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Old 08-30-2012   #392
Council Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Default Coin Aircraft Flight Envelopes

Originally Posted by luckyroll View Post
I'm guessing you like the Thunderbolt 2. The problem with the T-bolt 2 is that it has no turning radius= very poor manuverability compared to prop craft and can only hold a slow pattern for a few seconds before you have to dip back into the engines and give the stick a little tug. Atleast this is what my sisters boyfriend tells me. He flies Hornets in the Corps, but was a Hog (t-bolt 2) pilot before that.
He also said that at those low speeds it was insanely rough and that hard jolting would sometimes cause the 30mm to jam. He said the feel is similar to flying a commercial jet at very low speeds and altitudes. But, he said it almost impossible to tear it apart with heavy fire, or, anything else for that matter( thanks to carbon fibre covered ceramic spawl plates). He said he's seen many of them get hit with SAM's in the stubs and still land. He said he has even belly landed one and it was back up and flying a few days later... didn't hurt it at all. That says ALOT for any jet powered craft. In that aspect that plane lives up to it's namesake.
I like'em alot! Probably my favorite jet pack, but the not turning thing would make me sick. But, it is a flying tank and is designed to do exactly what it does, included in that is the fact that it has little manuverability. That is so you don't overshoot or, have to dip to keep your point of aim on a target when your coming in on top of it. This is what I'm told about that aircraft and it seems to make sense. He even said that turboprop "bug bashers" are better for serving alot of the roles that the A-10 serves and more. I called and asked him just to see what he said, but, this is only one opinion of one pilot. But, aside from the fact that you can't hardly take an A-10 down, I think a turboprop is just as good in it's own right.
But the idea of recip engine "horse fly" planes was a little silly now that I think about it in terms of the US armed forces. Where in the hell would they get AvGas and why would they want to deal with that?! Although to me it still makes sense for the private sec.
Cliff and others seem married to the above aircraft. I'm not. I think that modern computerized flight characterization programs can assist the design of a STOL, turbo-prop COIN aircraft with flight characteristics superior to the A-10. My submission is one such aircraft.

A modern ground attack aircraft would take advantage of improvements in lightweight armour. Would simplify the gun system as I proposed. Would keep the hp to MTOW ratio at 5 or less to improve climb, shorten takeoff run, improve dash, and keep cruise in the 300-400 knot range.

A modern ground attack aircraft would use slats and compound full span fowler flaps to reduce landing speed (empty) to 40 knots, and takeoff speed to 60 knots at MTOW. Roll control would be via the canard, spoilers, and the elevator. Both a canard and elevator would be present to maximize maneuverability, including a very tight turning radius at combat speeds, which are expected to be 100-200 knots.

A bubble canopy with the pilot seated erect and high, so he can maintain situational awareness, which is armoured, is specified.

The engine and prop are aft to open the nose for refueling probe, LASER target designator, and RADAR target designator.

The gun is relocated from the chin to the wing root where the magazine is better protected from ground fire, and close to the CG so using ordinance does not change trim. Two recoil operated guns are specified to simplify maintenance, improve reliability, and maintain acceptable firing rate. Further the gun is no longer expected to KO tanks, the brimstone and Pars missiles deal with MBTs, while the gun deals with APCs, trucks, troop concentrations, and helos. 75mm Guided Rockets are in the inventory to deal with Light Tanks, pill boxes, and other suitable targets.

The emphasis is on precision targeting using LASER and RADAR for all weather capability.

The key components of the airframe and cockpit are armoured to improve survivability.

MTOW is kept at 15,000 # max at 3000 Hp.

Landing Gear legs are long to provide ground clearance essential for fast re-arming between missions, and at a forward base.

30X113 ammo is specified for the gun because that ammo is used by other batallion level aircraft, (helos), and because recoil is much less.

In short, the A-10 has proved itself a very useful aircraft, as did the AD1 Skyraider, the P-47 thunderbolt, and the F6F Wildcat. But time moves on, advances in technologies have been made, and it is time to field a successor.

goprisko is offline   Reply With Quote