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- Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 01:23
The following was posted in reply to several comments on an F-22 hit piece on Wired's website. These comments were running along the lines of "why spend money on high-end lemons (F-22/F-35) when the A-10 can do the same job for cheaper without choking its pilots?"
The original poster's handle is Amicus Curiae.
The original poster's handle is Amicus Curiae.
You can easily manufacture an entertaining smear campaign for the A-10 too. I'll start:
Headline: Troubled A-10 Bomber
(Paris, France) The spectacular crash at the Paris Air Show is just another warning that this aircraft is fundamentally unsafe and has no place in a modern air force. In spite of the skill of one of the most experienced test pilots in the world, this plane belly flopped on the main Le Bourget runway and broke apart in a ball of flames. This is only the latest disaster to befall the A-10 program. In flight testing, firing the main cannon armament caused both engines to stall and the pilot was forced to eject. The test was investigating the dangerous condition that occurs when the gun is fired, aptly described as a “fireball” in front of the plane. Many airframe modifications have been tried to fix this problem, to no avail.
Criticisms of the aircraft date back to the start of the program when this so-called Close Air Support (or CAS) aircraft was pushed down the Air Force’s throat by some well connected bureaucrats led by Pierre Sprey, a defense systems analyst, and two Air Force mavericks Col. Boyd and Col. Riccioni. Despite the warnings from experienced pilots that flew this mission in several conflicts, the A-10 was specified to be a severely underpowered and slow death trap. If “Speed is Life”, as the pilots say, the A-10 is the Grim Reaper. Its specified top speed of 400 knots was slower than many WW II propeller planes. When flight testing revealed it could not even meet that meager speed, the requirement was steadily lowered to what it could do, currently a paltry 380 knots. This was the sad story of corruption throughout the development. Every time the specification could not be met, “adjustments” would be made. The empty weight was over 2000 lbs higher than promised, causing difficulty with every performance requirement. In combination with incompetent drag predictions and below spec engine thrust, this is a formula for a turkey, or a sitting duck. All the touted advantages for this plane are down the drain. Take off length prevents it from using the intended forward bases. Loiter time, a threshold requirement, is more than 12 minutes below spec. Bomb load is reduced. Maneuvering capability is crippled.
During tests of the lethality of the main gun armament against tanks it was determined that the jet’s stability was inadequate to take aim at the target without becoming a target itself. It is well known that a plane flown in the CAS environment should not fly on a constant trajectory for more than two seconds, lest it be shot down by radar guided ground fire. Using proposed “jinking” tactics the A-10 needs to confuse tracking, also confuses the jet’s ability to point the nose accurately. The A-10 needed more than six seconds to stabilize the side to side oscillations well enough to hit anything. The proponents say this will be fixed with an electronic box, just give them time (and money). We don’t need any more time. We need some one to make a decision to end this travesty.
Even the features advertised as giving the A-10 unprecedented survivability don’t work. In flight testing, switching into the so-called “manual reversion” flight control mode caused an out of control situation in which the aircraft pulled over 5 g’s (5 x the force of gravity) before the pilot regained control. Ground testing for fatigue uncovered a major design deficiency in a frame that supports the wing. This frame broke at 10% of one lifetime and is so buried in the fuselage it will be impossible to fix correctly. On top of that, it was determined that the flight profiles used by the engineers to estimate this fatigue life were woefully erroneous. This will require a wing redesign, another weight hit, and an expensive retrofit program. So much for the superior durability claim made by misguided proponents of this monstrosity. It’s time the congress did something to stop this wasteful spending on a useless, even dangerous, piece of hardware. An investigation should also be launched to determine who benefited from the obvious fraud with prosecution of the guilty following. (end of story)
How am I doing? I think I could write editorials for the New York Times.
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05 ... -530267855
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.