Some pics from my pc:
i got an old plane video about stealth planes(1992) like the F-117, B-2 and the rest of them. it shows the A12 Avenger that was to be a carrier replacement for the A6 Intruder. i have to say that it was such a stupid thing to cancel this amazing plane, i heard it was cost overruns but what plane isnt over budget anyhow? its a fact of life. how much was it over budget? how close was it to metal(or composites lol) being cut to make a prototype? i know a mock up of some kind was built.
i think the A12 is very aestheticly stunning in its triangle plan form with no vertical surfaces, this was once jet that looked right and was quite a beauty. the idiots that dared to cancel it denied up plane freaks this classic plane before it even existed, i thought they was stupid over the F-20 but this beats everything else hands down. the A12 looked like it was designed by an artist, it was perfect.
so the cold war was over, it cost too much etc. the F/A-18 and bombcat did the job and the Superhornet came along, with JSF to follow so another damn what if?
what is the performance of the Avenger? id guess at transonic similar to the A6/7. what was its stealth capability compared to the F-117 and F/A-22? what weapons would it carry, bombs, missiles, rockets, air to air? how agile was it? i read a book called Minotaur by some writer who has the A12 in it and some crash after doing a tight turn during testing. anyone read it? think it was done by stephen coontz. so this thread is dedicated to the sublime A12 Avenger.
Some pics from my pc:
Last edited by fightingirish; 24th February 2007 at 13:32.
Avatar: Ho-Yeol Ryu, Flughafen (Airport), Hannover [HAJ / EDDV] 2005
As I remember...
There were 2 development aircraft being built when the program was canceled. Forgetting the cost and schedule issues, A-12 had some big technical problems too.
The triangular planform caused the CG to be too far aft and there wasn't sufficient control authority to counter that.
Overweight was an issue too. An example is the wet outer wing that required a massively heavy "wing fold transmission" to fold and unfold each wing tip on the flight deck.
Then there was the goofy arrangement to stow the tail hook. It seems the hook shank was too long to simply fold forward without striking the deck, so articulated main landing gear struts were added. The struts would extend to give the hook shoe enough clearance to miss the deck while stowing.
The 2 EO windows on the wing leading edge were terribly complex. I don't remember the material to be used, but the window was a stack of precisely machined slivers of material that had to be flat within 0.0001 inches. The cost would have been $200K+ per window.
The USN started the AX program in 1990 as a ruse to give the A-12 program sufficient time to "get well", but the A-12 was beyond hope and the program was cancelled.
was the triangular design the only one being considered for A-12? Anyway IMO i think USN made major mistake funding devolopment of F-18E should have instead focused on navalised ATF or ST21.
IMHO the A-12 would have been an extraordinary bomber to replace the A-6. Thanks to its very low wing loading it should be very agile and have excellent low speed handling.
It was cancelled by D. Cheney...
Cost was an issue, the planned numbers were reduced after the cold war ended. Also the weight was a major problem. Requirements were for 24 (!) Mk 82 and 2 AMRAAMS all carried in bays. Add to that the gear and the air intakes all located at the underfuselage. These "holes" increased the weight of the structure. It was approaching the limits for the elevators.
Since we all know the capabilites of the Avengers replacement, this is a sad story for the USN.
Cheney cancelled this at about the same time he cut the A-6F Intruder II,the Super Tomcat 21 and cut production of the F-14D Super tomcat to just about 37 new aircraft.IMO this was the worst thing to have ever happened to Naval Avation.The A-12 had its problems,sure,but worst case,the F-14D and A-6F would have made a great team,with a great range/payload.Also I think this was about the time the Navy was looking at a swing wing model of the F-22,as the NATF or Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter to replace the Tomcat,and lets not forget the A/F-117X Nighthawk.A little side note on the name of the A-12.It was named Avenger II since then president George HW Bush had flown Avenger torpedo bombers in WWII and it was thought this would go over well with him and help secure an order.
Last edited by Iranian F-14A; 18th June 2005 at 20:33.
In hindsight cancelling the A-12 was actually probably a good thing even technical problems aside. IT would have cost a lot of money that the Navy really doesn't have in it's budget. Same with NATF. I'd have gone with the Attack Tomcat 21 and the cranked arrow version of the Super Hornet. The Attack Tomcat 21 would have been as good as a Strike Eagle if not better and the cranked arrow version of the Super Hornet would have been better than the much more conservative upgrade they went with. Think F-16 vs F-16XL and you'll see what I mean. Then when the F-35s came around the Super Hornets get transferred to the Marines to replace their Hornets. BTW in Marine service is the F-35 going to replace just the Harriers or the Harriers AND Hornets?
Us Naval aviation has been getting the shaft ever since the A-12 got canned!
The all-new A-6F Intruder II had been cancelled, along with the A-6G Intruder [A-6E upgrade] in 1986/7 to allow their funds to be spent on the A-12, so Cheney had nothing to do with that (Caspar Wienburg did)!
At the point they (McDonnell/Douglas & General Dynamics) had spent ALL the development money, the A-12 was about 2/3 done with development. The losing bidder (Grumman/Northrop) had bid ~30% more for the development phase.... almost exactly what it would have cost if they had finished the A-12 development..... any of you think something stunk about that winning bid?
The losing bid had a different airframe shape, probably wouldn't have had all those design and fabrication problems, especially with Northrop's experience using composites on the B-2 just before then!
The review of the aerodynamics showed a very marginal level of control in the ship-board landing phase, with NO margin for degraded performance due to combat damage.... the best choice if anything was busted would to have flown next to the CV and ejected! This was NOT acceptable!
The Super-Tomcat (with the LEXXs) was the best choice for the F-14 & A-6 replacement, IMHO.
The NATF was a different airframe than the F-22, and looked like a cross between the F-14 & the F-22, with a swing-wing! Considering the two most expensive parts of a modern combat aircraft are the avionics and the engines, and they were to share those, there wouldn't have been much cost for the Navy to absorb. However, considering all the problems they have had with the F-22 avionics, the Navy probably made a good choice in not buying it.
Last edited by Bager1968; 19th June 2005 at 12:53. Reason: add info
well two being built before it was stopped? how far was construction then was it quite advanced? any photos of the partly built planes then?
Oh! I almost forgot...One of the biggest problems with the A-12 was the graphite-epoxy skin. To make it low observable, a copper mesh electrical ground plane was added in between graphite plies. This graphite/copper laminate became the perfect galvanic cell when salt water was added. The skins would essentially self-destruct on the flight deck.
Last edited by djcross; 19th June 2005 at 22:13.
To bad that the A-12 and/or NATF didn't work out. Now that would be a Carrier AirWIng of the 21st Century
2 things to add, from what I heard the bring back fuel requirement made the lower wing skins WAY too thick which added a lot of weight that they simply couldn't deal with. And secondly, the Skunk Works designed the exhaust and rear fuselage for a certain temperature, which McAir or GD felt was utterly unecesssary. Ben Rich told them flat out you don't design a plane around the temps it runs for in flight, you design around the fact that after you shut the thing off the engine heat soaks the airframe making it hotter than at anytime it was in the air. Mac/GD threw out his engineering drawings in their arrogance, tried to do it their own way then came back pleading for the same drawings. Ben unplussed said that the drawings were destroyed as the contract work was done, no need to store unneeded finished work in expensively maintained secure vaults and said if they wanted it done, he'd charge twice as much as he did before. Read this in Ben Rich's autobio.
good website on the avenger, id like to see the mock up theyre restoring with cockpits and weapons in the bays that must be really something to see. it does sound a complicated plane though.
I also heard the structural composit pieces did not meet the strength criteria and had to be replaced with heavier conventional structures which contributed heavily (no pun intended) to the weight, performance and controlability problems.
some questions then: could the avenger be made today with the advances in airframe design and composites?
would it need to be the same size but less in weight to carry the same large bomb load as the original avenger?
would a smaller plane do a better job due to new weapons like jdam giving more bombing accuracy, weapons that werent around in the 1980s?
could it be made to go faster past mach 1 with todays technology?
Originally Posted by junipergoth
I don't think the A-12 could be built today in its orginal form. Yet, I believe a stealthy attack aircraft could be built. Maybe something more along the lines of a modified F/A-22 or even a enlarged F-35? The need is great for such a Aircraft. The B-2 is to big and expensive! (and the US won't sell it regardless) Further, the F-117 and F-35 are to small for long range interdiction and carry to small of a load. Australia is a perfect example of this. The F-35 would make a fine replacement for the RAAF's F/A-18's but not for its F-111's.
For the navy the answer would be the JUCAS..with 1200nm range and decent SDB multiple target destruction capability they are the way to go.The need is great for such a Aircraft.
For the AF the FB22 is allready a proposal from LMA..the f-35 wont meet the RCS requirments that a deep FDOW penetrator like the ""REGIONAL BOMBER"" would require.Yet, I believe a stealthy attack aircraft could be built. Maybe something more along the lines of a modified F/A-22 or even a enlarged F-35?
the DOD wont initiate programs unless it feels that aircraft of a certain type are needed for US services..Australia can launch a program of its own and invite developmental tendors (which it wont do for cost ofcourse)Australia is a perfect example of this. The F-35 would make a fine replacement for the RAAF's F/A-18's but not for its F-111's
NOT FUNDEDSabre Warrior
We allready have funded a-45/47
Old radar types never die; they just phased array
Well, the now the US can hold off on a tactical Stealth Bomber. Yet, what happens when the F-15E's are retired???
The May 16 (or 23) 2005 AW&ST had a small article stating that the USAF had asked Northrop for a set of proposals for a "long-range strike aircraft", to which Northrop had proposed a "mini B-2 and a modified F-23 ". It looks like the USAF is serious about a replacement for the F-111.
A mini B-2 could even evolve as a reworked A-12...
Afterall, the USAF was also on the Avenger list for a F-111 replacement.
look at the fictional B-3 in the film peacemaker from the late 90s it was lkike such a plane bigger than a a12 but smaller than a b2.Originally Posted by eagle
You mean "Broken Arrow" starring John Travolta and Christian Slater.
Damm, look what I found here:
Skilled craftsmanship and a lot of special effects wizardry were employed in the design of the B-3 Stealth Bomber, an imaginary extension of the current Stealth model bomber, the B-2, modified by Gross to look even more sleek and mean on film.
Avatar: Ho-Yeol Ryu, Flughafen (Airport), Hannover [HAJ / EDDV] 2005
yeah thats the film. the b-3 looks much better than the normal b-2.
I personally would like to see an F/A 22E or block 2, fitted with the F136 engine being trialled for the JSF and the same aircrafts targetting system, I think this would produce a reasonably cost effective solution for US deep penetration strike needs and would have the added advantage of maintaining the Raptor programme.
Such a move would avoid the requirement to desighn and build another very expensive combat aircraft in an era where the US defence budget seems to be under increasing pressure, and lets face it there dosnt appear to be anything on the horizon that realy threatens the raptor.
Just a thought.
yes they should go with what theyve got and play around with it and come up with something, to do something new is not the way to go, to use what theyve got is i think. i wonder what theyll do though? base a project on existing birds or a new even more costlier one?
I feel that my idea is a good option but I have a feeling that a very expensive and drawn out programme that will probably be cancelled eventually, for a new plane will take place.
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