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Author Topic: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7  (Read 39270 times)

Online PaulMM (Overscan)

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VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« on: March 07, 2006, 11:01:09 am »
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Design 128G-12

When BuWeps requested proposals for the VA(L) light attack aircraft in June 1963, it specified that manufacturers should only submit designs which were minimum change modifications of existing designs as low cost and early availability were of prime importance. Accordingly, in August 1963 Grumman submitted its Design 128G-12, a derivative of the A-6A. As the VA(L) was intended for day operations in clear weather, the complex integrated navigation and bombing system of the A-6A was replaced by a simpler multimode radar, and a single-seat-on-centreline cockpit was substituted for the two-seat cockpit of the A-6A. The only other significant change was the incorporation of a folding horizontal tail to increase by one third the carrier spotting factor. The Navy finally selected the smaller lighter LTV proposal even though the resulting A-7A had much less commonality with the F-8.

http://www.angelfire.com/space/grumman/aircraft/designs.html
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 01:30:06 pm by overscan »
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Offline TinWing

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 12:43:11 pm »
The three view drawing is something I've never seen before.

I wonder how the performance of this proposal, with less frontal area than the original A-6, would have compared to the contemporary Buccaneer S.2?

The Douglas A4D-6, an A-4 enlarged around the TF-30 turbofan, was the other VA(L) competitor.  Since the TF-30 was not only physically larger than the J-52 (or the later F404 used by Singapore), but had far greater massflow requirements, the A4D-6 would have looked substantially different than the garden variety "Scooter."   


Online PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 11:21:17 pm »
The drawing is from a Puttnam book on Grumman, presumably

Francillon: 'Grumman Aircraft since 1929' Putnam Aeronautical series Naval Institute Press, 1987

Paul.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 11:23:31 pm by overscan »
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Offline Dronte

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 09:32:20 pm »
Is a question that I have always asked myself on this model on the function of the small notch under the muzzle somebody  has knowledge of its reason of being?
Is a structural remainder of the assembly of the radar of pursuit of the land
of the A-6?
The holder of some type of optic sensor?
An aesthetic concession of the designers for those who like of adorning their airplanes with shark fauceses?  ;D

Do drawings or models of the other discarded proposals exist for the VA(L)?


Online PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 10:09:39 pm »
Its probably avionics related, but with such a small picture its impossible to tell the function.

There was a fourth contender for VA(L), North American proposed an upgraded FJ-4B Fury with enlarged fuselage for the TF-30 engine and strengthened wing to carry the 15000 lb payload.

Source:
  • Al Adcock, A-7 Corsair in Action Squadron-Signal
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 10:12:23 pm by overscan »
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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 11:29:13 am »
VA(L) according to Vought

http://www.vought.com/heritage/special/html/sa-71.html

Quote
In 1962, the Navy conducted studies to determine the best route to realize its desires for a close support aircraft that could carry a very heavy weapon load and achieve a radius of action well beyond anything previously considered. Cost-effectiveness was a major consideration and modification of an existing airframe was the Navy's choice to meet all of the technical and cost requirements. When the Navy was casting about for suitable candidates, the Douglas A-4, modified to accept the TF-30 turbofan engine, already in use with the F-111, seemed to be the answer.  Thus, the program was headed toward a sole-source procurement from the Douglas Aircraft Company, maker of the A-4. The designation was to be the A4D-6.  No doubt, the very fine marketing apparatus of the Douglas Company played some role in this decision.

The VA(L) Competition

Vought would have none of this, and through an outstanding counter-marketing effort, led by the brilliant Connie Lau, Chief of Advanced Systems at Vought, a competition was forced. It was known as VA(L), Navy Attack Bomber, Light. In late June 1963, the VA(L) Request For Proposal (RFP) was received by industry and the battle began.  Four competitors responded, Douglas, Grumman, LTV, and North American.
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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 12:19:55 am »
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The Navy's VA(L) was to be a single-seat, single-engine attack airplane with an overload mission of 12 Mk 81 (500-lb) Snakeye bombs delivered at a radius of 600 nautical miles. Another key requirement was that it be "a modification of an airplane currently in the Navy inventory." The payload/range implied the use of the Navy's new TF30 engine.

Grumman considered proposing either a TF30-powered F11F or a single-seat modification of its A-6 Intruder with a single seat but the existing engines. The latter's size enabled it to easily exceed the payload/range requirement even though it did not have the fuel-efficient turbofan engine. Grumman decided to offer the A-6 derivative, believing that the low development cost and commonality with an existing airplane in the air group would trump the somewhat higher unit cost.

It didn't.

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Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2008, 08:26:34 am »
I doubt that the F11F model accurately represents the TF30 powered derivative under consideration. I would have expected a bigger wing and fatter fuselage.

Picture courtesy of Grumman Aircraft History Center
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 09:25:09 am by overscan »

Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 10:08:32 am »
The VA (L) was mentioned in the A-6 thread as having a TF30 turbofan equipped A-4. Does anyone have any pics of this??

From my forthcoming book on carrier-based attack aircraft:

Offline TinWing

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 05:40:36 pm »
The VA (L) was mentioned in the A-6 thread as having a TF30 turbofan equipped A-4. Does anyone have any pics of this??

From my forthcoming book on carrier-based attack aircraft:

I can't thank you enough for the drawing.  It very nicely illustrates the substantially expanded dimensions of the A4D-6.

Here's the link to the thread on the 1966 "Spey A-4" proposal, which surprisingly, shared very little with the A4D-6:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2144.0.html

I do think that the estimated weight (11,150 lbs, empty) for the A4D-6 was hopelessly optimistic, considering the increased dimensions and additional weight of the TF30. 

In hindsight, it was entirely proper that the VA(L) requirement was opened up to competitive bidding, as the A4D-6 was hardly a simple modification of an existing type.  Oddly enough, before I read the SAC, I had assumed that the A4D-6 was very similar to the later "Spey A-4," and would have been very much a standard A-4 with much larger intakes for the greater mass flow of the TF30.  Obviously, the changes were very much more extensive, and the development risks were most like as great as those of the A-7.

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 12:37:47 am »
http://tommythomason.com/

Quote
This was one of the last illustrations cut from Strike from the Sea to make the limit. Provided by the Grumman Historical Center, it depicts a single-seat A-6 providing close air support to the Marines. The proposal was in response to a 1962 Navy requirement to replace the single-seat Douglas A-1 (AD) Skyraider. (The two-seat A-6 had replaced the A-1E (AD-5N) night attack variant.)

Unfortunately, the Navy had in mind not only a variant of an existing aircraft, but one powered by a single TF30 turbofan engine, which not coincidentally at the time was also the basic powerplant for the nascent Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B. Grumman management was forced to choose between full compliance, a TF30-powered F-11 (F11F) Tiger—don't scoff, the winner of the competition was Vought's proposal, which closely resembled the Vought F-8 (F8U) Crusader)—and a proposal that they hoped the Navy would realize was a better deal than an all-but-new design powered by a new engine. They were wrong, although their Attack Tiger would probably have lost to Vought's excellent proposal anyway, as did Douglas' proposal of an A-4 (A4D) Skyhawk on steroids. For more, see chapter nine in Strike from the Sea, which will be available in July.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 12:41:32 am by overscan »
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Offline Howedar

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 08:43:18 pm »
The VA (L) was mentioned in the A-6 thread as having a TF30 turbofan equipped A-4. Does anyone have any pics of this??

From my forthcoming book on carrier-based attack aircraft:
I find it curious that the center-sheet rudder of the A-4 was preserved, since that was (as I recall) a flight-text-expedient and certainly wasn't ideal. Is there any reason to believe a (resized and reshaped!) tail of similar construction would live on in an A-4-30, or was that just an artist copying the current vehicle?

Offline CFE

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2009, 09:16:38 pm »
Has there been any luck in finding a good 3-view of the NAA proposal?  My understanding is that it was based on the FJ-4B but enlarged to take a TF-30.  Undoubtedly the fuselage was deeper to accommodate the new engine, but the airframe was likely lengthened as well.

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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2009, 10:32:28 pm »
G-12A model pics from Ebay.
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Re: VA (L) Competition - alternatives to the A-7
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2009, 10:34:04 pm »
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