The A-X, the first Air Force aircraft designed right from the start to provide close air support of friendly ground forces, is nearing completion for the Air Force flight evaluation, the Air Force announced today.
(a) A-9A (as indicated in paragraph 2, above)
(b) A-10A (as indicated in paragraph 3, above)
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Background: The A-X, the first Air Force aircraft designed right from the start to provide close air support of friendly ground forces, is nearing completion for the Air Force flight evaluation, the Air Force announced today.
In the first sequence is the A-9A aircraft, developed by the Northrop Corp. Hawthorne, California. The A-9A is a high-wing, single-place aircraft powered by two Avco Lycoming Division F-102 engines, each delivering more than 7,000 pounds of thrust. The A-9A is 53???? feet in length, has a wingspan of 58 feet, and is 17 feet in height.
The second sequence shows the A-10A, developed by Fairfield Industries, Farmingdale, New York. The A-10A is a single-place, low-wing, twin-tail design powered by two General Electric TF-34 engines of approximately 9,000 pounds of thrust each. The engines are mounted on the fuselage just behind and above the wing. A-10A dimensions are 52 feet, 7 inches in length; 14 feet, 5.5 inches in height, with a wingspan of 55 feet.
Both prototype aircraft have bubble canopies which give the pilot 360 degrees and excellent over-the-nose visibility to reduce chances of a surprise attack and to provide optimum target observation and weapons delivery accuracy.
For survivability in the close-air-support role, both the A-10A and the A-9A have armoured cockpits, redundant flight controls, and will carry the 30mm Gatling gun.
Each contractor is building two aircraft for the "fly-before-buy" development and evaluation.
The Air Force flight evaluation will follow contractor flying, both to be conducted at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California. During the Air Force evaluation, each aircraft type is scheduled to complete about 120 flying hours; including 54 hours in weapons delivery, approximately 43 hours in aircraft performance and qualities, 20 hours of operational suitability, and six hours for systems tests.
Air Force flying in scheduled from October 24 to December 23. The program is managed by the Air Force Systems Command's Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.