Help needed with GE F404-powered Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II proposal!

Pioneer

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Gentleman, your input and knowledge is requested if I may?

I have a question if I may, in relation to the Fairchild A-10A/B Thunderbolt II

If the A-10’s General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofans were to be replaced by General Electric F404 non afterburning turbofans, as I’ve heard proposed before, would the existing engine pods accommodate the F404? Or would the engine pods have a different shape – length, diameter etc?

Can someone take a guess (or better calculate) with their knowledge of TF34-GE-100A and F404 fuel consumption/fractions, as to how the range and loiter time of the A-10 would vary with each engine design?

Thanks in advance

Regards
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overscan (PaulMM)

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Pods would be longer and narrower. Fuel economy would be screwed. TF34 sfc is 0.371, F404 about 0.8. Allied to higher thrust, that means about 3 times the fuel consumption at maximum power. Speed would probably increase a bit, but the airframe would limit gains.


All in all, a terrible idea.
 

Jemiba

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Using data and pictures from wiki and globalsecurity.org, the engined pods may have been
changed in a way shown here:
 

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LowObservable

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It was a short-lived proposal. It would have given you more speed - but not up to the speed of the strike package - but worsened endurance. Customer enthusiasm appeared to be big fat zero and FR switched gears to night/adverse weather mods.

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1976/1976%20-%202047.html


https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1976/1976%20-%202048.html


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,160.0.html
 

Sundog

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One of the A-10 pilots I spoke to said he wanted F404's to maintain maneuvering energy. He also said if he had those, he would be able to shoot down any plane in a dogfight. I don't think the USAF wanted the A-10 to dogfight. ;) That gun against other fighters would have been like shooting a sparrow with a shotgun. But the fact that that gun maintains it's accuracy at a much greater distance than other fighters, still makes it a bad idea to tangle with an A-10, especially on the deck. Of course, I think he was mainly thinking of tangling with Su-25s over Europe.


Thanks for links Bill, I've never seen the picture of the A-10 model with the F404s.
 

kaiserd

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Sundog said:
One of the A-10 pilots I spoke to said he wanted F404's to maintain maneuvering energy. He also said if he had those, he would be able to shoot down any plane in a dogfight. I don't think the USAF wanted the A-10 to dogfight. ;) That gun against other fighters would have been like shooting a sparrow with a shotgun. But the fact that that gun maintains it's accuracy at a much greater distance than other fighters, still makes it a bad idea to tangle with an A-10, especially on the deck. Of course, I think he was mainly thinking of tangling with Su-25s over Europe.


Thanks for links Bill, I've never seen the picture of the A-10 model with the F404s.

Hi Sundog, when (what year) did the A10 pilot make that comment?
If it was in the last 10-15 years wouldn't make a lot of sense due to the advancement in dogfighting short range AAMs, makes a rather more sense in 80's Cold War theoretical Central Europe battlefront (air superiority likely to be at best rather patchy, plentiful Russian airpower to fight-off/ shoot down, AAM advancements not yet occurred and/or proven/ perceived).

Would be fascinating to know the cross-over point where even an A10 pilot would be more concerned with with his helmet mounted sight and having a AIM9X or equivalent rather than his gun and having marginally more energy when it comes to (hopefully only theoretical) air-to-air.

May well be that if actually faced with the prospect Archer and Adder armed peer opposition the A10's trip to the bone yard may have occurred rather earlier. Can't see to many Flanker pilots sweating over the A10.
 

kaiserd

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kaiserd said:
Sundog said:
One of the A-10 pilots I spoke to said he wanted F404's to maintain maneuvering energy. He also said if he had those, he would be able to shoot down any plane in a dogfight. I don't think the USAF wanted the A-10 to dogfight. ;) That gun against other fighters would have been like shooting a sparrow with a shotgun. But the fact that that gun maintains it's accuracy at a much greater distance than other fighters, still makes it a bad idea to tangle with an A-10, especially on the deck. Of course, I think he was mainly thinking of tangling with Su-25s over Europe.


Thanks for links Bill, I've never seen the picture of the A-10 model with the F404s.

Hi Sundog, when (what year) did the A10 pilot make that comment?
If it was in the last 10-15 years wouldn't make a lot of sense due to the advancement in dogfighting short range AAMs, makes a rather more sense in 80's Cold War theoretical Central Europe battlefront (air superiority likely to be at best rather patchy, plentiful Russian airpower to fight-off/ shoot down, AAM advancements not yet occurred and/or proven/ perceived).

Would be fascinating to know the cross-over point where even an A10 pilot would be more concerned with with his helmet mounted sight and having a AIM9X or equivalent rather than his gun and having marginally more energy when it comes to (hopefully only theoretical) air-to-air.

May well be that if actually faced with the prospect Archer and Adder armed peer opposition the A10's trip to the bone yard may have occurred rather earlier. Can't see to many Flanker pilots sweating over the A10.

Apologies for taking this further off topic but my thoughts above reminded me of the humble Skyraiders amazing MIG kills. A10's would need similar luck/ context to best a current state of the art opposition fighter (e.g. Advance Flanker)
http://theaviationist.com/2015/01/14/the-most-unusual-mig-killer-the-skyraider-air-to-air-victories-on-north-vietnamese-mig-17s/
Promise I'll stop now :)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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RB.199 (as mentioned in the article) would have been a better choice, with a higher bypass ratio and better fuel efficiency. Also shorter, but the thrust boost would have been smaller.
 

kitnut617

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I'd have thought the airframe would limit just how fast the A-10 could go, no matter how more powerful you make the engines.
 

Sundog

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kaiserd said:
Sundog said:
One of the A-10 pilots I spoke to said he wanted F404's to maintain maneuvering energy. He also said if he had those, he would be able to shoot down any plane in a dogfight. I don't think the USAF wanted the A-10 to dogfight. ;) That gun against other fighters would have been like shooting a sparrow with a shotgun. But the fact that that gun maintains it's accuracy at a much greater distance than other fighters, still makes it a bad idea to tangle with an A-10, especially on the deck. Of course, I think he was mainly thinking of tangling with Su-25s over Europe.


Thanks for links Bill, I've never seen the picture of the A-10 model with the F404s.

Hi Sundog, when (what year) did the A10 pilot make that comment?
If it was in the last 10-15 years wouldn't make a lot of sense due to the advancement in dogfighting short range AAMs, makes a rather more sense in 80's Cold War theoretical Central Europe battlefront (air superiority likely to be at best rather patchy, plentiful Russian airpower to fight-off/ shoot down, AAM advancements not yet occurred and/or proven/ perceived).

Would be fascinating to know the cross-over point where even an A10 pilot would be more concerned with with his helmet mounted sight and having a AIM9X or equivalent rather than his gun and having marginally more energy when it comes to (hopefully only theoretical) air-to-air.

May well be that if actually faced with the prospect Archer and Adder armed peer opposition the A10's trip to the bone yard may have occurred rather earlier. Can't see to many Flanker pilots sweating over the A10.


He was an A-10 pilot in Europe back in the 80's.
 

Sundog

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kitnut617 said:
I'd have thought the airframe would limit just how fast the A-10 could go, no matter how more powerful you make the engines.


The airfoil/wing would greatly limit the speed, as it wasn't designed to go fast. But, basic physics tells you if you go into a tight turn and start pulling G's, you're creating a lot more lift, which translates into a lot more drag, which translates into you're going to slow down real fast if you don't get a lot more thrust. The F404's were the answer to that last part. However, as the rest of the comments in this thread have shown, it would be at the expense of a lot of other factors, mainly range and IR signature.
 

kitnut617

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Sundog said:
kitnut617 said:
I'd have thought the airframe would limit just how fast the A-10 could go, no matter how more powerful you make the engines.


The airfoil/wing would greatly limit the speed, as it wasn't designed to go fast. But, basic physics tells you if you go into a tight turn and start pulling G's, you're creating a lot more lift, which translates into a lot more drag, which translates into you're going to slow down real fast if you don't get a lot more thrust. The F404's were the answer to that last part. However, as the rest of the comments in this thread have shown, it would be at the expense of a lot of other factors, mainly range and IR signature.

My wife's brother drove Chieftains back in the 80's before transferring to Challengers, he told me one time that when they used to do live firing practice (on a training ground in Germany), they used to have to stop while the A-10's came in and did their stuff. So for practice against Su-25's, they used to track the A-10's with their gun sight and quite easily could have pulled the trigger -------
 

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I knew another Chieftain commander who bagged a helicopter simulating a Hind on an exercise.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
I knew another Chieftain commander who bagged a helicopter simulating a Hind on an exercise.

I seem to recall they actually looked at an antiaircraft round for the Abrams.
 

Colonial-Marine

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sferrin said:
I seem to recall they actually looked at an antiaircraft round for the Abrams.
M830A1 MPAT has a proximity fuse setting for use against helicopters. Some of the smart munitions tested over the years may have had an anti-helicopter capability too. Yet as far as I know no 120mm (or 105mm) ammo has been built exclusively for that purpose.
 

r16

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well , not exactly a 404 one , but ...

ı have been reading Rupert Red Two by Jack Broughton and this is what he says

"Jimmy was usually the happy Irishman, but he was serious on that trip. He was vice president for manufacturing at Republic, and he told me that he needed help in the form of an assistant. In addition to the F-84s rolling off the production line, they were involved in exploring the potential of further development of Kartveli’s far-out F-103. The new F-105, which was supposed to be in production, was encountering serious contract problems with the air force, and the A-10, dubbed the Warthog due to its ugly appearance, was on the drawing board."

so the Republic is asking Broughton to join the company after his stint as the commander of the USAF acrobatic team so the time frame must be 1958. Anybody seen such a project?
 

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