Air Force, Army agree on light cargo aircraft

March 3rd, 2006  

Topic: Air Force, Army agree on light cargo aircraft

Air Force, Army agree on light cargo aircraft

By Michael Fabey
Times staff writer

The Air Force and Army have agreed on a new name and a new joint program to develop a fleet of light cargo aircraft, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Gen. Michael Moseley, the service chief of staff, told lawmakers March 1.
The two services could buy a total of more than 200 aircraft.
The plane will now be called the Joint Cargo Aircraft, the Air Force leaders told the House Armed Services Committee. Until now, the Army had called its aircraft the Future Cargo Aircraft and the Air Force called its version the Light Cargo Aircraft.
Last year, contractors competed for an Army deal to replace the service’s roughly four dozen C-23 Sherpas. But as the Army began to seek more and more aircraft, Air Force officials became concerned that the Army might infringe on its turf. The two services began to work on a joint plan at the end of the year.
Moseley said there is no interservice “squabbling” on the plane.
The Army will buy about 70 planes to replace its Sherpa fleet, Moseley said after the committee hearing.
The Air Force might buy 150, but has not determined a number yet, he said.
“The Sherpa is not really an intra-theater plane,” Moseley said. “What we’re talking about is a no-kidding intra-theater aircraft that can defend itself.”

What do you guys think? Will this be a good replacement for the Sherpa, which I know nothing about?
March 3rd, 2006  
The Sherpa was designed to work the rear and outer areas of the theater and the crews love them. One has never been shot down and they're very rugged. The crew usually flies the aircraft at 200 mph and 100 ft or less off the ground so by the time it's spotted from the ground, it's gone.
I think the Armed Services want something more sexy looking, the Sherpa was built on welding two aluminum boxes together, in other words a more expensive aircraft armed to the teeth to do the same job as the Sherpa.

"Configured as a troop transport, the Sherpa provides comfortable, air-conditioned seating for 30 passengers, features "walk about" headroom, a removable latrine unit, and has a 500 lb capacity / 345 cu. ft. baggage compartment located in the nose of the aircraft. Additional space for a 600 lb capacity optional baggage pallet is provided on the rear ramp of the aircraft."

"During airborne operations, the aircraft accommodates 27 paratroopers. Optionally, it can be outfitted to handle up to 18 stretchers plus 2 medical attendants. The airplane meets Army Short Take-off & Landing guidelines (STOL), can operate from unpaved runways and is equipped with self-contained ground handling equipment. Operational experience with this remarkable aircraft has proven it to have low maintenance costs and low fuel consumption."

2 Pratt-Whitney PT6A-65AR turboprops
218mph at 10,000ft 770 miles with 5000lb payload

Crew of three
up to 7000lb of freight, including 4 LD3 containers, and engines the size of F100 series
March 3rd, 2006  
G Connor
We have been down the "Multi-mission" aircraft yellow brick road before and how well did that turn out? While the jury is still out on the Joint Strike Fighter, the joint AF-Navy F111 experiment certainly didn't pan out. Let the squids sail the boats, the grunts sleep in the mud, the jarheads eat snakes and the flyboys drink at the officers' club. Why overlook the obvious answer to the question.