McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying Dorito)

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2004, 19:14
by anoldgrandma
Does anyone have any information on the A-12? I know it's a delta shaped flying wing, stealth attack aircraft for the Navy, and that is was canceled. please don't recommend looking on FAS.org, globalsecurity, or globalaircraft. I already looked at those.

If anyone knows it's speed, weapons payload, and things like that I would appreciate it.

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2004, 21:47
by Gums
Salute!

We went thru this on <a href="http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-209.html">another thread</a> a year ago.

I was the dude that worked up the cockpit displays and weapon control algorithms for the Northrop-Grumman entry. Navy chose GD-McD entry.

Requirements were for a plane to replace the A-6 for interdiction and SEAD. Hornets would still be around as all-purpose jets.

Two-seater, plenty of range, and bays for the ordnance. There was also a requirement for AMRAAM and 'winders, so I had to allow for the internal carraige on those guys. No cannon. So look up the Intruder data and there you are, except the bad guys wouldn't be able to see the A-12 on radar until it was too late.

I never got to see the prototype and was really pissed.

One biggie is that stealth and carrier ops are hard to match up. This is especially true if you want the range that was required. The big delta of the finalist seemed to have good range capabilities, but we'll never know.

later,

Unread postPosted: 06 Dec 2004, 03:22
by Roscoe
There was a full scale mockup of the LM McD version in a hanger in Fort Worth. Made basically of Plywood, it was apparently for studying external lighting. It appeared to have a clear canopy, so maybe part of the study was to see if the lights would bother the pilot. Anyway, sometime in about 96 or 97 I was taken in there with no warning and was quite shocked...it is so real looking I thought it was the real thing at first. Given the flying wing ("dorito") planform, it had no fuselage, so the wing appeared to be awfully thick to this observer.

Still, pretty cool. :)

Unread postPosted: 06 Dec 2004, 16:42
by habu2
See my A-12 webpage

Roscoe, the A-12 FSM will eventually be displayed next to the B-36 outside Carswell's main gate - if they ever get the building built.

Image

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2004, 07:30
by TC
I never did learn why they used the same aircraft designation as the original model of Lockheed's Blackbird family. Also, what was the No BS reason for the cancellation? The then-forthcoming Super Hornet and JSF, perhaps?

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2004, 17:11
by habu2
The 'original' A-12 never served in any branch of the US Armed Services, is was a CIA "asset", and was certainly not an "attack" jet as the A-xx series implies. As such, the A-12 designation for the Avenger II was not technically re-used.

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2004, 17:13
by habu2
The real no-BS reason for the cancellation depends on which side you ask, of course. The aircraft was over-weight and over-budget and behind schedule - now whether that was due to contractor mismanagement or the Navy changing the requirements, well, that's what the lawsuits were about.

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 02:48
by lamoey
Loched internally called the evolutionary versions of the SR-71, A-1 to A-12, where some of the A-12 became the SR-71 and YF-12A (USAF). There were 18 A-12's made. Of these 4 where converted to SR-71 or YF-12A, 8 where in storrage at Palmdale and the last six are unaccounted for...

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 05:42
by TC
habu.org admits to 13 A-12s being built. I have seen the A-12 at the Battleship Alabama Park in Mobile, AL. I believe it was one of the ones that was stored at Palmdale for several years. Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn't... :shock: Cue the Rod Serling narration...

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 18:27
by habu2
Skunkworks folklore:

The original Blackbird development program was internally referred to (by Lockheed) as Archangel, and the design iterations had "A" prefixes - A-1, A-2.... with the 'final' accepted design A-12.

The CIA also referred to the jet as an "Article", whether that was also known as Article 12 (A-12) is subject to some speculation.

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 21:48
by cbale2000
Here is what I found on the A-12:

Material: Titanium
Wingspan: 16.9 meters (55 feet 7 inches)
Height: 5.6 meters (18 feet 6 inches)
Length: 31.2 meters (102 feet 3 inches)
Speed: Mach 2.0, twice the speed of sound
Altitude: 18,000 meters (60,000 feet)
Takeoff distance, maximum weight:
Takeoff weight: 53,000 kg (117,000 pounds)
Landing weight: 23,600 kg (52,000 pounds)
Engines: 2 Pratt and Whitney J-75s, each rated at 17,000 pounds of thrust
First flight: January 1963
Number of flights: 614
Hours of flight: 1,076 hours flying time


Now Im not shure if this is the plane you are talking about but this is all that I found.

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 22:29
by Gums
Hey you guys!

How come none of you have mentioned the Roadrunner site?

http://www.roadrunnersinternationale.com/

Dorky opening page, as webmaster is fascinated by fancy stuff. Not a biggie if broadband, but I am not.

And for lurkers from other threads........... Constant Peg was more than has been mentioned. Least the name can be mentioned. There were some that could not /can not.

out,

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2004, 23:22
by kmceject
cbale2000, The info you posted on the A-12 only refers to Article 121, the prototype. All other A-12s were equipped with J-58s (eventually) and were redlined at Mach 3.5.

Kevin
The Ejection Site

A-12 Avenger II Full Scale Mockup

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 04:00
by habu2
Some of you may have seen my webpage on the A-12 "Flying Dorito". Well, I thought I'd update you on the status of the Full Scale Mockup.

This is an aerial view of (most of) NAS JRB "Carswell" in Ft Worth, home of the F-16

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 04:06
by habu2
sorry for the multiple posts, but I can't figure out how to add captions between attachments...

This is a closer look at the approach end of 17 at the north end of the field

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 04:07
by habu2
This next pic is of the "boneyard" west of the runway, it is in the top left corner of the previous pic

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 04:12
by habu2
Last pic - in the center of this image is the A-12 Full Scale Mockup. The FSM is pointing southwest (north is up) and the wingtips have been removed at the hinge line and are piled underneath the fuselage. At one time the FSM was fully restored and headed for a North Texas aviation museum at Alliance Field, but when the museum deal fell apart Lockheed couldn't justify hangar space to protect the FSM. So now, and for the past 18 months (or more) it has been sitting outside, ravaged by the elements. Sorry, I don't have any ground-level photos, taking a camera on site would land me in jail.

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 14:59
by elp
My first assignment back in the good old days of SAC :lol: Saw a lot of F-16 demos too including a few XL's.

That is neat that you found a A-12 mock up.

You can always ask the Public Relations people for permission/clearance to take photos if you can convince them: a historical write up etc. They can only say no.

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2007, 20:10
by Lightndattic
That's where I was born. I've only ever been back once after that.

BTW... when were those satellite pics taken? I looked on Google Maps and it doesn't show it there anymore. It looks like there's an old F-16 there now.

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2007, 02:18
by habu2
The pics were taken before early 2006, and I know it (FSM) was still there in May 2007. I'm basing the early 2006 date on the fact that, if you pan around, you can see LM hasn't broken ground on the new JSF F-35 final assembly building, which is where the parking lot immediately north of the main assembly line building is. I'm pretty sure they broke ground in late '05 or early '06, can't remember.

I would venture that the google pics are older than these I snagged from live.com

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2008, 06:32
by asiatrails
Still there on Google earth, just to the right of the old house.

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2008, 08:06
by johnwill
The real reason the Navy A-12 was cancelled was that we (GD and Mc) never could figure out how to build such massive composite spars for the wing/fuselage center section. Successful bonding such thick flanges and webs was never achieved reliably. Then, GD, Mc, and the Navy compounded the problem by lying to SecDef Dick Cheney. He then unwittingly repeated the lies to Congress and was more than pi$$ed when he found out the truth. You don't mess with Dick Cheney.

I was leader of the structural flight test team for A-12 and was well along toward planning the program when it waa cancelled. The flight test program would have been great fun, but was never to be. My number 2 transferred to Marietta and ran the F-22 structural flight test and is now back in Fort Worth running th F-35 structural flight test. Lucky bastard!

Habu2, the building you referred to is not an assembly building, but is the F-35 paint facility. F-35 assembly is in the main assembly building. F-16 assembly has been moved out of the main assembly building into another smaller building. The F-35 line is located where many thousands of planes have been built, including B-24, B-32, B-36, B-58, F-111, and F-16. Quite a heriatge to live up to.

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2008, 14:35
by nam11b
Just to add to John's post and the posts above; the A-12 mockup is still sitting outside with all the other mockups at the north side of the plant. The wings are off and sitting right next to her and she looks pretty good for being beat up over the years by being outside.

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2008, 17:03
by sferrin
johnwill wrote:The real reason the Navy A-12 was cancelled was that we (GD and Mc) never could figure out how to build such massive composite spars for the wing/fuselage center section. Successful bonding such thick flanges and webs was never achieved reliably.


How many plys?

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2008, 22:50
by johnwill
Couldn't even guess, but they were at least an inch thick.

The other guy

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2008, 02:03
by Gums
Salute!

Never did see the Northrop-Grumman entry, but as I stated, did all the weapon control algorithms and cockpit displays.

Some dweebs from our parent contractor got to see the mockup, but I never did.

With all the work that Northrop had done for the B-2, I don't think they were going to have many problems with the composites.

Looks to me that GD-McAir "bought" their way in, then couldn't come thru.

A few years later, worked on Lockheed's P-7 to replace the Orion. They did the same thing, then got canned by the Navy.

Gums sends ...

Re: McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying Dorito)

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2013, 20:19
by galoot
Granny,

If anyone knows it's speed, weapons payload, and things like that I would appreciate it.


This varied throughout the program from early concept formulation (in which there were three variants: a strike wing, a multirole wing and a VG Tomcat clone) through to the last of DemVal when the fat vs. thin wing choices were made and on into the FSED contract where other changes were done to accommodate weight blooms associated with LO and sensors.

It is important to note that the USN was as crooked as a Virginia fence in constantly mandating an optimum solution while paying for a lesser aircraft spec and that they began this process of breaking from fiduciary responsibility for the public fisk early on as a function of failing to tell the Contractors that their weight estimates were all off by some 2,631lbs and making them 'compete' with a phantom after Northrop essentially pulled out of the program.

This led to demands for weight reduction which were not part of the fixed price initital contract (concentrated on LO and airframe flying qualities achievement) and these factors also effected configuration level capabilities as GDMD started off behind the 8 ball on things like Stealth Materials weighting.

By the end of the program, the official required 37,327lb empty weight was some 7,900lbs over and this could only have been addressed by shifting much of the anticipated weapons totals into 'overload' (landbased Marine and USAF) restricted carriage along with the fuel to pay for the higher throttle settings to carry them. The USAF was fond of stating that at full load, only 13 runways in the world could operate the A-12.

That said, overall dimensions were roughly 36X70X9ft while general performance level expectations were around 540 knots at initially and 568 knots at the end with the thrust augmented F412. Ceiling was 45,000ft at the beginning and 43,000ft at the end. Instantaneous vs. Sustained G were on the order of 6.5 and 5.5G throughout (Ps 180ft/sec). Combat Radius was roughly 840nm vs. a desired 1,000nm though there were some who believed that drag would pull this down and that the shift to fatter wings for more fuel for would negatively effect this even more as it required higher thrust availability y from the already maxxed out F412 engines to overcome the drag which would have further effected SFCs previously guaranteed to .124 lbs/hr/hr or 4,900lbs per hour. The jet carried some 24,358lbs of fuel with a wingarea of 1,250sqft and a wingloading of 55lbs/sqft so it was not lift compromised but it's T/Wr would have been around .5 empty and under .27 at full load which, in the opinion of many meant it was not safe for bolter or waveoff conditioned go around (JAFE would have supplied 16-19,000lbst engines if the USN had been honest about the program's funding requirements...).

With all of the above modifiers in mind, payload was listed at around 5,500lbs and was the most contentious of all variables as 'official' stores numbers included:

8X2,000lb Mk.84 (internal)
10X1,0000lb Mk.83 (internal)
16X 500lb Mk.82HD (internal)
24X 500lb Mk.82LD (internal)
X2 AGM-84A + X2 AGM-88 (internal)
2X AGM-137 TSSAM (2,200lbs per unit)
10X AIM-120 AMRAAM (internal)
6X SUU-60 Series TMD (internal)
1X 300 gallon tank + 1X D-704 AAR buddy pod (external)

All with a constant of 2X 200lb AIM-9L/M self defense optioning in the outer bays.

Even ignoring munition weights that are on the order of 17,000lbs without racks, there are problems with this in that the Mk.84 for instance is roughly 10.75ft long whereas the length of the airframe is only about 36ft and going from three views, the weapons bay length is between 1/2 and 2/3rds of the latter figure.

.6 X 36 = 21ft which means that the bombs with a 1ft front and rear bay wall clearance have to overlap in tandem by as much as 3ft while resting side by side. This can only mean a vertical staggered displacement (one below the other) and even if the bay was deep enough, it is firm U.S. joint service policy never to allow the failure of one munition to foul another's release in internal weapons bay aircraft applications.

Speakign of which, one thing which most of the models get wrong (Planet Models doesn't because they don't include any weapons bays at all) is that the entire bottom of the aircraft was essentially hollow with just enough skin running over stringers to fair in the huge expanse of doors covering the weapons, landing gear and engine bay enclosures. As a result of this, the main weapons bays were _right_ next door to the MLG bays and had a bifold door which dropped down even as it folded up the bottom third to roughly double the width of the munitions cavity.

To get the kinds of loadouts they were talking about would still have required dedicated module racks, similar to the CWM/CBM on the B-1 and B-2. The AIM-120s would have had to have had some kind of rotary launcher as they are almost thirteen feet long and staggered tandemization probably would not have been practical.

Big Racks add even more weight and are a bear to get into and out of a jet as preloads or to upload in place on a busy flight deck.

These elements of the A-12 must therefore always be treated with some skepticism until further engineering drawings come forward to reveal how capable the aircraft really was.

KPl.

RE: Re: McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying Dorit

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2013, 21:05
by SpudmanWP
Holy T-Necro !!

Image

Re: RE: Re: McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying D

Unread postPosted: 08 Jun 2013, 17:16
by galoot
Someone did ask for the specific information I supplied, in both cases.

The point of interest for me is in their response on either of the two key points I raised:

1. What were the actual weapons loading systems to be used to pack so many munitions into such a small (relative to total aircraft size) bay volume in a manner that didn't sacrifice more rack&rail to carriage box than they gave back as multi-carriage enablement.

2. Confirmation that what is shown in the jpegs was indeed what the NGL ATA-12 airframe would have looked like.

The relevance to a more topically current subject is inherent to the similarity of design with the X-47B which is also unique as a big-bay weapons carrier in being the ONLY other jet with an internal bay which has been suggested (actually displayed) as being compatible with the AGM-88 HARM uploaded.

Thus indicating that 'black missiles' have not been developed to replace the HARM's outsized 36" X 14ft X 800lb size. And that the APG-81 HPM magic modes are not all they are cracked up to be. Since a post IADS reduced threat arena is one where legacy aircraft can fly unbothered with JDAM and Sniper above the trashfire ceiling, this is a critical modifier in the 'what do we buy and in how many numbers?' considerations of force structure as the U.S. heads into a massive second-dip inflationary depression thanks to the stimulus funds only now flooding into the markets,

In an era when people are finally starting to question the 'Look out! I got both bombs on today!' nature of the F-35s own weapons carriage mode and yet no one attempts to do the obvious which is transplant the EWP from the Super Hornet International Roadmap project to enable LO encapsulated external carriage, the availability of big-bay UCAVs as an alternative cannot be ignored.

You may attack or stay your typing hand as you wish but giving up your sanity to refrain from doing so is hardly a mark of your integrity because the USN's fraudulent funding activities with the A-12 program effort and specifically their refusal to make a simple 553 million dollar progress payment so that the program could be sorted out rather than illegally (DFAR regulations) terminated without review is the SOLE reason we are stuck with BOTH F/A-18E/F (4.2 billion R&D + 14 billion acquisition) -and- the F-35 (388 billion and counting) programs.

The A-12 would have priced out at between 91 and 96 million dollars in 1990 FYD. It would have been a superior BOMBER to what the F-35C only pretends to be as a /fighter/ in a 143 million dollar airframe in early lot production costings and 82 million in later blocks (half the jet, 85% of the price...).

We have had all of about seven A2A engagements since Desert Storm yet we have taken dozens of SAM shots, not all of which (F-16C and F-117 over the Balkans) been successfully defeated. We still do not have a loitering, high payload, LO protected, platform to serve the DEAD/SEAD FNOW, kill box BAI/OBAS or post-occupational CAS-stack provider missions.

Our only affordable alternative to the Lightning II may well be the X-47B derived UCLASS which effectively means -another- new program start in a time of severe funding sequestration.

Ignore history only at the cost (literally in this case) of repeating it's mistakes. Reviewing the A-12 at this time makes sense.

Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 01:04
by aaam
Gums wrote:Salute!

Never did see the Northrop-Grumman entry, but as I stated, did all the weapon control algorithms and cockpit displays.

Some dweebs from our parent contractor got to see the mockup, but I never did.

With all the work that Northrop had done for the B-2, I don't think they were going to have many problems with the composites.

Looks to me that GD-McAir "bought" their way in, then couldn't come thru.

A few years later, worked on Lockheed's P-7 to replace the Orion. They did the same thing, then got canned by the Navy.

Gums sends ...


Granted the above post is over 4 years old, but since the topic as come back up I have some info that might be of interest. Attached is one of the few pics I've been able to find of the Northrop Grumman proposal for the ATA. This is from an out of print book on the A-12 program. Notice the resemblance to the Northrop Grumman LRB of a few years back proposal as well as the X-47B

Because of the court case, we've learned a lot about what happened. It wasn't so much that GD-MDD (McAir had eaten Douglas by this time) were blameless, they did some hinkey stuff and their (apparently) forced marriage for this project was not going well, but there was a bunch of strange gov't stuff going on as well. For one thing, the Northrop Grumman team took a look at the price the gov't wanted to pay for R&D and production and essentially said,, "You can't build this plane for that". Plus on a program as risky on this they were unwilling to make reliability guarantees to the extent USN was demanding before R&D even started. Finally, DoD wanted a firm fixed-price development contract, and those things always go bad on new technologies, plus Grumman had previously been badly burned when they agreed to a lower price to develop their F-14 and accept such a contract. Navy refused to make any changes, so the team submitted a bid that they knew would be labeled as non-compliant, because they refused to bid firm fixed price for development. It's worthy of note that although Lockheed joined all kinds of teams for A/FX, they wanted no part of the ATA program

Their bid was rejected, but GD-MDD were never told the other team walked away and so were willing to negotiate for a lower price, since they still thought they were competing against another team. This is what galoot was talking aobut

Anotherr big factor was that GD-MDD clearly stated that their bid was predicated on being allowed access to exiting stealth data so that they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. In the court cases it came out that USAF controlled access. USAF was never that thrilled about buying ATA ("Why not just buy more B-2s"?), and so for some reason the GD-MDD team never quite seemed to have people that would pass muster to access the data. Eventually, they just decided to start from scratch, which drove costs through the roof.

Although these weren't the only causes of what went down (there was a bit of lying by both contractor and Navy folks, they were important. One humorous aspect of the court cases was int he 2000s the remnants of the team were still saying they would have been able to meet the requirements (for one thing, they were not required to meet the weight goals until the 24th aircraft). They said that in order to prove this, they needed to be able to present to the court documents and reports that were classified. The Gov't's response to this was basically"No, you can't present those documents in court, even one that would have the appropriate clearances. But don't worry, trust us; we looked at them and we're right and you're wrong". The courts rejected this argument, saying the Gov't was perfectly within its rights to say no one could see those documents, but then it couldn't also claim those same documents proved their case.

And the story goes on and on and on

Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 23:17
by count_to_10
aaam wrote:Granted the above post is over 4 years old, but since the topic as come back up I have some info that might be of interest. Attached is one of the few pics I've been able to find of the Northrop Grumman proposal for the ATA. This is from an out of print book on the A-12 program. Notice the resemblance to the Northrop Grumman LRB of a few years back proposal as well as the X-47B

Because of the court case, we've learned a lot about what happened. It wasn't so much that GD-MDD (McAir had eaten Douglas by this time) were blameless, they did some hinkey stuff and their (apparently) forced marriage for this project was not going well, but there was a bunch of strange gov't stuff going on as well. For one thing, the Northrop Grumman team took a look at the price the gov't wanted to pay for R&D and production and essentially said,, "You can't build this plane for that". Plus on a program as risky on this they were unwilling to make reliability guarantees to the extent USN was demanding before R&D even started. Finally, DoD wanted a firm fixed-price development contract, and those things always go bad on new technologies, plus Grumman had previously been badly burned when they agreed to a lower price to develop their F-14 and accept such a contract. Navy refused to make any changes, so the team submitted a bid that they knew would be labeled as non-compliant, because they refused to bid firm fixed price for development. It's worthy of note that although Lockheed joined all kinds of teams for A/FX, they wanted no part of the ATA program

Their bid was rejected, but GD-MDD were never told the other team walked away and so were willing to negotiate for a lower price, since they still thought they were competing against another team. This is what galoot was talking aobut

Anotherr big factor was that GD-MDD clearly stated that their bid was predicated on being allowed access to exiting stealth data so that they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. In the court cases it came out that USAF controlled access. USAF was never that thrilled about buying ATA ("Why not just buy more B-2s"?), and so for some reason the GD-MDD team never quite seemed to have people that would pass muster to access the data. Eventually, they just decided to start from scratch, which drove costs through the roof.

Although these weren't the only causes of what went down (there was a bit of lying by both contractor and Navy folks, they were important. One humorous aspect of the court cases was int he 2000s the remnants of the team were still saying they would have been able to meet the requirements (for one thing, they were not required to meet the weight goals until the 24th aircraft). They said that in order to prove this, they needed to be able to present to the court documents and reports that were classified. The Gov't's response to this was basically"No, you can't present those documents in court, even one that would have the appropriate clearances. But don't worry, trust us; we looked at them and we're right and you're wrong". The courts rejected this argument, saying the Gov't was perfectly within its rights to say no one could see those documents, but then it couldn't also claim those same documents proved their case.

And the story goes on and on and on

I don't think that was the final version NG submitted. The pictures I've seen have a wing form basically identical to the one they used for the X-47B, able to fold up into a asymmetric diamond shape.

RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 23:25
by count_to_10
Ignore history only at the cost (literally in this case) of repeating it's mistakes. Reviewing the A-12 at this time makes sense.

That's basically what the X-47B is.
AT any rate, the A-12 would have had a range and internal payload advantage over the F-35, but would not have had the AtA ability or situational awareness, and would not have been as versatile.

Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2013, 03:08
by aaam
count_to_10 wrote:I don't think that was the final version NG submitted. The pictures I've seen have a wing form basically identical to the one they used for the X-47B, able to fold up into a asymmetric diamond shape.


I just said that was one of the few pics I had, It was the only clear wind tunnel one I had. There were no doubt later drawings, but probably something closer to the final wasn't built because they walked away from the competition. My understanding is that their version also folded up more compactly than the GD-MDD design.

Re: RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2013, 03:15
by aaam
count_to_10 wrote:
Ignore history only at the cost (literally in this case) of repeating it's mistakes. Reviewing the A-12 at this time makes sense.

That's basically what the X-47B is.
AT any rate, the A-12 would have had a range and internal payload advantage over the F-35, but would not have had the AtA ability or situational awareness, and would not have been as versatile.


The A-12 was very much an "inside the Beltway" project, not a lot of Fleet input was used, although it did envision the use of AIM-120 (and maybe AIM-9). The later A/FX solicited Fleet input and was less stealthy but much more versatile.

Keep something in mind when comparing with the F-35. F-35 has more advanced technology, but it started later. Either of these would have already been in service for 20 years before we'll see F-35Cs deployed.

Re: RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2013, 00:46
by delvo
count_to_10 wrote:
Reviewing the A-12 at this time makes sense.
That's basically what the X-47B is.
AT any rate, the A-12 would have had a range and internal payload advantage over the F-35, but would not have had the AtA ability or situational awareness, and would not have been as versatile.
Wikipedia gives it shorter range than any version of F-35 and only about 57% of C's, with a payload equivalent to only the internal payload of an A or C. It shows about equivalent payload for X-47B but much longer range.

Whatever its range and payload were, there was a serious problem with it, though: they gave it the wrong name. If you've got something whose wings are blended in to its face like that, meant to operate at sea, it's obviously supposed to be called "manta" or "stingray" (the latter of which would also have had parity with "Hornet").

I wonder how much the Air Force's next bomber (which has a really light payload for a "bomber", more like a fighter, but all internal) would need to be altered to work on a carrier.

Re: RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2013, 01:29
by count_to_10
delvo wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:
Reviewing the A-12 at this time makes sense.
That's basically what the X-47B is.
AT any rate, the A-12 would have had a range and internal payload advantage over the F-35, but would not have had the AtA ability or situational awareness, and would not have been as versatile.
Wikipedia gives it shorter range than any version of F-35 and only about 57% of C's, with a payload equivalent to only the internal payload of an A or C. It shows about equivalent payload for X-47B but much longer range.

Whatever its range and payload were, there was a serious problem with it, though: they gave it the wrong name. If you've got something whose wings are blended in to its face like that, meant to operate at sea, it's obviously supposed to be called "manta" or "stingray" (the latter of which would also have had parity with "Hornet").

I wonder how much the Air Force's next bomber (which has a really light payload for a "bomber", more like a fighter, but all internal) would need to be altered to work on a carrier.

Shorter range than the F-35?
General characteristics

Crew: None aboard (semi-autonomous operation)
Length: 38.2 ft (11.63 m)
Wingspan: 62.1 ft extended/30.9 ft folded[31] (18.92 m/9.41 m)
Height: 10.4 ft (3.10 m)
Empty weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 44,567 lb (20,215 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F100-220U turbofan

Performance

Maximum speed: Subsonic
Cruise speed: Mach 0.9+ (high subsonic)[32][33]
Range: 2,100+ NM (3,889+ km)
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,190 m)

Armament

2 weapon bays, providing for up to 4,500 lb (2,000 kg) of ordnance;

So, wiki doesn't give it a bigger internal bay, but it is just a demonstrator.

Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 16 Jun 2013, 22:29
by Roscoe
aaam wrote:Anotherr big factor was that GD-MDD clearly stated that their bid was predicated on being allowed access to exiting stealth data so that they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. In the court cases it came out that USAF controlled access. USAF was never that thrilled about buying ATA ("Why not just buy more B-2s"?), and so for some reason the GD-MDD team never quite seemed to have people that would pass muster to access the data. Eventually, they just decided to start from scratch, which drove costs through the roof.


Not quite that simple. USAF controlled access, but the actual details of the technology are in most cases proprietary and the Gov't cannot share without the company's permission. I also have no doubt that if NG or Lockheed ever agreed to share their technology there would be a huge fee involved such that I doubt there would have been any significant cost savings.

Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 16 Jun 2013, 23:35
by aaam
Roscoe wrote:
aaam wrote:Anotherr big factor was that GD-MDD clearly stated that their bid was predicated on being allowed access to exiting stealth data so that they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. In the court cases it came out that USAF controlled access. USAF was never that thrilled about buying ATA ("Why not just buy more B-2s"?), and so for some reason the GD-MDD team never quite seemed to have people that would pass muster to access the data. Eventually, they just decided to start from scratch, which drove costs through the roof.


Not quite that simple. USAF controlled access, but the actual details of the technology are in most cases proprietary and the Gov't cannot share without the company's permission. I also have no doubt that if NG or Lockheed ever agreed to share their technology there would be a huge fee involved such that I doubt there would have been any significant cost savings.


You're right, it's not that simple, nothing is. The "proprietary" issue was what appeared int the press for a number of years, until the case went to court and more information surfaced.

A little background: When the gov't funds the development of something, including a design, it, not the contractor, owns it. Or, the government can buy the rights within the program. Let me cite two examples: The original plan for the F-14D before Cheney killed the program was new construction plus rebuilds of F-14As and Bs. Although Grumman developed the F-14D as well as the methodology for the rebuild, the gov't owned all that and in fact announced that it was going to compete the rebuild program. More recently, GE offered to finsh development of the F136 engine on their own dime, and it included many advanced technologies. Gov't said, "Nope, it's all ours, including those engines sitting on your test stands and production lines. Don't touch them".

Depending on how some thngs are funded, the manufacturing techniques, if not funded by the program, may indeed be proprietary. But, the actual stealth data belongs to the government. How Northrop or Lockheed (actually not an issue because Lockheed didn't want to have anything to do with the ATA) might build a stealth plane may be proprietary, but stealth technology belongs to the gov't. it was this underlying tedhnology and data that the GD-MDD team said they'd need to deliver their plane at the agreed upon cost. For the record, given GD's lack of experience and the armed camp relationship between the two teams, I don't think they'd have pulld it off if they had gotten it. However, since there seemed to be some mysterious reason why the companies' people couldn't pass muster to have access to that underlying data, we'll never know.

That's why the companies won some of their court cases and whyt the gov't had to run around and find judges who would overrule other judges to push the ball the other way.

Even if ihad been solely a cae of proprietary data, the fact remains that team clearly stated that their bid requied acess to the data. The gov't should have not accepted their bid, or when it became apaprent tha the information wouldn't be provided, terminated the contract for the convenienc eof the government (and paid penalties).

Ironically, if the gov't had waited another year, or so and it became apparent that the A-12 wouldn't met specs, even at its higher cost, the gov't could have terminated for default and got all the taxpayers' money back. By terminating when they did, the gov't couldn't prove that GDD/MD wouldn't have been able to perform, they clam they would have. And that is the basis for why it's been going 'round and 'round all these years.

Such are the wonders of Gov't Procurement.

RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 16 Jun 2013, 23:52
by fiskerwad
I see no value in beating a long dead horse, however this account is about the most accurate that I have read.
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... 1navy.aspx
I have the complete set of transcripts from the hearings (had some time on my hands as I was laid off when the program crashed). There was enough fault and incompetence and hubris to go around for everyone involved.
fisk

Re: RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2013, 00:13
by aaam
fiskerwad wrote:I see no value in beating a long dead horse, however this account is about the most accurate that I have read.
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... 1navy.aspx
I have the complete set of transcripts from the hearings (had some time on my hands as I was laid off when the program crashed). There was enough fault and incompetence and hubris to go around for everyone involved.
fisk


Well, this whole topic is about a long dead horse. Everyone agrees that ther's blame everywhere.

The article is pretty reasonable, but remember that at the time it was written the clearance issues and the extend of the acrimony between GD and MDD weren't yet known. The former,especially. It wouldn't have surfced in the hearings. It wasn't until the court cases "flowered" in [then] future years that that stuff became known, so there's none of it in the article.

And heck, the court cases are still going on, so as Miracle Max said about Wesley in The Princess Bride, "He's mostly dead, which means slightly alive".

Re: RE: Re: The other guy

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2013, 14:02
by fiskerwad
aaam wrote:
fiskerwad wrote:I see no value in beating a long dead horse, however this account is about the most accurate that I have read.
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... 1navy.aspx
I have the complete set of transcripts from the hearings (had some time on my hands as I was laid off when the program crashed). There was enough fault and incompetence and hubris to go around for everyone involved.
fisk


Well, this whole topic is about a long dead horse. Everyone agrees that ther's blame everywhere.

The article is pretty reasonable, but remember that at the time it was written the clearance issues and the extend of the acrimony between GD and MDD weren't yet known. The former,especially. It wouldn't have surfced in the hearings. It wasn't until the court cases "flowered" in [then] future years that that stuff became known, so there's none of it in the article.

And heck, the court cases are still going on, so as Miracle Max said about Wesley in The Princess Bride, "He's mostly dead, which means slightly alive".


I don't have Princess Bride on my must-see list but I'll take your word on that.

Your comment, "the clearance issues and the extend of the acrimony between GD and MDD weren't yet known", is true for those on the outside. From the inside looking out, we had a somewhat better view. I'm done.
fisk

Re: McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying Dorito)

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2014, 16:11
by sorrydog
It might actually be dead now, maybe, but we still have the autopsy to look forward to...

Princess Bride does seem to apply fairly well here...

It seems that we "...fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia..."

but I think I stick with the rest of the Miracle Max dialog... "Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change."

And that's about what the government got:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/24/boeing-generaldynamics-settlement-idUSL2N0KX2M720140124

So what does 200 million get the governement? Maybe a 3/4 of a flight of hornets, or a couple of growlers, or maybe a tanker.

Or better yet, Boeing can donate a couple BBJ's and GD can send over 3 or 4 Gulfstreams to shuttle around Admirals and Congressmen and their families to "meetings" or campaign luncheons in Hawaii and the Virgin Islands.

Re: McAir/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II (Flying Dorito)

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2014, 18:57
by Gums
Salute!

Interesting link, Sorry.

I quit worrying about the A-12 when our parent company and its parent company ( N-G bidders) lost the contract to the GD-McAir grope.

Interestingly, the only notional bird design I saw was similar to a mini-B-2. My special access clearance was delayed for two years or more, but I could still work on the stores management system and the cockpit displays. Some folks actually got to see the proposed jet mockup, but not me.

Years later, the LO technology resulted in more "conventional" designs like what we see in the Raptor and F-35 variants.

Some old versions of the debacle assert that the N-G grope knew that the plane would cost "x" and then decided when hearing bitches from the Navy to just stay put. They did, and GD-McAir won the development contract. The $$$$ increased dramatically and USN decided to wait and get more Hornets and such.

I was glad to have been hired to work on that jet, and my experience in attack jets that had high-tech systems was good for me, and my company. Didn't hurt that I was a recent Viper pilot with a "secret" clearance courtesy of my previous contract with Northrop the year before. There were very few of us back in 1985.

Funny, but the F-20/F-18 lawsuit between McAir and Northrop involved the same companies. When the USN found out it was being billed for all the legal expenses ( I was being paid $100 an hour), they took action. End of the lawsuit.

Gums remembers ....