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Originally Posted by AcesNeights
It seems to me that there’s a place for low tech air to ground support for the type of engagements we’ve been in over the past 3+ decades. The fast movers and warthogs are great but they aren’t perfect for every situation.

Everything doesn’t have to go Mach 3 and cost $100,000 per hour to fly. If the helicopter is a useful tool for air to ground support then these turboprops should be too. Nobody would argue that helicopters aren’t useful in CAS missions and we know that they ain’t considered “fast movers” so I don’t know why these types of aircraft wouldn’t also be useful.
They are useful and will continue to be useful. These types of aircraft have been used for years in support of Navy Specwar. Not as obvious and to this extent, but they have been around a long time. They tend to look like private aircraft but aren't parked where private aircraft should be.


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Originally Posted by AcesNeights
It seems to me that there’s a place for low tech air to ground support for the type of engagements we’ve been in over the past 3+ decades. The fast movers and warthogs are great but they aren’t perfect for every situation.

Everything doesn’t have to go Mach 3 and cost $100,000 per hour to fly. If the helicopter is a useful tool for air to ground support then these turboprops should be too. Nobody would argue that helicopters aren’t useful in CAS missions and we know that they ain’t considered “fast movers” so I don’t know why these types of aircraft wouldn’t also be useful.
But the self-appointed experts here on the Fire think they know better.

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Thirty million for a focking Tucano? I mean, they are nifty little airplanes, but holy fack!

Saw that snout, instant reaction was, "About time they tried an Ag Wagon." There are a number of turbine AGs flying around Montana and whenever I see one, I head for it hoping for a free airshow. Such lovely flying.

On the other hand, with the rate of drone improvement in C and C and situational awareness, I still have to question having live pilots that can be shot down and killed/tortured/etc. We are getting close to a time when you could have pilots in an AWACs over a battlespace, with drone fighters rotating in and out of hot action.


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Originally Posted by GringoCazador
Agg Cat crop dusting plane.

Ag Tractor crop spray plane

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Way to dispose of left-over Agent Orange?


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I pretty much have a constant air show going at this time of year. On my way home from work last week I saw 2 Air Tractors and a chopper spraying within10 minutes. Caught one of the choppers reloading a couple of years back. If I can find the pic I'll post it up.


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In reference to this and subsequent other related posts, the only real "benefit" I see in this is buying cheap seats for pilots: according to Airforce SOCOM commander, $10k per hour. A bargain I guess compared to $68k for the F22, $39k for the F35, $16k for the F-16 and our three major bombers range from $52k to $69k. For comparison the Navy & MC F/A-18 is $10.5k and btw, the Airforce A-10 is only $6k.

However, they better have lots of that kool-ade they're drinking saved up for the for the pilots cause that's a mission that will go to hell in a heartbeat. Armor capabilities not really defined so probably 'tolerant' of light small arms, no ejection seat capability nor crash attenuation noted, and no low-signature attributes; it should be understood that this not a high-intensity environment aircraft, not medium-intensity, nor even a sustained low intensity environment; this is designed for a no-intensity, low-level quick shoot and scoot mission. The airforce brass is optimistically selling this as a "permissive environment aircraft for use around the FEBA" (forward edge of the battle area). Well now they're talking conventional arms battlefield where the term "permissive" to blue-suiters relates to opposing aircraft . . . but when you add conventional opfor ground components things quickly revert to high intensity. There's no way to make any aircraft totally immune to modern air defense systems. I would like to see the requirements statement as defined for this system's contract award as there is a sh-tpot load of gaps in all the announcement hype.

Rocky is too modest about his experiences but he can tell you what massed fires from conventional 'obsolete' auto-cannons can do to an airplane, even one with all the bells and whistles.

Last edited by Offshoreman; 08/04/22.

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it wasnt made to be beautiful.

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Reminds me of a KLR 650.

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Originally Posted by Offshoreman
In reference to this and subsequent other related posts, the only real "benefit" I see in this is buying cheap seats for pilots: according to Airforce SOCOM commander, $10k per hour. A bargain I guess compared to $68k for the F22, $39k for the F35, $16k for the F-16 and our three major bombers range from $52k to $69k. For comparison the Navy & MC F/A-18 is $10.5k and btw, the Airforce A-10 is only $6k.

However, they better have lots of that kool-ade they're drinking saved up for the for the pilots cause that's a mission that will go to hell in a heartbeat. Armor capabilities not really defined so probably 'tolerant' of light small arms, no ejection seat capability nor crash attenuation noted, and no low-signature attributes; it should be understood that this not a high-intensity environment aircraft, not medium-intensity, nor even a sustained low intensity environment; this is designed for a no-intensity, low-level quick shoot and scoot mission. The airforce brass is optimistically selling this as a "permissive environment aircraft for use around the FEBA" (forward edge of the battle area). Well now they're talking conventional arms battlefield where the term "permissive" to blue-suiters relates to opposing aircraft . . . but when you add conventional opfor ground components things quickly revert to high intensity. There's no way to make any aircraft totally immune to modern air defense systems. I would like to see the requirements statement as defined for this system's contract award as there is a sh-tpot load of gaps in all the announcement hype.

Rocky is too modest about his experiences but he can tell you what massed fires from conventional 'obsolete' auto-cannons can do to an airplane, even one with all the bells and whistles.

No... They're not....
This aircraft, used as intended will never see action against any conventional force
It is purely a spec-ops asset intended for low-intensity asymmetrical warfare.
Auto-cannons my ass... These are to be used at the behest of the jaky boys from Eglin, and parts thereabout.
FEBA? Nobody warned you about cheap dope?


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Originally Posted by viking
Reminds me of a KLR 650.

LOL ..... At first it reminded me of the A-1 Skyraider aka The Spad.

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I should of said a Flying KLR🤣

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Johnw is more correct than many others here. The environment for this plane will be more like the early to mid days of Vietnam, when the mission was to find the enemy and then direct other assets against them. Ground fire was from small arms to at most heavy machine guns. In those years, our planes had no armor, no offensive nor defensive weapons, and no ejection seats. And there was certainly no electronic wizardry. We had paper maps and eyeballs. And yet, we managed to be highly successful and survivable.

Special Ops is sneaky pete stuff, not major conflict. It is also VERY different from any other air mission. So are Special Ops people. In my opinion, pilots in that role will be pawing the ground to get into this plane.


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Hey guys……it gives the guys in Olney Texas something to do!!


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Originally Posted by RockyRaab
Johnw is more correct than many others here. The environment for this plane will be more like the early to mid days of Vietnam, when the mission was to find the enemy and then direct other assets against them. Ground fire was from small arms to at most heavy machine guns. In those years, our planes had no armor, no offensive nor defensive weapons, and no ejection seats. And there was certainly no electronic wizardry. We had paper maps and eyeballs. And yet, we managed to be highly successful and survivable.

Special Ops is sneaky pete stuff, not major conflict. It is also VERY different from any other air mission. So are Special Ops people. In my opinion, pilots in that role will be pawing the ground to get into this plane.

I'm not a pilot so take this with a grain of salt -

Reasonable to assume the power output of this acft will be higher than the civilian ag use rating?

Looks to be a hell of a fun plane to fly - spraying crops. Add more power - can't imagine it getting boring smile


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Originally Posted by RockyRaab
Johnw is more correct than many others here. The environment for this plane will be more like the early to mid days of Vietnam, when the mission was to find the enemy and then direct other assets against them. Ground fire was from small arms to at most heavy machine guns. In those years, our planes had no armor, no offensive nor defensive weapons, and no ejection seats. And there was certainly no electronic wizardry. We had paper maps and eyeballs. And yet, we managed to be highly successful and survivable.

Special Ops is sneaky pete stuff, not major conflict. It is also VERY different from any other air mission. So are Special Ops people. In my opinion, pilots in that role will be pawing the ground to get into this plane.

I see aircraft such as this being used to assist against hardened but under equipped and underfed militias who are the recipients of fat wallet gifts of Advisors and Weapons. Such fat wallet gifts might enable Adoum, the dissident Erdimi loyalist from Aouzou, and his 28 best buds to strike against anti-terror coalition forces in Libya.

If a pre-positioned ranger team from Livorno can get boots and equipment on the ground in time they can disrupt delivery plans, and just maybe rendition a Kosovan or Chechnyan advisor to the "proper authorities".


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There is a lot of crap going down in Central and South America, Africa, Yemen, Philippines, etc that would be a good fit for a moderately armed (if laser-guided bombs are moderate) reconnaissance aircraft. But with the proliferation of MPADs, that environment is rapidly shrinking. I was amazed that we didn't see more MPADs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

At the end of the day, UCAVs are taking over this role. They have plenty of lethal and reconnaissance capabilities, extensive loiter times, and they keep pilots out of harm's way. Look at the path that Iran and Turkey are taking. Not sure investing in piloted reconnaissance A/C has much future.

Last edited by STRSWilson; 08/05/22.

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