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Old 07-13-2012   #381
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We are agreed then. It makes perfect sense. Bob Jones' idea was a very good one. But I think we both know it will never happen. There is no cool tech. No trons to dazzle nerds with. No complex project that would need project officers whose careers could be made by seeing something complicated halfway through. And it would depend mainly on the men in cockpits and turning the wrenches. All it would have going for it is effectiveness, simplicity, sensibleness, flexibility and lack of big expense. Sigh. It would be a cool project though.
"We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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Old 07-13-2012   #382
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Originally Posted by carl View Post
"...All it would have going for it is effectiveness, simplicity, sensibleness, flexibility and lack of big expense..."
Yup...unfortunately, that's WAY too much common sense, and not sexy or Gucci enough for the residents in the Puzzle Palace...
"We're here to preserve democracy, not practice it." from the move, Crimson Tide
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Old 08-08-2012   #383
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Default Bull in a China Shop? Attack Aviation and the COIN Battlefield

Bull in a China Shop? Attack Aviation and the COIN Battlefield

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Old 08-18-2012   #384
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Default Strafing, Etc:

Experience during the Normandy, Ardennes Campaigns, and likely in Vietnam, showed strafing to be the most hazardous ground attack activity.

Advances in missile and gun targeting via LASER designation, now permit targeting of ground targets at ranges up to 5 km, depending upon atmospheric conditions. Should all weather be necessary, LIDAR or similar RADAR technologies need be used, with the disadvantage of emissions which call attention to the aircraft.

The pusher design was chosen to open the nose of the aircraft for targeting electronics, both LASER and RADAR, and for mid-air refueling to increase
loiter time.

A single engine, armoured was chosen to minimize drag, and to simplify handling. Earlier twin engine COIN designs suffered massively when one engine went out, to the point of an uncontrolled barrel roll leading to a flat spin. Further, the engine is aft and shielded by the wing from ground fire during low level attacks.

I admit that this specific design does not exist. This is a concept based upon sound aeronautical design, to show what is immediately feasible, given current technologies.

Note that the wing and tailplane is much simplified compared to the Stavatti Machete, the entire aircraft is much cleaner too.

Note that spoilers and the air brake are specified, this permits control of dive speed to permit longer target acquisition, and facilitates short field landings at empty weight(s).

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Old 08-18-2012   #385
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Default The Twin Otter.

The Twin Otter, the DHC-3, as offered by Dehavilland, is a fine bush plane.

However, it will lose much of it's payload once armoured, and fitted with a gun and targeting system. Since, it is an aluminum airplane, and twin engine, it's empty weight is much heaver than my concept aircraft, and it's skin friction is far higher, too.

Also, it's stall speed is above 70 knots, and the concept specifies a landing speed, empty of 40 knots. This crucial difference equates into much longer landing and takeoff runs, necessating larger clearings, which may not be practical. It also has a much longer wing than the proposal, and the wing is not laminar, thus higher drag.

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Old 08-21-2012   #386
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Default COIN Aircraft & Weapons

I don't believe a COIN aircraft should be a multi-purpose vehicle. Specifically, my proposal is a ground attack aircraft, capable of defeating AAMs and SAMs using EW, including decoys and jammers. The proposed EW capability includes 360 degree scanning for incoming threats.

My proposal is a fully automated aircraft, to lessen pilot workload, and improve defensive response.

For troop insertion, my two favored methods are twin engine transports and helos. Both aircraft are available in STOL configurations, would operate under the umbrella of my proposal and current Air Supremacy assets, and
have payloads many times that of my proposal. For instance a twin turboprop transport will operate at gross weights of 10 X hp. Given two 3000 hp engines this transport would operate at MTOW of 60,000 lbs, could carry a company of men, or a platoon complete with vehicles, ammo, and provisions.

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Old 08-30-2012   #387
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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.

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Old 04-05-2014   #388
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Surely Cas and coin aircraft are fundamentally different things? A tucano sounds more like light strike than anything useful for coin. Bronco more like it but right at the top end of what is actually needed.

How many policing or counter insurgency engagements would be easily decided by a single aerial fifty Cal rather than the firepower of an a10? How many engagements which wouldn't be decided by such would be by accurate fires targeted by an aerial observer? Does the ability to rapidly extract singleton casualties give greater capability than firepower?

Frankly the grasshoppers used to such effect in Burma or the Cessnas used by the Rhodesians arguably offered far more than the turboprop powered aircraft usually mentioned.
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Old 11-15-2016   #389
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Default Jet fuel comes at a price

Hat tip to WoTR for this article 'Logistical fratricide the cost of fast jet tacair measured in purple-hearts' and I think it fits here! Why? This is a clue:
... the heavy use of fuel in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom can be directly tied to casualties incurred by ground operations required to get the fuel to U.S. bases, particularly airbases.

Two interesting passages, which I don't recall spotting before:
In Afghanistan, one U.S. serviceman or contract civilian was killed or wounded for every 24 sixteen-truck fuel convoys, and that number was one per every 38.5 convoys in Iraq.

...between 2001 and 2010 a whopping 39 percent of the total killed in action of U.K. uniformed personnel and contractors (over 190) was related to resupply efforts.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-15-2016 at 04:32 PM. Reason: 150,797v
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Old 11-15-2016   #390
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I agree, this was a good article. As a former military pilot, I've been arguing the need for a light, cheap, and decently armed fixed-wing aircraft for these very purposes. Unfortunately, it seems like our leaders have become intoxicated with all the super-expensive, shiny go fast toys. I believe one of the comments on that article was done by "Warlock" who I am presuming is the same poster over here that goes by Warlock. I thought he made a valid point about AC-130 style gunships, they would be ideal for overhead convoy support because of their long loiter time, ability to carry multiple weapon/sensor systems, and a large crew that can maintain prolonged periods in the air. I would even go so far as to argue for a hybrid arrangement, similar to the hunter-killer tactics used in Vietnam. An AC-130 could maintain top cover from 7-10K AGL while a section of A-6/A-27s provides direct low altitude coverage at 1-2K AGL. The low section could rotate out at pre-designated times or points due to aircrew limitations or aerial refuel if needed.
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