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FIAT G91R to U.S. ARMY??

archipeppe

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FIAT G91 was one of the most succesful Italian aeronautical products of '60s. A lot of the were produced and utilized at least by AMI, Luftwaffe and Portoguese Air Force.
FIAT G91 was a close support light STOL fighter-bomber, with some recce capabilities despite its not optimal flight endurance....

FIAT tryed hard, during years, to sell to other countries this small, tiny and outstanding manouvering fighter without success (especially to Greece and Switzerland).

Little known is the Story that tells about a strong interest by U.S. Army about the G91, so stronger that Americans really tested the aircraft at Fort Rucker in 1961 (one or two aircrafts it depends by the source), as the photo I enclose testify (it is not a fake!!).

Did you folks have some additional information to this Story??
I've heard (o read I don't remember) about some analogue evalation by USAF, but it is hard to find something about...
 

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Skybolt

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It's an old story... the G91 was tested by the US Army when they were looking for a CAS aircraft. They tested other aircrafts as well. Everything ended with the agreement with the Air Force by which the Army would limit its flying component to helicopters, and in exchange the Air Force would provide CAS. See here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1481.0.html
This forum says it all... 8)
 

yasotay

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The aircraft is still in storage at Ft. Rucker.
 

frank

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That's not correct. They flew a lot of other fixed wing a/c.


Skybolt said:
It's an old story... the G91 was tested by the US Army when they were looking for a CAS aircraft. They tested other aircrafts as well. Everything ended with the agreement with the Air Force by which the Army would limit its flying component to helicopters, and in exchange the Air Force would provide CAS. See here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1481.0.html
This forum says it all... 8)
 

Jos Heyman

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In 1961 the US Army tested two Dornier built G 91R/3s whilst in 1961/62 the USAF tested 2 to 10 G 91R/1s. The aircraft did not receive any serials but were flown in US markings with a construction number in lieu of the serial. Numbers of the US Army aircraft were 0065 and 0052.
The USAF also ordered 50 G 91R/4s for supply to Greece and Turkey. They did not receive any USAF serials and were, in fact delivered to Germany.

With respect to the 'fixed wing agreement' between USAF and US Army, it did limit the US Army to helicopters for combat operations but allowed them to have small fixed wing aircraft for non-combat activities. I have read somewhere that the US Army classified the latter as 'trucks'.
 

archipeppe

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yasotay said:
The aircraft is still in storage at Ft. Rucker.

Are you sure??
It would be nice to know that this singolar plane is still existing...
 

yasotay

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archipeppe said:
yasotay said:
The aircraft is still in storage at Ft. Rucker.

Are you sure??
It would be nice to know that this singolar plane is still existing...

I will inquire with the Army Aviation Museum to see. In fairness it has been several years since I have seen it; but assume it is still in the inventory at the warehouse.
 

Jos Heyman

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I was at the Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker in 2002 and was shown over their warehouse. No Fiat G-91 there.
 

SlickDriver

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When I went to flight school at Fort Rucker (Mother) and it was not there. Stephen Harding in US Army Aircraft since 1947 states that it was returned to the Luftwaffe in 1962.

The US Army is limited to operating fixed wing aircraft with an empty weight of 5,000 lbs or less.
 

frank

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Hmm. The Army operates C-23 Sherpas & Gulfstream C-20s & I think C-21s & C-35s. All of their EWs are quite heavier than 5000 lbs. I imagine C-12s & U-21s are as well, so that number can't be correct.



Loren said:
When I went to flight school at Fort Rucker (Mother) and it was not there. Stephen Harding in US Army Aircraft since 1947 states that it was returned to the Luftwaffe in 1962.

The US Army is limited to operating fixed wing aircraft with an empty weight of 5,000 lbs or less.
 

archipeppe

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Is the same situation in Italy, it did exist some agreement betwen AMI (Italian Air Force) and AVES (AViazione ESercito - Army Aviation) in which Italian Army could use only helos (like A109, CH47 and A129) and small aircrafts indeed Army did use also Piaggio P180 "Avanti" and Dornier Do-228 that there are not so small...
 

SlickDriver

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Hmm. The Army operates C-23 Sherpas & Gulfstream C-20s & I think C-21s & C-35s. All of their EWs are quite heavier than 5000 lbs. I imagine C-12s & U-21s are as well, so that number can't be correct.

Actually the National Guard operates the C-23 Sherpas and there have been a couple of waivers to the weight restrictions according to the Department of the Army. Each waiver must be granted by the Secretary of Defense.

So the restriction is in place but it is not an absolute.
 

yasotay

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Well I could very well be mistaken and there may not be a G91 still in the Army Aviation Museum I will see if I can find out this coming week.

On the issue of weight class, the acquisition of the C-27J by the US Army seems to have swung the argument well to the Army's side of the discussion.
 

archipeppe

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yasotay said:
On the issue of weight class, the acquisition of the C-27J by the US Army seems to have swung the argument well to the Army's side of the discussion.

Yep.
 

F-14D

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archipeppe said:
yasotay said:
On the issue of weight class, the acquisition of the C-27J by the US Army seems to have swung the argument well to the Army's side of the discussion.

Yep.

Four year later postscript to the above:

As the C-27J got closer to full service, people in Congress/DoD noticed a curious fact: While the USAF and Army C-27Js were virtually identical, USAF was somehow managing to pay twice as much for its aircraft. Only one thing to do: even though Army was to be the big user of the C-27J, USAF took over controlt of this "joint" program. Then as has happened before, USAF decided, "Eh, we don't really want that many of this aircraft, let's just cut the whole thing way back. Sorry about that Army. Be sure to call us if you want some airlift and we'll see what we can do".
 

yasotay

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C-27J becomes another data point on the "lack of tactical support" to the Army.
Of course the Blue Corporation (as USAF AMC is known in the ranks of the Army) would tell you that they are dropping supplies all the time. It is not practical of efficient to land where there is no O-Club.
Yeah this one is a sore spot with me and a lot of others who have dealt with AMC.
Sorry for getting off topic. I did find out that there is indeed no G-91 at Ft. Rucker any more.
 

Nico

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Dear Peppe (and all),
in fact US Army tested at Fort Rucker two G.91R-1 (construction numbers NC.42 and NC.52), a cannon-armed G.91R-3 (NC.65) and a G.91T (second prototype NC.2); during a test of short take-off assisted with ATO rockets something went wrong and the aircraft stalled abruptly, killing test pilot Riccardo Bignamini.
Event USAF evaluated the G.91 at Kirtland AFB (New Mexico) testing G.91R-1 NC.53 and a Luftwaffe G.91R-3 (I dont know s/n or c/n of the secondo a/c). I think that after the tests all serviceable aircraft were returned to previous owners.
The search by the US Army Aviation Command of a close air support aircraft is a long story and part of the fight between Army and Air Force for the control of aircraft operating above the battlefront; something analogous was in Italy between Aeronautica and Marina about the control of fixed-wing aircraft.
In fact the law (same in US and Italy) limited ownership of fixed wings aircraft for services different from Air Force to 5,000 lbs or 1,500 kg, allowing only small observation planes like those classified with mission symbol L (like L-19 and L-21), but there were, for US Army, some noteworthy exemptions as the De Havilland Canada CV-2 Caribou and the even larger CV-7 Buffalo. But Air Force won the game and on Januay 1 1967 all the Caribou and Buffalo were transferred to the Air Force as the C-7 and C-8.
Nico
 

archipeppe

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Nico said:
Event USAF evaluated the G.91 at Kirtland AFB (New Mexico) testing G.91R-1 NC.53 and a Luftwaffe G.91R-3 (I dont know s/n or c/n of the secondo a/c). I think that after the tests all serviceable aircraft were returned to previous owners.

Dear Nico, did you have some pictures of USAF tested G-91s?
If so it would worth to realize a 3-views of such version.
 

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/
 

Stargazer2006

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There were apparently three variants tested at Fort Rucker. Here are some photos I saved a while ago and some artwork by G. de Chiara:
 

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