Thanks much for the clarification and insight! This is the kind of info that is hard to weed out. When it comes to the 2 seat A-10, pretty much all the references mention it as a sidebar, but never really clear, concrete info like this.
One big question I had when studying the A-10B path was what exactly is meant by:
"Had the A-10B been produced, the FLIR would have been integrated into the front of the right main landing gear sponson." (WarbirdTech A-10 vol 20, pg 92).
I also came across a similar description that indicated that the Nav pod would have been integrated into the left landing gear sponson. Based on the passage, I envision that the pods would be have basically been mounted on the front of the sponsons, extending them accordingly. I get the impression that the concept was articulated, but no design work or prototyping was undertaken.
The only pic I have come across that shows the FLIR integrated into the sponson (from Flight International Magazine, December 1979)
Given, the testing was done with an AAR-42 FLIR pod and WX-50 ground mapping radar, I also wonder if the same consideration would have been given to the promised LANTIRN AAQ-13/14 system. To go one step further on an already shaky limb, I am curious how such an arrangement may have affected the location of the pylon stations (ie: would the sponsons have been widened instead of extended to accomodate the layout of the AAQ-13 Nav pod).
I suppose that's part of the fun here- if it had eventually manifested and seen operational use during Desert Storm, what would an A-10B have looked like? Thoughts and notions that come to my mind include:
- Operational use of the centerline fuel tank to increase range and offset the additional weight of a complete armored tub (I came across pics where testing was done with up to 3 tanks on the A-10 N/AW)
- LLTV in lieu of the Pave Penny on the forward fuselage mount
- One piece canopy hinged at the rear instead of the 2 piece, side hinged canopies
AAR-42 and WX-50 pods
Nice close up of the AAR-42
Really interesting pic of the A-10N/AW with what appears to be no less than three 600 gallon drop tanks.
Academic, but interesting to mull over (to me anyway )
In regards to the Verlinden set- yeah, dated and a bit of a disappointment, but it's a step in the right direction. I'm really looking to build this up in a matter of weeks rather than months this time, so I'll have to compromise a bit.
Thanks again for looking in on my build!
Edited by EmperorKai, 08 November 2014 - 09:43 PM.