Military Aircraft that should have entered service

The A-38 was tested at Elgin AAF in simulated field conditions, and it easily passed the AAF test program.

The TBY:
TBY-2 in flight.jpg
It would've took Michelangelo to come out with an attractive 3-seat 1-engined bomber that has an actual bomb bay and two defensive MG station.
A/FX: no designation had been assigned, but this was a planned two-seat variable geometry aircraft for both the Navy and AF for the deep-strike mission. Intended as the replacement for both the A-6 and the F-15E, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed and Boeing in a team proposal, and Northrop, all submitted proposals. The program was terminated and folded into what became the Joint Strike Fighter program in the early Clinton Administration. The aircraft would've been a stealth aircraft, with internal weapons bays, but would've also had the ability to carry external weapons pylons when stealth was not considered to be a factor in a mission.
Was this also supposed to replace the F-14? It seems like it could have served as a long-range interceptor as well.
The A/FX was meant to be a deep-strike aircraft, not an interceptor. Not that they wouldn't have been used in that role if needed, but the primary role was strike.

The TBY might have seen combat if the delays in getting the factory built hadn't happened: The first training squadron might have stood up late '43 or early '44, and the first Fleet squadrons formed up after that. When it might have gone into combat is conjecture, but best guess might be Oct '44, in time for Leyte Gulf, but no later than Jan '45 (First carrier strikes on the Japanese mainland were on 17 Feb 45 to support the upcoming Iwo Jima landings).


'Spey' anything.

The real problem child would be the Spey powered 'Twosader', which is a really cool plane but not what the RN needs. But the likes of the Spey Mirage III and IV would be awesome.
The Pogo? Unless a reliable why of landing the beast at sea is developed what's the point. The only option I can think of that might have worked is if the pilot could have snagged a wire of some sort and been winched down onto the deck.

For landing VTOL fighters on small decks, look up the "Skyhook" system tested on a British Harrier during the late 1980s. The project started when a British test pilot returned from landing trials on the French aircraft carrier Foch. He complained about heavy rolls almost sliding him off the deck after landing. Discussion turned to some sort of haul-down system like the European Harpoon or Canadian Beartrap systems. Then an engineer asked "Why don't we just grab it in flight?"
So they attached a socket to the spine of a two-seater Harrier, above the centre of gravity. Then they designed a "grabber" and hung it from a crane. The "grabber" contained a fuel hose with an automatic quick-disconnect fitting. The Skyhook concept involved refueling the Harrier while it hovered alongside the ship. If needed, the crane would swing it onboard and lay it on a cradle pre-loaded with bombs.
They even discussed removing landing gear to allow another ton (?) of bombs or fuel. Ultimately, they hoped to fly Harriers from frigates.
Testing got as far as docking the Harrier on a ground-mounted crane.

I suspect that their biggest problem was electronics too slow to stabilize the crane and "grabber" in heavy seas.
May I suggest that the next series of experiments concentrate on attaching the base of the crane closer to the ships Neutral axis for roll, pitch and yaw? That would reduce the amount of stabilization software.

A simpler system was developed by the US Navy during the 1930s when they hooked Curtis Sparrowhawk fighters under the airships Akron and Macon. The Sparrowhawks had huge hooks on top that caught a trapeze extended below the airpship. Then Sparrowhawks were hoisted inboard the hull for refueling and re-arming.

During the Cold War, the USAF also experimented with Goblin parasite fighters, but concluded that they were too small to defend strategic bombers (B-36, B-52, etc.).

Having operated the Beartrap system on the flight decks of HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Iroquois, I would never want to attach a haul-down cable to a Harrier! Even Sea King helicopter exhaust is too hot for comfort on a warm day! Those 40 degree rolls would soon toss overboard any aircraft not CLAMPED to the deck a second after landing.

Master Corporal (retired) Rob Warner CD, BA, etc.
Air Frame Technician