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sonic67
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Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:45 am

Why did the USAF select the REP/FAIR A-10 over the Northrop YA-9? As far as I can find out they where very similar in every way? The Russians like the A9 so much they supposedly copied it (Sukhoi Su-25).

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/a-9.htm
 
AirRyan
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:55 am

I like the Su-25 and respect it's capabilities, but I think one thing that got the A-10 the contract was the 30mm Gatling gun that the plane was designed around.
 
dl021
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:36 pm

The A-10 outperformed the YA-9 in the competitive tests. With the sterling service provided by this penultimate Fairchild product I'd say that the Air Force made the right choice here.

Plus....it's way cooler looking!  Wink
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
sonic67
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:22 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 1):
one thing that got the A-10 the contract was the 30mm Gatling gun that the plane was designed around.

Both airplanes where to get the 30-mm General Electric GAU-8 Avenger seven barrel cannon but it was not ready in time. So the 20-mm cannon was substituted.
 
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Spacepope
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:04 pm

I think the placement of the engines, while maybe not the contest winner, played a role in the choice. The A-9 had them buried in the fuselage where a SAM hit would not only take out the engine, but other vital systems. The A-10 has shown REPEATEDLY that the seperation of the engines leads to an aircraft that can still make it back to base after a direct hit (OIF, Kosovo, ODS). That kind of redundancy is what is needed in a CAS/tankbuster aircraft.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:43 pm

There use to be a YA-9A at the Castle Air Museum, Atwater, CA. They don't list it anymore, so I don't know where it went.

http://www.elite.net/castle-air/camplane.htm
 
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f4wso
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:06 am

Here is a picture of the number two plane on display at the March Field Museum.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Chambers



Gary
Cottage Grove, MN
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
TedTAce
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:56 am

I'd have to say that the A-10 (for those who appreciate it) looks a HEC of a lot better then the A-9.

GUESSING: I'd say the engines had most EVERYTHING to do with the deal. The big A-10 turbofans extended away from the A/C body VS those integrated turbojets, no match.. The A-10 is almost invisible to IR from the ground, and even if you blow an engine off there's a lot of plane left, I'd be stunned if the A-9 could take a direct engine hit and have any chance of flying away.
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ruger11
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:41 pm

Like TedTAce said, the survivability factor from engine seperation. Also the tail design shields the engine exhausts from side/bottom and twin tails mean some manueverability if one is damaged.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:10 am

TedTAge and Ruger11 are right. It was all about the IR threat which is very real in the combat environment the A-10 was designed for - blasting WAPA tanks in Europe.

The high bypass turbofans had their exhaust were designed to create air mixing turbulence so there was little really hot air 20 feet behind the plane.

The twin vertical fins shadow the engine exhausts from vital angles of view, especially from the ground.

With the high mounted and quite widely separated engines one engine could be blasted to pieces and the plane could - if not continue its mission, then most often limp home, save the driver, and be rebuilt to fly again next week.

For some mysterious reason the A-9 lacked all these obvious and vital properties. Why?

And why was the SU-25 made in A-9 style?

I think that the SU-25 was made for a different purpose. I think that the WAPA generals could rightly not imagine an opponent with a substantial IR defense capability (that would be NATO) advance on the ground with tanks where they didn't enjoy total air superiority. That making IR resistance mostly irrelevant in those days.

With the heavy engines mounted near the plane's center of gravity they created an - everything else equal - more maneuverable plane.

So the SU-25 was maybe simply optimized for a different task. Maybe fighting eventual rebels who wanted to separate from the Soviet empire. Maybe work on the Soviet - Chinese border which at that time was often quite "hot".
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:26 am

Is it me or does the A-9 canopy and front windscreen seem pretty close or identical to the A-10's?

Greg
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Spacepope
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RE: Northrop YA-9

Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:29 am

Pretty close, but I think that has to do with designs for the same purpose: Good all around view and a thick bullet resistant windscreen.
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