Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 7:14 am

What's the best purpose built close air support ground attack aircraft introduced before July 1st, 1977.

- No choosing the F-14/15/16/Tornado/etc. Those are general purpose fighters, or derivatives thereof. Not purpose built ground attack aircraft.
- Yes, the A-10 is wonderful. It was introduced in Oct 1977, and therefore is excluded.
- You can chose Russia aircraft too!
- It's OK to consider economics. Costs less is a feature.
- Flexibility counts. If it has secondary roles of air defense or transport etc .. that's a nice feature.

Obvious candidates:
Specat Jaguar
Alphajet
Harrier (but not the Harrier II, which is too late)
Étendard (but not the super Étendard, which is 11 month too late)
A-4 Skyhawk
A-6 Intruder
A-7 Corsair
AH-1 Cobra
Mi-24 Hind
A-1 Skyraider
 
tommy1808
Posts: 14691
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:36 am

MB-326K/Impala Mk II. Cheap, effective, rough field capable and good in the secondary Helicopter hunter role.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8593
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:55 pm

The A-6 doesn’t qualify, all-weather deep strike, not close air support design. The helos are good they’re not planes. The A-7 was probably the best of that list. We didn’t design dedicated close air support planes much, just made do with what we had. F-100s probably flew the majority of RVN close support missions in the RVN
 
aumaverick
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:40 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:16 pm

My vote goes to the tranche of 'Spooky' gunships starting with the AC-47, AC-119, and ultimately the AC-130 for the total package of CAS and ground support. I'd also give consideration for OV-10 Bronco for CAS and SU-25 Frogfoot for pure ground attack.
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:03 pm

Sorry to be a pain but where?
In the central front in Cold War Europe, or the Mid East, or a conflict elsewhere such as SE Asia?
This will affect local conditions, likely opponents and their capabilities, just CAS or CAS/Battlefield Interdiction?
If the likely opponents have MANPADS and anything more AAA wise than infantry weapons such as machine guns carried by troops, converted trainers will be terribly vulnerable. SAM-7 and Redeye were not by later standards that effective against dedicated combat aircraft, however dangerous still for converted trainers and attack helos of that generation.

Not sure the attack Alpha Jet was quite yet in Luftwaffe service in 1977, the trainer was but the Luftwaffe light attack aircraft in 1977 was still the G-91, a type which it's German crews made clear of their feelings about when Pig symbols appeared on some of them.

With that in mind, on the central front the Harrier, GR.3 entering service though the GR.1 still had a quite sophisticated nav/attack system, unlike the more austere avionics wise USMC AV-8A's.
Why? Look what happened to three air forces in the Mid East in June 1967, lost much of their airpower on their airbases on day one.
Jaguar can do CAS/BAI, however in the Mid East the International version with uprated engines and overwing AAM's would be in 1977, on the line for Oman rather than in service.
In exercises the following year, RAF Jaguars did better than USAF A-7's despite the latter having in some respects more extensive avionics and smarter weapons the RAF Jaguars would have to wait a few more years for.

Because of their mission the USMC has the best mix then for CAS, AV-8A's, A-4's, AH-1J's, for use in a wide range of areas and conflicts, backed up of course by their own F-4's on carriers with the USN just over the horizon.

Ten years after NATO adopted Flexible Response to replace massive nuclear retaliation, so really most NATO AF's still had equipment designed to carry a tactical nuke, rather than be good CAS aircraft, aside the G.91 which I doubt would last long on the Central Front in 1977.

As the OP notes, the A-10 was not quite in service, while deployed in large numbers to USAFE from the late 70's, however the design was originally driven by the war in SE Asia, before being modified for essentially anti armour in Europe.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:49 pm

Ground attack is a pretty broad category. If you were to say Close Air Support, the A-1 and A-26 get my vote. No other fixed-wing aircraft on the OP list brought the amount of fire power and time on station.
 
User avatar
seahawk
Posts: 10417
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:32 pm

A-1 over the WarPac front lines in 1977, won´t do much good.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:11 pm

SPADs are a pretty good choice, but they were originally a torpedo bomber converted into a atomic platform.

The A-4 or A-7 would be good choices too. ANG A-7s were routinely delivering more accurately than new-build F-16s into the late 1980s.

The Israeli enthusiasm for the A-4 speaks highly of it.

As a CAS concept, the Harrier was well ahead of its time.
 
CDNlaxdad
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:21 pm

Definitely the A-26A Counter Invader
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:45 pm

seahawk wrote:
A-1 over the WarPac front lines in 1977, won´t do much good.



No but we'll never know what the other aircraft would have done either. The A-1 fought in Korea, it fought in SE Asia, it fought in Algeria. And it fought alot. What airplane did the US use for aircover during downed pilot rescue operation ? The A-1.

Interesting factoids -

On 26 July 1954, two Douglas Skyraiders from the aircraft carriers USS Philippine Sea and Hornet shot down two Chinese PLAAF Lavochkin fighters off the coast of Hainan Island while searching for survivors after the shooting down of a Cathay Pacific Douglas DC-4 Skymaster airliner three days previously.[1

During the Viet Nam war, U.S. Navy Skyraiders shot down two Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 jet fighters: the first on 20 June 1965 by Lieutenant Clinton B. Johnson and LTJG Charles W. Hartman III of VA-25;.[20] Using their cannons, this was the first gun kill of the Vietnam War. The other was on 9 October 1966 by LTJG William T. Patton of VA-176.[12]

The A-26 was just as good. It fought in both theaters of WWII, in Korea (B-26s were credited with the destruction of 38,500 vehicles, 406 locomotives, 3,700 railway trucks, and seven enemy aircraft on the ground. With the CIA in Cuba and god knows where else. With the French in Vietnam. Indonesia, Biafra, the Congo, with the Portuguese Air Force in Angola.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:49 pm

Forgot to mention, I recall reading a book about the Bay of Pigs invasion. The quote I remember was that the A-26 performed some of the most effective ground support ever seen. The CIA just didn't have enough of them to counter Cuba's Sea Fury(s) and armed T-33's.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3860
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:34 pm

A-7 Corsair II. Was one of the most advanced ground attack aircraft, with advanced (for the time) navigation & autopilot system, advanced electronics that allowed for extremely accurate bomb drops, and had a decent turn of speed so it could get in and out quickly.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:50 am

Didn't the Harrier, A-4 and A-7 all suffer high(er) losses than expected ?

IIRC the Israel Defense Force found the A-4 vulnerable to manpads that could not bring down other IDF aircraft. The US lost a boat load in SE Asia. She was designed more as a bomber than a ground attack aircraft . The Harrier had a brutal safety record. The A-7 was slow and underpowered in warm temperatures even when re-engined with Spreys. I guess any single engine jet not fast and not armored for ground attack would suffer in that role.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:57 am

tommy1808 wrote:
MB-326K/Impala Mk II. Cheap, effective, rough field capable and good in the secondary Helicopter hunter role.



Interesting choice.

Can you tell more? Why is it better than the other choices? I would understand if it was cheaper (and that counts) but does it have any other notable attributes?
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:01 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Didn't the Harrier, A-4 and A-7 all suffer high(er) losses than expected ?

IIRC the Israel Defense Force found the A-4 vulnerable to manpads that could not bring down other IDF aircraft. The US lost a boat load in SE Asia. She was designed more as a bomber than a ground attack aircraft . The Harrier had a brutal safety record. The A-7 was slow and underpowered in warm temperatures even when re-engined with Spreys. I guess any single engine jet not fast and not armored for ground attack would suffer in that role.


Why would an A-4 be more vulnerable to a manpad than any other light single engined aircraft? I understand it's half the weight of an A-7, and that a Sepcat Jaguar weighs 50% more than an A-4, but is there more to it than that? My initial thought would be that any manpad hitting the tail of one of these planes and able to take out the engine/controls should work on all of them.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:02 am

ThePointblank wrote:
A-7 Corsair II. Was one of the most advanced ground attack aircraft, with advanced (for the time) navigation & autopilot system, advanced electronics that allowed for extremely accurate bomb drops, and had a decent turn of speed so it could get in and out quickly.


I'm interested. How did this electronics help with CAS? Because if it's just attacking a fixed point that's an awesome ability, but not really CAS.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:08 am

I purposefully didn't chose a theatre or operation concept. Your pick (and yes I understand that allows for multiple correct answers).

About the A-26 ...

Hard to imagine the A-26 being survivable in any modern theatre. And if it's a permissive air environment, wouldn't something like an AH-1/Mi-24 be a better solution? The A-26 carries more warload, but the AH-1/Mi-24 probably targets much more accurately. (Funny thought. An A-26 has less horsepower than a modern 1970's Mi-24 or a modern AH-64.)
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:10 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Ground attack is a pretty broad category. If you were to say Close Air Support, the A-1 and A-26 get my vote. No other fixed-wing aircraft on the OP list brought the amount of fire power and time on station.


The very first sentence is "What's the best purpose built close air support ground attack aircraft introduced before July 1st, 1977."
 
tommy1808
Posts: 14691
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:05 am

kitplane01 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
MB-326K/Impala Mk II. Cheap, effective, rough field capable and good in the secondary Helicopter hunter role.



Interesting choice.

Can you tell more? Why is it better than the other choices? I would understand if it was cheaper (and that counts) but does it have any other notable attributes?


It was cheap and still brought an ECM suite to the battlefield at a time where not even all NATO front line aircraft hat RWR.

best regards
Thomas
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3860
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 6:33 am

kitplane01 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
A-7 Corsair II. Was one of the most advanced ground attack aircraft, with advanced (for the time) navigation & autopilot system, advanced electronics that allowed for extremely accurate bomb drops, and had a decent turn of speed so it could get in and out quickly.


I'm interested. How did this electronics help with CAS? Because if it's just attacking a fixed point that's an awesome ability, but not really CAS.

The A-7 Corsair II could navigate in bad weather to a target at low altitudes with terrain following modes, and the fire control system had the ability to compute very accurate bomb drops on targets with conventional, non-precision weapons, which considering at the time when the A-7 was developed, was very much cutting edge.
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:55 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Didn't the Harrier, A-4 and A-7 all suffer high(er) losses than expected ?

IIRC the Israel Defense Force found the A-4 vulnerable to manpads that could not bring down other IDF aircraft. The US lost a boat load in SE Asia. She was designed more as a bomber than a ground attack aircraft . The Harrier had a brutal safety record. The A-7 was slow and underpowered in warm temperatures even when re-engined with Spreys. I guess any single engine jet not fast and not armored for ground attack would suffer in that role.


The Harrier did not have a 'brutal' safety record with the RAF, being single engined and in RAF service largely used at low level in NW Europe would make it more likely to suffer losses compared to say interceptors or twin engined aircraft in the same role from say birdstrikes. There were many NATO types 1977 that were single engined and largely used at low level, all those F-104's for instance, now that had the brutal record.
Being the world's first operational VSTOL type was going to bring challenges, leading to losses at first, just like the first jets had and before that, the retractable undercarriage monoplanes that replaced biplanes from the mid/late 1930's. The Spitfire had a higher accident loss rate than the Hurricane.

If you are referring to the USMC, they were the first to routinely operate off ships, your Congress, many of who were upset that a foreign aircraft had been brought for front line US service (forgetting the Canberra/B-57 20 years before), delayed for years the USMC buying twin seat conversion trainers. Remember, these AV-8A's were built here, at the plant in Kingston SW London about 12 miles from where I am typing this. Also though, the USMC did not initially take some RAF advice in respect to training on this yes, unique aircraft. Not saying the RAF did not have a higher loss rate, in particular early on, their twin seat trainer versions were not in service right away either.

But the real proof is in combat, 5 years after your cut off date RAF GR.3's were doing low level ground attack, in a totally unexpected place, 8000 miles away but with worse than NW Europe weather and for the RAF aircraft and crews, operating off a carrier for the first time with little or no prior experience. It did not have a heavy loss rate either to accidents or enemy fire and a very high serviceability rate even crammed into a carrier, the enemy had plenty of modern radar directed AA cannon, (British!) Blowpipe MANPADS and a ROLAND SAM unit there, otherwise we would have lost.

In 1977, RAF GR.1/GR.3's were deployed at home, in RAF Germany where they routinely deployed to hides in the field as well as in training in Norway in Winter, plus a flight based in the other weather extreme, Belize.
It was a different aircraft to fly, to land in particular, hence the need for specialized training and a trainer version. You did not put a rookie on it.

After the 1973, Israeli A-4's had an extension to their engine nozzle since they were more vulnerable to the many SAM-7's fired, since that SAM had a small warhead so the extension was to give some protection.
But they had heavy losses with all types, hence the desperate US airlift of replacement aircraft, operation Nickel Grass, with some USAF sourced F-4's going in to combat in USAF camo and hastily applied IAF markings.
Hence the 1973 oil crisis.
Their heavy losses were due in part to being over confident after 1967, no real intel on the SAM-6 and another underestimation not just of the mere Arabs but systems like the ZSU-23-4 SP AAA.
From wiki;
ZSU-23-4 units saw active service in the Yom Kippur War (1973) and other Arab-Israeli conflicts, the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), and the First Gulf War (1990). During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the system was particularly effective against the Israeli Air Force. Israeli pilots attempting to fly low in order to avoid SA-6 missiles were often shot down by ZSU-23-4s as in Operation Doogman 5.

The Jaguar had twin engines, was designed for ease of servicing and austere airfield operation, there had been trials on a motorway in the UK with an eye to doing the same from Autobahns in wartime. None were lost 14 years later in RAF or French service to enemy fire in the first Gulf War.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2507
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:53 am

The A-7D and A-7E hands down.

The best avionics. Guided weapons with the Walleye. Sidewinder self defense missiles. M61 Vulcan cannon. Excellent endurance. Fairly high speed.

By comparison the Jaguar had no sidewinder capability in 1977 and it had two thirds of the range/endurance of the A-7D.

By comparison the Harrier had one thirds of the range endurance of the A-7D.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:40 am

Good discussion (although I need to read posts more carefully!). Would be interesting to get some feed back from infantry veterans during that time.
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 12:04 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
The A-7D and A-7E hands down.

The best avionics. Guided weapons with the Walleye. Sidewinder self defense missiles. M61 Vulcan cannon. Excellent endurance. Fairly high speed.

By comparison the Jaguar had no sidewinder capability in 1977 and it had two thirds of the range/endurance of the A-7D.

By comparison the Harrier had one thirds of the range endurance of the A-7D.


The A-7 was a good aircraft no question, however Jaguar had much better performance at low level, where the fighting would be done, made it less vulnerable to fighter attack, the USSR in 1977 had some Mig-23's with lookdown/shootdown capability but that was about it.
Against the best the USAF had and with Soviet radar 'imported' for the exercise, Jaguar also performed well at Red Flag exercises, themselves a creation of lessons from both SE Asia and Mid East conflicts.

As stated, no losses with Jaguar in combat in GW1 when it was not a new type, even the French ones with non uprated engines and more austere avionics conducted successful attacks against well defended targets with SAM and AAA targets.
Unlike the A-7, it was designed for low level attack, even the A-7's biggest fans would not rate it's performance at lower levels especially in acceleration away from threats.

In 1983 the USN carried out an ill fated airstrike in Lebanon, mostly an A-6 affair but with A-7's too, two A-7's and A-6's were lost and here the issue is not the numerical 'Top Trumps' of pure stats but tactics and suitability of the types used, it might be the case that the undoubted success of the A-7 in the later stages of the SE Asia conflicts coloured perceptions, just as with the Israelis in 1973.
https://theaviationgeekclub.com/remembe ... n-lebanon/

Even allowing for the politics and hasty planning going in at that altitude was questioned at the time, in the light of experience in the Mid East which the US usually took on board.

In 1977 the A-7D/E were very good aircraft for all the reasons given, however on the Central Front in Europe then, the Jaguar was better suited.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2507
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 12:33 pm

GDB wrote:
The A-7 was a good aircraft no question, however Jaguar had much better performance at low level, where the fighting would be done, made it less vulnerable to fighter attack

I disagree. The A-7D completely dominates the Jaguar in every way in 1977.

At sea level and without afterburners we are looking at a 100km/h speed difference. Both are sitting ducks to a fighter at high altitude with look down radar. If the Jaguar uses afterburner it means the mission is already aborted and it is now running from a fighter.

The A-7D has a thrust to weight ratio approximately half way between the Jaguars dry and afterburning thrust to weight ratio. The A-7 accelerates and climbs well while doing it extremely efficiently.

In adverse weather it is no contest. The A-7 terrain following radar allows it to perform its mission while the Jaguar can't even get to the target.

The Jaguar was limited to dumb bombs in 1977. The A-7 had full standoff capability with walleye.

If we compare upgraded Jaguar aircraft with technology decades newer than A-7 then it is no longer a fair comparison.
 
st21
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:15 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:00 pm

You made the almost same thread nearly a year ago, OP:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1452295&p=22441961#p22441961

There was already a consensus that the A-7 was probably the best CAS aircraft at the time. Whats the point of asking that question again?
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 4:14 pm

It might be the case that the A-7 looks better on paper, with just stats but that is never the whole story.

Yet for all that, in a 1978 bombing exercise the 'dumb' RAF Jaguars did better than the A-7's, that is an exercise, both in bombs on target and avoiding the USAFE F-5E Aggressor unit in the UK since 1976, so I return to the real world combat experience.
More importantly, we are still left with losses in combat, the RAF Jaguar force in 1977 in terms of equipment and weapons was where the earlier model A-7's were in their early years, the RAF Jaguars, like the A-7's before, would go on to get uprated engines, LGB's, overwing Sidewinders, ALQ-101 pods, increased chaff/flare dispensers, all well before the first Gulf War.
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 4:55 pm

I once had a copy of Flight International, as it was then, from August 1978 which contained a news item about how, to the surprise of most, the RAF Jaguars did better overall than the Walleye and Maverick equipped A-7D's. Agreed is was the best equipped CAS type in 1977, no disagreement there.
'FlightGlobal' are more than a year into their 'upgrade' of their on line archive, st21 is right, I last looked for that thread too!
So sadly the best I can do is this, the Jaguar force won 5 of out 7 of the awards, they got something right with no sign of being dominated.
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ ... -488707814
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:45 pm

Actually this thread should be broken into a more more defined period. Introduced before July 1st, 1977 would run from the trenches in France in 1917 to 1977. It would be a toss up between the IL-2 and the Ju-87!
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3860
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:57 pm

GDB wrote:
It might be the case that the A-7 looks better on paper, with just stats but that is never the whole story.

Yet for all that, in a 1978 bombing exercise the 'dumb' RAF Jaguars did better than the A-7's, that is an exercise, both in bombs on target and avoiding the USAFE F-5E Aggressor unit in the UK since 1976, so I return to the real world combat experience.
More importantly, we are still left with losses in combat, the RAF Jaguar force in 1977 in terms of equipment and weapons was where the earlier model A-7's were in their early years, the RAF Jaguars, like the A-7's before, would go on to get uprated engines, LGB's, overwing Sidewinders, ALQ-101 pods, increased chaff/flare dispensers, all well before the first Gulf War.

The A-7 had the advantage of being all-weather capable, as it could not only navigate in bad weather at low altitudes, but it also could attack in bad weather as it had a radar CCRP bombing mode.

It was actually more capable than the early model F-16's in terms of its bad weather attack capabilities; not a small feat. It could easily drop a dumb bomb 10-20 metres from the aim point from a 6,000ft release altitude; for the time, nothing could touch the A-7's precision with dumb bombs.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11227
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:28 am

My choice would be the A-1E/H Sky Raider and the A-7D SLUF (the "E" was good too, but it came along later). The F-100D/F was also very good at CAS. The A-4 is an honorable mention. The AH-1 never had enough ammo, but the "in country converted" UH-1 gunships (up to four M-2 .50 caliber BMGs) did an very good job.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:38 am

st21 wrote:
You made the almost same thread nearly a year ago, OP:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1452295&p=22441961#p22441961

There was already a consensus that the A-7 was probably the best CAS aircraft at the time. Whats the point of asking that question again?


This post has a somewhat different timeline allowing for a few new types. And new people to participate. It's not like the same question can only be asked once in history ... also I just forgot. :-(
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:41 am

kc135topboom wrote:
My choice would be the A-1E/H Sky Raider and the A-7D SLUF (the "E" was good too, but it came along later). The F-100D/F was also very good at CAS. The A-4 is an honorable mention. The AH-1 never had enough ammo, but the "in country converted" UH-1 gunships (up to four M-2 .50 caliber BMGs) did an very good job.


What advantage would an F-100 have over the more obvious choices?
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 3:33 am

This is terrible thought but shouldn't the measure of the best CAS aircraft be the one with the most effective combat experience? And that means number of trucks and armored vehicles destroyed and infantry killed? It was the aircraft whose appearance on the battlefield changed the outcome numerous times.

The benchmark is the Ju-87 which ushered in an entirely new form of warfare. The A-26's were that aircraft in Korea. In SE Asia it was a variety, the most effective would be the one that came to your rescue. The Harrier in the Falklands The A-10 but smart weapons are making even propeller drive drones and B-1's effective close air support aircraft today.
 
User avatar
Kiwirob
Posts: 13704
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:23 am

the Junkers Ju 87 was pretty effective
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8593
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 1:32 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
My choice would be the A-1E/H Sky Raider and the A-7D SLUF (the "E" was good too, but it came along later). The F-100D/F was also very good at CAS. The A-4 is an honorable mention. The AH-1 never had enough ammo, but the "in country converted" UH-1 gunships (up to four M-2 .50 caliber BMGs) did an very good job.


What advantage would an F-100 have over the more obvious choices?


Pure experience in Vietnam—thousands of missions by some good pilots made its name in CAS, but it was adapted, not designed for it.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:20 pm

The Vietnam conflict had alot of different aircraft flying CAS - from small props to F-4's. I still vote for the SPAD. One could argue that the A-10 is the jet version of the A-1.
Low, Slow, large payload and built like a tank.

How the low, slow A-1 Skyraider earned its place in the hearts of US troops in Vietnam
https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/ ... n-vietnam/
 
Nicoeddf
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:13 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:42 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
the Junkers Ju 87 was pretty effective


Valid answer!
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:17 pm

Nicoeddf wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
the Junkers Ju 87 was pretty effective


Valid answer!


Not really. If the question was "Which airplane had the most success" or "which airplane developed the foundations" then lots of WWII airplanes would be interesting answers. But the actual question was "which is the best as of 1977" and it's not any design that was 30 years old in 1977.

I would not think the Stuka was the best CAS support plane of WWII (P-47 for the win). I would wonder if the Stuka was even better than the Me-109 as of 1940 in the ground attack role. I don't even know that the Stuka costs less since it has a crew of 2.
 
Nicoeddf
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:13 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:25 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
the Junkers Ju 87 was pretty effective


Valid answer!


Not really. If the question was "Which airplane had the most success" or "which airplane developed the foundations" then lots of WWII airplanes would be interesting answers. But the actual question was "which is the best as of 1977" and it's not any design that was 30 years old in 1977.

I would not think the Stuka was the best CAS support plane of WWII (P-47 for the win). I would wonder if the Stuka was even better than the Me-109 as of 1940 in the ground attack role. I don't even know that the Stuka costs less since it has a crew of 2.


Then go ahead and ask your questions a little more precise.

You didn’t specify a timeframe, simply a before date. So yes, a valid answer. If you agree it was the best „during its time, but prior 1977“ is not really relevant because you asked about opinions.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8593
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:03 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
The Vietnam conflict had alot of different aircraft flying CAS - from small props to F-4's. I still vote for the SPAD. One could argue that the A-10 is the jet version of the A-1.
Low, Slow, large payload and built like a tank.

How the low, slow A-1 Skyraider earned its place in the hearts of US troops in Vietnam
https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/ ... n-vietnam/


It’s not arguable, it’s a fact that the A-10 was a jet A-1. The A-10 speed brakes were huge to match the Spad’s dive characteristics. They brought in Nazi Rudel to perfect CAS from his Eastern front experience. SPAD is the rescue ops call sign for A-10s for reason.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:07 am

Nicoeddf wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:

Valid answer!


Not really. If the question was "Which airplane had the most success" or "which airplane developed the foundations" then lots of WWII airplanes would be interesting answers. But the actual question was "which is the best as of 1977" and it's not any design that was 30 years old in 1977.

I would not think the Stuka was the best CAS support plane of WWII (P-47 for the win). I would wonder if the Stuka was even better than the Me-109 as of 1940 in the ground attack role. I don't even know that the Stuka costs less since it has a crew of 2.


Then go ahead and ask your questions a little more precise.

You didn’t specify a timeframe, simply a before date. So yes, a valid answer. If you agree it was the best „during its time, but prior 1977“ is not really relevant because you asked about opinions.


I don't think this is fair. I didn't write "best plane for it's day before 1977" I wrote "best plane before 1977".

Besides, I don't think the Ju-88 was the best plane for any era, although I'm willing to be persuaded.
 
GDB
Posts: 14412
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Best Ground Attack Aircraft before 1977

Thu Aug 12, 2021 11:28 am

I read it as being what was in service in July 1977, even so, the JU-87 was great, until the other side had half decent defences and against an actual functioning air defence system, well it was withdrawn early from the Battle Of Britain.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bahmed22, jouy31 and 19 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos