Skip to comments.FARNBOROUGH: Air Tractor sells anti-insurgent fighter to first customer
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.
Oh hey I just thought of a use for it.
“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.
“Poor Man’s Warthog” ping.
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.
Air Tractor Name Ping ! A chicken in every pot, and an Air Tractor in every garage. Would give open carry a brand new meaning.
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
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.
It’s a Pratt Whitney PT6 turbine. Basically a little jet engine that turns the prop through a gearbox.
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??
How can something be so fugly yet so beautiful at the same time? ;o)
Let’s make those wings foldable and throw a dozen on our carriers too.
Not bad.........makes one wonder if it’d even need the catapult to launch...???...or need a tailhook to land.
Just like a video game! These things sound like they might be cheap to buy too.
Might have to have the capt slow down so it can catch up to land.
Yeap I believe bomb truck was used by another aircraft.....
Great airplane. Every once in a while, one will pop up for sale on the civilian market.
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...
THAT is hilarious - wonder what charlie thought when that came down.
What a damned fine plane! It screams muscle!
(I guess they were throwing everything at them that day...)
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....
So what kind of ejection seat(s) does this thing have?
Bomb Truck...Geez that is awesome !
Growing up, my best friend’s father flew a Cessna (unarmored and unarmed) in Viet Nam as an artillery spotter. Yikes!
Air Tractor is now offering the weaponized AT-802U Air Truck to the US Air Force
“wonder if itd 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.
Yeah, I actually figured the same.
they want you to land/stop where they want you to land/stop, not where the wind and your breaks let you land/stop.
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....
at night or in high seas and / or foul weather
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.