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Report to Congress on Light Attack Aircraft Program

The following is the Aug. 23, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Air Force OA-X Light Attack Aircraft Program.

From the report:

On August 6, 2018, the U.S. Air Force issued a presolicitation notice declaring its intent to acquire a new type of aircraft. The OA-X light attack aircraft is a small, two-seat turboprop airplane designed for operation in relatively permissive environments. The announcement of a formal program follows a series of Air Force “experiments” to determine the utility of such an aircraft.

Why Light Attack?

In a number of venues during 2018, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson expressed the purpose of a new light attack aircraft as giving the Air Force an ability to free up more sophisticated and expensive assets for other tasks, citing the example of using high-end F-22 jets to destroy a drug laboratory in Afghanistan as an inefficient use of resources. Per-hour operating costs for light attack aircraft are typically about 2%-4% those of advanced fighters. She and other officials have also noted that the 2018 National Defense Strategy put a greater emphasis on potential conflicts against capably armed nation-states, further stressing a need to minimize the use of high-end assets in other types of conflict. (For more on that document, see CRS Insight IN10855, The 2018 National Defense Strategy, by Kathleen J. McInnis.) Conversely, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had criticized the Air Force as focusing excessively on the kind of high-end, near-peer conflicts in that strategy; the light attack aircraft can be seen as making the Air Force more relevant to low-end and counterinsurgency warfare.

via fas.org

  • Ed L

    Maybe it’s time to re established VAL-4 was a Light Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. Established on January 3, 1969, it was disestablished on April 10, 1972 which flew the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco. As an experimental squadron flying the OA-X light attack aircraft off the navy’s flat tops. With advances in avionics. They could do surface surveillance around the battle ground and maybe even ASW detection

    • Curtis Conway

      The OV-10 Bronco performed an abbreviated Light Attack role (mostly marking targets for the heavies, and medium/light attack) while providing Tactical Air Control and other things. Short takeoff and landing, paratroopers could go out the back, or a truck backup to the rear door for on-load/offload . . . very util aircraft. An OV-10 made of modern materials with a new (similar plan-form, new NACA #, and winglets) would squeeze more performance out of that platform, and larger mission set. Guided Rockets (APKWS) and Small Diameter Bombs (SDB I & II) could provide standoff range and quite a wallop for that little platform. The right construct could last for decades.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        I could not agree more, a new OV-10 Bronco would be *ideal* for light attack. Particularly with modern precision, guided, “smaller-sized” weaponry. You hit the nail on the head, the APKWS & SDBs would be perfect for the OV-10… I would think if it was upgraded and new, perhaps even some Hellfires… and advanced, modern “gun” weaponry … it would be an amazing attack aircraft, probably an amazing value. You keep making me agree with you recently brother.

        • Curtis Conway

          It’s a shame the ‘powers that be’ don’t listen. They are too busy buying votes and making money . . . not getting the job done/or specifying the best thing for the job, that can do more than one job (synergistic effect). THAT is how you stretch dollars, and make a more effective force. A new OV-10 would be in every service (and probably the US Coast Guard and Forest Service), not to mention the Air Guard & Reserves. A mostly synthetic one would be lighter, and more rigid, have greater range with more efficient engines and new prop, and could land on an LHA-6. If you ever saw one perform a short field landing with that reverse prop . . . WOW!

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            No I can’t say that I have, and I had no idea they could land on an America-class… that would be a HUGE mark in the Pro column. I’d actually think the USMC would be all over that because they’d be relatively cheap, relatively easy, and relatively huge Force Multiplier for CAS for Marines on the ground. Plus I’d imagine they can loiter much longer than helos, just a huge win…. I think OV-10s on the “Mini Marine Aircraft Carriers” would be a total win.

          • Secundius

            The OV-10 we’re deployed on USS Nassau in 1983…

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            I did not know that, thank you very much sir

      • Ed L

        When on exercises watch the deployment of an ANGLICO team out of the back of an OV-10. Was told by a Marine Major who use to do that there was No room to stand up. As explained to me the pilot approaches the dropzone at low-level, he increases the throttle and begins to climb sharply upwards, going nearly vertical.

        Once this happens, the light goes green and the “door man” pops open the safety belt, allowing momentum and gravity to pull out all the jumpers. I remember that Major well. Worked for him for two years in a JCS shop 5’7” all Marine.

        • Curtis Conway

          Back in the day when we had predominantly Real Men in the Service! Today everybody is Risk Averse!

  • Eyes open

    Sounds like a good idea to me. I’ll bet they are cheaper to build too!

    • Curtis Conway

      $20 Million . . . less in quantity. I like the five-bladed prop on the A-29, but Beechcraft upgraded the engine and left the four-bladed prop.

  • Curtis Conway

    What the article does not tell you is the AT-6 Wolverine is already qualified to employ almost every airborne weapon used in the NATO inventory, and has done so in multiple locations over the last decade. The ‘Combat’ over the jungles of South America/Africa that is consistently pushed by the Pro-SNC-A-29 Super Tucano crowd will never admit, is that all they really have over the AT-6 . . . is guns in the wings. The A-10C Combat System equipped AT-6 Wolverine has two additional wing stores stations enabling larger and wider varieties of ordnance employment in a single sortie, or a significantly longer on-station time (if required) over its current and significant loiter time via two external tanks on the inboard wing-stores stations. The F-16 HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) is very familiar to most tactical pilots, with a training system that is already developed and well understood and changeable/upgrade-able.

    Every USAF pilot and USN aviator are already trained in, and familiar with the T-6 Texan II Trainer aircraft, and fully versed and proficient in the Emergency Procedures of same, which may have been a contributing factor in the recent loss of the A-29 Super Tucano in testing, and the death of a US Navy Aviator who was flying same. The competition continues only because the SNC influence by large investors that want a return on their investment via this multi-billion dollar contract.

    The greatest return and safest platform for the Fixed-wing Light Attack Aircraft for the investment . . . IMHO is the most developed, tested, successful turboprop aircraft manufactured by one of the most respected American aviation manufacturers of all time (Beechcraft).

    However, I do not give up my desire, and the greater safety provided by two engines on a platform performing Light Attack in the presence of ground-fire (Textron Scorpion, or OV-10 Bronco).

    • Secundius

      Maximum Wing Load for AT-6 Wolverine is ~4,110-pounds of Ordnance, while the Air Tractor’s OA-802 is ~9,000-pounds. Approximately 1,000-pounds greater then the Douglas A1D Skyraider…

      • Curtis Conway

        Unfortunately the Airtractor is no longer in the running. The USAF has narrowed the selection down to two candidates: AT-6 Wolverine, or the A-29 Super Tucano. I’m for the All-American bird (AT-6).

        • Secundius

          Well the “Wolverine” does have a Maximum Dash Speed of ~443.17kts “Clean”, to get away from trouble…

        • vetww2

          I hesitate to disagree with anyone named ‘CURTIS” but I feel that the A/F must be STOPPED or we wind up with another V-22.

          • Curtis Conway

            Well . . . neither the AT-6 or A-29 is a Goat Rope like the V-22 development effort was. If you have ever had to work with the Boeing Engineering model, and their configuration management and controls, it is a nightmare, lengthy, not pliable at all, and takes a long time to get through the Plan of Action and Milestones. I think they are starting to realize that people are not machines, and require Leadership not management. One manages material and money. You LEAD people!

          • vetww2

            Brilliant. May I steal it to use in other venues? I have worked with Boeing on SST and Lunar Orbiter shroud. A very difficult group, unlike Lockheed’s “Skunk Works”

          • Curtis Conway

            Yes you may! We struggled with the 54 signatures required for all the ‘engineering reviews’ that had to take place BEFORE you could get anything done. Got it down to 14 signature by cognitive engineering activities that knew what they were doing, and had a full appreciation of the environment and technology. Today we have people that have a desk and a stamp only because they went to school, got a degree, and needed a job (bloated federal government).

          • vetww2

            You make many logical posts. I am an aero who has worked on nany good aircraft, includinng P6M, C-130 (did the float version), B-57D (U-2 replacement), Caravelle, and many others.
            Would you comment on my post (wherever USNI hid it)?

          • Secundius

            If you’re referring to the CL-130 Amphibian with Floats?/! It’s in Plain Sight, because there never was one. The USAF LC-130R reversed the “LC” to “CL”. Used a Ski-Equipped LC-130R, to Skim across a Bay’s Surface on “IT’s” Ski’s, NOT Floats. Plane, never Idled Down it’s Engines, because it would have Sunk. Both the USAF and USMC were never seriously interested in an Amphibian version of the C-130 Hercules. Lanier Industries of Gainsville, GA., was Sub-Contracted to build a 1/6th Scale Model of one in 1968. To see if the Concept would work! It did!! Only Known Test Flight to place in 1975 and was written about in the “FlugRevue” in 1975. IF C-130 Amphibian went into production it would have measured ~100.9-feet long by 132.6-foot wingspan by 38.7-feet high at its tail…

          • vetww2

            You re ALMOST 100% correct. The -130 on floats (not amphibious) went to the point of purchasing the floats from EDO. I have a lovely model of it that I am about to give to an ex 130 pilot, If I was good at it I’d send you a photo.The report is published, but I don’t know where.
            It’s a shsme, because the mission anslysis showed it to be potentialy, very useful.

          • Secundius

            “DeviantArt” is very good at making the Unbelievable Believable. There’s a Nice Glock .45ACP Revolver I’d like to have, only if it actually existed…

          • vetww2

            The problem with the .45 ACP in a revolver is that it is rimless and won’t stay in the cylinder.

          • Secundius

            Cylinder probably wouldn’t hold the pressure anyway! I use .460 Rowland Wildcat Ammunition…

          • vetww2

            Not so .There are several revover loads much heavier thz an .45ACP. Wee Gun Digest. or American Rifleman.

          • Secundius

            Unfortunately I’m not into Revolvers! If I was, the “DeviantArt” Glock would have been my choice…

          • Secundius

            USNI didn’t hide it! It didn’t get posted!! Look at all the comment! None of them have Website Addresses! USNI seems to go out of it’s way NOT TO post website addresses. Join the USNI News Club, “You’ve bee Redacted”…

  • Duane

    Unfortunately in 21st century war, these light attack aircraft will prove to be crew killers.

    If the enemy is so poorly equipped as to not be a threat to one of these aircraft, then we have no business waging “wars” that are really just low intensity law enforcement actions.

    If we are developing these birds mainly to equip our third world allies, who can’t afford to buy modern jet attack aircraft, fine. But don’t waste American pilots and taxpayer funds trying to police every worthless square inch of third world backwaters.

    A $20M aircraft may appear cheap in a thoughtless sort of way … but not when they are forming smoking holes in the ground in the hellholes of worthless foreign law enforcement struggles that are not strategic threats to the US.

    We are a Super Power … we should force developing nations like Yemen, and their second world allies like Saudi Arabia, to shoulder those lesser law enforcement burdens, while we tend to the bigger and more important threats.

    • Ed L

      So a CAP of Hornets could not provide protection over the Carrier Battle Group for OA-X light attack Aircraft (300+ mph) Ospreys (300+ mph) and ASW Helicopters (200 mph)? Remember The Douglas A-1 Sky-raiders that shot down a MiG-17? Warfare is a combine arms venture. OA-X could carry 2 Mark 50 torpedos a be guided to a datum by the ASW coordinator. Or gun pods to use against go fast boats. Plus 6 hour endurance

      • vetww2

        Some very good points there.

      • airider

        Don’t worry Ed….if the product isn’t being built by one of the “Big 5” defense vendors, he turns his nose up to it.

  • RobM1981

    These kind of planes are aligned closer to the mission of an LHD than of a CVN

    We’d have to rig up some kind of arresting gear, but nothing overly heavy. These are light planes. I’d venture that they would not need a catapult, given their power/weight and wing loading.

    Just a thought

    • Secundius

      Landing and Take-Off Distance for Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine is ~3,000-meters. Landing Distance for Air Tractor OA-802U is ~185.93-meters and Take-Off Distance at ~16,000-pounds ~609.6-meters…

      • Ed L

        Are this figures minimum? What was the wind at the time of landings and take off? 1968 video OV-10 Landing and taking off from the Big John using Less than half of the flight deck

        • Secundius

          I can’t find any Minimum Landing and Take-Off Distances for the Beechcraft OA-6 Wolverine! Even “YouTube” videos are misleading, because they don’t mention any Fixed Distances in either Landing and/or Take-Off’s. The Air Tractor OA-802U can be found using figures by “Air Bosses” by the Forestry Service in the Role of Aerial Fire Bombers. With either Water or Fire Retardants as Maximum Payloads. For OV-10 Bronco, all figures are of use in Vietnam under Combat Conditions on Unprepared Landing Strips using a 3-bladed propeller. Of ~800-feet for Take-Off and ~480 to ~530-feet Landing. Modern OV-10X would use a 6-bladed propeller reducing the distance even more. Using a ~7.4* Ski-Jump reduces a ~800-foot Take-Off Roll to ~705-feet.

          A 1952 NACA report “An Analysis of the Effect of a Curved Ramp on the Take-Off Performance of Catapult-Launched Airplanes” by Wilmer H. Reed III, dated 13 September 1952 (*) maximum angle of Take-Off Ramp for Propeller Driven Aircraft states that ~7.4* is Maximum Angle that a Propeller Driven Aircraft can Safely Use without Propeller Damage…

          Note (*) ( https : // ntrs . nasa . gov / archive / nasa /casi . ntrs . nasa . gov / 19930087290 . pdf )

          • Ed L

            Look at the video of an OV-10 landing and taking off from the USS John F Kennedy CV-67. I don’t read most of those studies since I have seen the Bronco in Action at Sea and remember having conversations with pallets that have flown Broncos, spads, vigilante, whales, scooters, etc. just watch the video

          • Secundius

            And exactly how does the STOL Performance of the OV-10 “Bronco” translate to the Non-STOL Performance of the AT-6 “Wolverine”, other than both being Turboprops.

            The OV-10 Bronco was deployed on the Gator-Freighter USS Nassau in 1983…

          • Ed L

            Do those take off and landing figure in a 25 mph or better wind coming down the deck. I have seen piper cubs come in for a landing touchdown and stop in a hundred feet. Given enough wind almost any aircraft could do a stol landing Or as in one piper cub landing I saw. 10 feet

          • Secundius

            The 1938 Piper J-3 Cub with a 50-foot obstacle had a Take-Off Distance of ~755-feet at a Maximum Take-Off Weight of ~1,200-pounds and a Landing Distance of ~885-feet. But then again the German Fieseler Fi-156 Storch at nearly Twice the Weight of the Piper Cub could Take-Off in only ~350-feet and Land in ~310-feet. Again, I don’t know what you’re point is…

          • Ed L

            There are no 50 foot obstacles on a Aircraft Carrier. CVN or LHD, LHA Just a drop off of over 70 feet. I seen wind over a flight deck easily get 40 knots. Most of those OA-X’s has a minimum takeoff speed around a 100 mph. If they hit the round down it’s lights out anyway

      • Refguy

        Did you slip a decimal point? 10,000 feet for AT-6 isn’t credible; 737, A320, any biizjet require require less than that.

        • Secundius

          I spent half the night trying to find the Minimum Take-Off Distance with a 50-foot tall Obstacle for the AT-6 Wolverine! There wasn’t any! Minimum Take-Off Distance given by anyone was by Beechcraft themselves of 3,000-meters…

          • Curtis Conway

            They are ‘avoiding liability’, instead of giving opposition lawyers ‘evidence in print’ that says otherwise.

          • Secundius

            I suspect if the wings were longer and broader, the “Wolverine” would have better STOL capabilities…

          • Curtis Conway

            Winglets and a different flap design would do it. Perhaps a different wing camber with better low speed stall characteristics.

          • Refguy

            3000 meters is about 10000 feet, longer than NAS Pensacola/Forrest Sherman where the Blue Angels are based (8002 feet) and Corpus Christi (8003 feet). Whiting Field’s runways are shorter (6002 feet). If the AT-6 really needs 10000 ft, it’s a non-starter as a light attack aircraft.

          • Secundius

            Blue Angle have Deployable Drag Chutes, to slow them down. What need does a Turboprop have with a Drag Chute, when they have access to a Long Runway…

          • Refguy

            Except that you said takeoff distance is 10000 feet; what do drag chutes have to do with takeoff (except RTO on multi-engine birds)? In most places that a VAL would be used, 10000 foot runways aren’t available.

          • Secundius

            All the YouTube Video’s involving an AT-6 Wolverine, either Landing or Taking Off a Dirt Road is lack of a better description “Staged”. You see a Lot of Dust, but very little in the way of Rocks and other objects that would be normally found on a Unprepared Landing Strip. Odd considering only a Few Hundred Feet Away is a Highway with Cars and Trucks moving about on it. Unless you know of a Video of a AT-6 Wolverine, Taking Off and/or Landing in a STOL characteristics please post the website address…

          • Refguy

            Youtube? I never said it was STOL; in fact, I doubt that it is. I stand by my statement that any bird that requires a 10000-foot runway won’t make the cut.

          • Secundius

            And I never said it was a STOL either! But you did mention “about a slipped decimal place” in one of my comments. I was trying to answer your question, as though we were reading from the Same Page. Only to find out WE weren’t even reading from the Same Script…

      • Old Coasty

        T-6C+ (Approx. same for AT-6B)

        Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level: 1,280 ft (391 m)

        Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level: 2,295 ft (700 m)

        • Secundius

          So “NO” STOL capability’s of any kind…

    • Curtis Conway

      OV-10s operated off of LHAs, and not just takeoffs.

  • alsotps

    Is this the USAF that turns up its nose at the A-10?

    • Curtis Conway

      USAF pilots are not happy unless they are (wishing they were) Mach II with their hair on fire at altitude turning massive quantities of fuel into noise . . . and they are GOOD at it!

      • SN

        Guess you haven’t interacted with the A-10 community. I have yet to meet an A-10 pilot who didn’t think they have the best mission.

        • Curtis Conway

          The A-10 pilots worth their salt, and truly know why they are there, and have done it successfully, are very pleased with their platform. Every USAF pilot flies to support the mission, and the mission of supporting our Boots on the Ground is THE Mission. THAT is why they are there.

  • DaSaint

    I’m OK with either. Both are proven platforms, and both will be built here.
    Textron’s Beechcraft is a stellar company, but Boeing now has a stake in Embrarer. We may end up with some of their new transports…watch this space.

  • vetww2

    the airplanes are ridiculous throwbacks that have the following shortcomings:
    1. Pilot too far back. cannot see target.
    2. Should be a STOL or helo
    3. Should have 20/37mm cannon firing otf wing tip.
    4. Should look at A-10 and OV-10 for guidanc.
    5. A compounded Apache would be infinitely better,
    6. Looks like another Congress/ Company driven job like V-22

  • TransformerSWO

    “Why light attack?” is a pretty obvious question, and these aircraft are good responses.My question, at this point in the 21st Century, is “why manned?” Cost, endurance, loadout and risk mitigation could all be superior with an unmanned aircraft – for the mission set envisioned here, why would we assume there must be human crew aboard?

    • Secundius

      “Fluidic Function” (i.e. Fast Mobile Reactionary Force) first developed by the Greeks in the 4th century BCE, known as a “Thracians Pelfast”…

    • honcho13

      And because pilots in our military STILL have a very long arm and a lot of pull. I still think it’s gonna be very, very hard for the services to eject the pilot from the his/her place in the U.S.’s military spectrum. Maybe someday, but they won’t go quietly into that good night!

  • MNCMNavyRetired

    Put an upgraded A-4 or A-7 back into production if you want a proven, excellent light attack aircraft. While they would be slightly more expensive to operate than the proposed turboprop aircraft, they would be orders of magnitude more survivable in a low level attack environment (not to mention the fact that they could carry significantly more ordnance). Of course reopening the A-10 production line would be the absolute best answer to the problem (and let the Marines buy it too) but the USAF generals aren’t able to accept what the guys on the pointy end of the spear need (and badly want).

    • Secundius

      Production line for the A-4 Skyhawk was terminated after 1988 and 1984 for the A-7 Corsair II. You’d have to Reverse Engineer either or both Aircraft’s to manufacture the Die’s and Tooling’s to put them back into to production. Or do what Pratt & Whitney/Rocketdyne did the Construct the Aerojet/Rocketdyne RS-25 Rocket Engine. Sinter one using a Metal Laser 3D Printer…

  • vetww2

    As a qualified A/C designer, I feel that is important that people consider the design factors, as I see them (along with other savvy opinions) to avoid fiascos like V-22 and what is being put forth, A ground attack A/C MUST have:
    A. great, pilot (or weapons man) visibility.
    B. Great maneuverability.
    D. Heavy armament. (Wing span guns and launchers.) Tank killer.
    E.Complete pilot armor
    F, Fair range.
    G. V/STOL capability
    H. Rough field operation

    The airplanes are ridiculous throwbacks that have the following shortcomings:
    1. Pilot too far back. cannot see target.
    2. Should be a STOL or helo
    3. Should have 20/37mm cannon firing otf wing tip.
    4. Should look at A-10 and OV-10 for guidanc.
    5. A compounded Apache would be infinitely better,

    It looks like another Congress/ Company driven job like V-22

    • Curtis Conway

      3.a. Bore sighted cannons are better.
      5.a. New FVL helos have the speed to make the difference between helos and fixed wing.
      Any tilt-rotor is a terrible idea for an attack, particularly in horizontal flight with the increased target area of the tilted rotors.

      • vetww2

        Thanks for your comments. I certainly agree on tilt rotors. Tilt wing, with engines mounted on the fuselage, instead of the wing tips are better because:
        1, The rotors are smaller and dont blow down on the wings in vertical flight
        2. The cross shaft is only 5 ft. long and the out shafts dont need to fold
        3. The engine weight is not at the end of the wings,
        Compound helos are as fast as tilt rotors and have smaller, fixed designb rotors.

        • Curtis Conway

          “Compound helos are as fast as tilt rotors and have smaller, fixed design[e]b rotors.”

          I think the tilt rotor still hold the better speed capability (V-280 (Cruise speed: 322 mph) vs. SB-1/S-97 (Never exceed speed: 276 mph)) and will make a superior UH-60 Replacement candidate. We should get the maximum performance out of this UH-60 replacement platform (an aviation-truck hauling people and supplies, and casualties out), and concentrate on maintaining the attack helo advantage of tandem seating and narrow frontal approach profile for initial attack vulnerability mitigation. side-by-side seating for an attack helo is a DEFINITELY disadvantage. Why program that vulnerability into an attack platform. That is not to say we cannot provide attack/defense capability to side-by-side crewed helos, regardless of type.

          • Secundius

            I don’t think that’s what he’s referring to “Curtis”! He’s saying Inboard Mounted Engines with Lift Fans on the Wings. Similar to the 1967 German Dornier Do.31…

          • Curtis Conway

            It may be possible to have lift fans similar to the vehicle in AVATAR (used jet thrust for forward motion at speed), but anything with tiltable blades that move to face forward increase target area on (high speed) ingress. In a 3D environment ‘speed is life’, decreasing your target area is a good thing, and smart weapons increases the likelihood/enhances these elements in the platform.

          • Secundius

            I suspect that DARPA is already looking into to that. A few years back, DARPA was looking into the Feasibility of constructing a “Helicarrier” similar to that of the Marvel Comicbook’s “Avenger” series. I suspect that the technology required doesn’t exist yet, but it would have been a Bold Ambition if it had…

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            You’d might be interested to know that Canada launched it’s First ice capable Arctic Patrol Ship. Which makes you wonder why the US Navy or USCG, isn’t doing the same…

            ( https : // www . marinelink . com / news / canadas – first – new – arctic – patrol – vessel – 441570 ? utm _ source = MR – ENews – Weekdays -2018 – 09 – 17 & utm _ medium = email & utm _ campaign = MR – ENews )

          • Curtis Conway

            Canada & Norway are both getting up to speed. I’m hoping FFG(X) and the new Icebreakers (if they ever build them) will help us to get up to speed, and we should just build six heavies strait in a row at one yard. I bet that one yard could do it for less than $6 Billion including NRE.

          • Secundius

            I don’t the USCG is! Donald Trump just to Out ~$22-Million Out of the USCG Budget to pay for more Detention Camps. In total Donald Trump reallocated ~$202-Million out of the DHS for the purpose. It was reported last week in USA Today…

          • Curtis Conway

            You should check out my US Coast Guard Needs New Icebreakers Facebook page.

          • Secundius

            Right now it’s looking rather bleak that ANY Icebreakers will be built by either the USCG and/or the US Navy, before the Mid-2020’s…

  • Ed L

    Just speaking from personal experiences of working a flight deck as a blue shirt and red shirt. Dear Sir. Thank you

    • Secundius

      I don’t recall any Piper Cubs taking off and/or landing on Aircraft Carriers in WWII. All were either Artillery Spotters, Liaison Transports or Scout Planes using Forward Airstrips by units that had the Luxury of having the assigned to them in the Field of a Advancing Army…

      • Ed L

        There is video of a Army piper Cub plane takes from runway of LST (Landing Ship, Tank) and circles ship, off coast of Italy. Don’t forget about the Brodie Landing System short lived as it was. Thank you sir for your service. No
        More comments on this topic. RIP BZ. Taps

        • Secundius

          Only one problem associated with the flight. Piper Cub took off with only enough fuel to Fly the ~30-miles to a Secured Beachhead and had to Refuel for the Trip Back. Also the Bodie Landing system didn’t work quite as it was suppose to. I suspect that’s why it’s NOT Still being used now…

          • Ed L

            All are winners. Go team

        • Secundius

          Yes I saw it! But the Story to the Video was that the Piper Cub took-off Light. Approximately 630-pound Aircraft, the Pilot and 40-miles worth of fuel. When the Plane landed at a Secure Beached on the Sicilian Coast, there was only 10-miles worth of Fuel in the Plane. And had to be Refueled for the Return Trip. For the “Bodie”! The Idea of being suspended off a Boom ~30-feet above the Water, then Revving the Engine to Maximum Power, to be Dropped. And hoping that the ~30-foot Drop would provide enough needed Lift to get the Piper Cub into the Air, or Drown within the Cockpit of the Plane IF it didn’t. As one pilot put, “The Toilet Drop”. Because the Release Handle resembled a Toilet Release Chain on a 1940’s Overhead Tank Toilet System…

  • vetww2

    Placing an analysis of the a/c characteristics, and their shortcomings, down in the nether regions exposes a weakness in USNI. Superficial comments on happenings and activities areinteresting, but the guts of the matter is the capability to do its mission and provides people with the info to make good decisions. I agree with the policy of no personal attacks and political bias, but not displaying the real data of the case is adisservice to those readers who might ttake effective action to intervene against some of the idiocies going on.