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Vought Blitzfighter / ATLAS / VMX lightweight attack studies

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

An interesting find for me in the Vought Archives was the Blitzfighter along with some other small/micro fighter and attack aircraft designs. I'll start off first with a couple of reports and a few drawings out of them and later will pull in some Atlas designs that I found over the past two visits.

Would anyone know if the Air Force was actively looking at these low cost small designs or was it a case of trying to scare up some business? Time frame for this effort is 1977 thru 1980 from what I can tell.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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TinWing

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There's a reference on page 112 of the following .pdf:

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA496358

Col James Burton, one of the Fighter Mafia reformers, even proposed the Air Force develop a new airplane, which he named the Blitzfighter. He writes: I prepared an advocacy briefing that called for the development of a small, simple, lethal, and relatively cheap airplane that would be designed solely for close support of the ground troops… I wanted an airplane in the 5,000- to 10,000-pound class (one-tenth the weight of the Enhanced Tactical Fighter), one smaller than any combat airplane in the inventory (one-fourth the size of the A-10), and one that cost less than $2 million. At this price, we could flood the battlefield with swarms of airplanes. The airplane would be designed around a four-barrel version of the same cannon that was in production on the A-10, which used a seven-barrel cannon that fired shells costing only $13 apiece… The Blitzfighter would have no high-tech bells and whistles and no wonder weapons… With the ability to operate from grass fields, the Blitzfighter did not demand fixed, expensive airfields that probably would cease to exist ten minutes after a war started… (Burton 1993:57-58)
This concept is a clear sign of the FIST values at work. Burton’s envisioned Blitzfighter was never built, apparently because Burton’s superiors did not share his values—which is one of the pitfalls inherent in attempting to use the FIST values.
 

robunos

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That's it!!!

That's what I've been looking for, for ages!
Only I got my wires crossed and thought it was called the 'mudfighter'.


cheers,
Robin.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks Tin Wing - that's got to be it. I think I'll change the thread title so that other Blitzfighter proposals have a thread to fit into.

You are welcome Robunos - what interested you in this?

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Skybolt

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An aside, but not so much. In the Dan Raymer autobiography there is extensive coverage of a Rockwell project of his regarding a very low cost CAS airplane in late 70s. Probably it was the same general requirement.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Skybolt, is the book worth acquiring?

Thanks! Mark
 

AeroFranz

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Short answer -yes. I think we have a thread on the subject, you can check that out for more info ;)
 

Skybolt

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Ahem, four thumbs... even if I'd be curious to known in which hell of restaurant in Milan Dan ate that refused him a second turn on spaghetti....
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks guys - looks like I'll be placing an order soon....

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Thanks Mark. Here's the LTV Atlas designs from the PDF. Second design is remarkably like the Boeing Quiet Bird.
 

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Bill S

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Ran across some ATLAS A100 and A200 stuff that I don't see as having been previously posted.

ALL FROM THE VOUGHT ARCHIVES
 

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Bill S

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More from THE VOUGHT ARCHIVES
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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I really like the concept, though I guess today we'd lose the pilot and call it a UCAV.
 

cluttonfred

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Wonderful stuff, especially the fact that the aircraft was designed to be easily transported and the remarkable size comparison with the A-10. Unfortunately, in the American context, the general USAF disinterest in 1) relatively simple, inexpensive aircraft and 2) close air support means we are never likely to see such an aircraft, except maybe as a very capable UCAV.

I wonder if the Marines would ever be interested in a small, super-STOL aircraft, not STOVL, like this? With more wing area and perhaps control surfaces blown with cold bleed air for low speed control, such a little plane might make a much, much cheaper and simpler alternative or complement to the F-35B. The new America-class LHA is over 800 feet long--that ought to manageable with a design optimized for low-speed handling and control.
 

cluttonfred

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Resurrecting an earlier thread...

One of the Vought references that Mark provided in his initial post includes this note:

The Blitzfighter concept was proposed by the OSD Programs and Evaluation (PA&E) Group. Vought and other contractors were asked to determine if the notional performance goals could be met at a unit cost below $2 million. The Vought Advanced Concepts group performed a conceptual design study in May-June 1978 to define a representative Blitzfighter.

Does anyone have...

1) More details or a copy of the original OSD proposal?
2) A list of the contractors involved?
3) Details and/or images of the other conceptual designs proposed?

Cheers,

Matthew

Mark Nankivil said:
Greetings All -

An interesting find for me in the Vought Archives was the Blitzfighter along with some other small/micro fighter and attack aircraft designs. I'll start off first with a couple of reports and a few drawings out of them and later will pull in some Atlas designs that I found over the past two visits.

Would anyone know if the Air Force was actively looking at these low cost small designs or was it a case of trying to scare up some business? Time frame for this effort is 1977 thru 1980 from what I can tell.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

royabulgaf

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My first though was, why not fire up the engine and drive it to the battlefield? It's not going to carry much weaponage, and it presumed opponents will have access to .50 cal mgs, or hell, just take pot shots at it for shits and giggles.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

A 1975 Vought Naval attack aircraft study by Vought. Atrocious quality scan, sadly.

[Removed. See below for excellent scan!]
 

cluttonfred

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An alternative might be to pull the bits of the other thread the include other Vough ATLAS variations and perhaps rename this thread "Vought ATLAS 'Blitzfighter'" or something like that. Right now we have Vought ATLAS sketches in two different threads and the sequence of the designs is not at all clear.
 

Bill S

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Picking up where Mark left off, more from the Vought Archives
 

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Bill S

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

This will help.
From the Vought Archives
 

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GTX

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

Attractive design - any specs?

regards,

Greg
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

I believe VAMX comprised studies in the mid-late 1970s for an all-weather attack aircraft (A-6 replacement?)

The Vought design illustrated looks a lot more like a lightweight attack design with F-16 heritage in the nose area.
 

Skybolt

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

VAMX was a study done in at least two phases, the first started in 1969 and Lockheed participated with TDN CL-1200 (no, not the Lancer, CL-1200 designation was used two times, the VAMX was the first one). The general spec was for a medium attack aircraft capable of Mach 1.5. VG as used, and in some iterations even dditional lifting engines for extreme STOL (a Marine requiement ?). A second iteration of studies started in late 1970, and apparently the supersonic speed requirement was dropped, Lockheed studies were done under TDN CL-1253, and all resembled scaled down and elongated S-3s. I'll post both, if interested.
 

Machdiamond

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

If one can find detailed studies on those inlets - or similar vortex inlets that I have seen elsewhere - I would be grateful.

I can see how the highly swept root glove will create a powerful vortex that will keep the airflow attached ahead of the inlet, but I do not see how the inlet can avoid ingesting said vortex.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

Lockheed VAMX study here:


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2164.0.html
 

Pioneer

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

GTX said:
Attractive design

Greg

I second this Greg!!
Looks a very compact design for an all-weather platform!
Interesting intake arrangement as well!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

Skybolt said:
I'll post both, if interested.

Yes please!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Re: VAMX: 1975 Vought Advanced Medium Attack Aircraft study

Posted here already: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2164.0.html
 

Bill S

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I was getting ready to post some familiar looking VMX V-600 drawings when I found them here:


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12241.msg119636/topicseen.html#msg119636


So I will refer you to that posting rather than duplicate it!


:)


bill
 
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