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How did I miss this? USAF selects Scorpion and A6 for light attack demo

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posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: parad0x122

Quite well actually. They're both light attack craft, so they have similar payloads (don't have the numbers off the top of my head and too lazy right now to look them up). Scorpion gets there faster, but a turboprop, depending on the range to the target, can loiter longer, because it doesn't burn as much fuel.


I don't know, I was checking out the specs and it gets interesting:

If I was going to go with AT-6 VS Super Tucano, its almost a tossup. The AT-6 has an advantage in range 1036 vs. 720 which should also give it an advantage in terms of combat radius. Hard to gauge loiter time without more detailed specs etc. I may lean to the Tucano simply cause its already proven in use. (Plus it was in a bond movie)

The Scorpion has twice the range, is faster, than both of and Textron 'Claims" a cost per flight hour close to the T-6 Texan. trainer. But cost alot more upfront.




posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: FredT

The other aspect about the Scorpion I missed before was the modular wings. You can change out the wings based on mission requirements. Like a bolt on set of wings like the RB-57D and turn it into a recce bird etc.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:31 PM
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a reply to: FredT

It depends on what the mission is though. If you're launching from an airfield in Afghanistan, for targets in Afghanistan, you don't need extended range. It would help with loiter time, but if you're close enough, which these would be, a turboprop makes more sense. They could operate out of some pretty gnarly airfields, and be pretty close to where they need to be, as opposed to jets, which would require paved runways, and other infrastructure.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

True...

Its really Textrons to lose here. They have two out of the 3 selected and thats even before politics rears its head.
edit on 10/20/17 by FredT because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: FredT

It depends on what the mission is though. If you're launching from an airfield in Afghanistan, for targets in Afghanistan, you don't need extended range. It would help with loiter time, but if you're close enough, which these would be, a turboprop makes more sense. They could operate out of some pretty gnarly airfields, and be pretty close to where they need to be, as opposed to jets, which would require paved runways, and other infrastructure.


There are quite a few jet aircraft that have operated without decent airfields aren't there? I seem to remember reading something in Janes as a kid that the Soviet Airforce was really big on jet aircraft being able to operate from less than nominal airfields. I think the Mig 23 and 27 come to mind? I know they weren't the best, but I do believe they did well in that aspect.

Then again, at that time Soviet aircraft were super hyped - and out of all context (sometimes they still are).

But I am thinking that with the right landing gear and duct protection a smaller jet could do just as well as a prop.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: Fools

Soviet aircraft were designed to operate from rough airfields. The MiG-29 has grates that drop down over the intake to prevent debris from going down the engine. Western aircraft, including the Scorpion don't. If they're not designed to operate from gnarly fields, they won't be able to, and will damage their engines.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

My point is that seems to be an easy engineering fix. It would add weight, but it seems the scorpion can handle more weight due to its power plants.

May the best plane win. Smarter heads than mine will see to it hopefully.

Mainly I am glad that the USAF wont have to send a 10000 dollar a minute aircraft to vaporize some tent in the middle of nowhere.



posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: Fools

It's not that easy. It alters the airflow of the engine, adds quite a bit of weight, and engineering complexity. The maximum takeoff weight of the Scorpion is 22,000 pounds. That will be reduced if you add the screens, which means less fuel, or fewer weapons, or less range. And there really isn't a need for it.



posted on Oct, 21 2017 @ 08:55 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: Cohen the Barbarian

I am not sure that the fact it has a jet engine is all that important in this fly off. It's not like the scorpion is all that fast, or big.

I looked briefly over the stats and even though the scorpion is slightly faster, its loiter time is a bit less. I do believe that it appeared it could carry more weapons though.


The Air Force made a big mistake once before when it chose jet over prop. Our squadron flew search and rescue and close air support in A-1 Skyraiders. The Air Force decided it would become an "all-jet" air force and gave our A-1s to the Thai and Vietnamese Air Forces. They moved us into F-4s. It was an ego boost to be able to say "I'm a jet fighter pilot" but for our mission, I wanted my Skyraider back. If the good guys are in the 1st base dugout and the bad guys are on 3rd base and I have to drop bombs or napalm on the bad guys, it's a whole lot easier to be accurate at 210 knots than 400 knots. And at low altitude the F-4 burned so much fuel, the drill was takeoff, hit a tanker, go blow stuff up or fry it, get back across the Mekong, hit a tanker, then land. And do it without guns. The skyraider could carry more ordinance than a B-17 heavy bomber, and do it for hours and hours. Of course, it was louder than the industrial revolution, but the cockpit was huge. It was big enough to carry an M-16 over and under with an M-203 grenade launcher as a personal weapon, while in the F-4, it was too cramped to carry a sack lunch.
I've flown the Super Tucano. The civilian designation of the A-29 is EMB-314/ It is an amazingly responsive , agile, tough airplane. It can handle huge negative loads and gyroscopic manuevers that would tear the wings off of most aircraft. The 1600 hp PT-6 engine is a proven, tough, reliable engine used in thousands of aircraft. The AT-6 uses the 1100 hp version of the same engine. The scorpion uses two Honeywell TFE731 turbofans, the successor to the Garrett AirResearch TFE731, which is extremely expensive to overhaul, for a small engine, and is somewhat of a maintenance hog. Maybe Honeywell has improved it. On balance, I would pick the Tucano, with the Corpion as second choice. The A-29 seems almost flimsy and to armor it up would kill its payload and performance.



posted on Oct, 21 2017 @ 08:55 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: Cohen the Barbarian

I am not sure that the fact it has a jet engine is all that important in this fly off. It's not like the scorpion is all that fast, or big.

I looked briefly over the stats and even though the scorpion is slightly faster, its loiter time is a bit less. I do believe that it appeared it could carry more weapons though.


The Air Force made a big mistake once before when it chose jet over prop. Our squadron flew search and rescue and close air support in A-1 Skyraiders. The Air Force decided it would become an "all-jet" air force and gave our A-1s to the Thai and Vietnamese Air Forces. They moved us into F-4s. It was an ego boost to be able to say "I'm a jet fighter pilot" but for our mission, I wanted my Skyraider back. If the good guys are in the 1st base dugout and the bad guys are on 3rd base and I have to drop bombs or napalm on the bad guys, it's a whole lot easier to be accurate at 210 knots than 400 knots. And at low altitude the F-4 burned so much fuel, the drill was takeoff, hit a tanker, go blow stuff up or fry it, get back across the Mekong, hit a tanker, then land. And do it without guns. The skyraider could carry more ordinance than a B-17 heavy bomber, and do it for hours and hours. Of course, it was louder than the industrial revolution, but the cockpit was huge. It was big enough to carry an M-16 over and under with an M-203 grenade launcher as a personal weapon, while in the F-4, it was too cramped to carry a sack lunch.
I've flown the Super Tucano. The civilian designation of the A-29 is EMB-314/ It is an amazingly responsive , agile, tough airplane. It can handle huge negative loads and gyroscopic manuevers that would tear the wings off of most aircraft. The 1600 hp PT-6 engine is a proven, tough, reliable engine used in thousands of aircraft. The AT-6 uses the 1100 hp version of the same engine. The scorpion uses two Honeywell TFE731 turbofans, the successor to the Garrett AirResearch TFE731, which is extremely expensive to overhaul, for a small engine, and is somewhat of a maintenance hog. Maybe Honeywell has improved it. On balance, I would pick the Tucano, with the Corpion as second choice. The A-29 seems almost flimsy and to armor it up would kill its payload and performance.



posted on Oct, 21 2017 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: F4guy

F4,

Thanks for the first hand information! Was an interesting post to read and not everyday someone has such personal experience with the subject.



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