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WW II Aircraft in Combat Today

counterinsurgency close air support

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#1 GatorDude

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:57 AM

Do you think a WW2 aircraft could be useful for counter-insurgency operations / close air support missions today?  If so, which one would you choose and how would you modernize it?


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#2 CORSNING

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:30 AM

Yes,...and No. You could take an aircraft like the F4U and fly it off a carrier deck with 4,000 lbs of ordinance for attack purposes. You could install modern computer equipment. You could update all ordinances. You could install a state of the art prop or jet engine. You could strengthen the frame and update the outer covering. It could deliver its ordinance and make its way back to the carrier. BUT no where near as quickly and proficiently as modern designed attack craft. Old aircraft can only be modified so much before its time to replace them. Example: Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The aircraft could continue to be an asset, but...

 

Jeff :)


Edited by CORSNING, 07 June 2014 - 12:36 PM.


#3 curmudgeon

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:35 AM

I think they would be caught in the middle ... at the bottom end they can't compete with attack helicopters, at the upper end current ground attack jets carry many tons of ordnance. Also their price will have gone up markedly ... so not cost effective either.



#4 Armand

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:08 AM

Nice try, but no!
Their possibilities are generally superceded by choppers today.
If there ever was a segment for a turboprop plane it would have been developed in the meantime, wich only have happened in few situations, the Argentinian Pucara being one. On the Falklands the Pucara showed not to be superior to the British Sea Harriers wich partially disqualifies the concept and Your idea!
The only WW2 plane I ever wondered why wasn't developed or at least continued, is the Catalina. As a flying boat with very long range, the Catalina had a segment of it's own wich haven't been superceded by any jet or turboprop plane in the meantime. Couldn't it be fun with a flyingboat bodied C130 Hercules?

#5 CORSNING

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 02:09 PM

Cool Idea Armand.



#6 GatorDude

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 09:50 PM

I was thinking mostly about the war record of the A-1 Skyraider in Korea and Vietnam.  With the Air Force thinking about retiring the Warthog again, it makes one wonder about cost effective alternatives.  (I'm sure that the real answer lies in drones and helicopters.)  But, we're allowed romantic notions on message boards.

 

It turns out that it isn't that far fetched of an idea either.  The US Air Force actually bought some light attack prop jobs for Afghanistan.

 

Air Force Buys Light Attack Planes for Afghanistan - Not U.S.

 

They bought the Brazilian-made Super Tucano

640px-A-29B_Super_Tucano_on_Patrol_over_

 

Beechcraft wanted them to buy the AT-6 Texan II (below) and protested:

 

640px-Beechcraft_AT-6_-_RIAT_2010_%28483

 

Both of these aircraft look agile and economical, but I have to say the war birds of World War II look a little tougher and probably offer more protection for the pilot.  It looks like Afghanistan will get the Super Tucano in 2015.  Reading on wikipedia, it looks like the Super Tucano has been a success for Latin American air forces who fly them against various guerilla and narcotics groups.

 

These new planes have a lower heat signature and flares, etc.  But, I think I'd rather fly an updated P-47 Thunderbolt or A1-D Skyraider with a big engine in front of me and some armor plate around me.


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#7 curmudgeon

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:16 AM

I'd rather fly a drone ... optimised for stealth against human senses (if the targets have radar then they light themselves up from 100km)



#8 Armand

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:41 PM

These new planes have a lower heat signature and flares, etc. But, I think I'd rather fly an updated P-47 Thunderbolt or A1-D Skyraider with a big engine in front of me and some armor plate around me.

The WW2's are made for a much more hostile airspace than the Tucaco's will operate in!
And either the Jug nor the Skyraider will stay airborne for eight 'n half hour like the Tucana seems to be able to :-o

#9 Kutscha

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:29 PM

That 8+hrs for the Tucano is certainly not when loaded with weapons.

 

Tho not WW2 I would consider this,

 

0351-02-2-7.jpg



#10 Ricky

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:35 AM

IMO WW2 aircraft wouldn't last too long on a modern battlefield. Yes, there was a LOT of light AA around in WW2, but it was mostly LMG, with some HMG and some 20mm - and a small amount of 30mm+

 

Nowadays LAA is often larger-caliber, the guns and ammo are better / more effective and the firing systems are generally better too, meaning more chance of a hit, particularly on 'slower' aircraft

 

Modern aircraft made from fancy modern materials are probably more likely to survive, particularly given the various ECM etc they can carry. Plus the greater engine power allows for more ordnance, which is always a bonus.

 

 

I would say that a WW2-type aircraft would be very useful in COIN-ops, but one built taking full advantage of modern materials, methods and knowledge. So, um, something like the Super Tucano ;)






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