Blitzfighter / Bushwacker / ATLAS lightweight attack studies

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

An interesting find for me in the Vought Archives was the Blitzfighter along with some other small/micro fighter and attack aircraft designs. I'll start off first with a couple of reports and a few drawings out of them and later will pull in some Atlas designs that I found over the past two visits.

Would anyone know if the Air Force was actively looking at these low cost small designs or was it a case of trying to scare up some business? Time frame for this effort is 1977 thru 1980 from what I can tell.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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  • Vought Blitzfighter Progress Report.pdf
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TinWing

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There's a reference on page 112 of the following .pdf:

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA496358

Col James Burton, one of the Fighter Mafia reformers, even proposed the Air Force develop a new airplane, which he named the Blitzfighter. He writes: I prepared an advocacy briefing that called for the development of a small, simple, lethal, and relatively cheap airplane that would be designed solely for close support of the ground troops… I wanted an airplane in the 5,000- to 10,000-pound class (one-tenth the weight of the Enhanced Tactical Fighter), one smaller than any combat airplane in the inventory (one-fourth the size of the A-10), and one that cost less than $2 million. At this price, we could flood the battlefield with swarms of airplanes. The airplane would be designed around a four-barrel version of the same cannon that was in production on the A-10, which used a seven-barrel cannon that fired shells costing only $13 apiece… The Blitzfighter would have no high-tech bells and whistles and no wonder weapons… With the ability to operate from grass fields, the Blitzfighter did not demand fixed, expensive airfields that probably would cease to exist ten minutes after a war started… (Burton 1993:57-58)
This concept is a clear sign of the FIST values at work. Burton’s envisioned Blitzfighter was never built, apparently because Burton’s superiors did not share his values—which is one of the pitfalls inherent in attempting to use the FIST values.
 

robunos

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That's it!!!

That's what I've been looking for, for ages!
Only I got my wires crossed and thought it was called the 'mudfighter'.


cheers,
Robin.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks Tin Wing - that's got to be it. I think I'll change the thread title so that other Blitzfighter proposals have a thread to fit into.

You are welcome Robunos - what interested you in this?

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Skybolt

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An aside, but not so much. In the Dan Raymer autobiography there is extensive coverage of a Rockwell project of his regarding a very low cost CAS airplane in late 70s. Probably it was the same general requirement.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Skybolt, is the book worth acquiring?

Thanks! Mark
 

AeroFranz

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Short answer -yes. I think we have a thread on the subject, you can check that out for more info ;)
 

Skybolt

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Ahem, four thumbs... even if I'd be curious to known in which hell of restaurant in Milan Dan ate that refused him a second turn on spaghetti....
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks guys - looks like I'll be placing an order soon....

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Thanks Mark. Here's the LTV Atlas designs from the PDF. Second design is remarkably like the Boeing Quiet Bird.
 

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Bill S

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Ran across some ATLAS A100 and A200 stuff that I don't see as having been previously posted.

ALL FROM THE VOUGHT ARCHIVES
 

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Bill S

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More from THE VOUGHT ARCHIVES
 

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cluttonfred

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Wonderful stuff, especially the fact that the aircraft was designed to be easily transported and the remarkable size comparison with the A-10. Unfortunately, in the American context, the general USAF disinterest in 1) relatively simple, inexpensive aircraft and 2) close air support means we are never likely to see such an aircraft, except maybe as a very capable UCAV.

I wonder if the Marines would ever be interested in a small, super-STOL aircraft, not STOVL, like this? With more wing area and perhaps control surfaces blown with cold bleed air for low speed control, such a little plane might make a much, much cheaper and simpler alternative or complement to the F-35B. The new America-class LHA is over 800 feet long--that ought to manageable with a design optimized for low-speed handling and control.
 

cluttonfred

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Resurrecting an earlier thread...

One of the Vought references that Mark provided in his initial post includes this note:

The Blitzfighter concept was proposed by the OSD Programs and Evaluation (PA&E) Group. Vought and other contractors were asked to determine if the notional performance goals could be met at a unit cost below $2 million. The Vought Advanced Concepts group performed a conceptual design study in May-June 1978 to define a representative Blitzfighter.

Does anyone have...

1) More details or a copy of the original OSD proposal?
2) A list of the contractors involved?
3) Details and/or images of the other conceptual designs proposed?

Cheers,

Matthew

Mark Nankivil said:
Greetings All -

An interesting find for me in the Vought Archives was the Blitzfighter along with some other small/micro fighter and attack aircraft designs. I'll start off first with a couple of reports and a few drawings out of them and later will pull in some Atlas designs that I found over the past two visits.

Would anyone know if the Air Force was actively looking at these low cost small designs or was it a case of trying to scare up some business? Time frame for this effort is 1977 thru 1980 from what I can tell.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

royabulgaf

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My first though was, why not fire up the engine and drive it to the battlefield? It's not going to carry much weaponage, and it presumed opponents will have access to .50 cal mgs, or hell, just take pot shots at it for shits and giggles.
 

cluttonfred

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An alternative might be to pull the bits of the other thread the include other Vough ATLAS variations and perhaps rename this thread "Vought ATLAS 'Blitzfighter'" or something like that. Right now we have Vought ATLAS sketches in two different threads and the sequence of the designs is not at all clear.
 

Bill S

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Picking up where Mark left off, more from the Vought Archives
 

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Bill S

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I was getting ready to post some familiar looking VMX V-600 drawings when I found them here:


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12241.msg119636/topicseen.html#msg119636


So I will refer you to that posting rather than duplicate it!


:)


bill
 

Bill S

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Recently uncovered Atlas A-100 Artwork
credit Vought Heritage




bill
 

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Bill S

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I just realized that ATLAS is not explained in any of these threads.
ATLAS= Advanced Technology Light Attack System
This is from the 1979-80 time frame


Attached from the Vought Heritage Archives


Atlas A200 compared to the F-15
Atlas A200 compared to the A-18
and a piece of Atlas A200 line art for your enjoyment.


A couple of these are similar to those already provided in Mark's pdf file several posts back.


bill
 

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kcran567

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This is great. I really like both versions, the 4 barreled 30mm A-10 Lite, and the blended FBW stealthy version. Would be great for CAS, anti-helicopter, maybe air to air? The Marines would love it, and to be able to call in a flight of these when needed. Thanks for sharing.
 

LowObservable

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Remarkable. Most work of that kind was hastily tossed into the memory hole 1982-onwards, as the authorities tried (with some success) to retrospectively classify (or upgrade in classification) anything that pointed to the ideas behind stealth.
 

JSteel

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To me, the Atlas A-200 artwork (especially the last line art drawing) looks quite a bit like the Italeri/Testors "MiG-37 Ferret-E" Russian stealth concept model kits. I wonder if that's where they got their inspiration?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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VB-200 Blitzfighter model is now at UT Dallas along with a bunch of reports (probably the source of above images) in the Vought Aircraft Company Collection.


VB200 Blitzfighter plan. 1981 Original VAHF identification number: 226-61.
Blitzfighter development engineering brief, article, report, and drawings. 1979 Original VAHF identification number: 226-63.
Blitzfighter reports. 1978-1979 Original VAHF identification number: 226-64.
Blitzfighter gun simulation wind tunnel test record. 1978 Original VAHF identification number: 226-67.
Blitzfighter engines. 1978-1981 Original VAHF identification number: 226-72.
Blitzfighter investigation of gun gas ingestion. 1979 Original VAHF identification number: 226-73.
Blitzfighter VB-130 and VB-140. 1979 September 7 Original VAHF identification number: 226-168.
 

Bill S

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In going back through my files with a possible interest in creating an ATLAS model, I found a couple of interesting bits.
For ATLAS the presentations shows two design approaches:
ATLAS A100 *Minimum Size * Air Transportable *RDF Compatible (Rapid Deployment Force) * STOL Capability
ATLAS A200 *Stealth *High Subsonic *Stores Versatility * Enhanced STOL
And I found a General Arrangement for ATLAS A300 which is not mentioned. It appears to be aimed at higher speed and stealth.
 

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jsport

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Could it be the best RDF tank is a
Air Transportable, Stealth. High Subsonic, Stores Versatility, Enhanced STOL fighter bomber?
 

Orionblamblam

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Greetings All -

An interesting find for me in the Vought Archives was the Blitzfighter along with some other small/micro fighter and attack aircraft designs. I'll start off first with a couple of reports and a few drawings out of them and later will pull in some Atlas designs that I found over the past two visits.

Would anyone know if the Air Force was actively looking at these low cost small designs or was it a case of trying to scare up some business? Time frame for this effort is 1977 thru 1980 from what I can tell.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
The Lazerpig rants about the A-10 mention the Blitzfighter, and specifically show the isometric view of the VB-200 from the first post in the thread. It *seems* that the Blitzfighter program may have been less sensible and honorable than might have been otherwise surmised, having been *apparently* dreamed up by some charlatans.

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/lazerpig-rant-on-militar-hardware.38579/
 
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