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F/A-16. A CAS aircraft with some get up and go.

Jeb

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Triton said:
Jeb said:
Triton said:

I saw this graphic before and I think whoever created it has *ahem* misrepresented the debate. The F-15C was never tasked as multirole. It's always been pure air superiority. The F-15E is entirely multirole and not only that, it can fly all of those A-10 missions and more.
I added the cartoon for discussion purposes. I understand from the Defense News article that the cartoon has been circulating throughout the defense community.

Yep, it has, and it's leading a lot of uninformed heads to nod and agree with oh, how terrible the USAF is being.
 

Avimimus

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
This is essentially the system they tested in the F-15 back in the 80's in the video I posted on the previous page. There was a guy on F-16.net who happened to be an engineer involved. According to him, even though the results were excellent the pilots were skeptical of giving up control of the aircraft at a crucial moment.

AFTI Phase 1 included something similar (same program?) tested on the F-15 and later the AFTI/CCV F-16:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a166724.pdf
"Even with its limited application of control configured vehicle technology, the AFTI/F-15 was highly successful in adding to the advanced fighter technology base. By changing the control laws in its control augmentation system, adding an ATLIS-II electro-optical target tracker pod (78:169), and adding a special interface unit to tie the flight and fire control systems together, the AFTI/F-15 achieved a slight control surface decoupling (96:26; 78:169).

The AFTI/F-15 automatically fine-tuned the fire control cues and decoupled flight control surfaces (i.e., made them work independently), then limited maneuvers to plus or minus 1 G during the final seconds of weapons delivery or gun firing (96:26). This arrangement allowed air-to-air gunnery, strafing, and bombing from unusual flight profiles (78:170). In August 1982 the AFTI/F-15 completely destroyed with a two second burst a maneuvering PGM-102 drone in a most difficult gun firing condition (78:169-170; 96:26). (The PQM-102 was flying at 420 Knots, in a 4 G right turn into its attacker, while the AFTI/F-15 was in a 3.3 G right turn at 400 Knots, for a 130 degree aspect attack at 1.7 Kilometers (78:169).)

The new integrated fire and flight control system also allowed a spiral strafing run, rather than the usual straight pass at the target. This promised to give greater survivability against linear-predictor anti-aircraft artillery (78:170). And in late 1982 the AFTI/F-15 accurately dropped bombs while performing 3.5 G maneuvers from ran5es of 1200 to 5200 meters; it had the same accuracy as a normal F-15 in wings-level approaches (78:170)."
That is actually very impressive.
 

sferrin

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pathology_doc said:
sferrin said:
According to him, even though the results were excellent the pilots were skeptical of giving up control of the aircraft at a crucial moment.

How does this compare to or differ from the auto-attack systems on aircraft like the F-106, which were in their final form supposed to do almost everything short of managing take off and landing? (Sort of eerie, that - I can imagine F-106's flying around, their pilots already dying of radiation poisoning, what's left of the SAGE system faithfully flying them to an intercept and pulling the trigger for them... :eek: )
Different times.
 

jsport

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"The new integrated fire and flight control system also allowed a spiral strafing run, rather than the usual straight pass at the target."
as they say in some valley in Cali..OMG

thank you for sharing quellish. :eek:
 

jsport

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
This is essentially the system they tested in the F-15 back in the 80's in the video I posted on the previous page. There was a guy on F-16.net who happened to be an engineer involved. According to him, even though the results were excellent the pilots were skeptical of giving up control of the aircraft at a crucial moment.

AFTI Phase 1 included something similar (same program?) tested on the F-15 and later the AFTI/CCV F-16:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a166724.pdf
"Even with its limited application of control configured
vehicle technology, the AFTI/F-15 was highly successful in adding to the advanced fighter technology base. By changing the control
laws in its control augmentation system, adding an ATLIS-II electro-optical target tracker pod (78:169), and adding a spec-ial
interface unit to tie the flight and fire control systems together, the AFTI/F-15 achieved a slight control surface
decoupling (96:26; 78:169).
the AFTI/F-15 automatically fine-tuned the fire control cues and deooupled flight control surfaces
(i.e., made them work independently), then limited maneuvers to
plus or minus 1 G during the final seconds of weapons delivery or
gun firing (96:26). This arrangement allowed air-to-air gunnery,
strafing, and bombing from unusual flight profiles (78:170). In August 1982 the AFTI/F-15 completely destroyed with a two second
burst a maneuvering PGM-102 drone in a most difficult gun firing condition (78:169-170; 96:26). (The PQM-102 was flying at 420 Knots, in a 4 G right turn into its attacker, while the AFTI/F-15 was in a 3.3 G right turn at 400 Knots, for a 130 degree aspect attack at 1.7 Kilometers (78:169).) The new integrated fire and flight control system also allowed a spiral strafing run, rather
than the usual straight pass at the target. This promised to give greater survivability against linear-predictor anti-aircraft
artillery (78:170). And in late 1982 the AFTI/F-15 accurately dropped bombs while performing 3.5 G maneuvers from ran5es of 1200
[/size]to 5200 meters; it had the same accuracy as a normal F-15 in wings-level approaches (78:170)."
also
"With CCV technology the center of gravity of the airframe could be varied in flight to cause the nose to pitch up or down without changing flight path (153:302). The addition of direct side force and direct lift, all under control of the fly-by-wire computers, allowed the fighter to make unbanked turns, move straight up, down, or sideways, or slew through the air with its nose pointing in any direction without changing
flight path (153:302). All of these nonclassical flying modes made possible more lethal attacks (by Keeping the gunsight on the
target longer) and more survivable, unpredictable flight in combat
(153:302). "

"The AFTI/F-16 also employed a number of innovative man-machine interface technologies to ease pilot worKload in its wildlymaneuverable weapons delivery and gun firing environment. It first used two (25:22) and late', three, multipurpose cockpit displays (149:688) for finger-tip selection and display of flight and weapon information of the pilot's own choosing. The AFTI/F-16 had voice controlled weapons designation, arming, and firing
(2:88; 122:4; 25:23; 3:107; 41:40; 135:99-100; 149:688; 91:22-23).
This feature significantly reduced the pilot's difficulty in putting ordnance on target while operating in a high G, high
threat environment. And with its helmet mounted sight (149:689; 122:4; 2:88; 41:40) integrated into the fire and flight control system, the AFTI/F-16 gave its pilot an "evil eye" as lethal as his voice."
 

sferrin

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There seems to be some confusion here. The gun system that shot down the F-102 was in an F-15, as shown in the video. Did they put the same system (or variant of it) in the AFTI F-16 as well?
 

quellish

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sferrin said:
There seems to be some confusion here. The gun system that shot down the F-102 was in an F-15, as shown in the video. Did they put the same system (or variant of it) in the AFTI F-16 as well?

The AFTI F-15 had limited external modifications and was used for bombing and gunnery tests.
The AFTI F-16 was previously the CCV testbed and had more extensive external and internal modifications (it had the CCV canards). Because of this it was capable of more extreme maneuvers. The AFTI F-16 was also used for gunnery and bombing tests.
Different systems, different implementations, same larger program.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEtTcU_P-5I


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSg1NvN-Q3Q
 
I

Ian33

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OK - forgive the ignorance, but if that AFTI made the aircraft better able to deliver weapons with precision, why on Gods green Earth has it not been implemented in any F-16s?

Those videos are what, 30+ years old and yet this is sitting on a shelf some where gathering dust? what a terrible shame.
 

sferrin

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
There seems to be some confusion here. The gun system that shot down the F-102 was in an F-15, as shown in the video. Did they put the same system (or variant of it) in the AFTI F-16 as well?

The AFTI F-15 had limited external modifications and was used for bombing and gunnery tests.
The AFTI F-16 was previously the CCV testbed and had more extensive external and internal modifications (it had the CCV canards). Because of this it was capable of more extreme maneuvers. The AFTI F-16 was also used for gunnery and bombing tests.
Different systems, different implementations, same larger program.
Yeah, I knew about the F-16CCV -> AFTI F-16. Just had never heard of an AFTI F-15.
 

Sundog

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jsport said:
"With CCV technology the center of gravity of the airframe could be varied in flight to cause the nose to pitch up or down without changing flight path (153:302). "
I would like more information on this feature. Did they do it by tying the FCS into the fuel transfer system to shift fuel forward and aft automatically within the airframe or did they have actuated ballast in the airframe? Although, I don't know where you would have room internally to move ballast. I wonder if the author actually meant the center of lift and not the center of gravity?
 

AeroFranz

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Sundog said:
jsport said:
"With CCV technology the center of gravity of the airframe could be varied in flight to cause the nose to pitch up or down without changing flight path (153:302). "
I would like more information on this feature. Did they do it by tying the FCS into the fuel transfer system to shift fuel forward and aft automatically within the airframe or did they have actuated ballast in the airframe? Although, I don't know where you would have room internally to move ballast. I wonder if the author actually meant the center of lift and not the center of gravity?

Yeah, just as puzzled. I don't see practical solutions for shifting c.g., fuel transfer being possible but slow and introducing new failure modes (for example getting stuck with full aft cg when coming in to land). OTOH, if you have destabilizing surfaces you can move your NP around quite a bit...
 

jsport

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http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/interesting-aircraft/

Low-level Battlefield Interdiction Tests

In the late eighties, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 testbed (formerly the 6th FDS aircraft) was fitted with a dorsal spine, wing-root mounted Lantirn-style pods, and FLIR turrets on the nose. It was also upgraded with an F-16C block 25 wing and with block 40 F-16C features such as APG-68 radar and a LANTIRN interface. It was used as a CAS testbed in support of the proposed A-16, testing low-level battlefield interdiction techniques such as automatic target handoff-systems. This program lasted untill January of 1992.
 

Triton

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A-16 Close Air Support

The Block 60 did not go into production and the A-16 became wrapped up in the debate about close air support. The supporters of the A-16 project wanted the USAF to replace its A-10A Thunderbolt IIs with A-16's, arguing that the A-10 was too slow to survive above a high-tech battlefield. Detractors argued that the A-16 had insufficient range and load-carrying capability to make an effective attack aircraft, and, in addition, it would be too vulnerable to enemy anti-aircraft fire.

The Army argued that the Key West agreement of 1948 (under which they were prohibited from operating fixed-wing combat aircraft) was now obsolete, and that the USAF's A-10's should be turned over to them for use alongside AH-64 Apache helicopters. In 1990, Congress decreed that some USAF A-10A's and OV-10 Broncos be turned over to the Army and Marine Corps beginning in 1991.

However, all of these plans came to naught on November 26th, 1990, when the USAF was ordered to retain two wings of A-10 aircraft for the CAS mission. No order for the A-16 was ever placed.
Source:
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article18.html

If A-16 or F/A-16 was the answer in the early 1990s and the A-10 was obsolete, I don't understand why the Army and the Marines wanted the A-10 and OV-10.
 

GTX

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Triton said:
I don't understand why the Army and the Marines wanted the A-10 and OV-10.
Err…where does it say that the USMC wanted A-10s/OV-10s? It states that "In 1990, Congress decreed that some USAF A-10A's and OV-10 Broncos be turned over to the Army and Marine Corps beginning in 1991."
 

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GTX said:
Triton said:
I don't understand why the Army and the Marines wanted the A-10 and OV-10.
Err…where does it say that the USMC wanted A-10s/OV-10s? It states that "In 1990, Congress decreed that some USAF A-10A's and OV-10 Broncos be turned over to the Army and Marine Corps beginning in 1991."
[/quote

Talked to a Colonel of an F-16 reserve unit who also had instructed in the A-10 and OV-10. Said the OV-10 was his favorite, and that the A-10 was awesome except it needed more powerful engines.

Its not just congress, some of the fighter jocks really liked them as well.
 

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According to the A-16 information at F-16.net the 30mm gun would heat up and singe the inner components of the left fuselage. So the 30mm cannon planned for the A-16 was internally mounted in the wing-root like the normal 20mm M61A1? Was it the same GAU-13/A used in the GPU-5/A gun pod by the "F/A-16"?

A bit off-topic but the GPU-5/A was tested on a number of other aircraft including the A-7 in which it was carried on wing store stations versus under the fuselage. I presume one was carried under each wing but I can't find anything to confirm that. Does anybody have any images or information about this? Was the GPU-5/A envisioned as an important weapon for the A-7F? I presume the aircraft would have been a somewhat sturdier gun platform than the F-16.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Colonial-Marine said:
According to the A-16 information at F-16.net the 30mm gun would heat up and singe the inner components of the left fuselage. So the 30mm cannon planned for the A-16 was internally mounted in the wing-root like the normal 20mm M61A1? Was it the same GAU-13/A used in the GPU-5/A gun pod by the "F/A-16"?
The GAU-12 25mm gatling was designed to fit the footprint of the M61 20mm gatling but firing a high velocity projectile. Even the smaller GAU-13 30mm would be too long to fit into the internal footprint of the M61 on the F-16.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11.msg145841.html#msg145841A bit off-topic but the GPU-5/A was tested on a number of other aircraft including the A-7 in which it was carried on wing store stations versus under the fuselage. I presume one was carried under each wing but I can't find anything to confirm that. Does anybody have any images or information about this? Was the GPU-5/A envisioned as an important weapon for the A-7F? I presume the aircraft would have been a somewhat sturdier gun platform than the F-16.



See here:



http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11.msg145841.html#msg145841
 

pathology_doc

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IIRC the key attributes of a CAS aircraft are the ability to loiter, combat persistence (plenty of hardpoints, lots of ordnance and oodles of cannon ammo), and the ability to shrug off hits from hand-held small-arms, at least from the systems-integrity POV. A single-engined airplane optimised for dogfighting, with a thin low-aspect-ratio wing and a section optimised towards the high subsonic end of the speed spectrum, seems a rather poor choice in that regard, whatever its merits as a delivery system for accurate and devastating single-pass strikes. In a shooting war with Iran, China or North Korea, sure. As a general go-anywhere, do-anything CAS tool, possibly not. (Which is not to say you can't have a helmet-mounted sight and two or four ASRAAM-type fire-and-forget missiles plus the appropriate training to deal with careless enemy fighters or battlefield helicopters, but the last thing you want is your CAS pilot reverting to dogfight mode and leaving the troops in the lurch. That's what air superiority is for, and without air superiority, the US forces are philosophically meaningless.)
 

GTX

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Did we ever identify which 30mm cannon was proposed to be fitted internally?
 

DWG

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Sundog said:
jsport said:
"With CCV technology the center of gravity of the airframe could be varied in flight to cause the nose to pitch up or down without changing flight path (153:302). "
I would like more information on this feature. Did they do it by tying the FCS into the fuel transfer system to shift fuel forward and aft automatically within the airframe or did they hanisive actuated ballast in the airframe? Although, I don't know where you would have room internally to move ballast. I wonder if the author actually meant the center of lift and not the center of gravity?

Yeah, just as puzzled. I don't see practical solutions for shifting c.g., fuel transfer being possible but slow and introducing new failure modes (for example getting stuck with full aft cg when coming in to land). OTOH, if you have destabilizing surfaces you can move your NP around quite a bit...
I suspect that initial post should say 'centre of lift', not 'centre of gravity'. The AFTI/CAS FCS controlled the two under-nacelle canards as well as the conventional surfaces. Moving the canards would generate a lift component, less than in a conventional canard, but still enough to cause a shift in the centre of lift relative to the centre of gravity and a pitch up or down. But if at the same time the FCS commands an equivalent pitch down, or up, input on the conventional surfaces then you'll get an attitude change without a change in the flightpath vector. Absolutely no need for esoteric fuel shifting systems.

ISTR the underside canards were ultimately quite disappointing, leading to their elimination from the FSX-2/F-2 design even though they had been a major feature of the initial proposals.

I've got a very vague memory that I booked some hours to AFTI/CAS back in the day, though that may only have been to do the final build/release of the HUD software - we did a customised F-16C/D holographic HUD for it. I think there was some custom symbology for weapons, and I suspect there will have been changes to nav stuff like Flightpath Vector given new inputs from the canard.
 
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