Alternate SEA Gunships

A while back I posted a question about the proposed AC-97X prior to
the AC-130. Somewhere, someone responded about a USAF study back then
considering C-131s, C-118s & several others, IIRC. I've googled but
can't find that response. Anyone remember? Thanks.
Reply to
frank
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Several other aircraft types were considered, including the C-54, C-97,C-118,C-121 and the Navy P-2. Some of the reasons all of these were eliminated from Air Force consideration were lack of a high wing, which allowed much better visibility in the banking turn needed to bring the guns and sight to bear on the target, or in the case of the C-97, poor maneuverability at low altitude and airspeeds.
A C-131 was used early in the gunship program to determine the feasibility of the whole idea of flying around in a circle and firing guns out the side of the A/C. It was never intended to use the C-131 as an operational gunship, it was a test platform only. At the time of these early tests the whole concept was considered a wild idea and suffered from lack of official support and funding.
Two other A/C actually reached the hardware stage as mini gunships, and actually did go so far as to be evaluated in Viet Nam. These were the AU-23 Fairchild Peacemaker and AU-24 Helio Stallion. They were intended for South Viet Nam use and those programs were delayed due to problems with both funding and airframes. They died with the end of the war and the aircraft went to the bone yard.
All of the above is from "The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia, Development and Employment of Fixed-Wing Gunships 1962-1972" Office of Air Force History.
As with many of these non conventional ideas, if it hadn't been for a small group of junior officers who could see the potential and kept the concept alive despite all the official obstacles, it is doubtful if the gunship program would have ever happened.
Norm
Reply to
Norm Filer
Wasn't there also a Fairchild AC-119?
Reply to
Old Timer
Yes, but it wasn't a test project. If was actually put into production as "Gunship 3", in two forms; the AC-119G Shadow and AC-119K Stinger.
Gunship 1 was the AC-47, which, while successful for the concept, was underpowered and small, limiting weapons, ammo, and sensor capability. Plus, there were few C-47s still in the US military, which meant a limited parts and maintenance capability. Gunship 2, the AC-130 was the much better solution. The AC-130s only real issue was that there was a much greater need for cargo C-130s at the time, limiting the number available for conversion. The C-119 was selected as it was newer than the C-47, and thus more maintainable, and more importantly was large enough to carry sufficient guns, ammo, and sensors.
The Shadow was essentially like the AC-47, mainly intended to support Troops in Contact (TIC) and carried only miniguns and simple night vision equipment. The jet-boosted Stinger was optimized for the interdiction missions like the Spectre, and added 20mm cannon and advanced sensors and targeting equipment.
Dave
Reply to
Dave Williams
Is that pub available online? Thanks for the tip. Darn it, now a Connie gunship!!!!!! :)
Reply to
frank
Yes:
Yestor's/Italerii has issued a 1/72 scale kit for that bird.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
Yep, right after I converted an Aurora kit (1/76).
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
The book mentioned (dev. and employment... etc) is the ultimate source for all things gunship in Vietnam. There is also men- tioned the suggestion that they could mount an M-60 SAW/LMG into an O-2. I have seen a picture in a book "Vietnam Warbirds" and which I do not have in front of me as it's in my household goods enroute to me in Guam! The caption for the photo is that there is no information as to whether this worked. The book mentioned previously (dev. and employment... etc.) implies that this was never tried.
This could easily be done in 1/72 scale with the Airfix O-2 kit and one of the M-60's from the Italeri UH-60 Desert Hawk or the AMT/Italeri M-60 "Blazer" tank kit. I've always wanted to give it a shot, never bothered to get aorund to doing it.
As far as I know the DoD publication is not yet available on- line, but is normally easily available at any good college or university which has a government documents depository in its library. The Vietnam Warbirds book is not available to the best of my knowledge. That doesn't mean that it's NOT avail- able, just that I don't know.
Hope this helps!
Reply to
Drew Hill
So I took my Modelcraft 172 and added the refueling probe, aerials, and the miniguns and a couple bombs from an A-37 and viola... the A-41E. I dubbed it the "Wraith" and gave it a nice SEA paint job. Fun idea and while maybe impractical (as one guy said in response to my ABMS post "I hear the sound of a wing snapping"), a nice build none the less. I figured if the Army was already putting around in the T-41B, why not?
Rich Cox -------------------------------------------------------------- À la gloire éternelle de l'infanterie... miroite le nommé de RodgerYoung.
Reply to
Moi
That DOD pub isn't online, but it's a book, apparently published in 1982 as such. Found a couple of copies. Thanks for the help.
Reply to
frank
Many moons back there was a whimsical set of posts covering the evolution of the YB-49. I think that someone suggested a gunship variant.
In the BUFF community, we joked about a B-52 with a belly full of Miniguns.
Kind of off the topic, but I suppose that we will all survive.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Williams
Regarding the -52, forget not one of the B-54 setups with all those machine guns pointing straight-down.
Rich Cox -------------------------------------------------------------- À la gloire éternelle de l'infanterie... miroite le nommé de RodgerYoung.
Reply to
Moi
Wouldn't the B-54 be going a bit backwards? Wasn't that the further upgraded B-50?
Reply to
frank
Sorry... I meant B-57. I blame the cat.
Reply to
Moi
Hello
After I take a look at google trying with AC-47 some links may be interesting:
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deeper:
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Back in the 80ties I saw a picture in AERO Magazine where an AC-130 shots in the night with "light track ammo". Very impressive
Hth Ralf
Reply to
Ralf Hetzer
Does this help?
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Nick
Reply to
Nick Pedley
I've been toying with the idea of getting a Dynavector A2D Skyshark and putting that in VNAF colors with a minigun in the fuselage, or better yet pivoting gun pods on the wings....
kww
: A while back I posted a question about the proposed AC-97X prior to : the AC-130. Somewhere, someone responded about a USAF study back then : considering C-131s, C-118s & several others, IIRC. I've googled but : can't find that response. Anyone remember? Thanks. :
Reply to
news.verizon.net
[stuff snipped]
One of the original concepts for the ACH-47A "Guns-a-Go-Go" was a bunch of weaponry firing through open ports in the bottom.
John Hairell ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com)
Reply to
guardian6
This is a great thread.
RMS has a great internal source.
Hugh, are you following this.
What does The Shadow know?
Tom
Reply to
maiesm72
Is that the Canberra?
If so it would help to know
Reply to
Martin

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