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Published on Jan 16, 2008
Clearly, the 1947 National Security Act creating the separate service USAF and quasi-separate USMC has been a total disaster with the Air Farce SAYING it wants to do ALL aviation functions but is only really interested in doing sexy fighter-bombing to try to win wars by their firepower alone. This over-reaction to the 1943 North Africa USAAF troubles by centralizing ALL air power functions has left the U.S. Army without a tactical air force to support ground maneuver by fixed-wing observation/attack and transport planes since these things are neglected by the USAF. When General Gavin proposed the Army "Sky Cavalry" he expected the flimsy and slow helicopter to be only a interim stop-gap to work around USAF racketeering corruption until VTOL/ESTOL fixed-wing aircraft became available--not the rotten use of helicopters for 60 years that has cost us thousands of lives and $ BILLIONS of dollars.
4, 000 helicopters lost in Vietnam led the still-with-common sense Army to want replacements that fly much faster--in the 300 mph range. The AH-56 Cheyenne compound helicopter with fixed-wings and a pusher prop in the tail could fly over 100 mph faster than current type helicopters.
When you break new ground problems arise, but most of the time they are solvable if the concept is sound (V-22 style tilt-rotors are not). Pilots are whiners not engineers; particularly Army/Mc rotorhead pilots who find any change in the status quo is "too hard".
Interservice Rivalry and Airpower in the Vietnam War, by Dr. Ian Horwood.
When asked what we would do for close air support (CAS), the USAF had to come up with a solution so they proposed the armored, fixed-wing AX "Stuka" that became the A-10 WartHog that is so successful-and thus hated by the USAF jet jocks.
The moral of this story is to stick to your guns--unlike the Army rotorheads who wimped out after the AH-56 back-stab cancellation and kept on flying slow, loud helicopters even when presented with conservative NOTAR quiet helicopters
and now desperately needs to fly much faster if it wants any kind of survivable, organic, close air support for ground maneuver. Armored STOL crop-dusters like the Thrush Vigilante are off-the-shelf solutions now that should be acted on instead of throwing model plane UAVs at a 50% crash rate.
...and tell the Air Farce to STFU since it ain't going to do the job--so stand out of the way of those than want to. To the Army rotorheads who think the status quo is AOK, they need to WTFU (wake the fu...) and stop marking no fly zones on maps before the whole sheet is redacted in black.
Want to know more?
Our book, "Air-Mech-Strike: Asymmetric Maneuver Warfare for the 21st Century"