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The USAF's Worst Nightmare...

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By BlacktailFA   |   
© 2012 - 2020 BlacktailFA
Those of you who already know US military service politics are either cringing, or grinning devilishly at this image.

For those who do not, the significance of a US Army-operated Blitzfighter cannot be overstated. There are five reasons for this.

First, the USAF took-away the US Army's fixed-wing combat aircraft in the 1947 Key West Agreement, and since then almost exclusively developed aircraft unsuitable for Close Air Support. This was NOT part of that agreement, and many ugly incidents involving fighter jets that can't flow low or slow enough to provide CAS --- either missing their targets, killing US Army troops instead, or both --- are burned into the Army's institutional memory.

Second, the USAF sought to control ALL fixed-wing air operations. The rationale was to remove any possible challenges from the other services to it's budget, philosophies, and modus operandi. The notion of the Army using aircraft other than helicopters is an anathema to the USAF. They have a long and sordid history of abusing the Key West Agreement to strong-arm aircraft away from the Army (The F-5A Tiger II, OV-1 Mowhawk, O-2 Skymaster, CV-2 Caribou, AH-56 Cheyanne, S-67 Blackhawk --- despite the latter two being helicopters with wings --- and just recently, the C-27J Spartan). The (Br)asshats in Blue running the show are OCD with a vengeance about keeping the Army from using anything with wings, to the detriment of the US military's overall combat potential.

Third, as you may remember from the description of my VB-100 Blitzfighter schematic, the USAF (Br)asshats despise the Blitzfighter with a passion. They hate it because it's inexpensive, and won't move cash fast enough, to enough contractors or enough Congressional districts. They hate it because it's not supersonic. They hate it because it flies low. They hate it because it has no sensors. They hate it because it's built around a gun. They hate it because it uses no missiles. They hate it because of the large numbers that would fill the sky, robbing the smaller fighter pilot force of the image of being "the few, the proud" that they project. But most of all, they hate it because it's cost-effectiveness sheds light on the vacancy of good judgement in USAF policy planning, and all those involved in it.

Fourth (and this is the most important of all), the Key West Agreement has a fascinating loophole. It turns out that the language of the document allows the US Army to operate armed fixed-wing weighing less than 10000lbs. Recall that the Maximum Take-Off Weight of the VB-100 Blitzfighter is only 8368lbs. This makes it obvious why this fact was never mentioned in the Blitzfighter debate --- it would expose this loophole to Congress, the media, and the public, who would force the USAF to own-up to their own agreement, and let the Army have Blitzfighters. Words cannot stress the extent of the catastrophe this would be for the (Br)asshats, in terms of face, power, prestige, budget, and the liklihood of getting promoted again, or transferred to a favorable post and/or command.
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anonymous's avatar
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pete8680's avatar
Personaly i think its stupid the USAF dose now want the Army 2 have ANY fixed wing craft. I mean the Army haves tugboats, barges landing craft,  research ships, and even a few OCEAN going ships. And the USN aint mad! Sooner or later the army will need tilt rotors because its more "enviromentaly friendly". Will the USAF still say no?
Picard578's avatar
Problem is that USAF has... issues. USAF used to be part of the Army, and even after they won their "independence", they have never forgotten that. As a result, they don't want to have *anything* to do with supporting the Army.
Persona22's avatar
And things like this make me glad that the Argentine Air Foce has the Pucara and the Pampa planes. And the Army actually uses Mowhawks (with radars to provide direct information to ground tank crews, because the Mowhawk is perfect for that)
The-Last-Dragon-Kni's avatar
The-Last-Dragon-KniHobbyist General Artist
O god this thing looks like a way to discretly get rid of Pilots. Its a death trap. I cant see a bomb bay or missle pod hard points. And i assume those things on the wings are auto cannons. There is a reason Fighters have nose mounted cannons now a days
BlacktailFA's avatar
"O god this thing looks like a way to discretly get rid of Pilots. Its a death trap."
I suggest you have a look at the description of both this image, and that of my original schematic that I uploaded before it. This would have been an extremely survivable, well-protected, and reliable aircraft.

"I cant see a bomb bay or missle pod hard points."
That's the point of the design, and it wasn't necessarily to actually *build* the thing, but to cause the USAF (Br)asshats to freak-out over it, in order to highlight their disdain for technical simplicity. And if you doubt the capability of it's gun, bear in mind that it's basically a more compact version of the GAU-8A used on the A-10.

"And i assume those things on the wings are auto cannons. There is a reason Fighters have nose mounted cannons now a days"
Those contain the aft landing gear. The gun is in fact mounted in the nose --- in the very center.
Restos1981's avatar
I have read somewhere that the main problem today with the A-10 is its engines.With new engines and a new cockpit the A-10 would still be number 1 at its job.The Russians analysed several options to replace the SU-25 frogfoot and (like the Yak-131) and reach the conclusion that the only good plane for the job was an improved Su-25 the Su-25TM(also called the Su-39).
No need for a new design...restart the production line with an improved A-10D and you will have the best CAS aircraft in the world.
But it will not happen.The US had a ban on export for the A-10 because of the depleted uranium ammo and killed the production of the A-10 in 1984.The real reason for this was that the A-10 was a menace for F-16 exports:Indonesia,Japan,Morroco and Thailand all shown interest in the aircraft.That,togheter with the kill of the 2 seat A-10B killed the production line in 1988 the USAF started pushing the F-16 for the CAS role...and the rest is history...
The-Last-Dragon-Kni's avatar
The-Last-Dragon-KniHobbyist General Artist
So all in all. Your using a... 70's-80's design? I ran this by my aunt, Her exact words were

What the hell is that Cole? Trying to kill me or somthing?

She was a USF Pilot for 20 years
BlacktailFA's avatar
It's not my design --- it was devised by LTV Vought, in response to specifications drawn-up by the USAF design bureau at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Moreover, the Blitzfighter has armor, and greater potential for maneuverability than any US warplane of it's time (and since), which alone make it one of the *least* vulnerable warplanes ever devised. This was later validated by the extraordinarily-low loss rates of A-10s during Desert Storm; [link]



ArmamentDawg's avatar
You really should stop reading Michael Sparks' essays as holy scripture. If built, the "Blitzfighter" will undoubtedly prove itself in counterinsurgency operations, such as bombing marijuana plantations and airfields used by drug smugglers (what the Brazilian Air Forces uses its A-29 Super Tucanos for), but against an enemy with modern air defenses? Against Iran, Russia, or China, whose air forces are powerful enough to challenge allied air superiority? The "Blitzfighter" will be a flying coffin for its crew.

And before you mention the A-10's effectiveness in ground attack, note that it's never used in the absence of American air superiority. Against forces powerful enough to challenge us, it'll be a sitting duck for long range air-to-air missiles, which enemy fighters will launch from beyond the A-10's ability to retaliate- no competent Flanker pilot will sacrifice his Su-27's speed advantage by dogfighting with the A-10 (see USAAF and USN fighters versus the A6M Zero). The Warthog can't carry a radar powerful enough to take advantage of the AMRAAM or other missiles, anyways.
BlacktailFA's avatar
"You really should stop reading Michael Sparks' essays as holy scripture."

I learned of the Blitzfihter from 'The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard', by Colonel James G. Burton. Mike Sparks didn't feature any information or photos of the Blitzfighter until after I posted the above pic on DA --- I know this, because I'm the one who sent him that information.

"...but against an enemy with modern air defenses?"

Yes, because the experience in Vietnam demonstrated that chaff, flares, jamming, speed, and altitude seldom protect against SAMS, AAA, MANPADS, or groung-fire. Only maneuverability, armor, and nap-of-the-earth flying are foolproof --- and this is what the Blitzfighter was designed around.

"And before you mention the A-10's effectiveness in ground attack, note that it's never used in the absence of American air superiority."

That isn't relevant to whether or not the Blitzfighter is an effective Attacker.

"Against forces powerful enough to challenge us, it'll be a sitting duck for long range air-to-air missiles"

BVR combat doesn't work. Less than 1/3 of all BVR shots in Desert Storm connected with the target, and the IQAF was a completely helpless victim who couldn't even see the attack coming. In Vietnam, only 1 in 200 Sparrow shots ever resulted in a kill, and none were even BVR. The 1999 Ethiopian-Eritrean War is a metaphor for the utility of BVR combat, as the first encounter between an Eritrean Mig-29 and an Ethiopian Su-27 resulted in both fighters firing all their AA-10 Alamos at each other, with no hits --- and the first to launch a WVR AA-11 Archer (the Su-27) achieved both the first hit, and the kill.

"The Warthog can't carry a radar powerful enough to take advantage of the AMRAAM or other missiles, anyways"

Radar isn't useful for ground attack, because for the most part, it doesn't work when you point it at the ground.
ArmamentDawg's avatar
The Blitzfighter will only be survivable in the presence of allied air superiority- that's why I referred to the A-10 "Warthog." As I noted, no competent fighter pilot would sacrifice his aircraft's speed advantage to dogfight with a ground attack aircraft.

As for experience in Vietnam, speed and altitude DO protect against enemy air defenses, if they're great enough- see the SR-71 Blackbird. Stealth helps, too- though it's not infallible (as the F-117 that was downed over Yugoslavia, proved), it can greatly reduces the range at which enemy air defenses can detect and engage the aircraft.
The-Last-Dragon-Kni's avatar
The-Last-Dragon-KniHobbyist General Artist
When was it designed?
The-Last-Dragon-Kni's avatar
The-Last-Dragon-KniHobbyist General Artist
There you go. Its 2012.
BlacktailFA's avatar
If the date of the aircraft's design invalidates it as a workable concept, that would mean the F15, F-16, A-10, EA-6B, and B-52 also have no merit. They were were *built* before 1978.
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MaxHD2490's avatar
is this aircraft the reason most other jets today are designed correctly? May I take a guess this Jet is a deathtrap besides being cheap?
BlacktailFA's avatar
Quite to the contrary --- have a look at the description of my original schematic of it; [link]

What makes it the USAF's worst nightmare is that the Army could have *legally* used this aircraft for it's own purposes, and in doing so, taken away the USAF's monopoly on CAS --- and all the power, privileges, and money that the USAF enjoys as a result.
MaxHD2490's avatar
in other word the Army hated the A-10 even all those years? Even if that jet is ugly but being tough design is another story. As for this jet I guess could work if 1. doesn't get its wings break from recoil or stress. 2. nothing but a giant gathling gun? thats that mean no flares to evade missles? 3. I'm not excalty sure how armored that jet is compare to A-10 last thing to worry about besides SAMs is a Mig-29 and a Su-27 (that also goes for later generation jets such as Sukoi PAK-FA).
BlacktailFA's avatar
Not the Army, the Air Force. I posted a comment on a blog that sheds light on the matter; [link]

1: The Blitzfighter was to have a reinforced frame and an armored fuselage (plus, it was to use the smaller GAU-14 instead of the huge GAU-7), so recoil wouldn't have been an issue. Moreover, the design was validated by both the USAF design department at Wright-Patterson AFB, and by engineers at LTV Vought.

3: Experience in Vietnam and the Middle East demonstrated that only maneuverability and flying over the deck were effective against SAMs and AAMs; ECMs were not, and the weight and payload penalties that aircraft suffered in carrying ECMs made them MORE vulnerable, not less. The Blitzfighter was also to fly mostly at treetop level, where SAMs would be unusable against it anyway.

3: A small target is a difficult target to find, no matter what sensors you're using, and a difficult one to hit. It's also virtually impossible to intercept such a target when it's flying NOE at high speeds through valleys, hills, and gorges. Combining that with the fact that the Blitzfighter was actually designed to *survive* a hit, and the enemy has a low-tech problem that renders all their existing high-tech solutions unworkable.
MaxHD2490's avatar
ok but how is it going to be built? and what material resources? I'm a bit worried nowadays most military aircraft are either upgraded from the cold war or newer airframes. Another question is the jet engine since it had to slow down to strike ground targets right? I doublt they may have radar control AA guns but thats unlikely right?

whats flying over the deck?
BlacktailFA's avatar
The Blitzfighter was to be built using existing aircraft components; only the armor, gun, and radios would have been new. There were (and still are) plenty of leftovers at the Boneyard in Tuscon.

"Another question is the jet engine since it had to slow down to strike ground targets right?"
I'm not sure I understand the question...

"I doublt they may have radar control AA guns but thats unlikely right?"
They would, but that's what the armor is for --- plus, jet aircraft flying both low and fast are notoriously difficult to hit with gunfire.

"whats flying over the deck?"
It means flying extremely close to the ground. As in, this low; [link]
MaxHD2490's avatar
The Blitzfighter would of been harder to detect by radar right? Small profile and very fast? (like a Mig-25 but without the speedbrick part)

What was talking about is the jet engine. The A-10 Turbo fan jet engine instead of a standard jet figheter one and I might see why they choose that for the A-10 (which gave the Thunderbolt II the slow speed part)

I guess the only thing that might be trouble for the Blitzfighter is heatseeking missles (nevermind the part those types have to in a closer range to fire) thanks to the high thurst heat signature from the Blitzfighter and the Blitzfighter doesn't have flares right?
BlacktailFA's avatar
With only a few thousand pounds of thrust, a maximum take-off weight close to 8000lbs, and an objective ground attack mission using only a gun, the Blitzfighter is almost the *antithesis* of the Mig-25.

The reason for the high-bypass turbofans used in the A-10 (and if it were built, the Blitzfighter) is because of their strength, durability, fuel economy, low cost, and the fact that a military low-bypass turbofan is overkill for an aircraft meant mostly to fly low and slow. In other words, very different missions generally require very different engines.

IR-Homing SAMs would have been a constant headache for Blitzfighter pilots, but not as great a threat as one might think. Most of them would be SA-7s and SA-9s, which aren't exactly the best missiles in their class. Another consideration is that aircraft flying fast over the tree-tops don't allow much time for a missile to lock-up their target (the US-made Chaparral missile takes at least 5 seconds to get a lock). As such, they won't be terribly effective unless you know which direction the Blitzfighters are attacking from --- and as they're mixed-in with ground clutter at very low altitudes, that's not going to happen with radar.
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zeraful's avatar
You like the design so much. You color it :|
anonymous's avatar
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