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FARNBOROUGH: Air Tractor sells anti-insurgent fighter to first customer
Flight Daily News ^ | 23/07/10 | Stephen Trimble

Posted on 07/24/2010 4:07:39 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

FARNBOROUGH: Air Tractor sells anti-insurgent fighter to first customer By Stephen Trimble

Texas-based Air Tractor has launched production of the AT-802U surveillance, precision strike and utility aircraft for an undisclosed foreign customer, chief designer Lee Jackson confirms.

Details about the order's size and identity remain secret at the request of the customer, Jackson says.

The converted cropduster parked on the static line also displayed a full array of weaponry, including an all-new precision glide bomb with 3m (10ft) circular error probable (CEP) accuracy in the 50kg (110lb)-class designed by Moog/FTS that is called the "border protection weapon" (BPW).

The AT-802 made its international debut last year at the Paris air show amid a global revival for aircraft optimised for counter-insurgency missions, which require low-speed envelope capability, long endurance and a mix of precision and standard weapons.

With the ability to carry a 4,000kg payload and 10h endurance, the AT-802U is able to carry a wide range of weapons and sensors, Jackson says.

On nine hard points, the static AT-802U carried two 50-cal GAU-19 Gatling guns, two BPWs, one AGM-114 Hellfire, four direct attack guided rockets (DAGR), two Mk82 (225kg-class) bombs and a launcher for unguided rockets.

In the fuselage beneath the nose, the AT-802 also carries a partially retractable targeting and surveillance sensor called the L-3 Communications Wescam MX-15Di.

Each GAU-19 is fed by a 2,900-round magazine stored in compartment between the cockpit and the forward fuel tank. The magazine can be removed to store extra sensors. Jackson says the space also could be used as a jump-seat for two people.

The forward fuel tank itself is an add-on since the AT-802U appeared in Paris, Jackson says. The 1,365 litres (360USgal) container nearly doubles the 1,440 litres fuel capacity in the wings.

Inside the two-seat cockpit, Air Tractor has integrated glass displays and sensor controls for both crewmembers. The MX-15Di imagery can be viewed in the back seat on a 17in display, while the pilot has a 6in screen. The imagery also can be transmitted by common datalink to the ground, a capability that Jackson says has been demonstrated for US special operations.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; airtractor; at802u; coin

1 posted on 07/24/2010 4:07:42 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
that is called the "border protection weapon" (BPW)

Oh hey I just thought of a use for it.

2 posted on 07/24/2010 4:18:23 AM PDT by agere_contra (Obama did more damage to the Gulf economy in one day than Pemex/Ixtoc did in nine months)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
I would think they would do pretty good in the mountain regions, by being able to get right into those tight valleys sneak up on those rag heads and then pull up as they launch those missiles right down the entrances to those hard to get to caves.
3 posted on 07/24/2010 4:41:23 AM PDT by ReformedBeckite
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“Gee, I wish we had one of them AT-802U’s.” — Gen. “Buck” Turgidson, Ret.

Any plane with 2 x 50 cal gatling guns and ‘Tractor’ in it’s name is beyond cool. Makes spraying the bugs take on a whole new meaning. I want one!

Low maintenance, mechanically robust - a poor man’s Warthog.


4 posted on 07/24/2010 4:59:58 AM PDT by CTyank
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To: sukhoi-30mki; Egon

“Poor Man’s Warthog” ping.


5 posted on 07/24/2010 5:12:21 AM PDT by RhoTheta (Wipe out capitalism, no more money. You following me camera guy?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Low, slow, ass in the weeds, long loiter time, ability to pound bad guys for a long time......love it. Looks like it’d be a blast to fly, too.

I want one.

BTW.....another perfect use for such an aircraft: Forward Air Controller (FAC) missions. Absolutely perfect.


6 posted on 07/24/2010 5:31:05 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: CTyank

Air Tractor Name Ping ! A chicken in every pot, and an Air Tractor in every garage. Would give open carry a brand new meaning.


7 posted on 07/24/2010 5:49:05 AM PDT by onona (dbada)
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To: RightOnline

HUGE loiter time. Set up a couple of spots on the outer hard points and voila ! You could cover the Mexican border from 10:00pm - 6:00am


8 posted on 07/24/2010 5:52:35 AM PDT by onona (dbada)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Looks to use a liquid cooled engine. I wonder what type of armoring they use for the engine area? Surely they’re aware of liabilities faced by the P-51 when used for ground attack.


9 posted on 07/24/2010 5:57:24 AM PDT by Justa
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To: Justa

It’s a Pratt Whitney PT6 turbine. Basically a little jet engine that turns the prop through a gearbox.


10 posted on 07/24/2010 6:02:33 AM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: onona

Yep.....and, if needed, no doubt it could “run home to mama” and double as a crop duster, as well. I mean, a crop duster with mega-guns? What’s not to love??


11 posted on 07/24/2010 6:07:43 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: sukhoi-30mki

How can something be so fugly yet so beautiful at the same time? ;o)


12 posted on 07/24/2010 6:12:18 AM PDT by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: RightOnline

Let’s make those wings foldable and throw a dozen on our carriers too.


13 posted on 07/24/2010 6:17:43 AM PDT by onona (dbada)
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To: onona

Not bad.........makes one wonder if it’d even need the catapult to launch...???...or need a tailhook to land.


14 posted on 07/24/2010 6:19:15 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: sukhoi-30mki
The MX-15Di imagery can be viewed in the back seat on a 17in display, while the pilot has a 6in screen.

Just like a video game! These things sound like they might be cheap to buy too.

15 posted on 07/24/2010 6:24:50 AM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: RightOnline

Might have to have the capt slow down so it can catch up to land.


16 posted on 07/24/2010 6:29:05 AM PDT by GBA (Resistance is Constitutional!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Air Tractor, i love it... i guess Bomb Truck was already taken
17 posted on 07/24/2010 6:31:35 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: RightOnline
just the hook...
18 posted on 07/24/2010 6:35:25 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Yeap I believe bomb truck was used by another aircraft.....

19 posted on 07/24/2010 6:38:24 AM PDT by usmcobra (NASA outreach to Muslims if I were in charge:The complete collection of "I dream of Jeannie" on DVD.)
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To: usmcobra
roger that... SPADS Forever!!!
20 posted on 07/24/2010 6:40:08 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Great airplane. Every once in a while, one will pop up for sale on the civilian market.


21 posted on 07/24/2010 6:42:48 AM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: agere_contra
It's the Wart-Pig Yes Virginia - Pigs can fly

22 posted on 07/24/2010 6:42:57 AM PDT by Waverunner
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To: sukhoi-30mki
They ought to get the Lopresti Brothers involved.

Like their late dad Roy, they can eek 20mph out of darn near any airplane via parasie drag reduction. This would lead to greater rates of climb and longer loiter times, maybe the 20mph on the top end is not always needed, but anyone would take the other bennies in a heartbeat...

23 posted on 07/24/2010 6:47:03 AM PDT by taildragger ((Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Just a small point, for those of you of the "black helicopter" mind set, this would be a very effective platform for the suppression of "uppity" tea party activists and those who might chose to oppose the Obama administration when they declare martial law just prior to the 2012 election.

. . . just sayin' :)
24 posted on 07/24/2010 6:48:19 AM PDT by Sudetenland (Slow to anger but terrible in vengence...such is the character of the American people.)
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To: Yorlik803
i love the old Spads and we used to get one here at the airshow now and again, but haven't had a show in awhile now
25 posted on 07/24/2010 6:55:08 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: usmcobra
notice the TOILET on the outside hardpoint...!!! 8^)
26 posted on 07/24/2010 6:57:58 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

THAT is hilarious - wonder what charlie thought when that came down.


27 posted on 07/24/2010 7:02:59 AM PDT by kingcoal
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To: usmcobra

What a damned fine plane! It screams muscle!

(I guess they were throwing everything at them that day...)


28 posted on 07/24/2010 7:11:41 AM PDT by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: RightOnline

hmmm, probably not the cat, those wings look like they can generate a lot of lift. Tailhook definitely though, and probably have to make sure the landing gear could handle it....


29 posted on 07/24/2010 7:15:02 AM PDT by onona (dbada)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

So what kind of ejection seat(s) does this thing have?


30 posted on 07/24/2010 7:18:05 AM PDT by paddles ("The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." Tacitus)
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To: Chode

Bomb Truck...Geez that is awesome !


31 posted on 07/24/2010 7:22:13 AM PDT by onona (dbada)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
O.M.Allah!....what the cr@p is that!
& your right, It could be used against USA Voters / TEA Parties, too.

32 posted on 07/24/2010 7:24:19 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Zer0 to the voters: "Here's my DeathCARE Plan"...now....just die (quicky), please. :^)
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To: RightOnline

Growing up, my best friend’s father flew a Cessna (unarmored and unarmed) in Viet Nam as an artillery spotter. Yikes!


33 posted on 07/24/2010 7:26:44 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: kingcoal
awww sh!t...
34 posted on 07/24/2010 7:34:20 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode
guess i wasn't tooo far off...

Air Tractor is now offering the weaponized AT-802U Air Truck to the US Air Force

35 posted on 07/24/2010 8:07:46 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: RightOnline

“wonder if it’d even need the catapult to launch...???...or need a tailhook to land.”

It could easily take off without the cat and recover without a tailhook. EASY! No sweat. B-25’s launched during WW2 without a cat on the Doolittle raid to Japan.
Carriers are going 30+ mph when conducting air ops, and they always turn into the wind, so figure 40+ mph wind down the deck ALWAYS. These Air Tractors wouldn’t roll 100’ to take off or land.


36 posted on 07/24/2010 10:09:28 AM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: PilotDave

Yeah, I actually figured the same.


37 posted on 07/24/2010 10:20:36 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: PilotDave
no way will the Navy let it land without an arresting hook...

they want you to land/stop where they want you to land/stop, not where the wind and your breaks let you land/stop.

38 posted on 07/24/2010 12:30:46 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Any skilled pilot could land the Air Tractor on a carrier deck and stop on a 10 foot spot every time with ease. Been done with a C-130....
http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0097.shtml


39 posted on 07/24/2010 12:57:32 PM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: PilotDave
sure it's been done, that's a lot different than flying on an operational schedule

at night or in high seas and / or foul weather

40 posted on 07/24/2010 1:14:20 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

I don’t think the mission of this plane involves night ifr attacks, nor carrier ops. It’s strickly a 3rd world day vfr craft.


41 posted on 07/24/2010 1:34:39 PM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: usmcobra

Very nice.

regards,


42 posted on 07/24/2010 1:41:12 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: PilotDave
yes, that is what it's about... read post#13 then #14
43 posted on 07/24/2010 1:55:20 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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