Project Pave Gat - RB-57G (help)


7 January 2007
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I was wondering if anyone had any pictures or drawing of the Project Pave Gat, featuring RB-57G '53-3906'

Pave Gat
Low-light-level television combined with laser range-finder; 20 mm turret (gimbal mouted, downward firing M61A1 gatling gun in bomb bay); 1+ RB-57G '53-3906' modified

Also any help with:
Project Tailchaser: Convair (A)C-131B
First test flights with armed C-131B, serial 53-7820, at Eglin AFB, 08/1964, with General Electric 7.62 mm SUU-11A/A Gatling Minigun.

Thank you in advance
there's a picture of the PAVE GAT in 'B-57 at War' by Robert C. Mikesh, i
have a copy, but can't get at it just at the moment, as it's still in here, :(



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Thank you, I will look up the book

I still have not unpacked from my last move over two years ago...and will not until my next move :)

I know how it feels.
Looks like IKEA Ivar to me.

right on the button! lol, went for the short ones, think the longer ones may sag from the weight, don't like curved shelves, :(

I found the following blurb, regarding the Project Tailchaser C-131.

In December 1962, a proposal was written for a fixed-wing, forward-moving aircraft with side-firing weapons. Although a slow-mover, but forward nonetheless, a Convair C-131 Samaritan transport plane was the first aircraft used as a flying gunship testbed in mid-1963. With a T-28, it bored holes in the sky proving that a target could actually be tracked. Known as Project Tailchaser, the C-131B (#53-7820) had no weapons and had no gunsight, but it did have some nifty grease pencil marks on the side canopy window. There are no reports as to whether or not the pilot had to shout "Bang, Bang" during these tests.

Eventually, the C-131 was given a gunsight for the side window, but cameras in the cargo area instead of guns. Because of budget constraints, the aircraft was only allowed to make two check flights during the first seven months of testing.

In mid-1964, the test program began in earnest when the C-131 was ferried to Eglin AFB in Florida and a General Electric SUU-11A/A 7.62mm Gatling Minigun was installed. Live ammunition was used and both over-water and over-land tests exceeded all expectations.

From the following site:

I have seen a photo or two of the aircraft, but I can't lay hands on them at the moment.
The only photo I could find is this :
(from Larry Davis "Gunship")
Yes, the little stick beneath the middle, that's the three-barreled gun ! :(


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Thanks Jemiba...Not quite what I had expected it to look like...
I will have to do more digging.
The same book mentiones, that converting B-47s with two such guns each
was envisaged.
having now found the book i mentioned, the picture i spoke about is the one already posted above, :(, however, there is also this project,
the caption is self-explanatory...



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That sounds similar to an AP-2E(?) plan, several guns in the weapons bay firing at different angles. I've never seen a pic or drawing, tho.

robunos said:
having now found the book i mentioned, the picture i spoke about is the one already posted above, :(, however, there is also this project,
the caption is self-explanatory...

AFAIK the AP-2E were modified P2V-5F, used by the army for ECM and ELINT.
The OP-2E was armed and had window mounted gun stations and later gun
pods and rocket launcher. But on the photos I've seen, such details are barely
visible and the drawings in Sqd/Sign.N° 68 only show some sensor installations.
Here are some scans of some photocopies given to me in the early 1990's.
No apologies for the quality, it is what it is.
Of interest are the two different configurations with the gun forward and gun aft.
By the grainy photos you can see two different aircraft modified.

The material mostly comes from Emerson Electric.
There is some stuff in here that I have not seen elsewhere so is of interest.



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Final bits

I hope you find this information of use and enjoyment.



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Some goodies on 'Pave Gat', 'Tailchaser', and 'Tropic Moon III' :-

"Development and Employment of Fixed-Wing Gunships 1962-1972"

"The B-57G 'Tropic Moon III' "


By the grainy photos you can see two different aircraft modified.

From the 'Tropic Moon III' rerence above :-

Because of the flexibility inherent in the rotary bonb bay door system of the B-57, Emerson was able to install two prototype turret systems on two doors without immobilizing a single aircraft.

Only one aircraft was modified, but was fitted with two different weapon systems, mounted on two removable bomb bay doors.

If you look at Document -3 you will notice it is B-57B 52-1518 whose remains wers still in MASDC in 1979, if you look at Document -4 it is B-57G 53-3905 which was later lost.

BillS - I didn't associate the numbers on the documents with the aircraft serial numbers........ :-[
I was also under the impression that only the B-57G was used for 'Pave Gat' trials. it doesn't help that the page concerned with the start of the 'Pave Gat' project in the 'Tropic Moon III' reference above, is actually *missing*, as it may contain some reference to the use of 52-1518 in these trials.
Anyway, here's another picture of, I presume, 52-1518, during trials with a ventral cannon, from page 128 of Robert Mikesh's 'Martin B-57 Canberra', showing how on this aircraft, the targeting sensors were mounted in underwing pods.



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The numbers were hard to see off to the right of the scans. No problem. We do this for fun/hobby. B)

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