Skip to comments.Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Guns For Embraer's Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared
Posted on 03/03/2012 7:44:36 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Guns For Embraer's Super Tucano: Rival Planes Compared
It's Texan versus Tucano, take two, and the embarrassed Air Force has got to get it right this time.
With all the claims, counter-claims, and rumors swirling about the controversial contract to buy the Embraer Super Tucano, which the Air Force cancelled unexpectedly on Tuesday and will likely re-compete, AOL Defense went both to the rival companies and independent sources to distill this definitive guide to the competition, from the two planes' performance to the manufacturers' twenty-year history of feuding.
The bottom line? Both leading competitors are offering small, propeller-driven planes that derive from foreign designs but will be built in the United States. Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 Texan II (pictured above) is smaller, quicker, and more familiar to U.S. pilots and maintainers because of its similarity to the standard T-6 trainer. The Embraer Super Tucano is a larger plane with a solid track record of operating in tough conditions for non-U.S. air forces. Other contenders, including a militarized crop duster called the Air Tractor AT-800 and a proposal to resurrect the Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco, are out of the running. It's down to two, and all eyes are on the Air Force.
For the Air Force: Small program, big stakes
The $355 million Light Air Support contract, intended as a (by Pentagon standards) quick and cheap way to get easy-to-operate ground attack planes for the nascent Afghan Air Force, has ballooned into a major embarrassment. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters yesterday that "Our institutional reputation is at stake." While the Air Force's formal court filings from Tues
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Droooling over the AT-6 - wouldn’t it be something to own one????? Have flown the WWII version, cannot imagine the performance with a turboprop/modern fuselage......
Any idea why the AT-800 was eliminated? They are currently in use.
Asking two vehicles to perform a task that only one is properly configured to do will cause that. Change the task and the results may well be the exact opposite.
For instance the Indy car won't match the top fuel dragster in a 1/4 mile, but it will take a buttload of money for the dragster to be competitive on a road course.
So, depending on the task required, your statement may, or may not, be relevant.
Amen...my old man flew Spitfires for the RCAF during the Battle of Britain and was shot down twice. Both times due to "glycolling", or loss of coolant. The radiator hanging down was one of the cool visuals about the Spit, but it sure was an Achilles heel.
What's an AT-800?
Since the P-47 had the supercharger behind the pilot, wasn’t there an issue with all of the airflow passages getting battle damage?
I guess the plane would still get the pilot home, just with less power.
As far as being American made the AT-6 is a licensed Swiss product, manufactured in the Kansas, with a Canadian EO/IR camera. The Tucano is Brazilian manufactured, Florida assembled, with an Oregon EO/IR camera.
I am surprised nobody raised a bigger stink over the Army LUH contract. A much bigger contract which began with a large number of aircraft being manufactured in Europe and assembled in the U.S.
The F-51 Mustang was pretty much all the USAF had early in Korea. It was a pretty fragile aircraft for low-level straffing. One fragment in the glycol radiator and you had about a minute to go for altitude & bail before the engine siezed.
There was a single ANG P-47 group operating stateside. They were a little worn-out and the complex logistics of adding another aircraft type in theater probably prevented their deployment.
The Marines operated the Corsair F4U5 and the purpose-built ground attack varient the AU1. Nasty aircraft.
The original P-47 was derived from an interceptor. Hence the supercharger. At low altitudes you could certainly get home if the supercharger were taken out. P-38's did it a lot as their superchargers were very problematic.
When the aircraft cannot fly because the Afghan camel humpers cannot service or fix them, then we're not out a lot of money. Screw the Afghans and let them go back to living in the 7th century.
Or if one of the vehicles is a prototype of a vehicle that has never been manufactured.
Thanks for the ping. I don’t know about the relative heat signatures of liquid-cooled versus air-cooled aircraft engines. I just hope we don’t give the Afghans any A-10’s.
And, IIRC, failed miserably in Israel.
The USAF wanted a smaller trainer derivative with ejection seats which the AT-802U didn’t have.
Thanks. That explains it. Just seemed like the slightly larger aircraft with the tremendous multi-use capability (destruction of drug crops) in addition to carrying weapons, was perfect.
Since the aim was to provide an austere strike/surveillance capability to the likes of Afghanistan, the heavy duty features of the Air Tractor would have been out of place.