The best aircraft that never should have been built

I know I'm going to be pilloried by my fellow Canadians, but the Arrow was too much, too expensive, and had limited use.

Gorgeous plane, and Dief should have been shot for destroying the prototypes and plans.
But.
Yes, you are being severely berated for anti-patriotic thought by your fellow Canadians.
The potential it had and the industry that was destroyed by its cancellation is enough to justify its existence.
You could sell it to the Commonwealth or maybe USA if they want some extra planes in Thule AFB.
 
Look we all love the Awesome Avro Arrow but it wasn’t what Canada needed. That talent and industry going to a more suitable design that saw overseas success would be a fun mini-timeline.
 
Isn't the A10 fixation more of a civilian thing with servicemen actually having more of a love affair with the AC 130? Admittedly an AC130 is a death trap in anything but the lightest AA. Its only really viable in the post 9/11 low intensity COIN operations.
Actually, no. Army and Marine grunts in both Iraq and Afghanistan preferred the A-10 to any other CAS platform apart from the AC-130s-and those puppies were used mainly at night. Hog drivers often got close-even "Danger Close" to deliver ordnance on the bad guys-and that includes strafing runs. Apart from A-10s, only the Marine Harriers were willing to get that close on a routine basis because they also train hard from the get-go for the CAS mission. Other CAS platforms-up to and including B-1s, would get close, but often waved off if they were asked to hit targets the aircrew judged too close to friendlies, even with FAC assistance.
 
and decorating supplies.
There are strong and continuing debates around sex work for social disabilties.

And an inherent heterosexism.

Man Socialism really does kill people's love of fun. I bet you're reaction to getting a birthday cake is "These Nutrients could better serve the proletariat if made into a slurry padded out with potatoes". Poor bastards. If only communists could experience human emotions.
The chief issue is the dedication of economic resources to the military. The secondary issue is that primary accumulation has been shown to be prevelant in early industrialisation.

As far as human emotions go critique your own liberalism with liberalism.
 
Actually, no. Army and Marine grunts in both Iraq and Afghanistan preferred the A-10 to any other CAS platform apart from the AC-130s-and those puppies were used mainly at night. Hog drivers often got close-even "Danger Close" to deliver ordnance on the bad guys-and that includes strafing runs. Apart from A-10s, only the Marine Harriers were willing to get that close on a routine basis because they also train hard from the get-go for the CAS mission. Other CAS platforms-up to and including B-1s, would get close, but often waved off if they were asked to hit targets the aircrew judged too close to friendlies, even with FAC assistance.
The problem with any discussion on the A10 is that it has become the 'Song of My people' in popular myth and vids like the below are great viewing.


Popular myth and it seems the entire internet would suggest that A10 is the best plane for the job and its hard not to agree.

But how much of its real (or imagined) effectiveness relative to other air frames is its due to its single mission role and the crews do nothing else but train for CAS

Would the same pilots do better in a different aircraft.

One that is faster, can carry more fuel and bombs and has more modern systems?

Perhaps regardless of its actual true effectiveness is in increasing the morale of the troops on the ground.

And that alone might make the continued deployment of A10 Squadrons worth it.
 
The problem with any discussion on the A10 is that it has become the 'Song of My people' in popular myth and vids like the below are great viewing.


Popular myth and it seems the entire internet would suggest that A10 is the best plane for the job and its hard not to agree.

But how much of its real (or imagined) effectiveness relative to other air frames is its due to its single mission role and the crews do nothing else but train for CAS

Would the same pilots do better in a different aircraft.

One that is faster, can carry more fuel and bombs and has more modern systems?

Perhaps regardless of its actual true effectiveness is in increasing the morale of the troops on the ground.

And that alone might make the continued deployment of A10 Squadrons worth it.
Faster is not always better. When targets and friendlies are packed in together, you need to identify your target with the good old fashioned Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball. And to do that, you need to be low and slow. Being able to boom and zoom in and out of the target area before the enemy can shoot at you sounds all well and good. But you'll be in and out before you can shoot at them either. Why? Because you can't tell who's who. Guided weapons are not some universal panacea. There were multiple times in Iraq where bombs could not be dropped because friendlies or civilians were inside the blast radius of the bomb. The only CAS you're getting in that situation is a staffing run. And the only aircraft that pilots trusted enough to fly down in the weeds to do that, was the A-10.
 
You also have to consider that when the A-10 was designed and entered service guided weapons and proper targeting systems weren't nearly numerous enough to allow constant guided missions. As it is the optical Maverick the A-10 used in the first years had a very low pratical range so in any case you would be in range of SHORAD, so you want armor and electronic countermeasures to survive the mission.

Speed was more relevant for interdictors like the F-111 and Tornado that were intended to strike relatively static targets like airfields and the Warsaw Pact's logistical chain. There was clearly some sort of consensus within NATO that the air forces would focus on disturbing the Warsaw Pact's supply lines as the ground forces that NATO was willing to pay for may have been enough against the first echelon but were not durable enough to face strong 2nd and 3rd echelons, so you needed to prevent those from reaching the frontline.

Now, the only thing I'm really wondering about regarding the A-10 is whether the GAU-8 Avenger was the optimal tradeoff. This weapon really limited the other characteristics of the aircraft but it was only useful against the rear of Soviet tanks, which would be of dubious practical value because you then have to go behind the tank columns and face a lot more AA. I'd argue a 25 or even 20mm gun would be sufficient against light vehicles while being less of a burden (maybe enough space to fit more targeting systems like the Navy's TRAM Intruder's optical suite?).
 
Airbus A380
Airbus launched the €9.5 billion A380 programme on 19 December 2000. The first prototype was unveiled in Toulouse on 18 January 2005, with its first flight on 27 April 2005. Difficulties in electrical wiring caused a two-year delay and the development cost ballooned to €18 billion. It was first delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October. Production peaked at 30 per year in 2012 and 2014. However, Airbus had to concede that its $25 billion investment for the aircraft cannot be recouped. On 14 February 2019, after Emirates reduced its last orders in favour of the A350 and the A330 neo, Airbus announced that A380 production would end by 2021.
 
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Airbus A380
Airbus launched the €9.5 billion A380 programme on 19 December 2000. The first prototype was unveiled in Toulouse on 18 January 2005, with its first flight on 27 April 2005. Difficulties in electrical wiring caused a two-year delay and the development cost ballooned to €18 billion. It was first delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October. Production peaked at 30 per year in 2012 and 2014. However, Airbus had to concede that its $25 billion investment for the aircraft cannot be recouped. On 14 February 2019, after Emirates reduced its last orders in favour of the A350 and the A330 neo, Airbus announced that A380 production would end by 2021.
Good choice. Love the aircraft but just not economically viable.

There was a brief push to have the A380 in the contest for the next airforce one. The only competitor was obviously a variant of the Boeing 747 (much like the current aircraft). The effort foundered quick when it became clear that the contract would have required Airbus to build the production facilities for it in the US to produce a total of 2 aircraft. Combine that with the general financial and economic troubles of the A380 program and it was dead from the start. Still it would have been pretty cool (though really impractical) to have a Airbus 380 Airforce one. Something cool about having a plane that could fulfill the normal Air force 1 duties and also carry the better part of a battalion of marines.
 
Isn't the A10 fixation more of a civilian thing with servicemen actually having more of a love affair with the AC 130? Admittedly an AC130 is a death trap in anything but the lightest AA. Its only really viable in the post 9/11 low intensity COIN operations.
As others have noted that's not at all true as it was the Army/Marine, (mind you including out ALLIES Army command btw) pressure for the Air Force to field a "REAL" CAS aircraft that got the A-10 deisigned and into production. The Air Force itself never wanted or liked the A-10 and tried everything it could to get either an F-16, (though to be fair most of the AF command never liked the 'light-weight-fighter' concept either) or F-15 version as a CAS aircraft. They managed to finagle the Strike Eagle which was supposed to replace the A-10 but it was a two man aircraft among other 'issues' that ended up reducing its utility as a "fighter" aircraft.
(Mind you, one F-15E has the unique distinction of having taken out an Iraqui HInd Attack Helicopter in an "air-to-air" fight by hitting it with a paveway guided bomb so ... :) )

The AC-130 was another aircraft the Air Forced initially didn't want but the need was pretty clear as you needed a long-loiter, slow speed but high capacity platform that could 'orbit' an area and put accurate firepower on the bad guys and not the good guys. The original "Puff's" did just that, in large volume so it was clear that "zoom-and-boom" wasn't the best option for CAS. Hence WHY you got the development of the A-10. (And the Frogfoot once the USSR got the idea)

The problem with something like the AC-130 is that in order to get that accuracy it has to fly slow and pretty 'low' which makes it vulnerable to ground fire. The A-10 can get in and out faster at a lower altitude with pretty much the same accuracy even without guided weapons.

The problem with any discussion on the A10 is that it has become the 'Song of My people' in popular myth and vids like the below are great viewing.
Being ex-AMMO yes those vids ARE great viewing no matter the delivey system :)

Popular myth and it seems the entire internet would suggest that A10 is the best plane for the job and its hard not to agree.
Actually if we're being honest here "popular myth" on the A-10 is exactly the opposite as we've already seen in that it is suggested it is FAR from the 'best plane' for the job and that it can't survive on the modern battlefield, is too slow, too easy to damage and obsolete. The actual evidence would appear to show the opposite :)

But how much of its real (or imagined) effectiveness relative to other air frames is its due to its single mission role and the crews do nothing else but train for CAS
Lets re-phrase that a bit and see if it makes any more sense: How much is the real or imagined effectivness of the Cobra Attack Helicopter due to its single mission role and the crews doing nothing else but train for CAS? Continue that through the rest of the questions and then ask yourself why the Army trains pilots in the CAS mission when those pilots could be utliized in possibly more effective ways if they could also do OTHER air missions such as supply delivery and ar-superiority. Then ask yourself the BIG question: Why is a service who's MAIN goals are air-defense/offense/interdiction, strategic and tactical, (but NOT actual 'close air support) bombing and air logistics transport tasked with Close Air Support of VERY front-lines units? The Marine Corps has a seperate air service that is trained mostly in CAS but also has air-to-air and tactical bombing capability and training... Why doesn't the US Army? The 'answer' is the US Air Force and its post WWII attempts to grab control of all US military "flight" under it's banner

The on-going 'battle' over the A-10 is in fact a continuation of that conflict since it is an aircraft the Air Force never wanted and has been trying to get rid of for decades BECAUSE it has one and only one task of supporting the ground forces in close contact with enemy forces. The problem is that is exactly what those front-line ground forces NEED rather than a multi-role aircraft that can 'toss' some 'smart' bombs at the situation and hope things work out while it flies past at 300mph. This isn't a new or unique issue since it's been ongoing since the middle of WWI and I doubt it will ever go away unless someone gets smart and gives the Army back its own aircraft based CAS. (Fun fact, that was actually scheduled to happen! In 1990 the Air Force and Army cooperated to convince Congress to allow the Air Force to transfer their A-10s to the Army with the AF providing training (or transfering) pilots for the Army till they could stand up their own training and recruitment program. The AF insisted the Army call them OV-10s rather than "A"-10s because there was an informal agreement that the Army couldn't have fixed wing "attack" aircraft but could have fixed wing "observer" (OV) aircraft. The Army agreed and began drawing down it's force of OV-10 Bronco prop aircraft but...

There arose a little 'tif' in the middle-East that suddenly showed how great the A-10 actually worked and the Air Force had to decline the original deal and keep the A-10s. (And then start multiple program to 'replace' it with some variation of the F-16/15 and/or next generation "multi-role" fighter :) )
<snipped a bit>
Now, the only thing I'm really wondering about regarding the A-10 is whether the GAU-8 Avenger was the optimal tradeoff. This weapon really limited the other characteristics of the aircraft but it was only useful against the rear of Soviet tanks, which would be of dubious practical value because you then have to go behind the tank columns and face a lot more AA. I'd argue a 25 or even 20mm gun would be sufficient against light vehicles while being less of a burden (maybe enough space to fit more targeting systems like the Navy's TRAM Intruder's optical suite?).
When the GAU-8 was designed (early 70s) the DPU, (Depleted Uranium Armor Penetrator) round was supposed to be able to if not penetrate at least significantly damage the then standard Soviet armor. The GAU however wasn't actually tasked with ripping up tanks but APC's and other 'lightly' or unarmoured targets while the Mavrick's bombs and rockets were saved for the actual armored targets. Meanwhile even if the DPU rounds didn't penetrate the tank armor it would have a side effect of making it more difficult for infantry to move in close support of, or ride the armor due to the residual radioactivity. (Don't laugh, it was a 'plausible' concern since we were actually copying the concept from several "new" models of Soviet A2A missiles that they were deploying which had radioactive isotopes incorperated into the warheads for a similar purpose. Note that it SHOULD have been clear that this wasn't going to be a very effective tactic but they both went with it anyway :) )

In fact the DPU round doesn't actually have to penetrate the armor to do damage as the knetic transfer of multiple impacts DID cause the plate to flex and this could generate a 'spall' off the interior armor which would bounce around and damage the interior or crew. This was a known effect of these type of rounds and had a pretty easy 'fix' (flex layer which ironically in US tanks is a layer of depleted uranium :) ) but is something you can't actually 'retrofit' but have to re-armor the tank which gets expensive.

They went with a 30mm round due to the needed propulsion charge needed for the DPU round and this drove the rest of the gun requirements along with the eventual design of the A-10. The problems with the GAU-8 is why we designed a high velocity, long range 25mm gatling gun for an A-10 "replacement" CAS aircraft which was eventually fitted onto the AC-130 to replace the shorter range 20mm gatling guns. The 'plan' (if they ever actually get around to it at any rate) is to mount a similar gun on the next-gen CAS dedicated aircraft which the Air Force isn't wanting but the ground-pounders do. The 'problem' is it's become less and less reasonable to be able to mount a plausible "armore killing" gun on an aircraft smaller than a transport...

Not to say we haven't tried though :)

One of the main worries about the A-10 in the Fulda Gap was the often stated fact that the Soviet's had more tanks than we had missiles to kill them with. So one idea was to mount an out-and-out cannon, (75mm/105mm+ caliber) on a 'fighter' and have it pound the tanks alongside the A-10.
(Ignore the circular and often silly back-and forth arguments and check out the links here: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/the-future-of-aircraft-mounted-guns.31221/, no I'm NOT the OP but I do try and contibute to the subject :) )
While it seems crazy keep in mind we already do this with the AC-130 and have tested it on things like the OV-10A (auto-loading 90mm recoiless rifle) and there are patents to 'modernize' the idea by putting them on the B-1B. (https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=09963231&IDKey=666A1766EFB3 &HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%26Sect2=HITOFF%26p=1%26u=%252Fnetahtml%252FPTO%252Fsearch-bool.html%26r=1%26f=G%26l=50%26co1=AND%26d=PTXT%26s1=%25229,963,231%2Bb2%2522%26OS=%26RS=, https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/05/17/proposed-cannon-would-turn-b-1-bomber-gunship.html)

Add in guidance and propulsion assist, (rocket/ramjet/etc) it's got some force multiplier possiblites when augmented with mini-missiles and drones.

Randy
 
Why mount it? Mavericks and cluster bombs are better anti-tank weapons in the face of Soviet ADA.
When the Hogs arrived in Europe, the drivers started talking with the guys they were going to help out, and this included the Army's AH-1 (and later on, Apache) pilots. They worked out tactics where the Gunships would take on Soviet ADA vehicles (ZSU-23s, SA-9, SA-13) first, then unit command vehicles, before clearing the sky for the A-10s. Then the Hogs would come in. It worked well in exercises, but how it would've turned out in the Fulda or Hof Gaps, we'll never know (and be glad we will).
 
As others have noted that's not at all true as it was the Army/Marine, (mind you including out ALLIES Army command btw) pressure for the Air Force to field a "REAL" CAS aircraft that got the A-10 deisigned and into production. The Air Force itself never wanted or liked the A-10 and tried everything it could to get either an F-16, (though to be fair most of the AF command never liked the 'light-weight-fighter' concept either) or F-15 version as a CAS aircraft. They managed to finagle the Strike Eagle which was supposed to replace the A-10 but it was a two man aircraft among other 'issues' that ended up reducing its utility as a "fighter" aircraft.
(Mind you, one F-15E has the unique distinction of having taken out an Iraqui HInd Attack Helicopter in an "air-to-air" fight by hitting it with a paveway guided bomb so ... :) )

The AC-130 was another aircraft the Air Forced initially didn't want but the need was pretty clear as you needed a long-loiter, slow speed but high capacity platform that could 'orbit' an area and put accurate firepower on the bad guys and not the good guys. The original "Puff's" did just that, in large volume so it was clear that "zoom-and-boom" wasn't the best option for CAS. Hence WHY you got the development of the A-10. (And the Frogfoot once the USSR got the idea)

The problem with something like the AC-130 is that in order to get that accuracy it has to fly slow and pretty 'low' which makes it vulnerable to ground fire. The A-10 can get in and out faster at a lower altitude with pretty much the same accuracy even without guided weapons.



Being ex-AMMO yes those vids ARE great viewing no matter the delivey system :)



Actually if we're being honest here "popular myth" on the A-10 is exactly the opposite as we've already seen in that it is suggested it is FAR from the 'best plane' for the job and that it can't survive on the modern battlefield, is too slow, too easy to damage and obsolete. The actual evidence would appear to show the opposite :)



Lets re-phrase that a bit and see if it makes any more sense: How much is the real or imagined effectivness of the Cobra Attack Helicopter due to its single mission role and the crews doing nothing else but train for CAS? Continue that through the rest of the questions and then ask yourself why the Army trains pilots in the CAS mission when those pilots could be utliized in possibly more effective ways if they could also do OTHER air missions such as supply delivery and ar-superiority. Then ask yourself the BIG question: Why is a service who's MAIN goals are air-defense/offense/interdiction, strategic and tactical, (but NOT actual 'close air support) bombing and air logistics transport tasked with Close Air Support of VERY front-lines units? The Marine Corps has a seperate air service that is trained mostly in CAS but also has air-to-air and tactical bombing capability and training... Why doesn't the US Army? The 'answer' is the US Air Force and its post WWII attempts to grab control of all US military "flight" under it's banner

The on-going 'battle' over the A-10 is in fact a continuation of that conflict since it is an aircraft the Air Force never wanted and has been trying to get rid of for decades BECAUSE it has one and only one task of supporting the ground forces in close contact with enemy forces. The problem is that is exactly what those front-line ground forces NEED rather than a multi-role aircraft that can 'toss' some 'smart' bombs at the situation and hope things work out while it flies past at 300mph. This isn't a new or unique issue since it's been ongoing since the middle of WWI and I doubt it will ever go away unless someone gets smart and gives the Army back its own aircraft based CAS. (Fun fact, that was actually scheduled to happen! In 1990 the Air Force and Army cooperated to convince Congress to allow the Air Force to transfer their A-10s to the Army with the AF providing training (or transfering) pilots for the Army till they could stand up their own training and recruitment program. The AF insisted the Army call them OV-10s rather than "A"-10s because there was an informal agreement that the Army couldn't have fixed wing "attack" aircraft but could have fixed wing "observer" (OV) aircraft. The Army agreed and began drawing down it's force of OV-10 Bronco prop aircraft but...

There arose a little 'tif' in the middle-East that suddenly showed how great the A-10 actually worked and the Air Force had to decline the original deal and keep the A-10s. (And then start multiple program to 'replace' it with some variation of the F-16/15 and/or next generation "multi-role" fighter :) )


When the GAU-8 was designed (early 70s) the DPU, (Depleted Uranium Armor Penetrator) round was supposed to be able to if not penetrate at least significantly damage the then standard Soviet armor. The GAU however wasn't actually tasked with ripping up tanks but APC's and other 'lightly' or unarmoured targets while the Mavrick's bombs and rockets were saved for the actual armored targets. Meanwhile even if the DPU rounds didn't penetrate the tank armor it would have a side effect of making it more difficult for infantry to move in close support of, or ride the armor due to the residual radioactivity. (Don't laugh, it was a 'plausible' concern since we were actually copying the concept from several "new" models of Soviet A2A missiles that they were deploying which had radioactive isotopes incorperated into the warheads for a similar purpose. Note that it SHOULD have been clear that this wasn't going to be a very effective tactic but they both went with it anyway :) )

In fact the DPU round doesn't actually have to penetrate the armor to do damage as the knetic transfer of multiple impacts DID cause the plate to flex and this could generate a 'spall' off the interior armor which would bounce around and damage the interior or crew. This was a known effect of these type of rounds and had a pretty easy 'fix' (flex layer which ironically in US tanks is a layer of depleted uranium :) ) but is something you can't actually 'retrofit' but have to re-armor the tank which gets expensive.

They went with a 30mm round due to the needed propulsion charge needed for the DPU round and this drove the rest of the gun requirements along with the eventual design of the A-10. The problems with the GAU-8 is why we designed a high velocity, long range 25mm gatling gun for an A-10 "replacement" CAS aircraft which was eventually fitted onto the AC-130 to replace the shorter range 20mm gatling guns. The 'plan' (if they ever actually get around to it at any rate) is to mount a similar gun on the next-gen CAS dedicated aircraft which the Air Force isn't wanting but the ground-pounders do. The 'problem' is it's become less and less reasonable to be able to mount a plausible "armore killing" gun on an aircraft smaller than a transport...

Not to say we haven't tried though :)

One of the main worries about the A-10 in the Fulda Gap was the often stated fact that the Soviet's had more tanks than we had missiles to kill them with. So one idea was to mount an out-and-out cannon, (75mm/105mm+ caliber) on a 'fighter' and have it pound the tanks alongside the A-10.
(Ignore the circular and often silly back-and forth arguments and check out the links here: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/the-future-of-aircraft-mounted-guns.31221/, no I'm NOT the OP but I do try and contibute to the subject :) )
While it seems crazy keep in mind we already do this with the AC-130 and have tested it on things like the OV-10A (auto-loading 90mm recoiless rifle) and there are patents to 'modernize' the idea by putting them on the B-1B. (https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=09963231&IDKey=666A1766EFB3 &HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%26Sect2=HITOFF%26p=1%26u=%252Fnetahtml%252FPTO%252Fsearch-bool.html%26r=1%26f=G%26l=50%26co1=AND%26d=PTXT%26s1=%25229,963,231%2Bb2%2522%26OS=%26RS=, https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/05/17/proposed-cannon-would-turn-b-1-bomber-gunship.html)

Add in guidance and propulsion assist, (rocket/ramjet/etc) it's got some force multiplier possiblites when augmented with mini-missiles and drones.

Randy
Do you have a link for the Soviet radioactive missiles?
 
Do you have a link for the Soviet radioactive missiles?
Sadly they appear to no longer be available but I should note the articles don't actually address the useage an purpose because that wasn't an 'open' fact at the time nor much of one since that I can fnd. The reason "I" heard about it was as part of a classified intelligence briefing before we got releasted to run wild, er, that is carefully examine a bunch of Soviet equipment on display in a certain classified museum :) It was supposed to make battle damage repair more difficult but frankly our repair teams were already set up to handle much higher levels of radiation so the usage was likely nil anyway but someone thought it might be a good idea... Without asking the military I suspect :) I later learned that most battle damage repair teams were aware of possible radiation contamination of both high and low levels but not any specific source. (Other than nukes were flying in the 'war' and frankly by that point battle damage repair is going to be a much lower priority)

Yes, I know how that sounds but that was the situation at the time. Frankly the Soviet military thought it was a bad idea too and marked all the modified missiles for export... Which is where the above articles were from showing that Saddam had "atomic missiles!" because they were found to be radioactive... :)

I'm going to guess the reason it's not much known or more open is because it's 'technically' illegal ("poision" addetives to weapons) under the laws of war and the US has had enough flak about using DPU rounds as much as they did.

Randy
 
When the Hogs arrived in Europe, the drivers started talking with the guys they were going to help out, and this included the Army's AH-1 (and later on, Apache) pilots. They worked out tactics where the Gunships would take on Soviet ADA vehicles (ZSU-23s, SA-9, SA-13) first, then unit command vehicles, before clearing the sky for the A-10s. Then the Hogs would come in. It worked well in exercises, but how it would've turned out in the Fulda or Hof Gaps, we'll never know (and be glad we will).
And that was ANOTHER reason the Air Force didn't like the A-10, (and BTW did you know that the useage of the term "driver" was supposed to be an insult by 'fighter PILOTS' towards the 'lesser' airmen like Bomber and Transport pilots {truck drivers} and such? The A-10 pilots leapt on the name and ended up owning it :) ) because the A-10 pilots and commanders actually took the job they were given seriously and went as far as actually 'coordinating' tactics with the ground forces they were supposed to be supporting.

Randy
 
The L-1011 Tristar was, by all accounts, a solid airliner that was in many ways more advanced than the DC-10. But the market didn't have space for two wide-body trijets, the DC-10 proved more flexible, and Lockheed hadn't built a commercial airliner in a decade.

Also, Lockheed bribed people to buy the plane. Again.
 
The L-1011 Tristar was, by all accounts, a solid airliner that was in many ways more advanced than the DC-10. But the market didn't have space for two wide-body trijets, the DC-10 proved more flexible, and Lockheed hadn't built a commercial airliner in a decade.

Also, Lockheed bribed people to buy the plane. Again.
Plus MD was able to develop a long range version years before Lockheed did, giving them a significant advantage. Additionally, the DC-10 could be ordered with either General Electric or Pratt and Whitney engines while the L1011 was only offered with engines from Rolls Royce. And at the time the TriStar was being developed, RR was having severe financial difficulties (IIRC, they ended up declaring bankruptcy over the development of the engine for the TriStar). So that added another significant delay to the program. The L1011 was the superior aircraft in all respects, yet only 250 were sold compared to 446 for the DC-10 (including tanker variants for the Air Force)
 
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