The A-4 Skyhawk

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Yellowhammer

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I personally think the F-20 topped both. Such a pity it didn't enter service. It's another I think would make a good stand-off scale homebuilt.
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I agree, However I think it was merely a way for the Military industrial complex to sale foreign countries a fighter that was almost as good as what we use.

Chuck Yeager said it was his favorite aircraft of all time.
 

Angusnofangus

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Man I love the A-7 too! What a machine. Last GUNFIGHTER!
I think you might be confusing the A-7 with it's first cousin, the F-8. Which is often referred to as "The Last Gunfighter". The A-7 was a light attack aircraft and the gun was mostly used for strafing. Not that they weren't capable of engaging in a dogfight, but they were really flying dumptrucks and could haul a prodigious amount of bombs. In Vietnam the Navy A-7's would carry Sidewinder missiles as a 'just-in-case' weapon. I know of at least one A-7 that launched a Sidewinder against a bicyclist.
 
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Vigilant1

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Chuck Yeager said it was his favorite aircraft of all time.
Just for full disclosure: Chuck was a paid spokesman for Northrop. That doesn't mean he didn't love the plane, but, well, Northrop did sweeten the pot.

It is generally an uphill climb to sell a fighter design abroad if it isn't in US combat units, too. The F-5 was a very good airplane and was a perfect for many nations, but sales were slow unless accompanied by a big slug of US subsidies. Foreign govts wonder why, if the plane is so great, the US isn't sending their own pilots into combat in them. They also wonder, with good reason, if parts will be available for decades, if US depot maintenance will be available, etc.
 

BJC

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They also wonder, with good reason, if parts will be available for decades, if US depot maintenance will be available, etc.
I visited the Navy’s aggressor squadron at NAS Key West 8 or 9 years ago. They were trying to buy F-5’s from foreign governments just to be able to keep a few flying.


BJC
 
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wktaylor

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V1... ref F-5s and USAF and Foreign Air Forces...

F-5s were popular in USAF until mid 1980s... when a conventional design-practice up-to the 1980s... combined with a unique manufacturing 'flaw'... which was discovered the hard way, IE: catastrophic failure of a cockpit longeron which caused loss of a tub cockpit in low-level-turning flight [training mission]. Crew never had a chance. I was working for the USAF engineering office that included the F-5s at that time... this was a hard mishap for the F-5 huggers.

Unfortunately this design/manufacturing problem was widespread... by this time the F-16 had taken the lead forever. USAF F-5s were mostly retired in-favor-of F-16s, except for USAF/USN top-gun/dissimilar-tactics aircraft... which were structurally beefed-up/modified... along with a LOT of foreign air forces F-5s. I think T-38s fared better but were eventually beefed-up/modified same-as [required] for the F-5s.
 

Vigilant1

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V1... ref F-5s and USAF and Foreign Air Forces...

F-5s were popular in USAF until mid 1980s...

USAF F-5s were mostly retired in-favor-of F-16s, except for USAF/USN top-gun/dissimilar-tactics aircraft...
I don't think I'm following you. There were never any USAF, ANG, or AFRES fighter squadrons equipped with the F-5 , right? A dozen were sent to SEA to test them in combat in Vietnam, USAF and USN Aggressors flew them, and I'd bet a few others were sprinkled around at NASA, Test Pilot School, etc,. But as far as I know none were ever in units subject to deployment under an OPLAN. We liked them a lot for FMS purposes, but apparently not enough to buy and fly then in combat ourselves. Sounds funny, but I think it is just economics (okay, and maybe politics). In many less developed countries, the airplane acquisition costs are a big share of the whole cost of having an air force. In the US, personnel costs (incl medical care, education, training, retirement, housing, etc) infrastructure costs, logistical tail, etc is usually a much bigger share of defense spending in comparison to unit acquisition costs. With the (relatively) high cost of pilots, maintainers, commissaries to feed them, etc. putting a cheap plane in the inventory that has no AI radar, no adverse weather weapon delivery capability, etc is hard to justify when all the other stuff is so expensive and those high fixed costs are the same whether you buy F-5s or F-16s (with radar, etc).

I love the F-5. Didn't they (and the T-38) also have some significant corrosion issues due to moisture getting into the aluminum honeycomb flight surfaces? I was a ROTC cadet at McClellan AFB a thousand years ago and they were doing a lot of repairs there (Sacramento ALC).
 
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gtae07

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I agree, However I think it was merely a way for the Military industrial complex to sale foreign countries a fighter that was almost as good as what we use.

Chuck Yeager said it was his favorite aircraft of all time.
The F-20 was offered to countries that were deemed politically unacceptable to receive the F-16. There was some sales interest, IIRC, and it was competing against an F-16 derivative equipped with a J-79 turbojet. However, the political restrictions were eventually lifted and everyone decided to go for the F-16 with better payload and equipment for not much more money. More info: F-16 Versions - F-16/79

The F-20 might have been a heck of a dogfighter and a joy to fly, but payload, sensors, and range are important, too. Keep in mind that the F-16 has done so well because it was able to adapt to ground attack and handle longer-range missiles, not because it was that time’s world-champion dogfighter. And its F-35 successor was designed to do the missions the F-16 actually performs, not the one it was originally conceived for.

Now, if someone offered me an F-20 (or subscale version) and was buying the gas and maintenance? Yeehaw!
 

nicknack

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How about something that looks close to the A4 fuselage wise(squint hard) and has wing planform of the L39(simple trapezoid). I am really hoping they succeed with a turbo shaft version.
They are also planning to put the PBS TS100 which is the turbo shaft version of the pbs tj100 ie basically a TJ100 jet driving a ducted fan, like a high bypass turbofan.

It’s a two seater, so I can see several options, two seat for training and single seater with additional fuel capacity for extending the range of the turboshaft.



thrust per pound of fuel-consumption will be better with a turbo shaft than a pure jet and I don’t think anyone will be flying > FL250 with this plane.

also if in future if the heat recuperation technology comes to fruition,a more efficient turbo shaft/prop engine can be substituted to increase range.

 

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Riggerrob

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Dear Vigilant 1,
Foreign military sales are all about out-gunning the local bad guys (e.g. Taliban) but not out-gunning the USAF. If the foreign air forces gets too uppity, they soon run out of spare parts. FMS always come with a leash.
This reminds me of a conversation with a US Navy SEAL. II had not seen him for a few months, so when he strode across the Perris Valley, California skydiving center, I asked him where he had been.
"We were down in some Central American country teaching local soldiers how to conduct riverine patrols to intercept drug trafficers."
"Aren't you worried that you might have to go back and invade?"
"Don't worry, we only taught them 3/4 of what we know! Hah! Hah!"
 

Traskel

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You an me both are fans of the ducted fan engine. Man I wish someone could make it work.
YH - Someone, (RFB) Did! The RFB Fantainer was to be a "cost effective" Jet Trainer. The initial prototype didn't work well but the two subsequent versions received exceptional marks for giving a "Jet like" flying experience @ 1/5th the cost of the Cessna T-37 Tweet and using 1/10th the fuel, (though it slower..). It took until about 83' to get the higher power versions to work well and be quiet enough to stand flying for long. Working versions occasionally make the used market for about $330k. It was rated for utility class Aerobatics, (+6G/-3G), cruised at about 200 knots, had a range of 650 miles, seats two tandem with the rear seat elevated so visibility is great from either cockpit and is sexy as hell, See drawing in link..
 

djfawcett

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Greetings Friends,

I would like to start by saying that the A-4 Skyhawk is my favorite aircraft of all time. I cant get enough of the 'Scooter".

With all the talk about scale warbirds lately I have, for a long time, always wanted to create a replica A-4. Only recently has there been jet engines available that might could power a scaled down version. I know the Skyhawk is already considered a scaled down airframe due to it's small design size but I just love the pure delta wing, the roll rate, and the overall look of Skyhawk.

If anyone has an opinion or shares my passion for A-4 please feel free to post a comment.

However, my ultimate question is does anyone think a scaled down version could be done?


Thanks in advance for sharing.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Yellowhammer
A-4's ForeverView attachment 106929
Hello, Even though I came this thread late, I do believe a scaled A-4 is possible. However, the wing would require a small span upsizing. Keep in mind, the area goes up with the square of the span dimension. Also, there are several engines that can be used.
 

Yellowhammer

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Hello, Even though I came this thread late, I do believe a scaled A-4 is possible. However, the wing would require a small span upsizing. Keep in mind, the area goes up with the square of the span dimension. Also, there are several engines that can be used.

Thanks for your reply. I think it would be a cool project, if only I had the time and money!!!
 
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