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Agt_Homer
09-09-2007, 11:34 PM
Does anyone else here wonder why nobody uses single engine propeller driven aircraft in combat any more. Not as fighters but as ground attack, an alternative to helicopters. Pretty much an prop plane is superior to a helicopter in every way except for the ability to hover. I can see why countries like the USA wouldn't do it, because they wouldn't want their billion dollar uberweapons to be shown up. But what about 3rd world countries? And those fighting insurgencies? Or any time you have air supremecy?
In fact there are several ways that prop planes would be better than jets 1) They can fly out of short, improvised runways 2) Better handling when very slow and low 3) Cheaper to purchase, maintain, equip. Because of this you could also trian your pilots longer since practice flying wouldn't be ex*****ve.
I imagine this hasn't happened because the countries that would like to see this don't have the industry to do it. But if someone set up a company to do it, I imagine they would make a killing. And as a plus, these planes could never be used effectivly against the USA or any other NATO country (I don't think the Russians could achive air superiority over the West, let alone Ethiopia or Indonesia)
Or is there some obvious reason why this is stupid that everyone knows but me, and should I instead try designing screen doors for submarines?

Grand_Armee
09-09-2007, 11:41 PM
I'd say the most obvious answer is payload and accuracy. A ground-attack helicopter can carry a lot more than any single-engined fighter with more accuracy since it can effectively fire while sitting still.

If you need speed, there's no reason to bother with a piston-engined a/c...get a jet and still get more payload.

Waldo.Pepper
09-09-2007, 11:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OV-1_Mohawk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OV-10_Bronco

Friendly_flyer
09-09-2007, 11:44 PM
The Argentine Air Force used turbo-prop planes very effectively in the Falklands war, against a very modern, jet-armed opposition.

DKoor
09-10-2007, 12:10 AM
I think there was a y00t00be vid link here with Bronco shooting down smugglers two-engined airplane. Was somewhere in South America.

Akronnick
09-10-2007, 03:32 AM
Don't forget about Spooky...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/akronnick/ac-130-spectre-44.jpg

Lockheed AC-130H Spectre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC-130)

Granted it's not single engine, but there's nothing like a 105mm Howitzer to wake you up in the morning!

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 03:38 AM
Or is there some obvious reason why this is stupid that everyone knows but me, and should I instead try designing screen doors for submarines?

One good reason I can think of is the availability of these to pretty much anyone with a bank account fat enough to buy one.
http://www.house.gov/mica/Images/manpads.jpg

rhinomonkey
09-10-2007, 03:43 AM
The Tamil Tigers air force

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/03/26/wsri26.xml

single engine prop plane from the look of the pic

joeap
09-10-2007, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
The Argentine Air Force used turbo-prop planes very effectively in the Falklands war, against a very modern, jet-armed opposition.

I don't think that is correct, what is your source for that? All the success of the Argentinians was using jets like A-4 Skyhawks, armed with iron bombs, against the British fleet. The most sucessful was the Super Entenard (also a jet) armed with an Exocet against the HMS Sheffield. They only had a few Exocets IIRC. No British jets were lost in air to air combat either so what sucess did turbo-props have?

I do know the Skyraider was very sucessfully used up through Vietnam for ground support, but that was the last major one I know about. Not counting the Tamil Air Force. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

SUPERAEREO
09-10-2007, 04:41 AM
Agree. IIRC Pucaras were found to be extremely vulnerable to air-to-air interception using Sidewinder missiles during simulated combat involving captured examples in the UK. And several were shot down during the Falkands/Malvinas conflict.

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 04:48 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
The Argentine Air Force used turbo-prop planes very effectively in the Falklands war, against a very modern, jet-armed opposition.


I don't think that is correct, what is your source for that? All the success of the Argentinians was using jets like A-4 Skyhawks, armed with iron bombs, against the British fleet. The most sucessful was the Super Entenard (also a jet) armed with an Exocet against the HMS Sheffield. They only had a few Exocets IIRC. No British jets were lost in air to air combat either so what sucess did turbo-props have?


Thats right joeap, the Pucara actually performed very poorly during the Falklands conflict. The Argentine 3rd Air Brigade had 24 Pucaras on the islands themselve and lost 13 of them destroyed and the remander only 2 were in any condition the fly at the end of the war.

To be fair to the Pucara out of the 13, 5 were destroyed in the raid on Pebble Island by the SAS. But it`s performance at the battle of Goose Green highlights the shortcomings of prop close support aircraft.

Goose Green should have been the ideal situation for the pucara to operate, an infantry battalion(2 para) attacking a defended postion with no British aircover and the only air defence was from a detachment of Royal Marines with Blowpipe and the battalions small arms.

In the first attack the Pucara`s made they missed their targets and one was hit by a blowpipe missle and only just made it back to Stanley. The second sortie was more sucessful 2 pucaras managed to find 2 scout helicopters on a casevac mission and shot one down. One of these Pucaras crashed on its way back to Stanly in poor weather.

They sortied again towards the end of the battle and another one was brought down by small arms fire.

In short the Pucara made no impact on the battle and no British ground troops were even injured by them.

This is in contrast with an attack by 3 GR3 Harriers which Chris Keeble thought had turned the outcome of the battle.

ImpStarDuece
09-10-2007, 06:55 AM
The Irish Air Corps operates eight PC-9 turboprops as trainers/light attack aircraft.

They can operate with 2 x .50 cal pods and 2 x 70mm rocket pods (7 rockets).

Link to PC-9s in action with the AIC, including live firing runs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFJpys6CY1Y&mode=related&search=

The Brasilian Air Force also operates about 120 EMB-312 Tucano and 100 EMB-314 Super Tucano single engine turboprops as light attack and counter insurgency aircraft.

The 314 is probably the most capable single engine turboprop attack aircraft in the world. It has five external hardpoints, and can mount a centre line 20mm, 2 x .50 pods, 4x 70mm rocket pods, 2 x Sidewinders or about 1,500 kg of external bombs/fuel tanks.

The Aermacchi 290 (L-90) has similar capabilites but is smaller and less powerful. It has 6 hardpoints and is rated for about 800kg of external ordnance.

There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft. The Piper P-48A Enforcer was built arounda 25000 hp Lycoming turboprop engine and had the capability to carry 2 x 1000 lbs bombs and six 5" rockets, or up to 6 .50 cal pods off its ten hardpoints. They even mounted a 106mm recoiless rifle on the thing, for tests against hardened targets!


Compared to helicopters, single engine prop aircraft lack the time on target and loiter capabilities and the ability to exploit terrain as effective masking from enemy fire (hover and pop up, over the hill snap shots ect).

Compared to jet aircraft, they lack the load carrying, speed and range to get them into/out of the combat zone effectively.

Bremspropeller
09-10-2007, 07:01 AM
One good reason I can think of is the availability of these to pretty much anyone with a bank account fat enough to buy one.

Well, IR seekers won't go after piston-props.
May be another story with turboprops.

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 07:18 AM
Well, IR seekers won't go after piston-props.
May be another story with turboprops.

IR seeker will track piston props a paper about vunerability of Airlines against Manpads states:

"The 9M32 performed poorly in the 1973 Yom Kippur war
as most of its targets were fast and agile tactical jets with
pilots expecting the threat.
The conflict where the 9M32 was seen to perform best
was the final phase of the SE Asian conflict in 1975 where
the 9M32 took a devastating toll on the South Vietnamese
AC-47 and AC-119 gunships and A-37 strike aircraft."

The 9m32 is also known as the SA-7 and even its relatively poor seeker (not cooled) could track piston engine equipped aircraft.

Also all the following systems have been widely exported and don`t use ir tracking at all.


RBS 70,
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/rbs70/images/RBS70_1.jpg

Blowpipe
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/10/Blowpipe_missile_2.JPG

Javelin

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/28/Javelin_surface_to_air_missile_launcher.jpg

Starbust

http://www.ahpra.org/STARBURST-ild-front.jpg

or Starstreak
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/starstreak/images/star4.jpg

Turbo props are definetly vunerable, one of the the Pucaras brought down in the Falklands was by a SAS trooper with a stinger missile.

Agt_Homer
09-10-2007, 07:57 AM
Grand
The Apache can carry 18 missle max at about 110 pds each, about 2000 pds. The cobra only carries 8. Compare this to the prop driven A1 skyraider which carried 8000 pds. As for greater accuracy, probably but look at all the drawbacks.
Helicopters are slower, have a lower ceiling, less meneverab;e, much easier to crash, no ejection seat.
This ties in to the Stinger. I imagine a helicopter would be just as vulnerable, wouldn't it.
The best statistics I have are here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Coalition_aircraft_crashes_in_Iraq.
13 combat fixed wing aircraft vs 55 combat helicopters.
And BTW the Super Tucano is exactly what I was talking about.

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 08:36 AM
And BTW the Super Tucano is exactly what I was talking about.

This would be as vunerable as any of the helicopter lost in Iraq recently, once you have incorparated all the systems you would need to give it a capability the same as a AH64(armour, sealing tanks, a sensor suite to guide weapons, counter measures to protect against SAM) you would have an aircraft with marginal performance advantage over what you are looking to replace, and something distinctly inferior to a jet equivalent.

Krt_Bong
09-10-2007, 08:42 AM
"....There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft...."
I live in Sarasota and the company that was doing these conversions was located at the airport here.
When I was just a kid I used to see these P-51's flying over my house with a Turboprop engine replacing the Packard-merlins (which totally changed the profile of the aircraft plus adding a gaping exhaust port to the left side). They had wingtip tanks like a Lear and were painted in a spinach and sand camo like what was used at the time in Vietnam on F-4's I have seen a few pics of these 51's on the internet but I dont know what ever became of them.

Skunk_438RCAF
09-10-2007, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by Agt_Homer:

Helicopters are slower, have a lower ceiling, less meneverab;e, much easier to crash, no ejection seat.

Helicopters dont need to go mach 3, they are based on the front lines, whereas usually the nearest F-16 or A-10 base is atleast 100 miles from any fighting.

Lower ceiling? Come on, thats another thing they dont need, since they use ground features for cover. What good would an Apache be a 45000 feet?

Less manoeuverable? in what terms are you thinking of manoeuverability? A dogfight? Missile evasion?

Easier to crash? Maybe if they put you at the controls...

No ejection seat? You have a huge rotor over your head, turning at 384 rotations per minute. Where do you want to eject? Downwards?

Helicopters exist in the modern world of war because they have capabitilities and advantages that no fixed wing aircraft will ever bring to the battlefield. Think about it, you're in a gunfight and request air support. What would you rather have? A pair of F-16's that will be there in 20 minutes, or a quartet of Cobras that will be there in 5?

ploughman
09-10-2007, 08:51 AM
Besides, in most militaries fixed wing aviation is the province of the air force so if the army wants organic aviation it has to have rotary wing.

DuxCorvan
09-10-2007, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Krt_Bong:
"....There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft...."
I live in Sarasota and the company that was doing these conversions was located at the airport here.
When I was just a kid I used to see these P-51's flying over my house with a Turboprop engine replacing the Packard-merlins (which totally changed the profile of the aircraft plus adding a gaping exhaust port to the left side). They had wingtip tanks like a Lear and were painted in a spinach and sand camo like what was used at the time in Vietnam on F-4's I have seen a few pics of these 51's on the internet but I dont know what ever became of them.

Piper PA-48 Enforcer, wasn't it?
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p51-25.jpg

Friendly_flyer
09-10-2007, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by SUPERAEREO:
Agree. IIRC Pucaras were found to be extremely vulnerable to air-to-air interception using Sidewinder missiles during simulated combat involving captured examples in the UK. And several were shot down during the Falkands/Malvinas conflict.

Sorry, I didn't mean the Pucaras faired well in aerial combat against jets, but that they did well in their intended role, against an enemy with modern jets at their disposal. Whiteladder wrote that they did poorly, but I think you'll have to take weather and pilot training into account. Had the Argentinians had better pilot training and military planning, I think the Pucaras could have been a quite capable weapon.

Then again, against a jet fighter it would have been dead meat.

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 09:39 AM
weather and pilot training into account. Had the Argentinians had better pilot training and military planning, I think the Pucaras could have been a quite capable weapon.


You could have put the best pilots in the world into them, they would still have been vunerable to Blowpipe (which was next to useles against fast jets) and small arms fire.

Although the Argentine pilots were tactically inept, they were as one FAA pilot put it "good stick and rudder" men. They were quite capable of delivering accurate attacks, and the fact remains the Pucara`s were incapable of causing a single British cauality on the ground or disrupting the attack on Goose Green in any way. As their intended role was counter insurgency/close air support, you would have to say they did not perform at all well in that role. They just didn`t have the systems in place to carry out accurate attacks on troops in the field.

Krt_Bong
09-10-2007, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Krt_Bong:
"....There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft...."
I live in Sarasota and the company that was doing these conversions was located at the airport here.
When I was just a kid I used to see these P-51's flying over my house with a Turboprop engine replacing the Packard-merlins (which totally changed the profile of the aircraft plus adding a gaping exhaust port to the left side). They had wingtip tanks like a Lear and were painted in a spinach and sand camo like what was used at the time in Vietnam on F-4's I have seen a few pics of these 51's on the internet but I dont know what ever became of them.

Piper PA-48 Enforcer, wasn't it?
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p51-25.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes that's the Piper version, the ones I saw were the Cavalier version which didn't have the chin scoop so it made it look rather shaved off under the prop, might have been a test of a different power plant that changed the shape of the nose.

Krt_Bong
09-10-2007, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Krt_Bong:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Krt_Bong:
"....There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft...."
I live in Sarasota and the company that was doing these conversions was located at the airport here.
When I was just a kid I used to see these P-51's flying over my house with a Turboprop engine replacing the Packard-merlins (which totally changed the profile of the aircraft plus adding a gaping exhaust port to the left side). They had wingtip tanks like a Lear and were painted in a spinach and sand camo like what was used at the time in Vietnam on F-4's I have seen a few pics of these 51's on the internet but I dont know what ever became of them.

Piper PA-48 Enforcer, wasn't it?
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p51-25.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes that's the Piper version, the ones I saw were the Cavalier version which didn't have the chin scoop or belly scoop so it made it look rather shaved off underneath, might have been a test of a different power plant that changed the shape http://www.mustangsmustangs.com/p-51/p51variants/Cavalier/Enforcer.1.html. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

alert_1
09-10-2007, 11:57 AM
Ultimate CAS prop plane would be CV22 Osprey as gunship with 2xBushamster II 30mm canons and 1xM102 howitzer 105mm

VF-17_Jolly
09-10-2007, 12:20 PM
http://www.defense-update.com/images/MQ9.jpg

Predator B (http://www.defense-update.com/products/p/predatorB.htm)

Anything with no risk to aircrew is good

CaliCheese3
09-10-2007, 12:38 PM
You have to remember that out of all the capabilities between props and jets the distinctive advantage that a jet has is it's speed . In combat almost any pilot will tell you SPEED IS LIFE! When your diving down on a target you want to hit is as fast and accurately as possible without having to stay in the range of enemy anti-aircraft fire for to long. As an enemy you will hear the engines of both types of aircraft coming, but the closer you are to the sound barrier or over it, the farther the noise is behind the aircraft. Thus a plane could hit the target before the enemy actually can hear the noise overhead and by then they are dead. With today's technology in anti-aircraft weapons, I don't think a turbo-prop or prop would even stand that much of a chance, jets alone have a difficult time avoiding ground to air missiles and AAA. What takes a prop plane minutes to gain a safe altitude a jet can do in a matter of seconds. As far as helicopters you have to remember that unless they have a distinct terrain advantage and are able to pop up quickly to take out a target, they will not be sent in until all heavy anti-air fire is suppressed (the helicopters we have lost were all brought down by small arms fire.) For air to air combat a prop plane really only has the advantage of maneuverability, and thats not going to help much. In WW2 allied pilots knew that a single 30mm cannon shell from a 109 or 190 could take them out easy providing that the German pilot was a good deflection shooter and could aim it right. Some of the enemy aircraft those prop planes would be facing today have a 30mm chain gun, most of the time that doesn't even require you to have the site dead on the other aircraft because of the spray of bullets coming out. Keep in mind this is only if the jet wash of the enemy plane hasn't knocked you tumbling out of the sky yet. The bottom line though for not really employing prop aircraft in combat is really that in todays world, we can drop a bomb at 40,000 ft. and hit the 6th window from the right on the 2nd floor of the west side of a building almost flawlessly everytime, we can take out aircraft 50 to 100 miles away with today's missiles. With abilities like that why waist tax payers money on sustaining prop aircraft that you don't really need? They are really only good now for cheaper long distance recon (when there is no satellite available and we don't want to waist jet fuel) and trainers.

Bremspropeller
09-10-2007, 12:53 PM
Well white, the AC-47 and 119 are both flying barndoors and won't maneuver at all.
They don't challenge a seeker too much.

The A-37s, actually are quite maneuverable (albeit not being tht fast). I know T-37s have a very high G-onset and can turn on a dime.
The major issue here would be pilots not expecting the threat.

Adding flares of chaff-dispensers is not much of a problem today. You don't always have to put in sophisticated jammers.
A Tucano therefore might perform just as well as a combat-chopper.The chopper, however, has a mcu better flexibility, as being able to land almost anywhere.

Friendly_flyer
09-10-2007, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by whiteladder:
As their intended role was counter insurgency/close air support, you would have to say they did not perform at all well in that role. They just didn`t have the systems in place to carry out accurate attacks on troops in the field.

I guess you're right. I seem to remember that the Pucara took out some ships, but I may be wrong here too. If the plane was as bad as suggested, I guess it's hats off to the brave pilots flying these things into combat.

jarink
09-10-2007, 01:34 PM
As for why prop planes aren't used more for CAS, I think most benefits of jets or helos vs. props have already been covered. I would add a couple of additional items:

Reliabilty: unless you're talking about turboprops, just about any modern turbojet is much simpler to build and maintain than a piston engine. Also, if the piston engine is liquid-cooled, then pretty much a single strike in the wrong spot (radiator or coolant tank) will take it down.

Design: This may seem weird, but how many military prop designs have there been in the past 20 years? Most design bureaus probably lack the expertise to make a prop design that could compete with a jet. As for the idea of rehashing old designs, see the aforementioned PA-48 Enforcer.

SUPERAEREO
09-10-2007, 02:05 PM
Although the Argentine pilots were tactically inept, they were as one FAA pilot put it "good stick and rudder" men. They were quite capable of delivering accurate attacks, and the fact remains the Pucara`s were incapable of causing a single British cauality on the ground or disrupting the attack on Goose Green in any way. (...) they did not perform at all well in that role. They just didn`t have the systems in place to carry out accurate attacks on troops in the field.


I would not say the Argentinain pilots were tactically inept, tey DID put up a bl**dy good show, especially the Navy (Armada) guys.

I agree that the Pucaras' systems were not up to scratch when it came to fighting determined modern land units.

But they did try, and with a lot of guts, as probably anyone who was there would acknowledge.


S!

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 03:35 PM
I would not say the Argentinain pilots were tactically inept, tey DID put up a bl**dy good show, especially the Navy (Armada) guys.



Not my opinion but that of the people who were there. If you read Sharkey Wards, or Dave Morgans accounts they both admired the bravery of the Argentine pilots, but both state that they didn`t know how to "Fight" their aircraft. Both cite examples such as how the Argentine pilots flew as "welded wings", the aircraft flying extremly close together. Ward states he was taught from day one not to do this because it provide a false sense of security. This ment that they didn`t provide any cover for each other, and many aircraft were shot down without any warning from their wing man.

What has also been noted is that although they were brave in pressing their attacks, most of the weapons were released too low to correctly fuse. Had they been released at the correct height then signoficantly more aircraft would have been shot down by the ships defensive systems.

Finally their tactics in San Carlos water were deeply flawed. Most pilots attacked the first ship they sighted, the frigates in the mouth of the inlet. Had they pressed on and attacked the amphibious shipping landing the troops and supplies, sinking or damaging these would have won them the war.

Bremspropeller
09-10-2007, 03:43 PM
Finally their tactics in San Carlos water were deeply flawed. Most pilots attacked the first ship they sighted, the frigates in the mouth of the inlet. Had they pressed on and attacked the amphibious shipping landing the troops and supplies, sinking or damaging these would have won them the war.

May be true for tactics and strategy, but imagine diving into hell at 600 knots, trying to sink ships with dumb 500 punders from extreme low altitude.
Most of those pilots were surely more focused on survival than anything else.

Close formations may have been briefed in order to goof the radar. They couldn't have engaged the Harriers anyway as they were approaching bingo fuel above their targets.

I'd not blame the pilots - it was rather a flawed strategy - not giving escorts enough fuel to deal with the Harriers and not having all aspect heaters.

whiteladder
09-10-2007, 03:55 PM
Well white, the AC-47 and 119 are both flying barndoors and won't maneuver at all.
They don't challenge a seeker too much.


They weren`t the only prop brought down by the SA-7, South Vietnam A-1 Skyraiders were as vunerable as the large transports. The point is that the Infrared signature of a piston prop is more than enough for a first generation seeker to track, let alone a modern cooled seeker in a Stinger or sa-18. The ability to maneuver isn`t what challenge the seeker, the strength of the Infared signature is the most important. Also modern seekers use what is called 2 colour tracking, the seeker is looking in 2 seperate wavelengths. This improves the seekers ability to ignore flare and IR strobe jammers, and also mean the seeker can use centroid tracking, hit the center of the target rather than the hot tail pipe. The next generation seeker will be using imaging IR trackers (as in asramm) and will be immune to flares and strobes.


Close formations may have been briefed in order to goof the radar. They couldn't have engaged the Harriers anyway as they were approaching bingo fuel above their targets.

I don`t think there was a suggestion to engage the Harriers, but in almost all their engagements the targets didn`t try to evade at all, because they didn`t know they were under attack until they were hit.

Uzunov
09-10-2007, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Agt_Homer:

No ejection seat? You have a huge rotor over your head, turning at 384 rotations per minute. Where do you want to eject? Downwards?

Check this out -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamov_Ka-50

Bremspropeller
09-10-2007, 04:11 PM
They weren`t the only prop brought down by the SA-7, South Vietnam A-1 Skyraiders were as vunerable as the large transports. The point is that the Infrared signature of a piston prop is more than enough for a first generation seeker to track, let alone a modern cooled seeker in a Stinger or sa-18.

May be true, but early seekers/ heaters had narrow seeking azimuths and limited off-bore capability.

A Skyraider might still defeat a missile by turning into it, whereas the Spookies had almost no chance of evading missiles that way.


I don`t think there was a suggestion to engage the Harriers, but in almost all their engagements the targets didn`t try to evade at all, because they didn`t know they were under attack until they were hit.

So? Even if they had spotted the Harriers - they couldn't have done much against them.
Mirages and even Daggers (they had one ton of internal fuel more than the Mirages) were not to engage reheat due to range-issues.
Therefore their maneuvering-capabilities were seriously downgraded.
A Mirage/ Dagger in military power only will certainly have problems against a Harrier - no matter if the Harrier carries all aspect heaters or not.

whiteladder
09-11-2007, 02:59 AM
So? Even if they had spotted the Harriers - they couldn't have done much against them.


The point is this the Argentine pilots flew in a manner that provided no mutual protection. So point is if they had flown their aircraft in a tactically sounder formation they would have at least have had the opportunity to give the Harrier and their Sidewinders a harder target and provide some form of protection to their wingman. In the few instances where some of the pilot realised they were being attacked(usually after their wingman had turned into a fireball) they were able to perform some form of evasion. At least one Skyhawk under attack from a Sidewinder attempted to enter cloud cover, something more of them could have attemped IF the knew they were being attacked. You pointed out that the Skyraider could have a least turn into the attacking missile, well that is equally true of the Skyhawk,Mirage/Daggers. In almost all of the kills that were achieved with the Sidewinder that were simple low aspect stern shots, the missile wasn`t really pushed to hit the target they just flew up the tail pipe.



Again not my assesment if you read "Hostile Skies" by Dave Morgan or "Sea Harrier over the Falklands" by Sharkey Ward, both of whome flew the Sea Harrier in the war this is the assesment they give.

Agt_Homer
09-11-2007, 04:21 AM
A couple of points. To take on an organised force like the British army with prop planes is ridcoulous, I'll make no defence of that. But insurgents are different.
The guy who brought up the AC 130 is right. It not only flies low and slow, since it's guns are mounted on the side it can't strafe the enemy, it needs to fly in lazy circles. Could it be any more vulnerable? According to some of you, it should be an absolute suicide mission. But none have been shot down, or even had an accident, in Iraq or Afganistan. An attacker/bomber would be even harder to hit than an AC 130, so why would they be in such mortal danger?
And about helicopter being just as good as a prop plane, I ask you what would win in a fight? A prop plane or a helicopter? It doesn't prove my point, but should at least give people something to think twice about.

WhtBoy
09-11-2007, 04:41 AM
Originally posted by Agt_Homer:
A couple of points. To take on an organised force like the British army with prop planes is ridcoulous, I'll make no defence of that. But insurgents are different.
The guy who brought up the AC 130 is right. It not only flies low and slow, since it's guns are mounted on the side it can't strafe the enemy, it needs to fly in lazy circles. Could it be any more vulnerable? According to some of you, it should be an absolute suicide mission. But none have been shot down, or even had an accident, in Iraq or Afganistan. An attacker/bomber would be even harder to hit than an AC 130, so why would they be in such mortal danger?
And about helicopter being just as good as a prop plane, I ask you what would win in a fight? A prop plane or a helicopter? It doesn't prove my point, but should at least give people something to think twice about.

IIRC we have lost one AC-130 gunship to enemy fire in either the Iraqi or Afghan conflict (I can't remember which). AC-130s operate mainly at night to avoid detection and this particular crew decided to loiter on station past dawn to assist friendly forces in contact with the enemy.

Asking which would win in a dogfight (piston prop vs helo) is pointless when comparing their capabilities as ground attack aircraft. Besides, the answer to such a question depends on many variables that could completely negate the performance capabilites of either aircraft.

--Outlaw.

Akronnick
09-11-2007, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Krt_Bong:
"....There was even a failed (ie no sales) attempt to convery old P-51 airframes into turboprop powered attack aircraft...."
I live in Sarasota and the company that was doing these conversions was located at the airport here.
When I was just a kid I used to see these P-51's flying over my house with a Turboprop engine replacing the Packard-merlins (which totally changed the profile of the aircraft plus adding a gaping exhaust port to the left side). They had wingtip tanks like a Lear and were painted in a spinach and sand camo like what was used at the time in Vietnam on F-4's I have seen a few pics of these 51's on the internet but I dont know what ever became of them.

Piper PA-48 Enforcer, wasn't it?
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p51-25.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's just,... wrong...


Talk about a flying camel...

flakwagen
09-11-2007, 07:14 AM
I think 3rd world air forces choose helos over fixed wing aircraft because they are more versatile, and require less infrastructure on the ground. There is no runway to maintain or keep secret from the enemy. Fighters are only good for a few things. A helo can be used for any number of missions, and in the 3rd world they usually don't encounter dangerous enemy aircraft.

Africa has traditionally been a place for adventurous ex-military helo pilots and mechanics to look for work. I assume this is still true. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Flak

Bremspropeller
09-11-2007, 07:21 AM
Africa still has plenty of ex-soviet hardware, mostly MiGs.

I'd not trade any Fishbed for any chopper.
Y? Choppers suck big time.

avimimus
09-11-2007, 08:09 AM
http://www.paralay.narod.ru/ has some nice examples of proposals from the '80s

R988z
09-11-2007, 09:20 AM
Looking over the Vietnam war AH-1s and UH-1 have shot down the odd fixed wing aircraft. Many Helos now have AAMs as well, so they aren't exactly sitting ducks for a fixed wing aircraft. I suspect they are like the I153s and I-16s in IL2, even though they are largely irrelevant zipping around at low level and can be BZed at will, but if you let them get half a chance or make a mistake they can punish you quite badly, a Helo would likely be the same on the battle field, not to be underestimated.
US AA victories Vietnam war
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_244.shtml
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_243.shtml

Seems the old B-52s managed to score a few MiGs with their tailgunners as well, bet those MiG drivers were cursing the overmodelled sniper gunners http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

and Vietnamese results for balance/interest
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_245.shtml
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_246.shtml

Rammjaeger
09-11-2007, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by CaliCheese3:
When your diving down on a target you want to hit is as fast and accurately as possible without having to stay in the range of enemy anti-aircraft fire for to long.

The faster the aircraft, the less likely it is to fire accurately. What is the speed of the A-10 when it fires? I suppose that speed might as well be achieved by piston engines.

I've read some articles on this subject and the main problem seems to be that air forces (especially the USAF) want to avoid flying CAS altogether because it's "too dangerous". The A-10 will eventually be replaced by a ground-attack version of the F-35 which is just plain idiotic IMO. It is obvious that the F-35 will never be sent anywhere near the combat zone because each costs billions and someone might actually shoot it down.

avimimus
09-11-2007, 09:49 AM
I think the Pucarra, properly outfitted, could be quite effective in a fight against a jet. The manpads on the other hand...

Bremspropeller
09-11-2007, 09:54 AM
Many Helos now have AAMs as well, so they aren't exactly sitting ducks for a fixed wing aircraft.

They are not by any means - to fighters. They are sitting ducks for manpads, however. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Sokol__1
09-11-2007, 06:47 PM
Join to Blackwater and you have a choice to drive Super Tucanos againts iraquis rebels.

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8712/imgcombatsupertucanooriwg3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20070827.aspx

Sokol1

The-Pizza-Man
09-12-2007, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Rammjaeger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CaliCheese3:
When your diving down on a target you want to hit is as fast and accurately as possible without having to stay in the range of enemy anti-aircraft fire for to long.

The faster the aircraft, the less likely it is to fire accurately. What is the speed of the A-10 when it fires? I suppose that speed might as well be achieved by piston engines.

I've read some articles on this subject and the main problem seems to be that air forces (especially the USAF) want to avoid flying CAS altogether because it's "too dangerous". The A-10 will eventually be replaced by a ground-attack version of the F-35 which is just plain idiotic IMO. It is obvious that the F-35 will never be sent anywhere near the combat zone because each costs billions and someone might actually shoot it down. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The most effective CAS aircraft in recent times has been the B-52. In the age of smart bombs that are GPS guided with a CEP of 60cm and optics that can track an enemy soldier with more clarity than a man on the ground can from 40,000' there is no need to go in low and slow.

muchaclopiec
09-12-2007, 06:32 AM
As an aside, Pucaras brought down at least one helicopter in the Falklands War.

Rammjaeger
09-12-2007, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by The-Pizza-Man:
The most effective CAS aircraft in recent times has been the B-52. In the age of smart bombs that are GPS guided with a CEP of 60cm and optics that can track an enemy soldier with more clarity than a man on the ground can from 40,000' there is no need to go in low and slow.

Why is the A-10 still in service then?