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Author Topic: Hughes Falcon  (Read 28318 times)

Offline SOC

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Hughes Falcon
« on: November 18, 2007, 11:00:30 am »
I'm working on an extensive history of the Hughes Falcon missile family.  If anyone has any relevant material, let me know!  What I'm currently looking for is information regarding what variants were provided to foreign users, what if any combat use the missile saw in Greek or Turkish service, and what changes the Swedes made to their Falcons in the 1960s.  Any information on the AGM-76 variant would be appreciated as well, as well as accurate information regarding dimensions or warhead type and size for the early missiles.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 12:27:36 pm »
Any chance it might contain how the AIM-47 morphed into the AIM-54?  :)
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Offline SOC

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 03:24:50 pm »
That I can answer, plus I'll talk about the Hughes family lineage, from AIM-4 to AGM-65.

Offline Andreas Parsch

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 03:26:22 am »
Any information on the AGM-76 variant would be appreciated as well, as well as accurate information regarding dimensions or warhead type and size for the early missiles.
Must be really difficult to find that information, considering that you must have been trying for years now  :(. Anyway, in what form (book, magazine article, etc.) and in which timeframe do you intend to publish your work?

Offline SOC

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 10:11:50 am »
Not quite sure about the form yet, I haven't thought it through that far out yet.  I'm pretty much dusting off an old project with the aim of finally completing the work I started about 10 years ago!  A lot of the research and data-gathering has been done, photos have been taken, etc, so what I'm doing now is tying up the loose ends in the story and looking for anything else that might conclusively agree or disagree with some of my assertions.

The AGM-76 story is convoluted and weird, to say the least.  There are two versions, and they appear to be mutually exclusive. 

The warhead/dimension info, I think I actually have a pretty good handle on that for once, but I'm looking to see if anyone can provide something that backs up what I've figured already.

I've been "looking" for a lot of this stuff for a while, sure, but for once I'm not going to be up a creek if nothing new surfaces, which is what caused me to put this on hold a while back to begin with.

Offline Jschmus

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2007, 12:14:25 pm »
When I visited the Udvar-Hazy Annex in Virginia two years ago, I saw an AGM-76 in their rocket/missile gallery.  There was a small placard with some little information there.

Offline SOC

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 11:05:02 pm »
I've seen that, I took a lot of photos of it as well.  The funny part is that when you send the NASM a request for information, they have no idea what the hell the thing was used for  ;D

Offline SOC

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 08:24:09 pm »
Does anyone know how many design iterations there were of the GAR-9?  I've got the following so far (not entirely in order):

GAR-X (original concept, chosen for XF-108, folding fins)
GAR-9 (original configuration, solid fuel motor)
GAR-9 (later configuration, Lockheed liquid fuel motor)
GAR-9 (early test configuration, different wings, seen in an image below the B-58 testbed)
GAR-9 (dual-mode IR/SARH version, larger diameter body)
GAR-9 (IR only version, conceptualized early on)
GAR-9/AIM-47 (definitive version tested from YF-12A)
AIM-47B (proposed folding-fin version for F-12B)
AGM-76 (ARM variant)

The one I'm really interested in is the variant seen below the B-58.  The wings are clearly different than those found on later AIM-47s.  How many wing configurations were actually trialled?

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2007, 02:39:47 am »
Has the Falcon ever achieved any kills?   In all the games/flightsims I've seen, the Falcon appears to take an inordinate amount of time to warm up and to acquire a target.  Of course, they might not be accurate but I've read similar comments in various books over the years.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2007, 08:14:14 am »
Does anyone know how many design iterations there were of the GAR-9?  I've got the following so far (not entirely in order):

GAR-X (original concept, chosen for XF-108, folding fins)
GAR-9 (original configuration, solid fuel motor)
GAR-9 (later configuration, Lockheed liquid fuel motor)
GAR-9 (early test configuration, different wings, seen in an image below the B-58 testbed)
GAR-9 (dual-mode IR/SARH version, larger diameter body)
GAR-9 (IR only version, conceptualized early on)
GAR-9/AIM-47 (definitive version tested from YF-12A)
AIM-47B (proposed folding-fin version for F-12B)
AGM-76 (ARM variant)

The one I'm really interested in is the variant seen below the B-58.  The wings are clearly different than those found on later AIM-47s.  How many wing configurations were actually trialled?

You might see what Orionblamblam knows.  He supplied some of the AIM-47 info in Landis's Valkyrie book.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2007, 08:14:47 am »
Has the Falcon ever achieved any kills?   In all the games/flightsims I've seen, the Falcon appears to take an inordinate amount of time to warm up and to acquire a target.  Of course, they might not be accurate but I've read similar comments in various books over the years.

Which Falcon? 
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Offline Rosdivan

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2007, 11:14:10 am »
Has the Falcon ever achieved any kills?   In all the games/flightsims I've seen, the Falcon appears to take an inordinate amount of time to warm up and to acquire a target.  Of course, they might not be accurate but I've read similar comments in various books over the years.

AIM-4D managed five kills during Vietnam. I'm not entirely sure , given how messed up the missile design was, but it did (curious as to the rationale for the complete lack of a proximity fuze).

Offline SOC

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2007, 10:41:13 pm »
The lack of a proximity fuze was a result of the small size of both the airframe and the warhead.  The idea was that a five pound warhead might not do much damage if it blew up next to a Tu-16 or Tu-95, but it'd certainly be effective if it blew up INSIDE one of them.  The AIM-4D that was used in Vietnam was a remarkably stupid idea.  The AIM-4, to that point, was not designed or configured for anti-fighter combat.  While the AIM-4H program did a lot to rectify some of the deficiencies the weapon had in that regard, such as adding a proximity fuze, it was cancelled.  The end result was that the USAF wanted the AIM-4 instead of the USN's AIM-9, and they ended up finding out that a weapon system designed specifically for use against heavy bombers just wasn't such a great idea over the skies of Vietnam.  If you believe Robin Olds and some of the others who tried to use it, the AIM-4 was a piece of crap, but that just wasn't a fair assessment as the weapon was being employed outside of its design role.  That'd be like calling the AGM-88 a piece of crap because you didn't manage to hit any tanks with it.

Offline Jschmus

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 05:32:08 pm »
This story may be apocryphal, but I have seen it recounted in a couple of different places.  In this instance, the quote was pulled from the Wikipedia article about the F-102 Delta Dagger.

"Interestingly enough, the F-102 became fairly heavily used in the air-to-ground role. The interceptor was equipped with 24 x 2.75-in FFARs in the fuselage bay doors, and these weapons were used to good effect against various types of North Vietnamese targets. Additionally, heat-seeking Falcon missiles used in conjunction with the F-102s nose-mounted IRST (Infrared Search & Track) were employed on night time harassment raids along the Ho Chi Minh trail. This is likely the only time an air-to-air missile has been used for air-to-ground operations.

Operations with both the F-102A and TF-102A two-seater (which was used in a Forward Air Control role because its two seats and 2.75-in. rockets offered good versatility for the mission) in Vietnam until 1968 when all aircraft were sent back to the United States."


Offline sferrin

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Re: Hughes Falcon
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 07:18:43 pm »
This story may be apocryphal, but I have seen it recounted in a couple of different places.  In this instance, the quote was pulled from the Wikipedia article about the F-102 Delta Dagger.

"Interestingly enough, the F-102 became fairly heavily used in the air-to-ground role. The interceptor was equipped with 24 x 2.75-in FFARs in the fuselage bay doors, and these weapons were used to good effect against various types of North Vietnamese targets. Additionally, heat-seeking Falcon missiles used in conjunction with the F-102s nose-mounted IRST (Infrared Search & Track) were employed on night time harassment raids along the Ho Chi Minh trail. This is likely the only time an air-to-air missile has been used for air-to-ground operations.

Operations with both the F-102A and TF-102A two-seater (which was used in a Forward Air Control role because its two seats and 2.75-in. rockets offered good versatility for the mission) in Vietnam until 1968 when all aircraft were sent back to the United States."

I've read that in a book before years ago.  Don't recall which.  Thought it might have been a Squadron Signals publication but my F-102 book doesn't mention it.


« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 06:25:03 am by sferrin »
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