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Super Tucano Supporters In Shock: AF To Pick Tucano Or AT-6 Without Flying Either
AOL Defense ^ | May 7, 2012 | Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Posted on 05/08/2012 8:41:23 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Super Tucano Supporters In Shock: AF To Pick Tucano Or AT-6 Without Flying Either

The Air Force will choose a winner in its troubled Light Air Support competition without actually flying the two contending planes, the Embraer Super Tucano and the Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6, and it will even disregard what it has data from the limited "flight demonstration" it conducted last year.

That's a disturbing departure from best practice in a program that has already been an agony for the Air Force, with the delivery of ground-attack planes to the fledgling Afghan air force now delayed by 15 months, enough to miss not one but two "fighting seasons" in Afghanistan. A chagrined Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz has publicly pledged "we'll work our asses off" to get it right. But according to AOL Defense interviews with both corporate camps, the revised Request For Proposal released at 5:16 on Friday -- the traditional time to bury awkward news -- skips the important step of having the Air Force actually see how both planes fly before it makes its decision, tentatively due in January.

Evaluating the planes purely on paper rather than hands-on is problematic with each competing aircraft, for different reasons. The Super Tucano is simply unfamiliar to the Air Force, although it has an extensive track record in Latin American militaries, and a series of Navy Special Operations experiments variously called "Imminent Fury" and "Combat Dragon" gave good reports. The Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 (pictured) is derived from the familiar T-6 used to train both Air Force and Navy pilots, but the basic trainer is significantly different from the combat version, of which only two working models exist.

While they're still wading

(Excerpt) Read more at defense.aol.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; at6; supertucano; usaf

1 posted on 05/08/2012 8:41:35 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Jet Jaguar

Ping


2 posted on 05/08/2012 8:43:13 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Nachum

FYI.


3 posted on 05/08/2012 8:44:54 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Two points:

#1: Obama will so screw up the US military activity in Afghanistan that the Taliban will be back in control long before either A/C could be delivered, or on second thought, they will get there just in time to be turned over to the Taliban.

#2: Buy with no fly? WTF, over?

4 posted on 05/08/2012 8:46:48 PM PDT by MindBender26 (America can survive 4 years of Romney. She cannot survive another 4 years of an unfettered Obama!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Procurement is broken. NRTS it and start over.

/johnny

5 posted on 05/08/2012 8:48:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Let buy the one from the company that has only built two of their models, hasn’t tested them in combat, and is currently bankrupt!


6 posted on 05/08/2012 9:00:09 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
You should know that many years ago, I was employed by Beech Aircraft. It was still a family business back then, a great place to work and learn a trade that kept me fed for 30 years.

You should also know that Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection three days ago. They were counting on this contract and it didn't come through.

That said, I still wouldn't give either company (Beech or Embrauer) a nickel to build planes for the Taliban Air Force.

7 posted on 05/08/2012 9:00:39 PM PDT by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: USNBandit
Frankly, I'm amazed they have held on this long. This procurement has been in the works for quite a while. With the civilian market likely in the doldrums, it has to be rough out there.

I guess the question is who might be in the market for a distressed aircraft manufacturer with a shot at a Government contract? Sounds like there is significant potential for profit here for someone with inside information.

8 posted on 05/08/2012 9:11:41 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Why don’t they just find a plant to redo the P 51 Mustang? Update the cockpit with modern avionics. Place a sensors pod where the drop tank would be, and configure thw plane to carry smart ordnance and put 4 50 cal in the wings.


9 posted on 05/08/2012 9:42:17 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: Smokin' Joe
Hawker blew it even trying to get this contract. It is a tiny order when they have bigger fish to fry in the T-6 and military King Air 350 markets. The good news for Hawker is that almost every twin engine low threat ISR contract is built on a King Air 350.

They might have figured a successful bid might open up an ability to compete with the Super T on other contracts. There isn't that much demand for these light turbo props.

10 posted on 05/08/2012 10:02:41 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

US taxpayers buying Afghans an air force? WTF? Throw Karzai out of a C-130 from 30,000 feet after giving him a superman cape. That’s an Afghan air force I can live with.


11 posted on 05/08/2012 10:18:45 PM PDT by Dogbert41 ("...The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God" Zech. 12:5)
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To: xkaydet65

Might be easier to just bring back the Skyraider.


12 posted on 05/08/2012 11:11:06 PM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Trod Upon
Send 'em some tank-buster Stukas.
stuka tank+busters pics on Sodahead

13 posted on 05/09/2012 12:20:47 AM PDT by razorbak
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To: razorbak

I’m pretty sure the G model didn’t carry a bomb in addition to the 37mm anti-tank guns.


14 posted on 05/09/2012 12:28:16 AM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: USNBandit

Do they have a crop duster version?


15 posted on 05/09/2012 2:33:31 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Trod Upon

The Spad would have been a terrific choice. No need to reinvent the wheel!

16 posted on 05/09/2012 4:02:14 AM PDT by catman67
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To: sukhoi-30mki
This whole thing is asinine. The requirement was for an off-the-shelf COIN aircraft, and the only qualifying aircraft was the one the USAF originally selected, the Super Tucano. The AT-6 is an experimental derivative of the T-6 Texan II, so as such is not “off-the-shelf.”
17 posted on 05/09/2012 4:07:13 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: xkaydet65
Why don’t they just find a plant to redo the P 51 Mustang?

I'd be interested in what they'd use for an engine. If the performance was so excellent with an outdated inline water cooled engine, imagine what it would do today with modern components!

One other plus - it would be a high demand product - literally the "Mustang GT" of the personal aircraft market.

18 posted on 05/09/2012 5:41:52 AM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

A plane that one can use off the shelf technology for, really WW II technology except for perhaps avonics, is 15 months behind schedule? What a screw up. How hard would of it had been to refurbish IL-2 Sturmovik’s?


19 posted on 05/09/2012 6:59:41 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: Trod Upon

Yup, spot on. I’d forgotten about the Spad.I saw the Tucano’s inline nose and thought Mustang.


20 posted on 05/09/2012 7:40:00 AM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: catman67

All that beauty needs is its quad 20’s back in the wings and you’ve got a real beast.


21 posted on 05/09/2012 9:38:24 AM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Trod Upon

While I love the Spad, for close-in fighting I keep thinking two engines are better than one (pesky ground fire and all).

Personally I lean towards recreating the B-26 Invader.


22 posted on 05/09/2012 10:54:20 AM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: xkaydet65
There was such a proposal back in the 70s.

Piper PA-48 Enforcer

And yes, that's a turbo-prop engine. You probably wouldn't see a modernized piston engine on an aircraft like this - turbo-props are much more reliable, easier to maintain, and provide greater power for the weight.

23 posted on 05/09/2012 11:13:09 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

Thanx for the pic. You know I think I remember seeing this plane in either Janes or an issue of Av Week & Space Tech, back in the day.


24 posted on 05/09/2012 11:58:45 AM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: Army Air Corps

Bump


25 posted on 05/09/2012 6:26:16 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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