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Propellerhead
03-28-2002, 11:58 AM
What on earth took so long to send the A-10s?

It seems that they've had suitable airfields for awhile and if one weapon was suited to help our boys out it's the "airplane no one wanted."

Any insights Randy?

Rob

Randy Haskin
04-04-2002, 03:46 PM
There are a number of reasons that A-10s were not initially sent to Enduring Freedom. The biggest, though, was a combination of a lack of suitable bases to fly them from and the "adequacy" of the Navy jets and B-52s dropping GPS-guided bombs. While the Bagram airbase and the airport at Khandahar were good places to land airplanes, until lately they weren't really suitable to "base" jets there. I guess you can chalk it up to logistics, I suppose....maintenance facilities, tent cities for all the crew, pilots, and maintainers, etc. It was easier to just let the carrier-based jets and the BUFFs out of Diego continue with the good work they were already doing.

Operation Anaconda showed that there was a bigger need for real CAS capability, hence the speeding up of putting Hogs in theater.

The DoD is pretty slow to change it's course of action once the "warplan" is decided, and Hogs weren't part of the original plan. Also, the AF is still getting it's arms around being able to operate in extremely forward deployed locations with minimal support in place...that's something that the Marines are a little more used to doing on a regular basis.

matt
04-04-2002, 04:52 PM
speaking of the naval aircraft's adequacy, the f-14 has actually dropped more bombs on afghanistan than the f/a-18, super hornet or regular hornet. why? range, the f-14 has almost twice the loaded range the super hornet does and can carry just as much ordinance.

can someone please tell me why we're spending money on a plane that is being outclassed by a plane a decade older, half again heavier? both the a-6 and the f-14 do their jobs better than the f/a-18 could ever dream of doing as far as i'm concerned, the f-14 is a better fighter/bomber, the a-6 a better bomber. i just don't understand how we could get rid of a design that worked (a-6) for a plane that doesn't have it's range or load capability.

what's more is the f-14 still has room to expand, if you read the february issue of flight journal a retired admiral commented on just this subject.

Randy Haskin
04-04-2002, 05:03 PM
"i just don't understand how we could get rid of a design that worked (a-6) for a plane that doesn't have it's range or load capability."

That's because you're not a Congressman. These are decisions made by people FAR outside the tactically-knowledgeable decisionmaking train. In addition, there are MANY outside political influences on these decisions that have no bearing on what's best for the job.

Welcome to good ol' bureaucracy!

AAFO_WSagar
04-04-2002, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Randy Haskin
Welcome to good ol' bureaucracy! LOL Randy.. when they gonna scrap that POS Eagle you're drivin' and give ya one of those spiff new F-22 jobbies ;)

Just kidding with the POS thing too!! I love the Eagle.. They burn up the sky over my house daily on their trips in and out of Kingsley.. Besides.. the F-22 ain't got a back seat so the gib can hold the stick for ya while ya take the nice pictures!

Wayne

Randy Haskin
04-04-2002, 06:22 PM
"so the gib can hold the stick for ya while ya take the nice pictures! "

Speaking of which, here's a shot taken last week.

AAFO_WSagar
04-04-2002, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by Randy Haskin
"so the gib can hold the stick for ya while ya take the nice pictures! "

Speaking of which, here's a shot taken last week. Speaking of which.. is that as hard as it looks???

Shortz

matt
04-04-2002, 07:01 PM
good point randy, but i would think it would cost less to either rebuild or start making a-6's again than to create two new aircraft.

Randy Haskin
04-04-2002, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by AAFO_WSagar
Speaking of which.. is that as hard as it looks???

Well, yes and no. I used to think that taking gas was one of the toughest things I had to do as a fighter pilot. These days, it's not such a big deal. To be honest, it's really all a matter of practice.

While flying Operation Noble Eagle protective CAPs after Sept 11, I'd have to tank several times during each mission -- often at night and/or during bad weather. I could count on two hands the number of times *in total* that I'd taken gas from a tanker in a couple hundred hours of flying the F-15E -- I wasn't really all that good at it. Out of necessity, though, I got pretty decent at being "on the boom".

Now, it's not that big of a deal. It's no different than flying formation with any other airplane, except the other airplane is just A LOT bigger!

AAFO_WSagar
04-04-2002, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Randy Haskin
Now, it's not that big of a deal. It's no different than flying formation with any other airplane, except the other airplane is just A LOT bigger! The reason I ask.. the few times I've flown in formation flights, as passenger, of course <snif> there is significant motion between the airplanes.. actually amazing at times how you can watch a line of airplanes.. (the formation at Oshkosh for the start of the demo race was a good example) one plane would be going up, the next down and all the way down the line it seemed to be that way.. (makes it really tough to try to get a good formation shot when that happens!)

What we usually see when we watch an airplane booming on the tele is pretty still air and never night.. how in hell do you stay on top of all that motion in turbulence, especially at night.. ?

I note there is some "slack" in the boom extension but geez.. Tried it in a sim once and it was harder than hell... in smooth weather. Just can't imagine doing it with all the bobbing that happens in chop..

Wayne

Randy Haskin
04-04-2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by AAFO_WSagar
The reason I ask.. the few times I've flown in formation flights, as passenger, of course <snif> there is significant motion between the airplanes..

Ideally, two airplanes flying through roughly the same patch of air should be affected by it in the same way. As long as the pilot is being *proactive* about moving the stick and throttles to maintain formation position versus being *reactive*, the two airplanes should be relatively stable. Sure, there will be minor movements, but in general about 3 or so feet in either direction is about the most movement there should be.

It's that proactive versus reactive that, I think, makes the difference between a good and bad formation pilot. There are really two aspects to being a good formation pilot -- skill and proficiency.

I don't think it's too difficult to teach someone to fly formation -- even the nonmilitary types can pick it up good enough to fly a loose position for a race start or even airshow warbird flying.

I really think that a lot of it is proficiency. Formation flying is a perishable skill, just like instrument flying, and if you don't do it, you're not good at it. I fly formation every day...it's an administrative thing, just like flying an instrument approach or even raising and lowering the gear. For people that don't do it every day, they're a little rusty.

As for flying in large formations, there's a trick to it. As the guy at the "end of the whip", if the guy *you* are flying off is moving, your movements off him are only exaggerated, making the whole formation look awkward. If you look "through" him, and fly also off the guy *he* is flying off of, then you can avoid "cracking the whip".