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Advanced A-4 SkyHawks: USN VA (L) and for the U.S. Army CAS competition

carolm

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Another difficult assignment.....does anyone have any pics of the A-4 SkyHawk that was modified for the U.S. Army CAS aircraft competition? It had I believe, double wheels to land on soft grassy fields.

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??
 

Antonio

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Hi Carol,

I've got that Army A-4 pic, just let me come back home and I'll post it ;)

Cheers

Antonio
 

Skybolt

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As for the TF-30 engined version, it was designated A4D-6. Must look in the AW&ST collection to see if some drawing has been published.
 

TinWing

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Skybolt said:
As for the TF-30 engined version, it was designated A4D-6. Must look in the AW&ST collection to see if some drawing has been published.
I do have to wonder why a project that came so close to production would be so obscure?

I also have to wonder if the A4D-6 bore any relation to the 1958 vintage A4D-4, which had a longer fuselage and a larger area, swept wing with folding?

Here is the link to the early, but equaly unbuilt, A4D-4's specifications and characteristics:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/SAC/A4D-4_SkyhawkSAC-581114.pdf
 

Skybolt

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The sources says that airframe was "larger", and this undoubtable considering the diameter of the TF-30. Someone also says that the A4D-6 was bound to enter production without competition and was Vought who threw up the table and almost "forced" a formal competition that became the VA(L). Douglas submitted the A4D-6 and lost.. All in all was something embarassing for a lot of people.... ::)
 

elmayerle

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From the pictures that appeared in WAPJ some years back, the Army version had twin main wheels with a fairing in front of the protruding tire on each side. It would be interesting to model this one alongside the competing VZ-12 (pre-Kestrel P.1127).
 

Antonio

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Thank you very much for the A4D-4 Tinwing :D

And here is the "Army Skyhawk" pic from US Army Aircraft Since 1947. Stephen Harding. Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-102-8.

according to the text the machines tested in the "fly-off" were:

Fiat G-91
Northrop N-156
A4D Skyhawk

The VZ-12 is not mentioned, what's your source Evan?.

From the pictures that appeared in WAPJ some years back
Evan, could you please tell me which number is that WAPJ issue?

Thanks
 

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Skybolt

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I can confirm the G-91. Somewhere I have a picture with the "Gina" with US insignia.
 

Antonio

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Test aircraft was a German Built G.91R-3 and US Army found it very capable to fulfill the role. The story and a couple of pics with full US Army markings can be found in the indispensable "US Army Aircraft since 1947".
 

thewanderingmind

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Anyone else out there who thinks the 1947 Key West Agreement needs to be abrogated? If the Army had its own integral CAS - besides the highly-capable helicopters - able to maintain commitment and familiarity with the ground units to the same level as Marine Corps CAS, American efforts might be more effective in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to denigrate the Air Force's CAS, which has been excellent, but commitment is the big key. When your "roomie" is in trouble, you tend to bend the envelope a little more trying to get that unit some help. To have something capable of carrying a pair of thousand-pound bombs on instant call would be a bit more comforting to unit commanders.
 

elmayerle

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pometablava said:
Thank you very much for the A4D-4 Tinwing :D

And here is the "Army Skyhawk" pic from US Army Aircraft Since 1947. Stephen Harding. Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-102-8.

according to the text the machines tested in the "fly-off" were:

Fiat G-91
Northrop N-156
A4D Skyhawk

The VZ-12 is not mentioned, what's your source Evan?.
From the pictures that appeared in WAPJ some years back
Evan, could you please tell me which number is that WAPJ issue?

Thanks
Well, the World Air Power Journal article on the Harrier is where I saw it (don't remember the number offhand), but such particpation does explain a few things - like US Army participation in the Kestrel TriPartite Evaluation Squadron and where Northrop developed an interest in the P.1127 and derivatives (as part of the agreement for the USMC to buy the Harrier, Northrop had to transfer their US license for the P.1127 and derivatives to McDD). The WAPJ article even included the serial numbers assigned. Mind you, I suspect this entry was primarily a paper one, but it was a serious one as far as can be told. I believe TSRJoe has pictures of a manufacturer's display model on the pre-Kestrel P.1127 in US Army markings.
 

Archibald

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In Summer 2000, le fana de l'aviation had a cool article on the AH-56 Cheyenne. Talking about the events which led to the AFFS program, they mention the testing of F-5, G.91 and Skyhawks by the Army.
 

Skybolt

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If I remember well, all the AX program(s) were started by the Air Force to fend off the threat of the Army going alone once more.
 

Skybolt

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Browsed the AW&ST collection around the announcement of the winner of VA(L). No drawing of the losers :'(, but some interesting snippets of information on other topics :D .. I'll post elesewhere.
 

Archibald

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A bit of topic I know...

The Army wanted the Cheyenne. Alas, for USAF, small wings of the AH-56 meant this was an aircraft... no way, USAF will assume CAS alone.

The Cheyenne was selected over the Sikorsky S-66. Sikorsky nevertheless kept on its studies, and built a prototype of what become the AH-3 on private funds.

The Cheyenne program proved troublesome, so an interim machine was bought, the AH-1 Cobra.

USAF was still decided to assume CAS alone, so a fixed wing CAS aicraft program was launched, the A-X. with two competitors! YA-9 and YA-10

When the AH-56 program ended in disaster, a review of existing helicopters was made. Neither the AH-56, AH-3 nor AH-1 fulfilled US Army requirements.

so another program was launched, again with two competitors (AH-63 and AH-64).

The Apache won in 1975.

how machines, helicopters, prototypes and aircrafts (what a mess! ) in the end ? :eek:

AH-56 (the one the Army wanted... at the beginning)
AH-1 (the interim machine...still in service. 40 years later ;D)
S-67 (AkA Black Hawk, Aka AH-3) (derivative of a former AH-56 competitor, private venture)
A-10 (fixed wing, USAF CAS)
YA-9 (fixed wing, USAF CAS. Loser)
AH-64 (AH-56 replacement).
YAH-63 (AH-56 replacement. Loser)

7 machines
! ;D

Good thing is, with such number of machines, all aircraft / helicopter / compound combinations has been explored.
 

Skybolt

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But think of how many marvellous designs and projects for us to admire !!! . Dessinées, dessinées, quelque chose restera toujours !
 

frank

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There were 2 other competitors to the 2nd Helo requirement, tho paper only. One from Lockheed, & the other from Boeing. I think Boeing's did go to mock up. The S-67/AH-3 was not a derivitive of the S-66, in actuality it was a derivitive of the CH-3/SH-3 series.

Archibald said:
A bit of topic I know...

The Army wanted the Cheyenne. Alas, for USAF, small wings of the AH-56 meant this was an aircraft... no way, USAF will assume CAS alone.

The Cheyenne was selected over the Sikorsky S-66. Sikorsky nevertheless kept on its studies, and built a prototype of what become the AH-3 on private funds.

The Cheyenne program proved troublesome, so an interim machine was bought, the AH-1 Cobra.

USAF was still decided to assume CAS alone, so a fixed wing CAS aicraft program was launched, the A-X. with two competitors! YA-9 and YA-10

When the AH-56 program ended in disaster, a review of existing helicopters was made. Neither the AH-56, AH-3 nor AH-1 fulfilled US Army requirements.

so another program was launched, again with two competitors (AH-63 and AH-64).

The Apache won in 1975.

how machines, helicopters, prototypes and aircrafts (what a mess! ) in the end ? :eek:

AH-56 (the one the Army wanted... at the beginning)
AH-1 (the interim machine...still in service. 40 years later ;D)
S-67 (AkA Black Hawk, Aka AH-3) (derivative of a former AH-56 competitor, private venture)
A-10 (fixed wing, USAF CAS)
YA-9 (fixed wing, USAF CAS. Loser)
AH-64 (AH-56 replacement).
YAH-63 (AH-56 replacement. Loser)

7 machines
! ;D

Good thing is, with such number of machines, all aircraft / helicopter / compound combinations has been explored.
 

frank

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I've often wondered if the Army would've come up with a camo scheme for their 'fast movers', had they come about, or would we have just seen them in over all OD & typical period USA markings. I have an A-10 in my stash with some low vis Army helo markings to paint as such from when the discussion a few years back was transferring the A-10s to the Army. Maybe I need to do a G.91, A-4 & F-5 in OD & high vis USA markings. I wonder what the Gina would've been designated. I just can't see the F-5, tho, just too fast. I've often wondered why the USAF didn't 'confiscate' the highly capable OV-1 Mohawk in the '60s. A couple of years ago, I painted one up in USAF SEA camo, 'just in case'.


pometablava said:
Thank you very much for the A4D-4 Tinwing :D

And here is the "Army Skyhawk" pic from US Army Aircraft Since 1947. Stephen Harding. Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-102-8.

according to the text the machines tested in the "fly-off" were:

Fiat G-91
Northrop N-156
A4D Skyhawk

The VZ-12 is not mentioned, what's your source Evan?.

From the pictures that appeared in WAPJ some years back
Evan, could you please tell me which number is that WAPJ issue?

Thanks
 

Antonio

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Thanks a lot for your very interesting post, I didn't knew that Northrop was originally commited to be the manufacturer for the P 1127 in the USA.
As I read in "US Army Aircraft", the P1127 was not included into the US Army CAS competition. Nevertheless, interest in the P1127 was contemporary to the CAS competition. US Army intense interest in the type can be seen in the presence of US Army pilots in the Tripartite Kestrel Squadron. US DoD financially supported the development of the Pegasus engine.

Thanks to your post I recalled that A-4 variants are covered in Wings of Fame Volume Five. Under the tittle "Skyhawks that never were" the following descriptions can be found:

A4D-3: J52 engined version not very different to the A4D-2
A4D-4: already shown here thanks to Tinwing. The drawing on Wings of Fame shows it firing a missile that is unknown for me.
A4D-6: the TF30 VAL contender
CA-4F: 2-seat attack variant based on the A-4F with 7 hardpoints. It has a "hump" that would have been a conformal fuel tank. Can anybody explain what is the meaning of that "C" prefix?
 

elmayerle

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I'm told that one reason Northrop went after the license for the P.1127 is that Sir Sidney Camm's design philosophy was a very good match for that of Northrop's chief engineer at the time. I've always wanted to go through the Northrop design office files, I believe the Western Museum of Flight had/has them, and see what they did with that license in the way of developments.
 

Archibald

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Skybolt said:
But think of how many marvellous designs and projects for us to admire !!! . Dessinées, dessinées, quelque chose restera toujours !
Tout a fait monsieur! ;D

I agree with your statement, to the point that I asked Anigrand if they plan an AH-56 cheyenne in the next future. They already made the S-67 and YAH-63... Just imagine a line of attack helicopter (AH-1, AH-3, AH-56, AH-63 and AH-64... plus the doomed comanche of course ;D )
I'm just fascinated by the number and variety of attack helicopters build in less than 10 years (1966 - 1976). Awesome...
Back to the topic main subject.
 

Antonio

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Evan,

I found the US Army Skyhawks pics at Wings of Fame Volume 4.

Two pics:

a) In flight from underside showing revised fairings for the new dual wheel undercarriage and the drag chute borrowed from an A3D.

b) Landed showing undercarriage

On both pics the aircraft spot Navy tittles. Bureau Numbers for aircraft modified: 148490 and 148483
 

Archibald

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Just wanted to add that anigrand answered "Yes, this winter". :eek: Yeeepeeee!!!
 

SteveO

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Any idea what the trailing edge pods just outboard of the wing folds are on that A4D-4?

Could they be Kuchmann carrots(?) like those seen on the Convair CV990 and Handley Page Victor?
 

overscan

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I can't think what equipment would be housed in them, and they wouldn't add a lot of fuel space, so maybe they are for aerodynamic purposes?
 

Pioneer

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thewanderingmind said:
Anyone else out there who thinks the 1947 Key West Agreement needs to be abrogated?
Yes count me in!

In fact the four services should be forced and demonstrated how they are structured to support and complement one another!!

As a note regarding the Army`s modified A4D-2N - surly there must be further pictures / photos of it during trials???? ???
I would love to see a picture (or even better film footage!!) of it loaded out and using rough fields for take off and landing (very interested to see those dual main landing gear in action!)

Also I am very curious as to how much weight the Army Skyhawk gained in Army modifications, and its effect of performance and weapons loads.

Do you think it would be worth while putting out a thread requesting an APB on photos and footage of these U.S Army G91/3, A4D-2N and the Northrop N-156 ???
(Modificatons of the Army Skyhawk included large dual wheels on beefed-up main landing gear mounts; a heavier wing to house the larger landing gear; and installation of an A-3 Skywarrior drag chute. Flown by Douglas test pilot Dru Wood, the modified "Army" Skyhawk won the competition, but the project was cancelled when Army funds were diverted to helicopter procurement.)
(Source SkyHawk organization web page www.skyhawk.org/2C/productionhistory.htm)


Regards
Pioneer
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

Interesting find:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Douglas-A-4-Skyhawk-Army-Proposal-Model-not-Topping-/200572176123?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb30886fb

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Grey Havoc

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Archibald said:
When the AH-56 program ended in disaster...
Was disastrously ended thanks to the dear old USAF, might be more accurate.
 

Artie Bob

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Just a little note. When I was going through Pensacola in 1959-60 (TT-1s and T2J-1s), the word was that the Navy was currently doing conversion training for 200 US Army pilots to fly A-4s. At that time, the initial batch of A-4s was to be refurbished early A-4s from the bone yard. No documentation, just scuttlebutt. Can anybody confirm if that conversion training actually took place?

Best Regards,

Artie Bob
 

GreenKnight121

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Apparently you mean A4D-1s (A-4A)... as all the A4D-2 (A-4B) and A4D-2N (A-4C) were still in service.
 

Pioneer

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Artie Bob said:
Just a little note. When I was going through Pensacola in 1959-60 (TT-1s and T2J-1s), the word was that the Navy was currently doing conversion training for 200 US Army pilots to fly A-4s. At that time, the initial batch of A-4s was to be refurbished early A-4s from the bone yard. No documentation, just scuttlebutt. Can anybody confirm if that conversion training actually took place?

Best Regards,

Artie Bob
Sorry Artie Bob, I must have missed this.
Very interesting!!

Thanks

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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Regards to the U.S Army's testing & fly-off of the G.91, F-5A and the A-4, does anyone know if this series of tests had an official name/designation?????

Regards
Pioneer
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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Were there ever any supersonic A-4 developments? I wonder how many changes to the airframe would've been required to make the aircraft capable of passing mach in level flight. I know there were/are advanced A-4 variants with decent multi-mode radars (Singapore's?), and the idea of a M1.5 capable A-4 with AMRAAM capability would be an attractive and cheap solution, not to mention very robust and maneuverable with the added sustained agility that a more powerful afterburning engine would provide. Singapore's A-4Ss do have non-afterburning F404-GE-100Ds......

Interesting post I found on this site: http://forum.keypublishing.com/archive/index.php?t-72478.html

A few posts down about passing Mach in an A-4......

Kurt... After about 5000 hours in the Scooter I am not aware of a "never exceed" airspeed. The Tanks had a limiting speed of something in excess of 550 kts. We carried a centerline tank in Viet Nam and I usually got about 550 to 600 kts on pull outs over in Indian country. My patented way to stay alive in Laos, or Cambodia was never below 550 kts below 10,000 ft. Seems to have worked...

As an aside, I got supersonic a couple of times with no tanks aboard. We were so small we didn't have a sonic boom.. we "pinged". Nothing came off the A/C. Remember we were a low level Nuke delivery pilots. Deliver the weapon and bug out as fast as possible to avoid the effects.. Couldn't get away from the flash, but could ameliorate the heat and a little of the blast by getting as far away as possible at time of detonation.

Not much help but we didn't worry about a max airspeed. I'm sure there was one but we couldn't get to it...

Ed
Muy interestante.....
 

fightingirish

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Hi folks,
you might find some new information at this link:
http://sobchak.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/i-jet-dellu-s-army-1956-1961-e-la-battaglia-army-usaf-sul-close-air-support/
 

Pioneer

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GTX

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Italian I believe. I had no problem using Google Translator.
 
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