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Grumman A-6 projects

Antonio

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For Intruder enthusiasts I recommend this book:

Grumman A-6 Intruder by Robert F Dorr. Osprey Air Combat. ISBN 0-85045-816-1

On page 140 there is a list of "Intruders that weren't"

Model 128B USAF Intruder Air Force Proposal SR-195

Model 128C E and F Missileer (Fleet defenders with Long Range AAM)

Model 128R RESCAP Sandy Intruder

Model 128U ASW

Model 128X Export
 

overscan

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http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1986/so86.pdf

This issue of Naval Aviation News has an article on the A-6F
 

TinWing

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The A-6F remains something of a mystery to me. Did it stem from an unsolicited industry proposal? The benefits of the composite wing and new avionics are obvious, but the re-engining offered fewer benefits. The difference in SFC between the J-52 and low bypass ratio F404 isn't huge, and I was surprised by the increase in the size of the engine fairings.

I haven't found very many decent sources on the A-6F, and I never have managed to find a 3-view drawing. I don't even remember seeing very much in Jane's All The World's Aircraft. All I have is this very poor quality set of side profiles, one of which shows the A-6F. The source might be a Squadron-Signal "In Action" title on the A-6 from the early 90s, not the 1970s volume? Does anyone know if such a book exists?
 

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There was indeed an updated In Action 138: A-6 Intruder which I have. I'll check it when I get time.

http://www.carrierbuilders.net/articles/20050816_A-6F/20050816_A-6F.htm

Some detail shots of the A-6F prototype
 

elmayerle

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I suspect the engine change was from a desire to reduce the logistics footprint by sharing an engine with the F-18 rather than having a separate distinct engine. Too, the J52 was getting on in age and I'm not sure if it was still in production at the time; after all, it's sibling, the JT8D was phasing out of production then. The re-wing program was a good idea, but according to sources at Boeing-Wichitat where it was done, the new wing was so much stiffer that ride suffered and the stress loads changed greatly from previous variants. Combine that with a desire to reduce F404 production after the problems with second-sourcing at P&W and it's easy enough to see why it did get cancelled.
 

TinWing

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elmayerle said:
I suspect the engine change was from a desire to reduce the logistics footprint by sharing an engine with the F-18 rather than having a separate distinct engine. Too, the J52 was getting on in age and I'm not sure if it was still in production at the time; after all, it's sibling, the JT8D was phasing out of production then. The re-wing program was a good idea, but according to sources at Boeing-Wichitat where it was done, the new wing was so much stiffer that ride suffered and the stress loads changed greatly from previous variants. Combine that with a desire to reduce F404 production after the problems with second-sourcing at P&W and it's easy enough to see why it did get cancelled.
A 12,000lb. st. J52-409 was planned to upgrade the EA-6B, and the JT8D-200 series was still "in production" for re-engining J-STARs 707s.

I thought that the re-winging program was neccessary because of premature structural fatigue - although the A-6's early retirement rendered that point moot. To digress, it seems that there are still plenty of composite winged A-6Es parked at AMARC.

The "desire to reduce F404 production after the problems with second-sourcing at P&W" issue is new to me?
 

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From 'The $5 Billion Misunderstanding: The Collapse Of The Navy's A-12 Stealth Bomber Program' by James P. Stevenson

'The Stealthy A-6

While General Dynamics was busy with its development of what would become the A-12, Grumman was attempting to influence the navy on an alternate plan. Grumman, which had hired Global Analytics two years earlier, had been doing its homework on stealth. Tom Kane was attending an annual event at the Naval War College known as the "Current Strategy Forum." This event was designed to let the navy and industry get together and discuss issues of the day. "During the 1984 Strategy Forum," Kane said, "I buttonholed Lehman and said, 'John, you've got to come up and see this A-6 we've put together.' We had been working, with Global Analytics' help, on our stealth range for a long time. Once we had completed our analytical work, we built a modified A-6. The mock-up probably took less than two weeks working around the clock. We were still working on it when Lehman arrived."

Secretary Lehman visited Grumman on Friday, 6 July. What Grumman wanted to show the navy was an actual A-6E in the back of Plant 5, on one side of which it had applied a stealth treatment. The stealth side had a pointed nose, nose chine, V-tail, a single-piece windshield, and some faceted treatment to the inlets. It also hid the fuel probe that normally stood out as a permanent fixture and applied a stealthy treat-ment to the external ordnance. One former Grumman employee, who requested anonymity, recalled that the major thrust of that meeting was to convince Lehman that Grumman could become a good team player in the forthcoming competition:

The briefing to Mr. Lehman (and others before him) had to do with demonstrating overall progress relative to starting to develop an intrinsic knowledge about stealth technology and about its integration and application. The purpose was to show that we could be a viable partner to one of the three designated leads for stealth so that we could become a part of the competition to replace the A-6.
The navy wanted an industrial team approach for the A-6 replacement program, so that team members subsequently could compete for production. To do that, you had to know enough about stealth going in, so that you could then learn what else you needed along the way and subsequently stand alone as one of two prime sources for production articles. That mission was accomplished. We were permitted to become a part of the program. In order to accomplish that objective, we had to deal with technology, processes, products, and people, across a broad array of functional areas, because stealth (like carrier suitability) is so pervasive across the design.
The rationale for Grumman's efforts to get smart on stealth may have evolved into one of making a good team player but that was not the focus at the time of Lehman's visit. When Grumman hired Global Ana¬lytics to help it get into the stealth business, the teaming concept was not being advocated by Paisley. So, at least in the beginning, Grumman was looking at the possibility of working alone. If they were able to convince Lehman their new version of the A-6E was the proper approach, it was unlikely Grumman would have looked for another aerospace company to help it.

Global Analytics was represented in the meeting by Ronald "Mugs" McKeown (McKeown was a MiG killer from Vietnam and former skipper of the Navy Fighter Weapon School's Topgun squadron), the program manager for Program Eleven as it was called. He was accompanied by Alan Wegner and Sam Ursini. Grumman's Greg Kutz and Paul Bavits gave the presentation. Tom Kane, Renso Caporali, and George Skurla were also there for Grumman. But Lehman was not impressed.

"I thought Grumman was way out of touch," said Lehman. "What they were attempting to do was like taking a dump truck and trying to make it pretty by adding fins. One thing I distinctly remember was they had no treatment for the cockpit canopy." (One of the Global Analytics employees said they had such a treatment but simply did not show it.) Grumman was claiming numbers like minus 35 dB nose on and minus 30 dB at other angles. But these figures did not impress Lehman either.
I didn't believe it and I didn't care. I knew the A-6 - any A-6 - would not perform the precursor mission. It simply wouldn't be stealthy enough with its large radar antenna out front. So in that sense, I knew we needed a new airplane to perform the job of a silver bullet. I thought we should have a couple of squadrons of them. We would keep them in the desert and practice carrier landings with them at night. I was a skeptic about this stealth stuff but I also knew that if I tried to sell a tarted-up A-6 to OSD, they would laugh me out of court. I told Skurla they were behind the technology and needed to get up to speed. I suggested they visit some of the people who were heavily involved.

"I drove Lehman to his aircraft," said Skurla. "He told me, 'George, I'm partial to the A-6 but the world has really moved ahead. And there are some people who are really ahead—GD, Lockheed, and Northrop. I think you should take a look at them. And if I were you, I would take a good look at Northrop.'" In the end, the stealthy A-6 had, as Tom Kane put it, "a shelf life of three days." Here was Grumman, the navy's premier aircraft provider for fifty years, which had a history of developing new aircraft, warming up an old design and adding some stealth treatments to the external ordnance. The question was why? "We didn't think it made sense financially to pay for a totally new program," said Skurla, "when you could get something reasonably close without starting a new program. We figured the research and development bill would be around $500 to $600 million."

Kane's comments were more to the point: "We knew the navy could not afford it. The navy had just received the OK to start the A-6F and the F-14D. Where was it going to get the money for a new design? All our internal analysis showed us it would have been useless to offer a completely new design."
 

TinWing

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flateric said:
I knew we needed a new airplane to perform the job of a silver bullet. I thought we should have a couple of squadrons of them. We would keep them in the desert and practice carrier landings with them at night.
Did Lehman truly appreciate the scope of the ATA program? Other sources indicate that the A-12 was supposed to be a 1:1 replacement for both the A-6E - and F-111. Just as the Air Force took leadership on the AFT, the Navy had primary control over the ATA/A-12. All sources indicate that this division of responsibility took place in the early 1980s?

In hindsight, the A-12 might have made sense in the role Lehman is describing. A-12s might have operated in small detachments in the same way the old RA-5 Vigilante did. It is easy to image a flight of 3 or 4 A-12s operating alongside a full squadron of A-6Fs. In any event, the A-12 was hardly a reasonable proposition in squadron level service. Can anyone imagine the maintainence load of a carrier based aircraft that possessed roughly the same generation of stealth technology as the B-2?
 

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TinWing said:
The "desire to reduce F404 production after the problems with second-sourcing at P&W" issue is new to me?
Well, the problem with P&W-built F404s is simple to state, due to the differences in build procedures and tolerances between P&W and GE, P&W managed to produce the only F404s ever to experience engine stall. This did not enchant the Navy, nor any other service, with using them and I rather suspect they were looking hard for a way to get out of that contract. Then, while the re-winging program was needed for other reasons, the choices made in the Boeing-designed composite wing resulted in a much stiffer wing which made for radical changes in the loads seen by the fuselage. This is not a good thing to have happen when you're trying for a simple program as it necessitates a much larger body of test work to verify safety of flight.
 

sferrin

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My first day on this site. So much great stuff here. Here's a pic of the A-6F Intruder II (not sure if it's a mockup or the real deal but I recall it appeared in AW&ST back in the day)
 

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frank

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Does this book have just a list of these projects or does it have drawings or pics of some sort?


pometablava said:
For Intruder enthusiasts I recommend this book:

Grumman A-6 Intruder by Robert F Dorr. Osprey Air Combat. ISBN 0-85045-816-1

On page 140 there is a list of "Intruders that weren't"

Model 128B USAF Intruder Air Force Proposal SR-195

Model 128C E and F Missileer (Fleet defenders with Long Range AAM)

Model 128R RESCAP Sandy Intruder

Model 128U ASW

Model 128X Export
 

overscan

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From the Osprey book, these are illustrated.
Original M-wing Intruder concept
128B (USAF Intruder)
128E (Missileer)
 

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Pioneer

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What did the USAF SR-195 requirement specify / require, and what date was it put out?
And what aircraft did the USAF design did the USAF end up using to fill this role?

Any more info on the proposed Model 128U ASW version of the intruder?
It would have been useful on the USNs light / ASW carriers

Regards
Pioneer
 

devi

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think, that these were Model 345 and Model 346 because it was offered at once two projects.
 

hesham

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Hallo everybody,

if any one have a books about Bell,Boeing,Lockheed and Northamerican

aircraft companies can tell us the unknown rivals designs in this competition.
 

hesham

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Thank you dear Overscan, and please identify the models numbers.
 

overscan

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Unfortunately, it doesn't have them in this book. I was hoping a little bit of extra info might help others.
 

devi

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Hi pometablava.

If it is possible, please show usGrumman Model 128B, USAF Intruder Air Force Proposal SR-195(3-view drawings and specifications).
 

elmayerle

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You know, the Grumman Model 128E could be modelled fairly easily, the missiles being made by adding booster stages to six AIM-54s (it may not be totally accurate that way, but given the AIM-54's derivation from the Eagle, it's close enough).
 

hesham

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Hi,

CCW A-6A was single aircraft used for circulation control wing
experiments,with engine bleed air discharged as a jet flap at
the trailing edge, via a tube attacked to the wing flap.
 

overscan

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Unfortunately, just the drawings. No idea on their source either.
 

elmayerle

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*chuckle* Well, Douglas' intended replacement, the A2D was a twin-turboprop, but with the two gas generators driving the contra-props through a common gearbox. Since the gas generators of the XT40 were junk (harsher terms may be applied), each was the same as the XT38 gas generator, the aircraft, and several other promising aircraft (P5Y/R6Y, A2J, et al.) were killed by it. A thorough redevelopment of the CT38 led to the rather more potent and reliable T56 and one wonders how the A2D would've done if re-engined with the equivalent T54 engine.
 

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A couple of notes on the A-6F. This was championed by then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman as a method for providing a dramatic enhancement to navy deep strike at a relatively low cost by using an improved A-6 airframe, non afterburning F404 engines, new avionics & displays (some shared with the F-14D, AV-8B and F/A-18). improved capabilities and lower maintenance. It was also to serve as a "bridge" to the A-12 as well as a hedge should unexpected problems show up in the latter's development. As a strike aircraft, it would not be as capable as the A-12, but would be considerably more capable than other Navy options, especially any derivative of the Hornet.

Once John Lehman has stepped down the A-6F was canceled. This happened for a couple of reasons. First, there had been some acrimony between Naval Aviation and the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the '80s. When Lehman left, one of the strongest proponents of navy all-weather/deep strike was no longer their to champion the A-6F and so OSD zeroed it out, and showed little interest in the A-6G, which was basically an A-6E with the avionics of the A-6F. The second reason was that the projected in service date of the A-12 was not all that much behind the IOC of the A-6F, and given this it was thought kind of redundant to develop the A-6F. This latter reason resulted in the wrong decision being made for the right reason (As opposed to the later cancellation of the A-12 which was the right decision for the wrong reasons).

Withe the cancellation of the A-6F, there was no longer a sufficient domestic market for the F404 to justify the proposed Pratt line and, coupled with the problems Pratt was having and the fact that the two versions turned out to not be interchangeable, killed the Pratt F404. The A-6F's share of the overhead on displays and those avionics that would be used by other programs was absorbed by those programs.

Of course a few years later, Dick Cheney, said to be even more hostile to naval aviation, canceled the A-12. OSD then ordered the F/A-18E/F, sold as an "interim" aircraft until the arrival of the replacement AX (later enhanced into the A/FX). With the cancellation of the A/FX and the early retirements of the A-6 and F-14, Naval aviation essentially has become a secondary force.

In an interview given earlier this decade, John Lehman said if he had to do it over again, he would not have started the A-6F program. He would have developed a strike fighter version of the upcoming F-14D instead, giving more versatility to the NAVAIR deckload and probably might have been a program that could have survived the acrimony with OSD. In essence this was what was later proposed as the F-14D Quickstrike which OSD rejected in favor of its less capable Super Hornet program.
 

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TinWing said:
Mark Nankivil said:
Here's what I think is Vought's entry for the Intruder program.
This looks substantially smaller and lighter than the eventual Intruder. The fuel load is very minimal for an aircraft with two J-52 turbojets. Was this design optimized for smaller carriers? With two J-52 turbojets, this design would have had a far more favorable thrust-to-weight ratio than any A-6 variant - but a far shorter range?
According to Vought's V number list, this was Vought's jet-powered proposal for the competition that led to the Grumman A2F program. The gross weight shown, 25,490 pounds, was for the same basic mission, 300 nm radius plus one hour. The 1,000 nm radius mission was with overload fuel and a gross weight of 37,260 pounds, including the 2,200-lb nuclear weapon. However, the empty weight was about 2/3s of the A2F's eventual empty weight so Vought was optimistic, very clever, working to a different equipment list, or all of the above.

Does anyone have a picture or drawing of the Douglas finalist?
 

robunos

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for your enjoyment and edification...

A-6F article

http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1985/1985%20-%201554.html
...
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1985/1985%20-%201559.html


cheers,
Robin.
 

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Backing up a page or so, has anyone been able to find any drawings of the 'stealthy' A-6 that was shown to Lehman?

Thanks!
 

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Just call me Ray said:
Hmmm, strangely looks tailless. I'm also interested in their F11F entry.
Look at the shadow... they only built the forward fuselage for the mockup (no outer left wing, no right wing, no aft fuselage at all). I presume that would remain common to the regular A-6
 

flateric

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I suggest that the same mockup was later used for creating the beast they have shown to Lehman as 'stealthy' A-6, because as it goes from Stevenson's description also says of 'half-of-plane' mockup.
 

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If I remember correctly, that particular A-6 mockup was split down he middle, left and right, with one side as legacy and the other as reduced RCS proposal A-6.
 

hesham

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hesham said:
Hi,

CCW A-6A was single aircraft used for circulation control wing
experiments,with engine bleed air discharged as a jet flap at
the trailing edge, via a tube attacked to the wing flap.
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19880008223_1988008223.pdf
 

elmayerle

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F-14D said:
A couple of notes on the A-6F. This was championed by then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman as a method for providing a dramatic enhancement to navy deep strike at a relatively low cost by using an improved A-6 airframe, non afterburning F404 engines, new avionics & displays (some shared with the F-14D, AV-8B and F/A-18). improved capabilities and lower maintenance. It was also to serve as a "bridge" to the A-12 as well as a hedge should unexpected problems show up in the latter's development. As a strike aircraft, it would not be as capable as the A-12, but would be considerably more capable than other Navy options, especially any derivative of the Hornet.

Once John Lehman has stepped down the A-6F was canceled. This happened for a couple of reasons. First, there had been some acrimony between Naval Aviation and the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the '80s. When Lehman left, one of the strongest proponents of navy all-weather/deep strike was no longer their to champion the A-6F and so OSD zeroed it out, and showed little interest in the A-6G, which was basically an A-6E with the avionics of the A-6F. The second reason was that the projected in service date of the A-12 was not all that much behind the IOC of the A-6F, and given this it was thought kind of redundant to develop the A-6F. This latter reason resulted in the wrong decision being made for the right reason (As opposed to the later cancellation of the A-12 which was the right decision for the wrong reasons).

Withe the cancellation of the A-6F, there was no longer a sufficient domestic market for the F404 to justify the proposed Pratt line and, coupled with the problems Pratt was having and the fact that the two versions turned out to not be interchangeable, killed the Pratt F404. The A-6F's share of the overhead on displays and those avionics that would be used by other programs was absorbed by those programs.

Of course a few years later, Dick Cheney, said to be even more hostile to naval aviation, canceled the A-12. OSD then ordered the F/A-18E/F, sold as an "interim" aircraft until the arrival of the replacement AX (later enhanced into the A/FX). With the cancellation of the A/FX and the early retirements of the A-6 and F-14, Naval aviation essentially has become a secondary force.

In an interview given earlier this decade, John Lehman said if he had to do it over again, he would not have started the A-6F program. He would have developed a strike fighter version of the upcoming F-14D instead, giving more versatility to the NAVAIR deckload and probably might have been a program that could have survived the acrimony with OSD. In essence this was what was later proposed as the F-14D Quickstrike which OSD rejected in favor of its less capable Super Hornet program.
From what I've heard, tehre were two reasons the Navy wanted out of the A-6F. Firstly, they wanted out from P&W license-building F404s, apparently P&W managed to manufacture one or more of them that stalled in the test cell, something a GE-built one never did. Secondly, the all-new composite wing that was designed by Boeing-Wichita was a lot stiffer than the original wing and dumped a lot more loads into the fuselage, resultng in the need for yet more redesign. As to teh cancellation of the A-12, I know some folk at what is now LM Aero-Ft. Worth who swear that the design had serious problems and the even division of workload and control prevented timely resoultion of any design disagreemetns.
 

Stargazer2006

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As to the cancellation of the A-12, I know some folk at what is now LM Aero-Ft. Worth who swear that the design had serious problems and the even division of workload and control prevented timely resoultion of any design disagreements
I would not even dream of discussing that statement, since the insiders probably know what they're talking about... Still, I'm shocked, considering the cost of R&D and prototyping on a project such as the A-12, that assembly of a few airframes had started while such issues had not been solved. Mismanagement of the program? Over-optimism on the part of the GD/MDD team?
 

elmayerle

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Stargazer2006 said:
As to the cancellation of the A-12, I know some folk at what is now LM Aero-Ft. Worth who swear that the design had serious problems and the even division of workload and control prevented timely resoultion of any design disagreements
I would not even dream of discussing that statement, since the insiders probably know what they're talking about... Still, I'm shocked, considering the cost of R&D and prototyping on a project such as the A-12, that assembly of a few airframes had started while such issues had not been solved. Mismanagement of the program? Over-optimism on the part of the GD/MDD team?
Mostly a very poor teaming arrangement that devided responsibility 50/50 with no one able to quickly decide issues; that and apparaenly there wasn't as much coordination as such a program really needs.
 

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elmayerle said:
F-14D said:
A couple of notes on the A-6F. This was championed by then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman as a method for providing a dramatic enhancement to navy deep strike at a relatively low cost by using an improved A-6 airframe, non afterburning F404 engines, new avionics & displays (some shared with the F-14D, AV-8B and F/A-18). improved capabilities and lower maintenance. It was also to serve as a "bridge" to the A-12 as well as a hedge should unexpected problems show up in the latter's development. As a strike aircraft, it would not be as capable as the A-12, but would be considerably more capable than other Navy options, especially any derivative of the Hornet.

Once John Lehman has stepped down the A-6F was canceled. This happened for a couple of reasons. First, there had been some acrimony between Naval Aviation and the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the '80s. When Lehman left, one of the strongest proponents of navy all-weather/deep strike was no longer their to champion the A-6F and so OSD zeroed it out, and showed little interest in the A-6G, which was basically an A-6E with the avionics of the A-6F. The second reason was that the projected in service date of the A-12 was not all that much behind the IOC of the A-6F, and given this it was thought kind of redundant to develop the A-6F. This latter reason resulted in the wrong decision being made for the right reason (As opposed to the later cancellation of the A-12 which was the right decision for the wrong reasons).

Withe the cancellation of the A-6F, there was no longer a sufficient domestic market for the F404 to justify the proposed Pratt line and, coupled with the problems Pratt was having and the fact that the two versions turned out to not be interchangeable, killed the Pratt F404. The A-6F's share of the overhead on displays and those avionics that would be used by other programs was absorbed by those programs.

Of course a few years later, Dick Cheney, said to be even more hostile to naval aviation, canceled the A-12. OSD then ordered the F/A-18E/F, sold as an "interim" aircraft until the arrival of the replacement AX (later enhanced into the A/FX). With the cancellation of the A/FX and the early retirements of the A-6 and F-14, Naval aviation essentially has become a secondary force.

In an interview given earlier this decade, John Lehman said if he had to do it over again, he would not have started the A-6F program. He would have developed a strike fighter version of the upcoming F-14D instead, giving more versatility to the NAVAIR deckload and probably might have been a program that could have survived the acrimony with OSD. In essence this was what was later proposed as the F-14D Quickstrike which OSD rejected in favor of its less capable Super Hornet program.
From what I've heard, tehre were two reasons the Navy wanted out of the A-6F. Firstly, they wanted out from P&W license-building F404s, apparently P&W managed to manufacture one or more of them that stalled in the test cell, something a GE-built one never did. Secondly, the all-new composite wing that was designed by Boeing-Wichita was a lot stiffer than the original wing and dumped a lot more loads into the fuselage, resultng in the need for yet more redesign. As to the cancellation of the A-12, I know some folk at what is now LM Aero-Ft. Worth who swear that the design had serious problems and the even division of workload and control prevented timely resoultion of any design disagreemetns.
Getting out of the P&W F404 wouldn't have been that hard even if the A-6F had continued because one of the other findings was that even though they were made form the same plans, the P&W F404s were not in fact interchangeable with the GE ones. . A related problem was that the non-afterburning F404s for the A-6F were supposed to be 99% common with the afterburning ones for the F/A-18, and could be used in Hornets by adding a separate afterburner section. The conversion was to be accomplished aboard ship within four hours. This also would not be possible if the two manufacturers' models were not functionally interchangeable. This meant increased logistical costs of maintaining two different F404s (not to mention the fun of having a GE one in the port nacelle and a P&W in the starboard) would far outweigh any possible savings from dual sourcing the engine.

Hadn't heard anything confirming a problem with the A-6F wing. Are you sure you're not talking about the Boeing rewinging program for the A-6E to extend its lifetime to perfrom the deep strike mission until whatever was going to replace the A/FX program could arrive? There were some initial problems with that wing, although the program was moving along smoothly until a stop work order was issued partly to support the F/A-18E/F.

Regarding the A-12 development problems, they have been discussed at length elsewhere on other threads. There was not an even division of workload, though. GD was firmly in charge, even though no one on the team had experience with building a stealth aircraft and GD had no experience in building a carrier aircraft. MDD tried to warn about CV compatibility problems they were running into, but they were not the "lead".
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
As to the cancellation of the A-12, I know some folk at what is now LM Aero-Ft. Worth who swear that the design had serious problems and the even division of workload and control prevented timely resoultion of any design disagreements
I would not even dream of discussing that statement, since the insiders probably know what they're talking about... Still, I'm shocked, considering the cost of R&D and prototyping on a project such as the A-12, that assembly of a few airframes had started while such issues had not been solved. Mismanagement of the program? Over-optimism on the part of the GD/MDD team?
You have to start building airframes sometime, that's part of what EMD is about. If you waited until all issues were resolved (in fact you can't resolve some issues without building airframes), you'll never get into the air. Note, though that on any rational program, there are airframes that are not required to meet full specs, they're developmental airframes, and that's what was being built. For example, no production F-35 has yet flown. On the A-12 program, it was not required to meet the weight requirement until I believe the 24th airframe. In fact, that was one of the points in the GD/MDD protest of the cancell lation for default. The Navy said the aircraft under assembly weren't going to meet the weight requirement. The team's response was that that was true, but they weren't required to meet that weight with those airframes.

The design did have serious problems, though. Partly that was due to the way the Gov't forced the companies to team, partly that was due to the fact that one team walked away from the competition and the less-experienced/knowledgeable team was all that was left, partly that was because the gov't failed to deliver on some key promises (some thought it was deliberate sabotage of the program) and partly because of over-optimism on the part of the GD?MDD team. I believe it was also a fixed-price development contract, and those always go bad.

I said elsewhere that the A-6F cancellation was the wrong decision for the right reasons. The A-12 cancellation was the right decision for the wrong reasons.
 

Triton

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Model of Grumman A-6 Intruder composite re-wing proposal concept by Boeing found on eBay.

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Here's an estate fresh find from a former Boeing employee. Its and A-6 Intruder composite wing retrofit proposal model from the Boeing model shop. The first Grumman Intruders were built in the 50's and saw heavy combat use in the Vietnam conflict. By the 1980's the wings were showing stress cracks and the carrier based Navy intruders had advanced corrosion. Boeing proposed a composite wing retrofit for the aging airframe. They won the contract and started the process in the mid eighties.I can't imagine there is too many of these models around as they were probably made to woo the Navy brass and members of the Boeing build team. In researching the A-6 I was surprised how many upgrades/variants were made as the technology advanced. This one is outfitted in the markings of the VA-85 "Black Falcons" squadron based on the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. As an uniformed guess I'd say this desk model was probably made around 1983-84 making it over 25 years old and there are some condition issues. One bomb is missing but taped to the hardwood base, the non-retractable fuel probe seems to missing. The canopy is not glued to the model but rests nicely there for display purposes.One missile on the composite wing structure has been reglued and one tail fin has some damage but complete. There is some staining and slight decal scrapes, overall fantastic detail on this model even in the cockpit, and its a very impressive display!Please supersize all the photos! It will come to you either USPS or FedEx ground shipping (whichever is least expensive) and fully insured. All loose parts will be separately boxed and the model itself will be double boxed due to its fragile nature. International shipping is possible but will have to come signature confirmation USPS"express mail" no exceptions-see shipping rates for international before bidding if interested. U.S. shipping is no problem and will cost 24.85. Base of model is 18''X9" model itself is 13''x13''
 

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Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Model of Grumman A-6 Intruder composite re-wing proposal concept by Boeing found on eBay.
 

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