A baby Grizzly ??

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Picking up on a suggestion of a new STOL transport by Jackonicko in this thread should now be the time for Airbus to be looking at bringing a baby Grizzly to market.

Lets call it an A200M, using a new wing which would utilise as much as possible a scaled down A440M wings with 2 of the same engines. and an essentially common cockpit/ flight control system.

I know that Airbus have the C-295 in it's stable and is very capable for what it does, and is an excellent platform for Maritime Patrol, but a taller, wider Cargo Box appeared to be a selling point for the Aussies in selecting the C27J.

Would such a proposition have a place in the current market? And more to the point would there be enough countries placing orders to make such an aircraft a viable proposition ?

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As you rightly point out, Airbus is currently selling a direct competitor in this market. It would be a waste of investment to bring in a new aircraft (until the A400M is at least mature).

What might be interesting is if they follow the Airbus philosophy and just update the cockpit, to increase commonality to reduce training etc.

Engine wise, there is a HUGE difference between the C-295's 2,645shp, and the 11,000+ shp in the A-400M

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I meant something much more radical.

An aircraft with the STOL capability of the Caribou/Buffalo and the rough field capability of the Andover (which could take off and land on a ploughed field!). A simple, affordable fixed wing aircraft that could replace Chinook or Osprey over a significant proportion of their mission sets, but that retained the operating cost advantages of a fixed wing transport.

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I wasn't really thinking of the caribou/buffalo, but something more of a C-160 Transall replacement, a wider and taller cargo box than the C-295 so not in direct competition, but something that would fit in terms of lift/cargo box size between the C-295 and the A400M

The A400M engines would be over powered, but that extra power, together with "barn door flaps" would give good short field performance.

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The Transall was designed to a very specific requirement, to get a cargo box similar to that of the C-130 in a generally smaller twin-engined aircraft, for shifting lots of stuff over relatively short ranges. That requirement no longer exists in the air forces that bought Transall. Their requirement for a replacement resulted in the A400M, with a bigger cargo box, twice the cargo weight, & much longer range.

Since Transall was a bit of a flop in export sales, it might be that a direct replacement isn't really wanted.

As you rightly point out, Airbus is currently selling a direct competitor in this market. It would be a waste of investment to bring in a new aircraft (until the A400M is at least mature)...

Engine wise, there is a HUGE difference between the C-295's 2,645shp, and the 11,000+ shp in the A-400M


An A200M with two TP400s would not be a direct competitor to the C295. It'd have twice the power. Slightly more than the C-130J, in fact. It'd be a direct competitor for the C-130J, not the C295.

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Which brings the thread back to one of my original points of starting the thread, in that Airbus and the C-295 lost in a direct competition to the C27J in Australia because it was so much smaller.

Does Airbus concede the C27J size lifter market to Lockheed/Alenia or consider an A200M alternative?

Is the market big enough for that size of lifter for 2 types to flourish?

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I thought the A400M was supposed to be the competitor of the C-130J...

I personally don't think an A200M is a good idea, it would be too costly for a far too little market that usually is looking for cheap aircraft (which is why LM is offering a watered down version of the C-130J). Airbus would likely be losing money on such an aircraft and would have to sell it gold to the few customers that might be interested.

Developing a slightly larger version of the C-295 might be a solution, but I doubt anyone will bother. The C-27J might have a larger cabin, but I don't think it's so different to justify developing a new aircraft to compete with it (the Australian case been a bit special) for the same price range and size you can get an KC-390, C-130J, C-295, AN-12...

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I'd rather they throw money at a single engine A100M. Mount the engine on top to drive a tractor prop in the leading tip of the tall T tail. Guppy shape with a hinged head for quick ro-ro access. High wing. Offer pod engine underwing kits to create STOL conversions.

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I thought the A400M was supposed to be the competitor of the C-130J....

A competitor only in the sense that it can do everything the C-130J can do. It can also do a lot more.

If everything you want to do can be done by the C-130J, the A400M is not relevant to you. We're not talking about 737 & A320 here, two similar aircraft where the choice of which one to buy is down to fine differences in performance & price, but where either would do, 99% of the time. A400M is no more a direct competitor to the C-130J than it's a direct competitor to the C-17.

A hypothetical A200M would be squarely in the C-130J size bracket, not the C-27J size bracket. It'd have a bit more power than the C-130J, over twice as much as the C-27J, four times as much as the C-295.

If Airbus thinks there's a market for two aircraft the size of C-27J, A200M is not the answer. It'd have to develop something smaller, with different, smaller, engines - but I doubt that Airbus would take seriously any proposal to develop such an aircraft. C-295 is selling slowly, & C-27J (now that the USA is pulling out) even more slowly, I can't imagine Airbus wanting to throw money at freighters in either of those size ranges.

There could, perhaps, be a market for a simpler, cheaper, A400M-sized aircraft. The nearest equivalent at the moment is the Il-76, but that's based on the past supply of ex-Soviet aircraft at knock-down prices. When they wear out, there's no real replacement at the moment. Something which can use austere airfields, & has a fatter cargo box than the Il-76, could find buyers if cheap enough. But the market wouldn't be big. I can't see it being worth developing a completely new type.

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I wonder if even Airbus had a direct competitor in cargo capacity terms to the C-27J if it wouldn't lose anyway to LM in Australia because of politic reasons.

Air forces don't look only or that much at the aircraft's cargo capacity any more. While the C-295 might loose when it comes only to cargo capacity, it might win in a competition because of its troop carrying capacity, operating costs and, more importantly to some, the maritime patrol variant that it offers.

Cheers,

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Yes, it depends on the needs of the customer, & how well the aircraft fits those needs.

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I wonder if even Airbus had a direct competitor in cargo capacity terms to the C-27J if it wouldn't lose anyway to LM in Australia because of politic reasons.

I suspect it wasn't politics, but the uncertain support arrangements that would be an integral element of an Airbus buy. In short, all of the ADF's recent purchases from European aerospace suppliers have been an unpleasant experience: Tiger, NH-90, KC-30. C-27J would have enabled the RAAF to buy into USAF support and logistics arrangements.

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Embraer is proposing the KC-390 (link to ares blog).

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Casa had the project of a big twin engined plane before than the A-400 project, C-2XX was called, so it´s nothing new. And for now the 295 is a better value for your money than the C-27J, as happenned with the G-222 Vs CN-235.

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I suspect it wasn't politics, but the uncertain support arrangements that would be an integral element of an Airbus buy. In short, all of the ADF's recent purchases from European aerospace suppliers have been an unpleasant experience: Tiger, NH-90, KC-30. C-27J would have enabled the RAAF to buy into USAF support and logistics arrangements.

Are you saying that SH-2G & Wedgetail have been good experiences, or that KC-767 would have been better than KC-30? Look at the Japanese & Italian experiences.

If selecting C-27J was meant to enable tapping in to USAF logistics, it must have left a rather bad taste in RAAF mouths.

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Are you saying that SH-2G & Wedgetail have been good experiences, or that KC-767 would have been better than KC-30? Look at the Japanese & Italian experiences.

If selecting C-27J was meant to enable tapping in to USAF logistics, it must have left a rather bad taste in RAAF mouths.

C-27J was never actually selected; it only got as far as the Department of Defence seeking FMS sales information. Since the uncertainty around the role of the C-27J in USAF service has emerged, the project has essentially gone into hibernation. Alenia's public fight with the USAF and stated stance regarding support for any aircraft onsold by the USAF has probably killed the project. I suspect the ADF will simply buy more CH-47s.

Wedgetail was late true, but by all public accounts was free of the last minutes dramas and squabbling over their causes and fixes that has marked the KC-30. The KC-30 still can't refuel using its boom, while Wedgetail is fully operational

SH-2G(A) was not an FMS buy, and the project was clouded as much by RAN decisions and the impact of changes to the ADF's certification practices and standards while development was underway as it was by contractor performance.

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I wonder if even Airbus had a direct competitor in cargo capacity terms to the C-27J if it wouldn't lose anyway to LM in Australia because of politic reasons.

I think the most important question is which country among the airbus consortium would buy a sized down A-400M version ? A military product not been bought by the countries that produce it don't sell to well usually.
The important thing is that C-27J and C-295 both have a domestic market to rely on.

Now as it happens, mos new airlifters tend to be medium to large sized, the C-130J come in a stretched version, the A400M replaces the C-160 and older version C-130, Brazil is developing the KC-390, Japan the Kawasaki C-2, China the Shaanxi Y-9 and Russia the An-70 which are all in the A400M class.

Now maybe a modernized C-160 would do the trick (I'm quite sad to see the type going away) since it would be in the right spot to compete with the C-27J at a lower cost than developing a all new airframe. The question is which European country would support such a program ?

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The domestic markets for the C-27J & C-295 consist of 12 & 13 aircraft. That's very minor.

The Shaanxi Y-9 & KC-390 are much smaller & lighter than A400M, more like C-130 class than A400M class. Only C-2 & An-70 are similar in size & capacity to A400M.

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As Swerve is pointing out A400 effectively sits between the C130J and C17 performance wise. There are two main reasons why the A400 is listed as a a C130 rival:

1) There are a significant number if airforces that have elderly C130 in need of replacement.

2) It solves the major issue with the C130 of having a small cargo box vs installed power.

EADS already have a more then adequate rival to the C27J in the CN235/CN295 that is selling more then well. A twin engine A400 variant would be as Swerve says a C130 rival and would suffer the same problem that the KC390 suffers...Lockheed Martin can undercut any new development with a C130 economy version...which shock horror is exactly what LockMart have done with the C130XJ!

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I tried to post this before the week, but the site was down for maintenance (again!), but thought it would help put some things in perspective.

Whilst the A400M may be looking to take C-130 orders, it is far more capable, think of it of fitting right between the C-130 and the C-17. Details are Max airlift Dimensions are L*W*H) (most from Wikipedia)

C-295: 9.2tonnes (4.5 tonnes to 2,600m)(loading bay 12.7*2.7*1.9m)
C-27J 11.5tonnes, (10tonnes to 1,150m), (loading bay 11.4*3.3*2.5
C-130: 19tonnes, (15.8tonnes to 1,800m) Loading bay 16.8*3.12*2.74)
A400m: 37 tonnes (30 tonnes to 2,450m),(loading bay 17.7*4*3.85m)
C-17: 77.5tonnes (72 tonnes to 2,400m) (20.8*5.5*4.5 (or 3.85 under wing))

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Thanks Giblet, I've been trying to pull similar figures together, but couldn't find sets where all were using metric or imperial.

To add a couple more that have been mentioned...

KC390: 23.6 tonnes (17.75*3.45*2.9)
XC-2: 37.6 tonnes (16*4*4)

The A200M that I suggested in the first post, would possibly fit into the range of ..

13 Tonnes with a box size of 12.5-13m long*3.5m widest*2.5-2.8m lowest height.

In other words an airbus product to take loads that for height and width couldn't fit into C-295, but would rattle around inside an A400M.

I could be very wrong, but my thoughts were that a pair of TP400s would be able to deal with this specification.