Light, fixed-wing anti-tank/ground attack aircraft projects

cluttonfred

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OK, like many of us, I have my pet interests, and one of them is the generally unsuccessful effort to bring relatively small, light aircraft to the battlefield. Here are two already known to this group which made it to prototype/demonstrator stage. They couldn't be more different from each other except the twin tails, but they have always caught my eye. See links for more information:

Scaled Composites (Rutan) Model 151 Ares


Potez 75


There's a nice thread on the Potez 75 in the CGI section of this forum.

Can anyone suggest any more projects for light, fixed-wing anti-tank and/or ground attack aircraft? I don't mean converted trainers, I mean purpose-designed, specialized aircraft. Let's say under 4000 kg/8800 lbs MTOW to keep it relatively "light."

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Stargazer2006

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Great Ares pic, Mole. Think I'll be adding it to my website if that's no problem with you!
Allow me to correct a mistake, though. The Ares was the Model 151, not 51.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Can anyone suggest any more projects for light, fixed-wing anti-tank and/or ground attack aircraft? I don't mean converted trainers, I mean purpose-designed, specialized aircraft. Let's say under 4000 kg/8800 lbs MTOW to keep it relatively "light."
Also the LARA project that lead to the OV-10 Bronco.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,344.0

On the lighter scale there is the FAC/Recce adaptions of the Cessna 337 Skymaster including the Rhodesian Lynx with light strike capabilities and the O-2T USAF never built.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_O-2_Skymaster

Then there is the smallest of the small the Malmo MFI-9 “Mini-Coin” used in the Biafran War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malm%C3%B6_MFI-9

Plus the Martin Mighty Midget.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2419.0

I’m tapped…
 

Lauge

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The following are more COIN than antitank/ground support, but for your information:

There's the North American T-28 Trojan and the Sud-Aviation SE 117 Voltigeur (prototype only), although both of these exceed the 8.800 lbs limit.

The Morane-Saulnier MS 1500 Epervier (also only a prototype), with a MTOW of approx. 6.100 lbs should fit the bill (see image below).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

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Kadija_Man

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One should not ignore the Count Carl Gustaf Ericsson von Rosen's"Babies of Biafra"



Five small civilian single engine Malmo MFI-9 planes. Produced by SAAB, they had been originally designed for a ground attack role in case of a war by the Swedish Air Force. He had the planes fitted with rockets from Matra and proceeded with a band of friends to form a squadron to help the Biafran cause. On May 22, 1969, and over the next few days, Von Rosen and his five aircraft launched attacks against Nigerian air fields at Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin and other small airports. The Nigerians were taken by surprise and a number of expensive jets, including a few MiG-17 fighters and three out of Nigeria's six Ilyushin Il-28 bombers, were destroyed on the ground.
 

Stargazer2006

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Malmo MFI-9 planes
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Really? This looks awfully similar to a Bölkow Bö 208 Junior to me! Was it the same aircraft built under license?
 

Arjen

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The MFI-9 was produced under licence by Bölkow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malm%C3%B6_MFI-9
One variant of the MFI-9 which gained widespread fame was the MiniCOIN (an acronym for "Miniature Counter-Insurrection"), a modification of the MFI-9B military trainer variant of the MFI-9, adapted to carry weapons; a flight of them were flown on the Biafran side in the Nigerian Civil War.

The flight (and name) originated with Carl Gustaf von Rosen, who realized that in a low intensity conflict even a few small, minimally-armed aircraft are capable of having a significant impact. Light aircraft are in any event more suitable for operation in the primitive conditions typical in such conflicts.

Von Rosen was familiar with the military trainer version of the MFI-9, which was robust enough to be able to carry significant loads of ordnance suspended from hard points on the wings. A number of MFI-9Bs had been constructed in hopes of a sale to the Swedish Air Force, but when the sale fell through, the aircraft became available at a low price. After conversion, they saw extensive service during most of the war.
 

cluttonfred

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The pic is sourced from the Ares page on the Scaled Composites web site. Thanks for the correction on the model number. Another thought, according to that Scaled Composites site, "The ARES, Scaled Model 151, was designed initially in response to a U.S. Army request for a Low Cost Battlefield Attack Aircraft (LCBAA)." Does anyone know if there were any other designs submitted under that study?

Stargazer2006 said:
Great Ares pic, Mole. Think I'll be adding it to my website if that's no problem with you!
Allow me to correct a mistake, though. The Ares was the Model 151, not 51.
 

cluttonfred

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Thanks, all, for the input. The SABA designs, Martin Midget and MS 1500 Epervier are definitely what I had in mind as relatively light, purpose-designed aircraft. LARA and other larger designs are perhaps for another thread. I want to stay away from the various armed trainer conversions as that's also another thread.

Breaking my own rules, there is the very neat SIPA S.1100 designed by Yves Gardan for COIN/CAS based on French experience in the Algerian war. The powerplants were the entire firewall-forward units from WWII-surplus Harvard trainers (also used by the French for COIN/CAS) since they were rugged, reliable, cheap and available. Three seats, two 30mm or four 20mm or .50 cal guns, 800 kg of external ordnance, too heavy for this discussion, though.

SIPA S.1100
 

Jemiba

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The early designs of the S.1100 used Turboméca Bastan turboprop engines,
maybe somewhat reducing weight (and so better fitting to your rules !), but also
more expensive and regarded as more vulnerable, so the P & W R1340 were
adopted again. The initial design even looked much more elegant.
For me the MS.1500 is of special interest. Jean Cuny mentions a twin engined
version designated MS.1520, which seemes to have been "minimal change" variant
to the MS.1500, incorporating a retractable landing gear and two wing mounted
engines. No other sources or drawings, so my sketch is source grade 1 only.
 

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GTX

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The S.1100 looks a quite attractive design. Mind you, one could almost mistake it for a WWII design with that heavily framed cockpit.

Regards,

Greg
 

Arjen

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While being aware this is the postwar aircraft projects part of SPF, I would like to draw your attention to the Tomashevich Pegas. Designed by a team led by Dmitri Tomashevich, four prototypes were built from late 1942. Made of wood, steel and fabric, designed in monoplane- as wel as biplane-form. Powered by two Shvetsov M-11F 140hp engines, armed with a 37mm gun (or two 23mm VYa guns), a 12.7 mm UBK machine gun and a 500kg bomb load. The biplane had a jettisonable upper wing, but never flew.

3-view drawings can be found on page 84 of "Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Volume Two - Twin-Engined Fighters, Attack Aircraft and Bombers" by Yefim Gordon, Dmitri Khazanov and Alexander Medved, Midland Publishing 1999.

The original, bigger picture can be found here: http://www.the-vaw.com/html/pegas.php
 

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cluttonfred

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Thanks, Jemiba, for those fantastic images, I wasn't aware of the engine switch. Which Jean Cuny book is that?

GTX said:
The S.1100 looks a quite attractive design. Mind you, one could almost mistake it for a WWII design with that heavily framed cockpit.
I seem to remember reading somewhere a reference to "a snake's head" in describing the S.1100. You can certainly imagine one being quite scary coming at you with guns and rockets blazing and some aggressive nose art. Presumably the faceted panels are flat bullet-proof or at least bullet-resistant panes, though that's just an assumption.
 

cluttonfred

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Arjen said:
While being aware this is the postwar aircraft projects part of SPF, I would like to draw your attention to the Tomashevich Pegas.
Thanks, Arjen. You'll find a thread on Low-powered WWII-era combat aircraft in the pre-WWII section that includes much about the Pegas and other designs. I started that thread too...told you this was pet interest of mine. Cheers, Matthew
 

Arjen

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In my defence, may I claim a considerable backlog in unread topics?
 

Abraham Gubler

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Stargazer2006 said:
Malmo MFI-9 planes
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Really? This looks awfully similar to a Bölkow Bö 208 Junior to me! Was it the same aircraft built under license?
This aircraft was designed and first built in the USA by Swedish engineer Bjoern Andreasson who was working for Convair. But he built it in his garage as a personal project he callled the "BA-7". He returned to Sweden in 1960 to work for AB Malmo FlygIndustri (MFI) who build the BA-7 as the MFI-9. In 1961 Malmo licensed the design to Bolkow Appartebau GMBH (later part of MBB). Malmo scaled up the MFI-9 to the MFI-15 but were acquired by Saab before first flight of the Saab Safari. In the 1970s Saab licensed the MFI-15 to Pakistan where it is still built as the Mushshak.

Both the MFI-9 and larger MFI-15 have been weaponised as very light strike/weapons trainers. The Swedish MFI-15 was even cleared as an ATGM carrier with six Bantam missiles. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards brought some Mushshaks which are probably weaponised too.
 

Stargazer2006

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Thank you very much Abraham for this detailed account of the Junior's origins. Very interesting.
 

Jemiba

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Mole said:
Which Jean Cuny book is that?
Jean Cuny "Les Avions De Combat Francais, 1944-1960 - Volume 2", Docavia.
 

hesham

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Hi,

here is the MS.775/1500 initial design from the book; Les Avions De Combat Francais,
1944-1960 - Volume 2.
 

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