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Devilfish

Thunderbolt GA.1

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For some reason, people seem to be posting their what ifs in the normal aircraft RFI threads.  Not me!! lol

 

Thunderbolt GA.1
20 (AC) Sqn RAF Germany 1986

When the British Army started flying it's own armed fixed wing aircraft in the close support role, there was, naturally, outrage in the halls of the Ministry, as the RAF complained that it was their role to support ground forces. Almost immediately the Air Staff began looking at a suitable, but better (read "more complicated") aircraft, that the Army wouldn't be able to maintain on their own. The obvious choice was the new Fairchild A-10, coming into service with the USAF. 
After much wrangling between the RAF and Army, eventually it was declared that if this was to go ahead, it would have to be a joint unit.  The Army therefore insisted on having one of their officers on whatever plane was chosen.  This scuppered the A-10 idea, until Fairchild came out with the N/AW A-10, two seater.
Orders were immediately placed, with the idea of the rear seat being purely an Army observer.  Eventually, as crew training progressed, it became evident the rear-seater would become a valuable member of the crew, operating the various systems, and target tracking etc 
The aircraft was modified for British use, with the addition of an IFR probe.
Weaponry typically consisted of anti armour and ground suppression rounds, with a Sidewinder for self defence, and an American AGM-88 HARM for anti-radar use. 

 

47857648572_96a29873ca_k.jpg20190522_175645 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
47120321164_da95475e8f_k.jpg20190522_175551 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
40943044323_7133d8ab85_k.jpg20190522_175631 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
47909654591_c713b55cda_k.jpg20190522_175535 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
40943041933_57ce656891_k.jpg20190522_175520 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
47909653811_86f8c1d8c7_k.jpg20190522_175504 by Paul Carter, on Flickr
46993598635_5a77a4b55b_k.jpg20190522_175406 by Paul Carter, on Flickr

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10 hours ago, Devilfish said:

For some reason, people seem to be posting their what ifs in the normal aircraft RFI threads

i have noticed that this is becoming more of an 'if only' than 'what if' section.

Great model of an 'if only' A-10.

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That.. looks oddly plausible.  ;) 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

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What a fantastic idea! I have one of these and have been looking for suitable 81 TFW decals.

 

Very, very nicely finished and built.

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Right, now I know what to do with my Trumpeter 1/32 two seater.

 

Lovely!

 

Graham

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Hmm the army wouldn't be able to maintain eh?

I know one or two Remes who would like to debate that ...and I'm an ex WAFU...too much RAFism going on round here🤣

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Brilliant build, great backstory. She looks every inch a beast!

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I wonder if the refueling probe could withstand the back force generated by the GAU when fired and not snap off. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 6:03 PM, junglierating said:

Hmm the army wouldn't be able to maintain eh?

I know one or two Remes who would like to debate that ...and I'm an ex WAFU...too much RAFism going on round here🤣

 

I didn't say they couldn't, more that the powers that be assumed they couldn't. The fact that they operate the Apache proves otherwise.  Remember, this was back in the 80's during the Cold War, when there was much more elitism than there is now.

Ex-RAF Techie myself, and I've had a lot of dealings with both Army and Navy equivalents, so I'm well aware of their capabilities, but I needed a "plausible" backstory., 

 

7 hours ago, whiskey said:

I wonder if the refueling probe could withstand the back force generated by the GAU when fired and not snap off. 

If probes like this can withstand supersonic flight, I don't think a little deceleration would be a problem.

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Nice one, Paul. I always liked the look of the two seater and it looks good in those colours.

Pete. (7 miles North of you).

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Awesome! If only our politicians were far-sighted and ambitious enough!

 

A few squadrons of RAF or AAC A-10s would still be very useful and capable now. Imagine sitting by the approach at Honington or Cottesmore watching these.

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