Category AND ATTACK AIRCRAFT

McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo

F-101 A, В and C and RF-101A to H

Origin: McDonnell Aircraft Co (division of McDonnell Douglas Corp), USA. Type: (A, C) day fighter-bomber: (B) all-weather interceptor: (RF) all – weather reconnaissance.

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney J57 two-shaft turbojets with afterburner: (F-101 B) 14.9901b (6800kg) J57-53 or -55 (others) 14,8801b (6750kg) J57-13.

Dimensions: Span 39ft 8in (12’09m); length 67ft 4|in (20-55m): (RF) 69ft 3in: height 18ft (5’49m).

Weights: Empty (typical of all) 28,000lb (12,700kg): maximum loaded (B) 46,700lb (21,180kg): (all versions, overload 51,0001b, 23,133kg). Performance: Maximum speed (B) 1,220mph (1963km/h, Mach 1 -85): .(others, typical) 1,1 OOmph: initial climb (B) 17,000ft (51 80m)/min: service ceiling 52,000ft (1 5,850m): range on internal fuel (B) 1,550 miles (2500km): (others) 1,700 miles (2736km).

Armament: (B) three Falcon (usually AIM-4D) air-to-air missiles semi – submerged in underside, sometimes supplemented by two AIR-2A Genie nuclear rockets on fuselage pylons: (C) three 20mm M-39 cannon (provision for four, with Tacan removed) in fuselage: (RF) none. As built, all A and C and derivatives fitted with centreline crutch for 1 MT tactical nuclear store and wing pylons for two 2,000lb (907kg) bombs, four 680lb (310kg) mines or other ordnance.

History: First flight 29 September 1954: service delivery (A) May 1957: final delivery (B) March 1961.

Users: Canada, Taiwan, USA (ANG).

McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo
McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo

Development: By far the most powerful fighter of its day, the Voodoo was based on the XF-88 Voodoo prototype flown on 20 October 1948. Originally a long-range escort for Strategic Air Command, the F-101 A became a tactical attack machine: 50 were followed by 47 improved C models, all of which set records for accident-free operation and were con­verted to unarmed RF-101G and H for the Air National Guard, augmenting

McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo

Above: RF-101 C with (bottom) side view of RF-101G.

McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo
35 RF-101A and 1 66 RF-101C built earlier and used intensively at all levels in Vietnam. The В interceptor sacrificed fuel for a radar operator to work the MG-13 radar fire-control; 478 were built and converted to F-101F or dual-control TF-101 F for Air Defense Command (now Air National Guard). In 1961 66 ex-ADC aircraft were transferred to the RCAF as CF-101s; in 1970 the CAF exchanged the 58 survivors for 66 improved F and TF and they still serve as the only CAF all-weather fighters.

McDonnell Douglas F-101 VoodooLeft: A daytime recovery at a SE Asia base during the Vietnam war, in which the RF-101 C (illustrated) was even more important than its successor, the RF-4C from the same manufacturer. CF-101s continue in service.

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Alpha Jet

Origin: Jointly Dassault/Breguet, France, and Dornier GmbH, W Germany, with assembly at each company.

Type: Two-seat trainer and light strike/reconnaissance aircraft.

Engines: Two 2.9761b (1350kg) thrust SNECMA/Turbomeca Larzac 04 two-shaft turbofans.

Dimensions: Span 29ft 11 in (9-12m): length (excluding any probe) 40ft 3Jin (1 2-29m); height 1 3ft 9in (4 2m).

Weights: Empty 6,944lb (3150kg): loaded (clean) 9.920lb (4500kg), (maximum) 15,4321b (7000kg).

Performance: (clean) maximum speed 576mph (927km/h) at sea level, 560mph (900km/h) (Mach 0-85) at altitude; climb to 39,370ft (12,000m), less than 10 minutes: service ceiling 45,930ft (14,000m); typical mission endurance 2hr 30min; ferry range with two external tanks 1,510 miles (2430km).

Armament: Optional for weapon training or combat missions, detachable belly fairing housing one 30mm DEFA or 27mm Mauser cannon, with 125 rounds, or two 0 50in Brownings, each with 250 rounds; same centreline hardpoint and either one or two under each wing (to maximum of five) can be provided with pylons for maximum external load of 4,8501b (2200kg), made up of tanks, weapons, reconnaissance pod, ECM or other devices. History: First flight 26 October 1973; first production delivery originaljy to be early 1 976, actually late 1978.

Users: Belgium, Cameroun, France, W Germany, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo.

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Development: Realisation that the Jaguar was too capable and costly to be a standard basic trainer led to the Armee de I’Air issuing a requirement for a new trainer in 1967. The chosen design was to be capable of use in the light ground attack role, in which the Luftwaffe had a parallel need for an aircraft. On 22 July 1969 the two governments agreed to a common specifi-

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Above: Three-view of Alpha Jet prototype with armament.

cation and to adopt a common type of aircraft produced jointly by the two national industries. After evaluation against the Aerospatiale (Nord)/MBB E650 Eurotrainer, the Alpha Jet was selected on 24 July 1970. Aircraft for the two partners are nearly identical. France makes the fuselage and centre section and Germany the rear fuselage, tail and outer wings. SABCA of Belgium makes minor portions. Engines, originally shared by two French companies (see above), are being produced in partnership with MTU and KHD of Germany, plus a small share by FN of Belgium. Trainer aircraft are assembled at Toulouse (France) and attack versions at Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany). Decision to go ahead with production was reached on 26 March 1975. It was expected at that time that France and Germany would each buy 200, and that Belgium would buy 33. but the programme has slipped by more than two years, resulting in increased costs. In 1979 full production was achieved.

Below: After prolonged delays the Alpha Jet finally got into full service in late 1978, with the specially equipped light attack version for the Luftwaffe following in late 1979.

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

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Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

F-5A, В, E and F, CF-5A and D, NF-5A and B, RF-5A, E and G, and SF-5A and В

Origin: Northrop Aircraft Division, Hawthorne, USA: made or assembled under licence by partnership Canada/Netherlands and by Spain.

Type: (With suffix A, E, and G) single-seat fighter-reconnaissance: (with suffix B, D and F) two-seat dual fighter/trainer.

Engines: (A. B, D, G) two 4,0801b (1850kg) thrust General Electric J85-1 3 single-shaft afterburning turbojets: (E. F) two 5,000lb (2268kg) J85-21. Dimensions: Span (A, B, D, G) 25ft 3in (7-7m): (E. F) 26ft 8in (8-1 3m): length (A, G) 47ft 2in (14-38m): (B, D) 46ft 4in (14-12m): (E) 48ft 3fin (14-73m); (F) 51ft 9Jin (15-80m); height (A, G) 13ft 2in (4-01 m); (B, D)

13ft 1 in (3-99m): (E, F) 13ft 4Jin (4 08m).

Weights: Empty (A, G) 8,085lb (3667kg): (B, D) 8,3611b (3792kg):

(E) 9,5881b (4349kg): (F) 9,7001b (4400kg): maximum loaded (A, G) 20,6771b (9379kg): (B, D) 20,5001b (9298kg): (E, F) 24,0801b (10,922kg). Performance: Maximum speed at altitude (A, G) 925mph (1489km/h,

Mach 1 -40): (B, D) 885mph (1424km/h, Mach 1-34); (E) 1,060mph (1705km/h. Mach 1 -60); initial climb (A, G) 28,700ft (8760m)/min; (B, D) 30,400ft (9265m)/min; (E) 31,600ft (9630m)/min; service ceiling (A, G) 50,500ft (15,390m): (B, D) 52,000ft (15,850m): (E) 54.000ft (16,460m); range with max fuel, with reserves, tanks retained, (A, G) 1,387 miles (2232km); (B, D) 1,393 miles (2241km); (E) 1,974 miles (3175km).

Armament: Two 20mm M-39A2 cannon each with 280 rounds in nose (can be retained in RF versions); five pylons for total external load of about 4,400lb (2000kg) in A, G (total military load for these models, including guns and ammunition, is 5.200lb) or 7,000lb (3175kg) in E; rails on wing – tips for AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. (

History: First flight (XT-38) 10 April 1959. (N-156F) 30July1959. (F-5A)

19 May 1964, (F-5E) 11 August 1972, (F-5F) 25 September 1974.

Users: (A, B, D, G) Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Jordan, S Korea,

Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines,

Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA (Air Force, not operational); (E, F) Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan,

Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,

S Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand. Tunisia, USA (Air Force,

Navy), Vietnam (probably not operational).

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger IIDevelopment: In 1 955 Northrop began the project design of a lightweight fighter, known as Tally-Ho, powered by two J85 missile engines slung in pods under a very small unswept wing. It was yet another of the many projects born in the Korean era when pilots were calling for lighter, simpler fighters with higher performance. Gradually Welko Gasich and his team refined the design, putting the engines in the fuselage and increasing the size, partly to meet the needs of the Navy. In June 1956 the Navy had pulled out, while the Air Force ordered the trainer version as the T-38

Talon. Over the next 15 years Northrop delivered 1,200 Talons, all to the USAF or NASA, as the standard supersonic trainer of those services. With this assured programme the company took the unique decision to go ahead and build a demonstration fighter in the absence of any orders – the only time this has ever been done with a supersonic aircraft. By the time it was ready for flight in 1959 the N-156F, dubbed Freedom Fighter had received some US Defense funding, and the prototype carried US serial and stencil markings but no national markings. It was a simple little fighter, carrying about 485 gallons of fuel, two cannon and an old F-86 style sight, and having racks for two little Sidewinder missiles. Today such a prototype would have remained unsold, but in October 1962 the Department of Defense decided to buy the so-called Freedom Fighter in large numbers to give, or sell on advantageous terms, to anti-Communist nations. More than 1,040 of the Freedom Fighter (suffixes A, B, D, G) have been built, all but 178 being exports from Northrop. The Netherlands built the NF-5A and В equipment, heavier mission load, 500lb (227kg) more fuel in the longer fuselage, new inlet ducts, revised body and wing, root extensions and manoeuvring flaps and an X-band radar. Deliveries began in 1972, followed by the two-seat F In 1975. The US Air Force uses the Tiger II to equip its Tac Ftr Training Aggressor units, simulating hostile aircraft; the US Navy uses it as an Air Combat Trainer for future F-4 or F 14 pilots. Basic price of an E is considerably higher than that of the more powerful Jaguar (a recent sale was 12 for Kenya, priced at $706 million), but over 1,000 of the Tiger II type are likely to be supplied on attractive terms to many countries.

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

Left: An F-5A Freedom Fighter of the Hellenic (Greek) air force. These rather limited aircraft equip the 349a Mira at Larissa and the 337а, 341a and 343s all based at Nea Ankhialos near Volos. They have the advantage of good weather, vital for aircraft in this category.

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Hunter 1 to 79

Origin: Hawker Aircraft, UK (now British Aerospace): licence-production in Belgium/Netherlands.

Type: Single-seat fighter, fighter-bomber and fighter-reconnaissance: two-seat dual trainer.

Engine: One Rolls-Royce Avon single-shaft turbojet (see text). Dimensions: Span 33ft 8in (10-26m); length (single-seat, typical) 45ft 10Jin (13’98m). (two-seat) 48ft 10Jin (14-9m); height 13ft 2in (4.26m).

Weights: Empty (1) 12,1281b (5501kg): (9) 13,2701b (6020kg): loaded (1) 16,2001b (7347kg): (9, clean) 17,7501b (8051kg): (9, maximum) 24,000lb (10,885kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (typical of all) 71 Omph (11 44km/h) at sea level, 620mph (978km/h, Mach 0-94) at height; initial climb (Avon 100- series) about 5,500ft (1676m)/min; (Avon 200-series) 8,000ft (2438m)/ service ceiling 50,000ft (1 5,240m); range on internal fuel 490 miles (689km), with maximum fuel 1,840 miles (2965km).

Armament: Four (two-seaters, usually one, sometimes two) 30mm Aden cannon beneath cockpit floor, each with 150 rounds; single-seaters normally have underwing pylons for two 1,0001b (454kg) bombs and 24 3in rockets, later or refurbished aircraft carrying two 230 Imp gal drop tanks in addition.

History: First flight (P.1067) 20 June 1951; (production F.1) 16 May 1953; (two-seater) 8 July 1955: final delivery from new. 1966.

Users: Abu Dhabi, Chile, India, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, UK (RAF, Royal Navy), Zimbabwe – Rhodesia.

Development: Undoubtedly the most successful British post-war fighter, the Hunter epitomised the grace of a thoroughbred and has always delighted its pilots. The prototype, with 6.500lb thrust Avon 100, was built to Speci­fication F.3/48. It was easily supersonic in a shallow dive and packed the devastating four Aden cannon in a quick-release pack winched up as a unit. After being fitted with bulged cartridge boxes and a stuck-on airbrake under the rear fuselage it became a standard fighter, with Armstrong Whit­worth building the F.2 with 8,000lb Sapphire 101, wnich, unlike the early

HSA (BAe) HunterBelow: A brace of Hunter F.74B single seaters of the Singapore Air Defence Command, one of the last and most satisfied Hunter customers.

HSA (BAe) Hunter

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Three-view of Hunter FGA.9. typical of most single-seaterstoday.

Avon, stayed going when the guns were fired. The one-off Mk 3 gained a world speed record at 727-6mph, the F.4 had fuel capacity raised from 334 to 414 gal and carried underwing stores, and the F.5 was a Sapphire – engined 4. The F.6 introduced the 10,0001b Avon 203 and extended-chord dog-tooth wing. The T.7 had the 8,0001b Avon 122 and side-by-side dual controls, the T.8 was a naval trainer, and the most important mark of all was the FGA.9 with 10,1501b Avon 207 and heavier underwing load. The FR.10 was a camera-equipped fighter and the GA.11 was a ground-attack naval trainer. Total Flunter production was 1,985, including 445 made in Belgium and Holland. While 429 were exported as new aircraft, well over – 700 additional Hunters have been refurbished or completely remanufactured for more than 17 air forces, with mark numbers up to 79, Д superb all-round combat aircraft, it is gradually being recognised that, had a further 1,000 been constructed (or fewer scrapped in Britain) all would have found ready buyers today.

HSA (BAe) HunterLeft: This Hunter F.51 was one formerly used by the Royal Danish Air Force (724 Sqn).

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Below: Takeoff by a Hunter FGA.9 of No 45 Sqn RAF, one of the last units to have operated this outstanding aircraft in Britain.

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20

Su-17 "Fitter C", Su-20 and Su-22

Origin: The design bureau named for Pavel 0. Sukhoi. Soviet Union. Type: Single-seat attack and close-support aircraft.

Engine: (-17) one Lyulka AL-21 F-3 single-shaft turbojet with afterburner rated at 17,2001b (7800kg) dry and 25.0001b (11,340kg) with maximum afterburner. (-20. -22) believed to beAL-7F-1 rated at 22,046lb (10,000kg). Dimensions (all): Span (28“) 45ft 11Jin (14 00m), (62°) 34ft 9Jin (10-60m): length (incl probe) 61 ft 6Jin (18-75m); height 1 5ft 7in (4-75m). Weights: (-17 estimated. -20 and -22 slightly less) empty 22.046lb (10,000kg); loaded (clean) 30,865lb (14,000kg). (maximum) 41.8871b (19.000kg).

Performance: (-17, clean) maximum speed at sea level 798mph (1284 km/h. Mach 1 05). maximum speed at optimum height 1,432mph (2305 km/h. Mach 2-17); initial climb 45,275ft (13.800m)/min; service ceiling 59.050ft (18.000m); combat radius with 4,4101b (2000kg) external stores (hi-lo-hi) 391 miles (630km).

Armament: Two 30mm NR-30 cannon, each with 70 rounds, in wing roots; eight pylons under fuselage, fixed gloves and swing-wings for maximum external load of 11,0231b (5000kg) including the AS-7 "Kerry” air-to-surface missile ( 20, -22. six pylons).

History: First public display at Domodedovo 1967; service delivery, possibly 1970 (-17) and 1972-3 (-20).

Users: Egypt (-20). Peru ( 22). Poland (-20). Soviet Union (FA. -17).

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20

Development: A logical direct modification of the somewhat limited Su-7B, the Su-17 has variable-geometry "swing-wings" pivoted far outboard, hinged to a slightly modified -7B centre section with strengthened landing gear – At maximum sweep the trailing edge of the centre section aligns with the outer section, and it carries two shallow fences on each side. At the pivots are large square-fronted fences combined with pylons which are stressed to carry 2.200lb (1000kg) stores which in the Polish Su-20 are

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20Right: Part of a substantial formation of Su-20 variable – geometry attack aircraft in service with the Egyptian Air Force. All versions normally fly with two large jettisonable tanks on the wing-pivot pylons. In the conflict with Libya a few aircraft of this type were in mutual conflict.

invariably drop tanks with nose fins. The swing-wings carry full-span slats, slotted ailerons and flaps which retract inside the centre section. Compared with the Su-7B the result is the ability to lift twice the external load from airstrips little more than half as long, and climb and level speed at all heights are much increased, even in the lower-powered Su-20 and export Su-22. Equipment in the -17 includes SRD-5M "High Fix" radar, an ASP-5ND fire-control system and comprehensive communications and IFF. Landing performance is so much better than the -7B that a braking chute is not fitted; in its place is the aft-facing aerial for a Sirena 3 radar homing and warning system at the rear of the prominent dorsal spine. Peru’s 36 aircraft were to be delivered in 1977.

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20
Left: An Su-20 in service with the PWL (Polish Air Force). Despite various differences this type has the same NATO code of ‘Fitter-C’ as the Soviet Union’s Su-17.

McDonnell Douglas/Hawker AV-8B

AV-8B and proposed variants

Origin: McDonnell Douglas Corporation (MCAIR, St Louis), USA: principal associate, British Aerospace (Hawker Aircraft, Kingston), UK. Type: V/STOL light attack: proposed versions include sea-based air defence, reconnaissance and dual trainer/multi-role.

Engine: One Rolls-Royce Pegasus 103. (Pratt & Whitney F402) vectored – thrust turbofan rated at 21,5001b (9752kg).

Dimensions: Span 30ft З5ІП (9-20m); length 42ft 11 in (13-1m): height 11ft 3iin (3-4m).

Weights: Empty 12,4001b (5625kg): design, 22,7501b (10,320kg): loaded (close-support seven Mk 82 bombs) 25,994lb (11,790kg): maximum over 29,000lb (13,150kg).

Performance: Maximum speed, clean, over Mach 1: operational radius (VTO, 7,800lb/3538kg weapons) 115 miles (185km), (STO, 12 Mk 82 Snakeye, internal fuel) 172 miles (278km), (STO, seven Mk 82, external fuel) 748 miles (1204km): ferry range over 3,000 miles 4830km). Armament: Two 20mm Mk 12 cannon in single belly pods, six underwing pylons and centreline hardpoint for weapon/ECM/fuel load of 8,000!b (3630kg) for VTO or 9,000lb (4080kg) for STO.

History: First flight (YAV-8B) 9 November 1978: operational capability originally planned for 1981—2.

Users: US Marine Corps, US Navy.

McDonnell Douglas/Hawker AV-8B
Development: Following proposals in 1973 by Hawker Siddeley and McDonnell Douglas for an advanced development of the Harrier the then UK Defence Minister, Roy Mason, said there was "not enough common ground" for a joint programme. This caused a delay of many months, but the US government eventually studied an improved aircraft designated AV-16A with a new wing and the uprated Pegasus 15 engine, before deciding to try to achieve as much as possible of the same advantages in payload/range and weapon load with the existing engine. Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney have studied the Pegasus 11D (800lb extra thrust) and 11+ (1,0001b more) but these remained mere proposals as this book went to press, despite the fact Rolls-Royce ran a Pegasus at over 25,0001b thrust in May 1972. Under the present programme all changes are confined to the airframe, the main improvement being a completely new wing, with greater

Подпись: Above: Three-view of AV-8B Advanced Harrier as currently planned.

span and area, less sweep, a supercritical section and graphite-epoxy construction throughout the main wing box and large single-slotted flaps and drooping ailerons. Strakes and a large hinged belly flap will increase air pressure under the fuselage in VTO, while other changes include inlets matched to the engine (they are too small on previous production Harriers) and front nozzles cut off square with the efflux.

Overall improvement in payload/range. compared with an AV-8A, is about 100 per cent. There is still a chance that further gains may result from improvement to the F402 engine, and production AV-8Bs may have the raised cockpit of the British Sea Harrier. The US Marine Corps requirement is for 336, and a variant might possibly be purchased by the US Navy for its own use. Present plans envisage the AV-8B having the Angle-Rate Bomb­ing System, with dual-mode TV and laser spot coupled via IBM computer to the Marconi-Elliott HUD. Fixed or retractable probe refuelling is likely, but radar will not be fitted. Two AV-8As were rebuilt by McDonnell Douglas as YAV-8Bs, and have performed very well in Navy/Marine Corps trials, but Congress has consistently shown itself hostile to what it regards as a foreign aircraft and production funds had been withheld as this book went to press despite sustained pleas from the Marines. The Navy has been more muted, but also wants a radar-equipped version known as AV-8B – Plus. If Congress should release funds, production aircraft would have about half British content, but would be assembled at St Louis.

McDonnell Douglas/Hawker AV-8B
Below: The first of two YAV-8B trials aircraft (rebuilt from AV-8As), hovering at the McDonnell Douglas plant at St Louis after 9 November 1978, which was when this important prototype first got its wheels off the ground.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

A-10A

Origin: Fairchild Republic Co, USA,

Type: Single-seat close-air-support aircraft.

Engines: Two 9,275lb (4207kg) thrust General Electric TF34-100 two – shaft turbofans.

Dimensions: Span 57ft 6in (17-53m); length 53ft 4in (16-26m): height 14ft 5iin (4-4m).

Weights: Empty 21,8131b (9894kg): maximum loaded 47,2001b (21,410 kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (clean) 460mph (740km/h), 380mph (612km/h) at maximum weight: initial climb 1,000ft (328m)/min at maximum weight: take-off distance (at maximum weight) 3,850ft (11 73m),

(at forward-airstrip weight with six Mk 82 bombs), 1,1 30ft (344m): steady speed in 45° dive with full airbrake 299mph (481 km/h): close-air-support radius with reserves 288 miles (463km): ferry range 2,723 miles (4382km). Armament: 30mm high-velocity GAU-8/A cannon in forward fuselage:

11 pylons for total external ordnance load of 16,0001b (7257kg) (excep­tionally, 18,5001b, 8392kg).

History: First flight 10 May 1972: service delivery for inventory December 1974.

User: US Air Force.

Development: Despite the more overt attractions of Mach 2 aircraft the US Air Force was forced to consider the CAS (close air support) mission because of the total unsuitability of its existing equipment. In both the wars it had had to fight since World War II – Korea and Vietnam – its aircraft had been worldbeaters but planned for a totally different kind of war. What was needed, it appeared, was something like an up-to-date Skyraider that could carry a heavy load of ordnance, had good endurance and could survive severe damage from ground fire. Between 1963-69 extensive ►

Right and below: Thunderbolt lls pictured during their initial shakedown flying at Davis-Monthan and IMellis AFBs.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

studies gradually refined the AX specification, which had begun by pre­supposing a twin turbo prop and ended with a larger aircraft powered by two turbofans. After an industrywide competition the Northrop A-9A and Fairchild A-10A were chosen for prototype fly-off evaluation, which took place with two of each type at Edwards in October-December 1972. The A-10A was announced winner and GE the winner of the contest to produce the 30mm tank-busting gun, the most powerful ever fitted to any aircraft, with very high muzzle velocity and rate of fire, and muzzle horsepower 20 times that of the 75mm gun fitted to some B-25s in World War II. Named Avenger, this gun is driven hydraulically at either 2,100 or 4,200rds/ min, and is fed by a drum containing 1,350 milk-bottle-size rounds. Empty cases are fed back into the rear of the drum. By 1978 ground-reloading will probably be done by a*special powered system. Underwing load can be made up of any stores in the Tactical Air Command inventory, the landing gears (which protrude when retracted for damage-free emergency landing) and all tail surfaces are interchangeable, the cockpit is encased in a "bath" of thick titanium armour, and the engines are hung above the rear fuselage where their infra-red signature is a minimum. Originally Tactical Air Command intended to buy 600 of these grey-painted brutes, but despite unavoidable escalation in cost and degradation in performance the planned number has grown to 733, of which half had been delivered by 1980 at a current rate of 1 4 per month.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Above: Thunderbolt Ms on the flight line at Nellis where the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center is located. Operationally the A-10A is classed as a fighter, though this is not its role.

Left: Firing the 30mm GAU-8/A cannon at simulated armour; this is the most powerful gun ever fitted to an aircraft. The pilot has not opened his split ailerons which in dives serve as brakes.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Below: Releasing a Paveway-series Mk 82 laser-guided bomb from level flight. Targets are detected by the Pave passive laser receiver pod seen carried on a pylon under the nose.

Panavia Tornado

Tornado IDS (GR.1), ADV (F.2) and dual (T.3)

Origin: Panavia Aircraft GmbH, international company formed by British Aerospace, MBB of W Germany and Aeritalia.

Type: Two-seat multi-role combat aircraft, (S) optimised for strike, (AD) for air defence, (T) dual trainer.

Engines: Two Turbo-Union RB.199 Mk 101 three-shaft augmented turbofans each rated at 1 5,000lb (6800kg) with full afterburner.

Dimensions: Span (25°) 45ft 7iin (13-90m), (65°) 28ft 2Jin (8-60m); length (IDS) 54tt 9iin (16 7m), (ADV) 58ft 9in (17-9m); height 18ft 83ІП (5-7m).

Weights: Empty, about 24,000lb (10,890kg): loaded (clean) about 35,OOOIb (15,880kg): maximum loaded, about 60,000lb (18,150kg). Performance: Maximum speed (clean), at sea level, about 910mph (1465km/h, Mach 1-2). at height, over 1,320mph (2135km/h, Mach 2): service ceiling over 50,000ft (1 5,240m): range, about 1,000 miles (1610km) on internal fuel (high, wings spread), or over 3,000 miles (4830km) in ferry mode with maximum fuel.

Armament: Two 27mm Mauser cannon in lower forward fuselage: seven pylons, two tandem on body and four on the swinging wings, for external load up to 1 8.0001b (81 65kg). ADV has only one MK27 gun, plus four Sky Flash missiles recessed under fuselage and two or four AIM-9L Sidewinder close-range missiles.

History: First flight (prototype) 14 August 1974), (production IDS) July 1979, (ADV) September 1979: service delivery (IDS to trials unit) February 1978, (squadron service, MFG) 1982.

Panavia Tornado

Users: W Germany (Luftwaffe, Marineflieger), Italy, UK (RAF). Development: No combat aircraft in history has ever been planned with such care by so many possible customers. Studies began in 1967, after the French had abandoned the AFVG aircraft in the same class and decided not to participate in collaborative aircraft of this type. Panavia Aircraft was registered on 26 March 1969 in Munich as a three-nation company to manage the MRCA (multi-role combat aircraft) programme, with shares

Panavia TornadoAbove: Two MBB – assembled prototypes: white-painted 04 and camouflaged 07. later joined by other pre-production machines and production IDS.

held in the ratio ВАС 42J per cent, MBB 42J per cent and Aeritalia 15 per cent. In September 1969, after intense competition with the United States, the RB.1 99 was selected as the engine and a month later Turbo-Union was formed as the engine-management company with shares held in the ratio Rolls-Royce 40 per cent. MTU 40 per cent and Fiat 20 per cent. Thanks to careful planning the Tornado programme has since demonstrated that it is possible for several nations to work together to create a modern military aircraft which promises to exceed all possible rivals in mission effectiveness, versatility and low cost, having already demonstrated better mission capability than the latest competing types designed specifically for that mission. Its design missions are: close air support/battlefield interdiction: long-range interdiction/strike: naval strike: air superiority: air defence/ interception; reconnaissance; training. At one time it was planned that the three nations should develop slightly different versions with either one or two seats and dry or wet wings, but all basic aircraft now in production are identical, with two seats and sealed integral-tank wings. From stem to stern the Tornado is totally modern — a fact which its many competitors have sought to counter by claiming it to be "complicated” or "expensive".

In fact it is not possible to fly the required missions without carrying the equipment, and the fly-away price of £3-9 million (in September 1974 sterling) is by a very wide margin cheaper than any comparable aircraft. The only aircraft that bears comparison with MRCA is the larger F-14, which cannot meet the MRCA requirements in the attack and reconnaissance roles, and is officially doubted as having the capability – in the European environ­ment — to fly the interception missions of the Tornado ADV. Other combat aircraft with a single seat and non-swinging wing are grossly deficient in all ►

Panavia TornadoPanavia Tornado
Below: Prototype 02, assembled in Britain in 1974, with ‘tri-national’ markings, original tail/body fairing and camera on the front of the passive-ECM fairing.

Panavia Tornado

Nosing in over its home airfield – Warton, on the north shore of the Ribble estuary— the first Tornado F.2 interceptor gives a hint of its outstanding capabilities. Two engines (of amazing compactness and fuel-economy), two crew, a new advanced – technology radar, swing wings, extra fuel (in a longer fuselage), the world’s most modern sensors and cockpit displays, and Skyflash and (not fitted here) AIM-9L missiles form an unequalled combination.

Panavia Tornado

Panavia Tornado
roles except close-range air combat, a specialised mission for which the common version of Tornado is not intended (though its performance in this role is considerably better than a Mirage III, F-5 or F-4).

The basic Tornado has highly compact and efficient engines of extremely advanced design, with automatically scheduled inlets and nozzles. Flight control is by large tailerons, augmented at low sweep angles by wing spoilers; the system is fully digital and signalled by quad fly-by-wire via an automatic command and stability augmentation system. For high lift at low speeds the wings have full-span slats and double-slotted flaps. Other equipment includes a mapping radar, terrain-following radar and computer, and laser target ranger for extreme accuracy. ECM and other penetration aids are exceptional. Planned production for the three original partners comprises 809 aircraft, of which 385 will be for the RAF, 202 for the Luftwaffe (replacing the F-104G and G91 R), 122 for the Marineflieger (replacing the F-104G) and 100 for the Regia Aeronautica (replacing the F-104G and G91Y) in all roles. The variety of external stores to be carried by MRCA exceeds that for any other aircraft in history, embracing almost every airborne store of three major nations in virtually all combat roles. A propor­tion of aircraft for the first three customers will be dual trainers (the first flew on 5 August 1 975) which retain all the fuel capacity and weapons of single­pilot versions.

Of the RAF total of 385, about 220 will be of the common IDS (inter-

Panavia Tornado
Above: Initial gun-firing trials took place in April 1978 with prototype 06 (the gun had been air-tested in a Lightning).

Left: Another photograph of 06, which was the first to fly stores – separation tests, a task completed in March 1976.

Below: First launch from Tornado of a Kormoran anti-ship guided missile took place from 09 at Decimomannu in July 1978.

Panavia Tornado

diction strike) variant: the other 165 will be of the ADV (air-defence variant) type, planned to replace the Phantom in the air defence of the UK, Commonality with the IDS aircraft is officially put at 80 per cent, differences mainly being confined to the forward fuselage though the wing-root gloves have acute sweep and no Kruger flaps. Engines are unchanged, though higher-thrust versions are available on customer request. The ADV fuselage is longer partly to accommodate Sparrow or Sky Flash missiles nose-to-tail and partly to accommodate much additional fuel. The radar is a completely new Marconi Foxhunter set, with planar scanner by Ferranti inside a more pointed radome which reduces drag. Computer and radar programs are quite different from those of the IDS, though each version has considerable capability in the primary role of the other. Great attention has been paid to the ADV target identification and vision-augmenting subsystems, to make full use of the range of the radar and Sky Flash missile. The radar homing/ warning installation is also new, and quite different from equipment fits used on the IDS version.

In mid-1979 the 16 prototype and pre-production Tornados had flown and been succeeded by the first few production machines (the first two being dual-pilot versions with full operational capability) and the first ADV prototypes. At that time three contracts for production batches had been signed for a total of 314 aircraft for inventory service with the four initial customers.