Archive for the ’Uncategorized’ Category
The Economist has provided this insightful article on the reasons why nations are choosing to go with low cost alternatives to one hundred million dollar fighter aircraft and forty million dollar attack helicopters. The article correctly points to the benefits of low cost turboprop aircraft – first and foremost the ability to provide the same state of the art infrared sensors and laser guided weapons for roughly $400 per flight hour vs. $40,000 per flight hour for an F-15E.
The article is a little off target on the “list prices” however. While a stripped Caravan from the factory might be sold for roughly $2 million, the U.S. government spent $27.8 million for a package of four aircraft for Lebanon (Congressional Research Service), and the Vigilante price seems to be a holdover from the late 1980′s when that single test aircraft flew.
Nonetheless, the article is spot on in its conclusion that high tech supersonic fighters are not the right tool for the job when it comes to counter-insurgency, and a man in the cockpit has distinct advantages over a drone with “a man in Las Vegas” doing the controlling.
Small, slow and inexpensive propeller-driven planes are starting to displace fighter jets
Sep 20th 2010
“JET fighters may be sexy in a Tom Cruise-ish sort of way, but for guerila warfare—in which the enemy rarely has an air force of his own with which to dogfight—they are often not the tool for the job. Pilotless drones can help fill the gap. Sometimes there is no substitute for having a pilot on the scene, however, so modern air forces are starting to turn to a technology from the yesteryear of flying: the turboprop…”
I especially like his closing point, “You can use a loudspeaker to talk to potential targets before deciding whether to attack them. As Winston Churchill so memorably put it: “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.”
The Air Tractor comes equipped with a loudspeaker.
Posted on: Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 7:05pm
Military.com posted this video on the Air Tractor 802U at the Farnborough Airshow.
Peter sums it up with this:
“This airplane, as far as I’m concerned is the airplane of this show, there are a lot of Gucchi airplanes here, but this beasty does a nice covert job, and I think it’s going to go places. It’s a fantastic airplane…”
Posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 7:23pm
If you’re a defense industry executive or spokesperson, the party is officially over. For the first time in a decade, put on the glum look. If yours is rusty, look up at the gloomy British skies above Farnborough for reference.
I have a feeling it’s going to be that kind of a show. Lockheed Martin’s participation has been slashed in half, which apparently includes the budget for the (sad face) company’s media dinner. Honeywell has no corporate presence at all, although that decision was made in 2008. There’s a “new reality” in the global defense market these days, as Lockheed CEO Robert Stevens says, and it suits the prevailing British weather like a matching pocket square.http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/
Posted on: Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 1:40am
The Air Tractor 802U will be at the Farnborough International Air Show with its AT-802U. Visit it in the static display area in section F3 and be one of the first to see this light attack aircraft.
View our image gallery to download high-resolution images of this and other Air Tractor aircraft.