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Fun with .ini editing

 

Whenever I look at the A-4 Skyhawk I think, that should have been a fighter. It's small and nimble. It has the advantages of a delta wing with a conventional tail. Sometimes I wish they'd stuck a J57 engine with afterburner from the Crusader in there, and saw what it could do.

 

Well, with the miracle of flight simming and some judicious .ini edits, we can do that. I replaced the J52 with the J57, added weight to match the difference in the two engines. I added a little wing area to cut back on the higher wingloading, changed the mission roles, and edited the loadout file.

 

And gawd, this one is fun to fly. Now it has power to go along with excellent maneuverability. If the F-8 was the MigMaster, then the F/A-4E is the MigDaddy. This can happily get into a knife fight in a phone booth with a Mig-17 and win it every time. Mig-21s? Bah! That's light work for this bird. This carries winders on strike missions too. So when Migs arrive to spoil your fun, they've got a nasty surprise waiting.

 

Below, are the files to install your own. It's just a modded A-4E so there is just a few files there. I've included a folder with the loadout file for a 6xWinder version. I think the "ter" rack needed to get 4xWinders on one pylon affects performance though, and personally I prefer the 4xWinder version. 

FA-4E.zip

 

And now some pics...

 

 

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A-4 Cockpit using F-8 radar

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Nice idea, but the J57 would never fit in the fuselage of the A-4. It has a 20cm bigger diameter and is more than 1 meter longer than the J52.

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Longer yes but actally roughly same diameter as it was an offshoot of the J57. For a true F/A-4, use the isreali version with extended tailpipes and put a F-404 in as was considered in the early 80s. McAir shot it down as competing with the Hornet......

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Interesting idea. I always thought, the scooter could be a decent fighter with a bit more thrust and some avionics and weapon change. Singapore actually installed non-afterburning F404s in A-4C airframes (A-4SU) in the mid 80s, but of course they were still used as attacker rather than a fighter. :)

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Yeah, I think the airframe would have to be modified (lengthened, widened) to accept the J57. It wouldn't look the same, but I don't have the ability to modify the 3D model.

 

I think I'll try putting in the F404 (from the F-18, correct?). That would make a lot of sense. I like it!


Interesting idea. I always thought, the scooter could be a decent fighter with a bit more thrust and some avionics and weapon change. Singapore actually installed non-afterburning F404s in A-4C airframes (A-4SU) in the mid 80s, but of course they were still used as attacker rather than a fighter. :)

Most interesting. It would be an even more potent light attack aircraft. I would've expected Singapore to go with Korea's T-50 Golden Eagle. I believe that uses the F404. The light attack/fighter aircraft are very interesting as budget fighters with a lot of bang for the buck.

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Longer yes but actally roughly same diameter as it was an offshoot of the J57. For a true F/A-4, use the isreali version with extended tailpipes and put a F-404 in as was considered in the early 80s. McAir shot it down as competing with the Hornet......

If wiki is correct, then the J57 has a diameter of 1.04 meters and the J52 had a diameter of 0.81 meters. On the first view it sounds not much, but it is a big difference.

With afterburner the J57 was 6.2 meters long, without AB 4.3 meters. The J52 was 3 meters long.

If you want to place the J57 with AB into a A-4, then you would need to make the tailpipe 3 meters longer. This would cause a shift of the center of gravity backward, so that the plane would become less stable to fly, perhaps instable.

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F-404 seems to be the way to go, although it puts it past your Vietnam timeframe.  already proven (didnt know Singapore did it) therefore known fit and give it life into the 80's and 90's with the primary users. 

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F-404 seems to be the way to go, although it puts it past your Vietnam timeframe.  already proven (didnt know Singapore did it) therefore known fit and give it life into the 80's and 90's with the primary users. 

 

I think I'll give it a whirl anyway. Could be fun. Thanks!

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I just now located the A-4M_78. I wanted the uprated Marine version from the beginning, and now I have it. The A-4M is already awesome without a super-engine, but I'll still try planting the F404 in it and see what happens.

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Interesting idea. I always thought, the scooter could be a decent fighter with a bit more thrust and some avionics and weapon change. Singapore actually installed non-afterburning F404s in A-4C airframes (A-4SU) in the mid 80s, but of course they were still used as attacker rather than a fighter. :)

Yeah, that was their intended role, but the Singaporeans used to rotate their QRA duties (still do, actually), between squadrons and their A-4SUs performed these duties right up to the time the F-15SGs became operational.

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Did anyone take into account that the A-4 has elevators, and not an all-flying tail? 

 

The Soviets tried to get away with a similar layout on the early MiG-19 prototype (the SM-9/2), which went into production in 1955.  Reports immediately started coming in, about the aircraft's lack of control when entering high-subsonic and transonic flight regimes. Subsequently, they switched to an all-flying tail (prototype SM-9/3), which eliminated the issue.

 

The A-4, while wonderfully maneuverable and imbued with a fantastic roll-rate and endurance, would have not benefited from an afterburning powerplant, without a costly redesign of the airframe.

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Did anyone take into account that the A-4 has elevators, and not an all-flying tail? 

 

The Soviets tried to get away with a similar layout on the early MiG-19 prototype (the SM-9/2), which went into production in 1955.  Reports immediately started coming in, about the aircraft's lack of control when entering high-subsonic and transonic flight regimes. Subsequently, they switched to an all-flying tail (prototype SM-9/3), which eliminated the issue.

 

The A-4, while wonderfully maneuverable and imbued with a fantastic roll-rate and endurance, would have not benefited from an afterburning powerplant, without a costly redesign of the airframe.

That is an outstanding point. Scheisse. I simply assumed advanced jets (60s and later) all had a flying tail. Honestly, that's mind-boggling. I didn't expect that. It makes sense though, if they never expected the Skyhawk to break the sound barrier. I have to say that A-4M (even without "what If" modification) is just outstanding. It gets up to 500 kts in a blink. Armed with Sidewinders it's a serious Fresco-Killer.

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That is an outstanding point. Scheisse. I simply assumed advanced jets (60s and later) all had a flying tail. Honestly, that's mind-boggling. I didn't expect that. It makes sense though, if they never expected the Skyhawk to break the sound barrier. I have to say that A-4M (even without "what If" modification) is just outstanding. It gets up to 500 kts in a blink. Armed with Sidewinders it's a serious Fresco-Killer.

 

That's why Top-Gun used the 'scooter as a MiG simulator well into the 1980s, in both E & F flavors, with a few modifications.

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I loaded the A-4M_78 with the F404 engine (from the F-18) as suggested and man, it's awesome. I loaded the afterburner in it too just for kicks. An interesting note is that I can't get it past Mach 1. There's something else in the flight model that's stopping it. It's still tremendous fun. Mig-23s jump me while I'm attacking fuel tanks. I just calmly blow the snot out of the tanks, light the burner and catch the Flogger before he knows what's happening. He can't accelerate nearly that fast and he can't out maneuver me either. He's doomed. Once, I smashed the fuel tanks, obliterated the hanger, strafed the parked aircraft, and downed 4 Mig-23s. Then the Air Force showed up. Landed back at base and it was Miller Time. drinks.gif.pagespeed.ce.9olfNKsCP-.gif

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