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Fairchild A-10 Projects

overscan (PaulMM)

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I'm researching an article on the N/A W A-10 (A-10B) and came across this:

In 1976, Republic showed a model of the A-10 with long, slim nacelles housing non-afterburning versions of the YJ101 or RB199 engines, trading endurance for higher speed. This would have given an increase of 50 knots in level flight

Dennis R Jenkins, A/OA-10 Warthog Warbirdtech 20

Never seen this illustrated.
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
I'm researching an article on the N/A W A-10 (A-10B) and came across this:

There were more than a few factors which militated against the two seat A-10.

A conversion trainer wasn't really neccessary and pilot workload was manageable without a backseater.




overscan said:
In 1976, Republic showed a model of the A-10 with long, slim nacelles housing non-afterburning versions of the YJ101 or RB199 engines, trading endurance for higher speed. This would have given an increase of 50 knots in level flight

Dennis R Jenkins, A/OA-10 Warthog Warbirdtech 20

RB199 engines?

Did Fairchild make an unsolicited proposal to the RAF?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I don't think so. There is no reason to think that license produced RB199s couldn't have happened; Allinson made the Spey into TF41 for example. RB199 would simply have been the best engine for the job. YJ101 bypass ratio was low (around 0.2) which made SFC higher than desirable, while RB199 bypass ratio was about 1:1 giving a much better SFC (though still higher than the TF34 of course).
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
I don't think so. There is no reason to think that license produced RB199s couldn't have happened; Allinson made the Spey into TF41 for example. RB199 would simply have been the best engine for the job. YJ101 bypass ratio was low (around 0.2) which made SFC higher than desirable, while RB199 bypass ratio was about 1:1 giving a much better SFC (though still higher than the TF34 of course).

A comparison between the J101 and the RB199 is hardly fair, if only because (until the LWF competition) the J101 was largely an industry funded demonstrator while the RB199 was a government funded tri-national project. In this era, the USAF had very little interest in the GE J101 and the USN was still planning on the P&W F100 derived F401 as its future fighter engine. It is very easy to forget that the definitive F404 is a much later development than the RB199. Of course, you are correct about the conceptual differences between the J101 (or the subsequent F404) and the RB199.

I still have a hard time appreciating what tangible advantage an A-10 re-engined with the RB199 would have had, other than the quoted 50kt speed advantage? Indeed, was the 50kt increase in performance available at sea level or medium altitude?

In addition, since the dry RB199 would have offered roughly the same thrust levels as the TF34, take off distances would have remained unchanged - despite the significant sacrifice in endurance.

The main advantage of an RB199 A-10 would have been potential interchangability with the Tornado. Perhaps a 50kt speed advantage would have made sense in light of the RAF's low level operating tactics, but it was irrelevant from the perspective of the USAF.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I have found a posting from usenet, 1999:

Several years ago Rolls Royce offered to re-engine the A-10 fleet with a non afterburning version of their RB199 used in the European Tornado strike aircraft, this would have offered the A-10 more thrust and better acceleration.

Perhaps Fairchild looked at a YJ101 version, and the RB199 connection was an unsolicited proposal?
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
I have found a posting from usenet, 1999:

Several years ago Rolls Royce offered to re-engine the A-10 fleet with a non afterburning version of their RB199 used in the European Tornado strike aircraft, this would have offered the A-10 more thrust and better acceleration.

Perhaps Fairchild looked at a YJ101 version, and the RB199 connection was an unsolicited proposal?

Indeed, unsolicited proposals might have been made by the engine manufacturers.

I believe that Jay Miller wrote that GE actually offered to pay Lockheed to incorporate the J101 in its LWF proposals.

In any event, I have read very little about Fairchild's attempts to export the A-10. There was an attempt by Turkey to purchase 50 units through FMS, and it was claimed that USAF blocked the sale because it wanted to retain every stored airframe for cannibalization - or at least that was the excuse.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Three customers, two in the Middle East and one in South East Asia, were leading candidates for A-10 sales... Fairchild expected to sell 75-80 aircraft in 1983-5

Fairchild pushed the use of the A-10 as a maritime strike aircraft, particularly in areas such as South-East Asia

Source:
Bill Sweetman, A-10 Thunderbolt II, Modern Fighting Aircraft 1984

Countries allegedly interested in A-10: Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, Egypt (unsourced claims on forums)
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
Three customers, two in the Middle East and one in South East Asia, were leading candidates for A-10 sales... Fairchild expected to sell 75-80 aircraft in 1983-5

That was towards the end of the A-10's production run.

overscan said:
]
Fairchild pushed the use of the A-10 as a maritime strike aircraft, particularly in areas such as South-East Asia

Thailand eventually purchased used A-7E Corsair IIs - after abortive Tornado and AMX sales efforts.

overscan said:
Source:
Bill Sweetman, A-10 Thunderbolt II, Modern Fighting Aircraft 1984

Countries allegedly interested in A-10: Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, Egypt (unsourced claims on forums)

Pakistan was set to purchase the A-7E in the late 1970s but the sale was blocked due to concerns over its nuclear program.
 

lark

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Dear All,

Modern Combat Aircraft 28 - "A-10 Thunderbolt II" by Mike Spick ,Ian Allan Ltd
shows on page 102 , a A-10 development with slim nacelles.
Caption reads as follow " How the A-10 could have developed; a night and all weather capable aircraft with a two-man crew,a thinner section wing,revised main gear housing, and much more powerfull low bypass ratio
engines probably base on the F404.

(General Electric)

Maybe you have something on this...

Lark.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Excellent.

I'm seeing if I can buy a copy. I'm collecting the Ian Allan series anyway- I have 10 so far.

Paul.
 

elmayerle

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overscan said:
I'm researching an article on the N/A W A-10 (A-10B) and came across this:

In 1976, Republic showed a model of the A-10 with long, slim nacelles housing non-afterburning versions of the YJ101 or RB199 engines, trading endurance for higher speed. This would have given an increase of 50 knots in level flight

Dennis R Jenkins, A/OA-10 Warthog Warbirdtech 20

Never seen this illustrated.

At a guess, I'd imagine it was more likely the evolved J101 intended for the production F-17. As I understand it, it was rather similar to the initial production F404. Just as an aside, Northrop had laid out a RB.199-powered F-17 variant that might well have been quite popular in Europe. The existence of this variant was confirmed to me by Dr. Ira Chart, their first official historian, while I was working there.
 

TinWing

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elmayerle said:
At a guess, I'd imagine it was more likely the evolved J101 intended for the production F-17. As I understand it, it was rather similar to the initial production F404. Just as an aside, Northrop had laid out a RB.199-powered F-17 variant that might well have been quite popular in Europe. The existence of this variant was confirmed to me by Dr. Ira Chart, their first official historian, while I was working there.

The F404 was scaled up somewhat from the J101. The difference in mass flow between the J101 and RB199 would have been fairly great - in the same order of magnitude as the difference between the J-79 and Spey.

Northrop's efforts to market the YF-17 - and its unbuilt predecessors - in Europe were vigorous, but almost entirely unrealistic. No Tornado/RB199 user had the slightest interest in the underdeveloped YF-17. Germany was devoted to the of the F-4 as a interim alternative to the delayed Tornado, Italy was contented with licensed production of the F-104, and the RAF had absolutely no use for an air superiority fighter. Rather foolishly, Northrop even attempted to sell the YF-17 to the French.
 

elmayerle

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I got the impression that the "production" J101 would likely have been rather close to what became the F404. I'm not certain, but that's the impression that I was left with at the time and what little I've seen of the proposed production F-17 appears to bear that out. IMHO, the success of the F-5 was both a very good thing and a very bad thing for Northrop. It was good in that it gave them a good profit base and solid finances to work from; it was bad in that they never developed the expertise to manage and market high-tech programs and, again IMVHO, both the B-2 and TSSAM suffered from this. I rather suspect that this situation didn't help the F-18L, either.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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What I have read supports Evan's suggestion. YJ101 as fitted to the YF-17 was at a very early stage of development and would have ended up close to the eventual F404 even without the F-18 program.
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
What I have read supports Evan's suggestion. YJ101 as fitted to the YF-17 was at a very early stage of development and would have ended up close to the eventual F404 even without the F-18 program.

Oddly enough, the Northrop's original P-530 from 1970 was roughly the same physical size as the final F/A-18A, but the later P-630 and YF-17 were significantly smaller.
 

elmayerle

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From what I can see of the performance differences between the YJ101 and the F404, they could be explained by upping the by-pass ratio enough to qualify as a turbofan rather than a "leaky turbojet" (i.e. a very low by-pass ratio turbofan). As I remember, I don't have the figures right in front of me, a YF101 in full afterburner generated some 15,000 lb. thrust while a F404 in similar conditions generated 16,000 lb. thrust.
 

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Other than the two seat Night/Adverse Weather version that was flight tested but not ordered into production, the only other one I'm aware of was a proposal to fit RB199s in much slimmer engine nacelles to coax a few more knots of airspeed out of the Warthog. Not sure what became of it (I want to say it was offered to the Israelis, but not sure) and I don't think there were any other A-10 variants studied.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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I stand corrected- did some digging and it was a proposal to fit unaugmented RB199s for sale to European nations, particularly Germany. Were there ever any pictures published (press, promotional materials)?

For what it's worth, the below quote was posted by Carlo Kopp back in 1991 in the sci.military newsgroup:

The reengining of the A-10 is another interesting alternative,
although it is unlikely to substantially improve the survivabili-
ty of the aerodynamically limited airframe. The proposal revolves
about the replacement of the 9,065 lb TF-34 fans with nonafter-
burning 11,000 lb F404 low bypass fans. It is however much
cheaper than building more F-16s or rebuilding A-7s and is
strongly favoured by the US Army.
 

alanqua

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Hi,

Does anybody have information on the A-10 project for the US Navy? A friend of mine told me about that: apparently, the US Navy considered to employ the A-10 but I have no other details.

Thanks by advance
Alain
 

Speedy

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Hi
(sorry for my english)

More corectly would be say thay Fairchild desperately seek market for A-10 in the second half of 80's. USNavy wasn't really interested to buy armored attack plane, even in "navalised" version.
Fairchild proposed some A-10-based projects for different user. Navy A-10 will be two-seater, based on YA-10B prototype. Instead of Gatling gun in the nose, a sea-control radar was provided. The plane could be armed with Harpoon or Exocet anti-ship missiles, maybe also some ASW weapons. Unfortunately in Polish A-10 monography, where I found this info, there was no pictures or drawings of proposed A-10 variants.
Other proposed variants were:
- a two-seat advanced training/attack version. USAF rejected this, because A-10 is very easy for control and two-seat version is unnecessary; no other air forces in the world use A-10 (in 1980's Turkey, South Korea and some other states considered possibility to buy A-10 but finally resign) so also no one need a training version
- an export model for European NATO countries (also no customers for it). The plane will be faster, with european RB.199 engines (modified by afterburner removing, in small-diameter gondolas) could fly over 830 km/h (516 mph; 448 kts) in level flight. Tunnel tests with model show that real plane can't reach this speed, so the project was abandoned. Years after, in the 90's, also USAF considered possibility of make A-10 faster by change engines, but this project was dropped.
- most unusual version for me, a fast water-bomber for US Forestry Service. A plane, stripped with all armament, armor and combat system, will be equipped with big water tanks in fuselage and additional tanks under wings for total capacity of 7000 liters of water or fire-extinguishing mixtures.
 

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Nothing to add but thanks for the interesting info. The A-10 is cool plane and the USAF will probably have to upgrade it soon to keep it in service as no other aircraft could adequately replace it. RIP Seversky/Republic/Fairchild.

Cheers, Woody
 

GTX

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Any updates on this? It is driving me crazy right now because I have seen a picture (was probably an artists concept) of a slim nacelled A-10 but for the life of me I can not remember where. I thought it was here but despite searching I have had no luck - help anyone?

Regards,

Greg
 

Triton

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The Warthog Pen website has an interesting page on the Night/Adverse Weather or Night Attack Weapon System (NAWs) A-10B Thunderbolt II (Tail number 73-1664).

http://www.thewarthogpen.com/73-0664.html

It contains a very interesting 11.5 minute video about the Night/Adverse Weather A-10B from Lockheed Martin and BAe Systems.

It also contains images from the pages of the Fairchild Republic manual and pages from the Fairchild Republic newsletter New Thunder concerning NAWS.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Interesting link. I've attached the various scans from Fairchild press releases and brochure.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Primary materials are always worth saving for posterity.
 

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robunos

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Just being picky, but the image 'naws16' is a duplicate of 'naws10'...... :)


cheers,
Robin.
 

quellish

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overscan said:
Primary materials are always worth saving for posterity.

NAWS restored in 2005:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/quellish/55828253/in/set-1209450/
 

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overscan said:
I'm researching an article on the N/A W A-10 (A-10B) and came across this:

In 1976, Republic showed a model of the A-10 with long, slim nacelles housing non-afterburning versions of the YJ101 or RB199 engines, trading endurance for higher speed. This would have given an increase of 50 knots in level flight

Dennis R Jenkins, A/OA-10 Warthog Warbirdtech 20

Never seen this illustrated.

is this?

 

GTX

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italian_o said:
overscan said:
I'm researching an article on the N/A W A-10 (A-10B) and came across this:

In 1976, Republic showed a model of the A-10 with long, slim nacelles housing non-afterburning versions of the YJ101 or RB199 engines, trading endurance for higher speed. This would have given an increase of 50 knots in level flight

Dennis R Jenkins, A/OA-10 Warthog Warbirdtech 20

Never seen this illustrated.

is this?


Yes - I think that was the one I remember seeing - thanks!

regards,

Greg
 

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Is it true the armor did not extend to the second seat on all of the proposed two seater A-10 variants? Seems like quite an oversight considering how heavily armored everything else is.
 

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The gun
 

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iverson

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I seem to remember that a non-afterburning version of the F404 sourced from the F-117 program was proposed for re-engining A-10s. The aim was not to increase speed, but to improve thrust. Supposedly, the A-10 is marginally underpowered with the TF-34. Presumably, this would be a more significant problem at high temperatures and/or altitudes--conditions typical of Iraq and Afgahanistan but not of the Western European theater for which the airplane was originally produced. More thrust would improve load-carrying, acceleration, takeoff performance, and maneuverability, while increasing safety margins.

Re-engining was left out of the A-10C upgrade, allegedly for cost reasons. But my guess is that the real reason is that the aircraft has never been popular with the Air Force brass and any spending on it would be viewed as a threat to the F-22. Too bad, because the A-10 is much closer to what we seem to need these days.
 

elmayerle

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A militarized version of some of the latest CF34 engines would be one step in upgrading the A-10 (I do believe that it is a bit under-powered, at least that's why Aero Union said the S-3 would make a better fire bomber than the A-10 when I interviewed there a decade ago). Personally, I like the idea of using dry F404 engines, though you'd have fun configuring them, and the AMAD gearboxes they are designed to work with, to fit the A-10's configuration.
 

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I was in my local hobby shop and found what looks to be a nice, assembled, painted 1:72 version of the NAWs A-10B. I found it here on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/1%2F72-Easy-Model-A-10-THUNDERBOLT-II-NAW%2FA-10-37114_W0QQitemZ250553782495QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20091226?IMSfp=TL091226207006r14279

eBay won't let me grab the image, and I cannot find another picture of the model on the net. I have not looked at it closely for accuracy, and unfortunately it does not come with any weapons. But it seems like a decent model. (I paid $38, but you can get it via eBay for $28 if you're willing to order from Beijing.)
 

aim9xray

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Here's the image...

Based on the photo, the model looks pretty nice. The images that I've seen of the real aircraft rarely show much in the way of ordnance...
 

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blackstar

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I'll take a picture of my model and post it here. The overall quality is pretty good for a 1:72 scale. The cockpit is painted (no pilots, however). The only real question I have is the accuracy of the markings, but they seem good. It has an owl under an umbrella on the nose, which is apparent in at least one photo of the plane. The registry number (31664) is also correct. The nameplate on the base only says "A-10," not this specific version. There are a number of stores positions under the wing, but the lack of any ordnance at all is distracting--Hogs should have bombs.

From what I can tell, it's a pretty accurate depiction of the aircraft. Considering that my ability to make models that are not all covered in glue is nonexistent, this is by far the best quality model of this plane that I'm going to be able to get.
 

Stargazer2006

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I don't think the designation "A-10B" was ever official. All my books on the Warthog refer to it as the N/AW A-10A.
 
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