One very interesting variable in this program is the single pilot/single CSO configuration out of UPT/UCT. What this airplane is going to be asked to do is going to require some talented aviators that won’t have the benefit of copilot time to season before jumping in the AC seat OR being a wingman and progressing up the FL upgrade ladder. With that, you won’t be able to grab the folks that barely made it across the line to earn wings. You’ll have to get some of the higher performers but then you’ll be competing with big AF for more traditional top graduate assignments. And should the single pilot setup limit you to T-7/T-38 people (absolutely not IMO)? And for CSO’s, I can imagine a similar battle amongst the traditional WSO assignments. 
 

Having said all that, I hope AFSOC does a 10000x better job selling this airplane to young assignables than they did with the U-28.

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6 hours ago, Danger41 said:

One thing I will add that is purely one mans opinion and not representing  the opinion of the US Government, AFSOC, SOCOM, etc…the tail dragger configuration is different, but I hope that isn’t viewed as a bridge too far. If the 802 isn’t chosen on the basis of other factors, then okay. But if that’s the only reason, I would be very disappointed. Yes, all fixed wing pilots are trained by the AF in tricycle gear aircraft and there are some differences, but that’s nothing that can’t be overcome by training. I view it the same way as training guys to AR, do assault landings, or any of the 100 other skills that are outside what they learned in UPT. 
 

Agree and had not given it much thought until I heard some of the negative electrons.  Honestly I am shocked and disappointed at the response. I learned in a J-3 Super Cub and never thought it was that big of a deal.  Taxi ops were different but an easily learned skill (again if a bone head like me can do it in a day, anyone can do it.)  Seriously, it is surprising to hear the continued pushback given the majority of austere operations done around the world are accomplished using tail draggers.  The HQ guys must think all those bush pilots in Alaska are lunatics. 

 

6 hours ago, Danger41 said:

One thing I will add that is purely one mans opinion and not representing  the opinion of the US Government, AFSOC, SOCOM, etc…the tail dragger configuration is different, but I hope that isn’t viewed as a bridge too far. If the 802 isn’t chosen on the basis of other factors, then okay. But if that’s the only reason, I would be very disappointed. Yes, all fixed wing pilots are trained by the AF in tricycle gear aircraft and there are some differences, but that’s nothing that can’t be overcome by training. I view it the same way as training guys to AR, do assault landings, or any of the 100 other skills that are outside what they learned in UPT. 
 

One very interesting variable in this program is the single pilot/single CSO configuration out of UPT/UCT. What this airplane is going to be asked to do is going to require some talented aviators that won’t have the benefit of copilot time to season before jumping in the AC seat OR being a wingman and progressing up the FL upgrade ladder. With that, you won’t be able to grab the folks that barely made it across the line to earn wings. You’ll have to get some of the higher performers but then you’ll be competing with big AF for more traditional top graduate assignments. And should the single pilot setup limit you to T-7/T-38 people (absolutely not IMO)? And for CSO’s, I can imagine a similar battle amongst the traditional WSO assignments. 
 

Having said all that, I hope AFSOC does a 10000x better job selling this airplane to young assignables than they did with the U-28.

 

Agree here as well, this is not a pick up game and will demand more than basic brain stem power.  I think there will also be a maturity requirement, collapsing the stack and the projected operating environment removes a lot of support (Intel/JAG/Command), and places even more decision authority on fewer shoulders.  I liken it to the NSAV folks flying around Africa and operating out of remote dirt strips with with money belts.  The vast majority of those folks did well but a few went rouge and started dealing in strippers, smuggling and even blood diamonds (yes that really happened).  We (America/SOCOM/AFSOC), can't afford some stooge slinging LGBs or rockets into a crowd of children.  In other words people like Danger41 are going to have to LEAD...Develop Solid TTPs and TRAIN until it hurts. 

 

6 hours ago, Danger41 said:

Having said all that, I hope AFSOC does a 10000x better job selling this airplane to young assignables than they did with the U-28.

Sadly, I don't have a lot of hope.  It takes more than a single road show to a UPT base to make the case. 

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Get some HH-60 drivers to fly that thing.


They’re generally familiar with most SOF mission sets, in particular CSAR,CAS and SCAR. 
 


Plus, Rolling landings/takeoffs in a HH-60 are extremely similar to tail dragger pitch pictures and airspeed envelopes and something they train to often. 

… and obviously austere field ops. 

 

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Having said all that, I hope AFSOC does a 10000x better job selling this airplane to young assignables than they did with the U-28.

This gave me a chuckle.  Spring 2006 I still remember the day walking out to the flight line with the 9 other NFO's (an the initial cadre of USAF stick monkey types) seeing 419 taxi in for the first time at Hurby.  "So....this is a U-what?"

ATIS

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On 2/5/2022 at 3:50 PM, ClearedHot said:

I liken it to the NSAV folks flying around Africa and operating out of remote dirt strips with with money belts.  The vast majority of those folks did well but a few went rouge and started dealing in strippers, smuggling and even blood diamonds (yes that really happened).  

100% agree with the point of your post.  However, it was an OSI guy supporting NSAv that was convicted for what you mention here.

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18 hours ago, ATIS said:

Having said all that, I hope AFSOC does a 10000x better job selling this airplane to young assignables than they did with the U-28.

This gave me a chuckle.  Spring 2006 I still remember the day walking out to the flight line with the 9 other NFO's (an the initial cadre of USAF stick monkey types) seeing 419 taxi in for the first time at Hurby.  "So....this is a U-what?"

ATIS

Omg I about barfed in my mouth on career day in UPT where the dude with a 20# beer gut said "we are pretty much the Navy SEALS of the sky."

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7 hours ago, Hound47 said:

100% agree with the point of your post.  However, it was an OSI guy supporting NSAv that was convicted for what you mention here.

Yup, OSI convicted, NSAv guy helped...there were several who got in trouble and few who got away with it.  I was very close to the story, not all of it came out and I won't air all the dirty laundry.

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5 hours ago, FLEA said:

Omg I about barfed in my mouth on career day in UPT where the dude with a 20# beer gut said "we are pretty much the Navy SEALS of the sky."

While the platform does some pretty cool stuff, and I thank my lucky star for being on the ground floor of the program...whoever said that needs a throat punch.

ATIS

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Omg I about barfed in my mouth on career day in UPT where the dude with a 20# beer gut said "we are pretty much the Navy SEALS of the sky."

I thought that was started when some guy was trying to tell his wife what he did and was passed around the wife’s club and then took off from there.

I’ll never forget the trip to SWA when the new gunship sqd rotated in and I showed up to my office the next day with a banner about 5 feet long and 3 feet tall hanging in our TOC acknowledging our proud heritage as a seal of the sky.

Ahhh memories


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6 hours ago, FLEA said:

Omg I about barfed in my mouth on career day in UPT where the dude with a 20# beer gut said "we are pretty much the Navy SEALS of the sky."

Special planes not special people. Although that guy sounds special.

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2 hours ago, ATIS said:

While the platform does some pretty cool stuff, and I thank my lucky star for being on the ground floor of the program...whoever said that needs a throat punch.

ATIS

It is crazy how one idiot can ruin it for everyone.  Sadly, his comment is still used to the detriment of the community today.

The U-28 and the community changed the fight in many regards.  Fing heroes and extreme professionals in my book...still carrying the mail to this day, but one idiot made a comment that left a stain.  Awesome to see those in the community grow up and take big leadership positions.  There are a few on here whop have done great things for the community.  We need more of that less Pavelow/Talon II Mafia.

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8 hours ago, FLEA said:

Omg I about barfed in my mouth on career day in UPT where the dude with a 20# beer gut said "we are pretty much the Navy SEALS of the sky."

Were you at Columbus in 2009? If not, they got the same guy to do a bunch of road shows. I also heard a joke that some ground forces referred themselves to the 319th of the ground.

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1 hour ago, Breckey said:

Were you at Columbus in 2009? If not, they got the same guy to do a bunch of road shows. I also heard a joke that some ground forces referred themselves to the 319th of the ground.

Haha I actually was at Columbus in 2009. And also not trying to shit on the U-28, definitely have a good impression of most those bros. Just that one line made the whole program out like a joke at that time. 

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Were you at Columbus in 2009? If not, they got the same guy to do a bunch of road shows. I also heard a joke that some ground forces referred themselves to the 319th of the ground.

Haha I actually was at Columbus in 2009. And also not trying to shit on the U-28, definitely have a good impression of most those bros. Just that one line made the whole program out like a joke at that time. 

Sounded familiar. I thought there was irony in the overweight guy telling everyone they had to be fit and couldn’t be over 196 lbs with gear, like special operators.
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3 hours ago, Breckey said:

I also heard a joke that some ground forces referred themselves to the 319th of the ground.

This is true haha 😅 Have had some ground SOF dudes tell me that in jest. Cheeky bastards.

Seriously though, that one f*cking guy saying that one f*cking line put a bad rep on an awesome community literally for 15+ years…choose who y’all send to air shows and fly-ins wisely.

Draco was a freaking blast and we did some really cool stuff with some really great Americans. I hope the AO replacement platform gives the dudes what they need to continue bringing violence to bad people.

Massive swing and a miss passing on the scorpion jet a couple years ago IMHO, but the capes of the L3 air tractor are apparently outstanding. I’ll believe it when I see it that a tail-wheel will be selected, but I’d be happy to be wrong because the platform delivers a lot that the AT-6 doesn’t.

Also happy to personally be flying a GCS from now on…you can miss me with that bullshit of being strapped into the back seat of an air tractor for a 8.69 sortie duration and counting on the 12 year old-looking first Louie up front not to pork the landing of a huge tail-dragger with no rocket chair 😆

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