Agusta A-106 light shipboard anti-submarine helicopter prototype......

Caravellarella

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Dear Boys and Girls, here is an article in French about the Agusta A-106 light shipboard anti-submarine helicopter which isn't a "project"......

The article comes from the 1st November 1967 issue of Aviation Magazine International......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Caravellarella

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Dear Boys and Girls, here is another picture with a caption in French showing the Agusta A-106 prototype as exhibited at the 1967 Paris Salon......

The picture comes from the 15th June 1967 issue of Aviation Magazine International......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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Hi girls and boys,
digging in a part of my archives that some years ago were damaged by floods, I found a photograph of the Agusta A.106 light shipborne ASW helicopter in flight and a three-view drawing of it.
This copter was designed as answer to a Marina Militare requirement asking for something like a manned edition of the Gyrodyne QH-50.
Two prototypes and five production aircraft were ordered but eventually only the two prototypes were built. Italian Navy evaluated exhaustively the two machines, nicknamed Schizzetto (Sprayer) but finally the program was discarded
Nico
 

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Grey Havoc

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Nico said:
Two prototypes and five production aircraft were ordered but eventually only the two prototypes were built. Italian Navy evaluated exhaustively the two machines, nicknamed Schizzetto (Sprayer) but finally the program was discarded
Nico

That's weird. I could have sworn reading that two South American countries, Columbia and and, I think, Peru, had also bought a number of A-106s.
 

Pioneer

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I'm curious as in how this design would have compared to the likes of the Westland Wasp? Or was it in essence another Wasp by Agusta?
I'd be very interested to know what onboard sensor, if any, it would have carried.

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Pioneer
 

TomS

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Very similar, I think, except even smaller, with no passenger capacity.

I find sources online claiming that it had an "acoustic" submarine detection system, but the cockpit clearly does not have controls enough to use such a system. I found one drawing that might suggest some sort of sonobuoy or similar dispenser, possibly with the aircraft simply dropping the buoy with analysis sone aboard the mother ship. But I can't find any other evidence that this was a real thing. Jane's Fighting Ships from the era describes it as a "weapon delivery helicopter" (and lists it under the Impavado class description long after it was cancelled, hence the alternative nickname for JFS as "Jane's Frightening Slips.")
 

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Hood

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They might be smoke floats/ marine marker dispensers.
I always thought of the A-106 being more or less a Fairey Ultralight analogue, i.e. the ship tells the pilot where to drop the torpedo based on the ship's sonar contact.
 

riggerrob

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They might be smoke floats/ marine marker dispensers.
I always thought of the A-106 being more or less a Fairey Ultralight analogue, i.e. the ship tells the pilot where to drop the torpedo based on the ship's sonar contact.
Early in the game, you needed a helicopter the size of a Sikosky S-61 Sea King (21,000 pound max. take-off weight) to carry both sensors and crew and torpedoes. Even with all that extra capacity, Canadian CH-124A Sea Kings often dropped disposable sono-bouys because they burned less fuel than when hovering to lower the dipping sonar.

At best, a small helicopter like A.106 could drop a few sono-bouys which would transmit signals back to the ship for processing. Then ship's officers would tell the A.106 where to drop torpedoes.

Similar-looking light helicopters - based upon Bell 206 Jet Ranger - were test-flown in Iran, Chile (Cardoen Cb 206 light attack helicopter) and the USA. None of the Jet-Ranger conversions entered production.
 

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