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Grumman A-6 projects

Hood

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The Grumman A-6G was to use the avionics of the A-6F (APQ-177, AKU-14 mission computer and ASN-130/139 INS) with the addition of a HUD with FLIR imaging, NVG and an Integrated Defense Avionics Program installation. The Boeing composite wing would be used and the engines were the J52-P-408/409 offering around 25% improved thrust.
 

Colonial-Marine

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I don't know how much of an effect the refueling probe had on the Intruder's drag, but was a folding refueling probe ever considered for the A-6F or unbuilt variants?
 

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Found these pics in an AvWeek from 79-80-ish period. shows A-6 with ADEN nozzle, a curious return to vectored thrust. The original A-6 prototype had vectorable nozzles to satisfy Marines' requirements. Does anyone have any pictures of the original installation?
 

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Jemiba

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From Squadron Signal "Intruder" a photo of the first prototype with
the nozzles tilted downwards:
 

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AeroFranz

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Thanks for the pic, Jemiba!

I wonder how much the thrust vectoring considerations influenced the configuration. IIRC, it ended up buying only a few knots of approach speed. That's unsurprising, given how only high thrust to weight aircraft really benefit from TV in reducing stall speed.
 

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According to Profile 252 "Grumman A-6A/E Intruder; EA-6A; EA-6B Prowler" by Kurt H. Miska thrust vectoring was dropped very early in development.
BuNo. 147864 [...] and next three A-6As (BuNos. 147865-7) had hydraulically tilting tail pipes arranged to swivel down 23o to improve short field and carrier capability by reducing take-off and landing speed by about 11 mph. However, no real improvement was noted and the system was deactivated early in the programme.

BuNo. 147864 is the A-6A prototype in Jemiba's picture.
 

Pioneer

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The Model 128U ASW - Now this would be interesting!!!!
I wonder if it would have had a retractable MAD boom?
A pre S-3 Viking proposal?
Anyone got anything more on this proposal/study?

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Triton

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Triton

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Re: Grumman A2F-1 in United States Army colors model by Topping

Grumman A2F-1 model in United States Army colors manufactured by Topping found on eBay.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Re: Grumman A2F-1 in United States Army colors model by Topping

Gosh. It's amazing sometimes how reality catches up with fiction. Here's a fake advertisement I created last year for an Army Intruder, not knowing there had actually been plans for one at some point...

grumman-intruder-army.jpg
 

Triton

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Re: Grumman A2F-1 in United States Army colors model by Topping

Well that's the $20,000 question. Were there plans to sell the A2F-1/A6 to the United States Army? Or has someone repainted a Topping A2F-1 model with United States Army colors and replaced the decals as a What if... exercise?
 

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Re: Grumman A2F-1 in United States Army colors model by Topping


In February 1961, less than a month after assuming office, McNamara directed Defense Department researchers and engineers to develop a new triservice aircraft for the Army, Air Force, and Navy. The VAX, a dual-mission aircraft with a close-air support role, spun out of this project and eventually became the A-7 Corsair II.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa460.pdf

Possibly related to the early VAX studies?
 

uk 75

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Here are some pictures of a Topping model Grumman Intruder on Ebay in US Army colours.
 

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yasotay

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What a fun idea.
Never would have happened. The Army would have counted how many tanks they could have for one Intruder and the USAF would have raged to the HASC and SASC at the violation of the sacred Title 10.
 

Triton

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I found this model earlier on eBay. I am suspicious of it because the base reads "Grumman A2F Intruder." A2F-1 was the United States Navy designation for the Intruder prior to the United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system of 1962 that re-designated the aircraft the A-6. If it was indeed a United States Army concept/proposal prior to 1962, would Grumman have printed "A2F Intruder" on the base?

Further, wouldn't the United States Air Force have objected to the United States Army operating the A2F-1 believing it was a violation of the Key West Agreement of 1948?
 

Stargazer2006

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Triton said:
I found this model earlier on eBay. I am suspicious of it because the base reads "Grumman A2F Intruder." A2F-1 was the United States Navy designation for the Intruder prior to the United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system of 1962 that re-designated the aircraft the A-6. If it was indeed a United States Army concept/proposal prior to 1962, would Grumman have printed "A2F Intruder" on the base?

Further, wouldn't the United States Air Force have objected to the United States Army operating the A2F-1 believing it was a violation of the Key West Agreement of 1948?

All of these arguments are valid indeed. However:

1°) It's not because the USAF would have objected that the Army wouldn't have tried. Remember that they repeatedly tried to add fixed-wing aircraft to the roster.
2°) It doesn't harm for a company like Grumman to make a spontaneous, unsollicited proposal to the Army.
3°) We have seen cases of desktop model bases being swapped: either by mistake or because the original one was missing and they picked the next best one.
4°) Grumman could also have chosen to use the "A2F" designation because that's how the Intruder was known then, and also maybe to insist on the fact that it was similar to the Navy variant and required minimum changes (and therefore costs) to be turned into an Army model.
 

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Triton said:
I found this model earlier on eBay. I am suspicious of it...

I'm suspicious of it as well, because the seller is the same one who recently listed that space MSFC 040 shuttle in USAF markings. Neither model makes much sense. I think we may have a hobbyist with a penchant for revisionist history.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Just a reminder that "G-12" was simply short for "G-128G-12", a version of the Intruder for the VA(L) competition.
 

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What a great obit, quite well-written with few glaring technical errors, makes me want to be an aeronautical engineer when I grow up! Err, wait a sec.... ;)
 

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Here's a proposed Model 128 variant you don't see every day. Any ideas on the correct Grumman designation, intended mission, etc.?
This came from the Grumman model shop in Bethpage.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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circle-5 said:
Here's a proposed Model 128 variant you don't see every day. Any ideas on the correct Grumman designation, intended mission, etc.?
This came from the Grumman model shop in Bethpage.


I think its an EW warfare version judging from the tail. I would bet on it being from the early stages of what became the EF-111 programme, which initially had a number of airframes considered before focusing purely on the F-111.
 

circle-5

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PaulMM said:
circle-5 said:
Here's a proposed Model 128 variant you don't see every day. Any ideas on the correct Grumman designation, intended mission, etc.?
This came from the Grumman model shop in Bethpage.


I think its an EW warfare version judging from the tail. I would bet on it being from the early stages of what became the EF-111 programme, which initially had a number of airframes considered before focusing purely on the F-111.

Yes, good catch -- I think you're right. I will not bet against you on this one.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Known Grumman model numbers for EW versions are:


Model 128D - 1960 EA-6A.
Model 128H - 1962 EA-6A variation.
Model 128J - 1964 EA-6A Tactical Weapons System - early proposals that became EA-6B.
Model 128W - 1973 EA-6B "tactical support measures" evaluation.


The previous model to 128W is from 1967, so 128W seems the best guess timing-wise. Its generally considered the USAF had decided on F-111 by 1972, but didn't actually sign contracts until 1974, so 1973 seems possible.
 

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Another great find Circle5!!
I tend to support Paul's thoughts on a dedicated EW/ECM variant! I also note that the re-shaped nose/radome appears to do away with the Intruder's blind attack radar system!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

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Used an old drawing of the Prowler to sum up the differences, as I see them:
- longer and pointed radom
- canoe fairing under the fuselage is either longer, or further aft
- somewhat longer/bigger fairing on the fin
- and there seems to be an inflight-refuelling probe under the right wing
 

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circle-5

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Jemiba said:
Used an old drawing of the Prowler to sum up the differences, as I see them:
- longer and pointed radom
- canoe fairing under the fuselage is either longer, or further aft
- somewhat longer/bigger fairing on the fin
- and there seems to be an inflight-refuelling probe under the right wing


The fuselage is also substantially elongated, both fore and aft of the wing, when compared to the EA-6B: for example, note how the rear canopy is fully ahead of the wing leading edge, and how much longer the air intake ducts are...
 

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The main objection to EA-6B from the USAF was slow speed making it unable to penetrate with F-111s. This model really looks like it was designed for higher subsonic speeds than the basic EA-6B.

Just a thought.
 

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Here's another view of the model. Note large air intakes (I suspect these might be for TF-30 powerplants). Also -- in response to Jemiba -- that is not a refueling probe under the right wing. It's part of the starboard jammer pod and there should be another one on the port wing (you can see where it's broken). All EA-6Bs have these, but I'm too lazy to look up exactly what that is at the moment.
 

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The boom-mounted antennas were for the on-board ALQ-51/100 self-protection ECM system. (That should be read as ALQ-51 or ALQ-100 systems - the ALQ-100 WRA set was a form/fit/function+ drop-in replacement for the ALQ-51 boxes.) This system had nothing to do with the jamming system of the EA-6B.

The antenna booms are one of the few visual differences between the A-6A and A-6E; the antennas were relocated on the A-6E which had the later ALQ-126 and the booms disappeared from the design. I suspect that the booms were removed from the extant and forward-build EA-6Bs for the same reason.

Thanks, Circle-5 for the photos of what has to be the sleekest A-6 variant yet known!
 

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Thank you aim9xray for correcting my errors and assumptions -- as I was hoping you would! Excellent info, as always.
 

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circle-5 said:
The fuselage is also substantially elongated, both fore and aft of the wing, when compared to the EA-6B: for example, note how the rear canopy is fully ahead of the wing leading edge, and how much longer the air intake ducts are...

You're absolutely right, sorry, missed that. It explains some of my difficulties: Next attempt, with the
canopy changed to the more angular shape of the model and larger intakes, too.
As an USAF aircraft, it probably would have got a receptacle in the upper fuselage ?
 

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