Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Regarding the Super Tucano warplane some items I was curious about and more or less answered thanks to the input from an acknowledged aviation authority.
1. That cost of a brand-spanking new Super Tucano about $9 million to $14 million USD. A large portion of that cost merely attributable to avionics alone?
Answer: "Depending on the role of the plane, more than half the cost can be for the avionics/electronics. For instance, one can buy a used MiG-21 for under $100,000 USD. But to fly it at useful altitudes above 18,000 feet, one has to have a $500,000 USD collision avoidance system installed, per FAA rules. Same for much of the stuff on warplanes--starts costing more than the basic airframe."
2. The Super Tucano equipped with a heavy machine gun, fifty-caliber [12.7 mm], but no provision for being fitted with mini-gun of 7.62 mm caliber. That latter weapon preferable in the counter-insurgency environment?
Answer: "The .50s [12.7 mm] penetrate more--even through walls, cars, etc. Most 'cover' doesn't work against the .50, whereas the .30s can be stopped more easily. And the damage when they hit usually means total incapacitation or death--amputations, wrecked torsos, etc."
"The point of a fight is always to bring something bigger than the other side has to do the hard work . . . many scientists and thinking fighters compare weight on target versus numbers. A 7.62 mm bullet weighs 147 grains. A .50 bullet [12.7 mm] weighs around 700 grains. And dozens of 7.62s bouncing off a lightly armored target doesn't compare to even one or two.50s going through it."
All the bells and whistles and also plenty of red-guarded switches. Regarding those "guarded" red switches once more from our acknowledged aviation authority:
"I note that I could see a lot of 'red guarded switches', causing me to remind you:
Don't fly in weather;
Don't fly at night;
AND DONT MESS WITH THE RED-GUARDED SWITCHES!!!"
Do you hear!! You had better!!