Modified Cropduster COIN Aircraft

#2
I have wondered why the RAF don't use a tooled up Tucano in Afghanistan, it would be cheaper than Apache or Harrier
 
#3
Looks very much an un-dated Piper Pawnee. I remember that they used to be popular as crop dusters. They were mahoosively noisy however.....
 
#4
An interesting thought, but my first look suggests ...

1. Tucano payload 1000 lb, and UK ac not fitted with hardpoints. Years of R&D, modifications, and COST. I note Air Truck payload is over 8000 lb, which is more than the Tucano's max take-off weight!

2. Robustness/rough field performance/costs?

Air Truck seems on first impressions to a neat idea for small Air Forces [and Army Air Corps :wink: ].
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
tropper66 said:
I have wondered why the RAF don't use a tooled up Tucano in Afghanistan, it would be cheaper than Apache or Harrier
Bring these I say:



de Havilland Hornet

Crew: 1
Length: 36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
Wingspan: 45 ft (13.72 m)
Height: 14 ft 2 in (4.3 m)
Wing area: 361 ft² (33.54 m²)
Loaded weight: 19,550 lb (8,886 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 20,900 lb (9,480 kg[13][2])
Powerplant: Four blade, 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter "handed" de Havilland propellers: Two× Rolls-Royce Merlin 130/131 12-cylinder engines, 2,080 hp (1,551 kW) each
Performance

Maximum speed: 472 mph at 22,000 ft (760 km/h at 6,706 m)
Range: 3,000 mi (4,828 km)
Service ceiling: 35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Rate of climb: 4,000 ft/min (20.3 m/s)
Armament


4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk. V cannons (with 190 rpg) in lower fuselage nose
2 × 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs under wing, outboard of engines
8 × "60 lb" (27 kg) RP-3 unguided rockets


And made of plywood - no expensive fancy metals or carbon composites.
 
#7
Wood is not a good idea in hot, cold, humid, places as the RAF found out in WW2, the glue used was not much good in the tropics
 
#8
DH Hornet runs on petrol ... not a popular arrangement these days, especially with Loggies :lol:
Nice performance, but perhaps a bit too much for the task?
Airfield requirements?
Hornet operated successfully in Singapore during FIREDOG.
but ...
Air Truck still seems just ahead on payload.
 
#9
tropper66 said:
I have wondered why the RAF don't use a tooled up Tucano in Afghanistan, it would be cheaper than Apache or Harrier
Fuck me are you for real? Would it be free to convert it to take all the bombs pods and other gubbins?
The main reason might be thats its only a training Aircraft.

From a CAS point of view.
Another might be that with a top speed of 300kts vs Harrier at 500 odd and GR4 at Mach 1.3 the Tucano would take a flippin age to get on station and would make it a tad easier to hit by some cunt with a RPG IF it was to go LL.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
tropper66 said:
Wood is not a good idea in hot, cold, humid, places as the RAF found out in WW2, the glue used was not much good in the tropics

True, but they moved to using a synthetic glue towards the end of the war, which was far more effective. And we should take into consideration the advances made since then in syntheitc adhesives.

The engines would have to be upgraded certainly, but the jigs for the airframes still exist in New Zealnd.

The Hornet was used with considerable success in the Malaya Emergency.
 
#11
In 1991 Shorts built a number of Tucanos as Coin aircraft able to carry up to a 250kg bombload with MGs or Cannon armorment 19 went to Kuwait as the MK52, the rest were sent to Kenya about thirty aircraft were built. The US Navy has recently got hold of an EMB-314 Super Tucano for the classified Imminent Fury programme and the PMC Blackwater have also got a number of the type for use in Afghanistan
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
tropper66 said:
I have wondered why the RAF don't use a tooled up Tucano in Afghanistan, it would be cheaper than Apache or Harrier
For the same reason the US stopped using the A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam: once the Bad Guys have MANPADS, stooging around low and slow behind a big hot engine gets very dangerous; and by the time you put the full DAS suite in to reduce that risk, the attraction of being cheap is disappearing.

(Time to get onto station is an issue too, if you don't have airfields near the fighting).
 
#13
RAF Tucanos are only training but the Super Tucano is in service as a light strike/CAS aircraft with a number of users so new buy Super Tucanos are completely different. They can even carry Sidewinder and if you look on YouTube you can find videos of them shooting down drugs runner aircraft as well.

The USAF have also expressed an interest in either the Super Tucano or Beechcraft AT6 for a 'commando' air role, not sure if orders have been placed yet though.

I also understand a number of modified crop dusters have been used in a COIN role in South America where they do anti coca plant spraying plus the occasional rocket/gun run. Not very sophisticated, no precision stuff but as BS says the payload is significant although there are a million and one downsides as well.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
jrwlynch said:
tropper66 said:
I have wondered why the RAF don't use a tooled up Tucano in Afghanistan, it would be cheaper than Apache or Harrier
For the same reason the US stopped using the A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam: once the Bad Guys have MANPADS, stooging around low and slow behind a big hot engine gets very dangerous; and by the time you put the full DAS suite in to reduce that risk, the attraction of being cheap is disappearing.

(Time to get onto station is an issue too, if you don't have airfields near the fighting).
Interesting point: would there be a case for maybe using a Hawk derivative, such as the Hawk 200 models, used by the Saudis, Indonesians, Omanis and Malays.

The fast jet boys alrady have experience on type with the Hawk Trainers, so costs of re-training would be kept to a minimum.
 
#15
tropper66 said:
In 1991 Shorts built a number of Tucanos as Coin aircraft able to carry up to a 250kg bombload with MGs or Cannon armorment 19 went to Kuwait as the MK52, the rest were sent to Kenya about thirty aircraft were built. The US Navy has recently got hold of an EMB-314 Super Tucano for the classified Imminent Fury programme and the PMC Blackwater have also got a number of the type for use in Afghanistan
Oh well if the world leaders in CAS, Blackwater have them that makes all the difference. Quick phone up Jock Stirrup and let him know i'm sure he will get it sorted
 
#16
Having just read " Joint Force Harrier" it seems that they dont very often drop more than one weapon so a light ,cheap Coin aircraft might not be a bad idea, for the cost of one fast jet you could have a shed load of them, and with the Tornado servicing ramp cock-up it would be worth looking into as almost every fast jet jocky would be type quilified
 
#17
Just going back a few posts,I'm amazed that our airforces in afghanistan have not encountered MANPADS so far,Is this down to very tight control on the arms market or some other factor?
 
#20
No, just playing devils advocate

I expect the threat remains from MANPADS but if you look at helicopter losses you would probably find a mix of mechanical problems, bad luck and weather are a biger hazard than enemy action. That said its a testament to the tactics, skills and equipment that we have that has meant we havent suffered.

Perhaps the threat is just as great from AAA and RPG's than exotic missiles anyway.

Of course its the things that wont be commented on.

On the main subject I used to think that turboprops were a no brainer but having been educated by Magic Mushroom, Johny Paveway and others on here its obviously not as clear cut as one might expect and things are as usual a delicate balance of pros and cons with the answer not being an either or type. The consensus seemed to be that something like the Super Tucano, Caravan (being used by the Iraqi Air Force with Hellfire as above), AT-6 or some other similar type would be a great addition rather than replacement, relieving some pressure on AH and FJ in certain roles rather than replacing.
 

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