McDonnell-Douglas A-12A 'AVENGER'

Notes: All weather, TWO-CREW attack aircraft. Carrier based used for land and sea interdiction and close air support.
  Base model:A-12
  Designation System:U.S. Tri-Service
  Designation Period:1962-Present
  Basic role:Attack





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06/23/2012 @ 15:38 [ref: 61428]
 Seth Kettleman
 Harpers Ferry, WV
I have recently acquired an original canopy from the infamous McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II aircraft. It is authentic and no mock-up. It is marked with all manufacturing and serial numbers.

I can be reached at seth@transturbine.com
12/13/2011 @ 12:07 [ref: 51117]
oh, btw... my email is TEXACA@JUNO.COM, THANK YOU IN ADVANCE
07/15/2008 @ 10:31 [ref: 22147]
Richard Kilby OF Mojave, CA<<<<< Says: "that he owns the Full scale mockup of the A12 aircarft..." Does anyone know Richard, or know his email, or how to get a hold of him, and know where his museum is located, the one he mentioned in his post... This unit was stored at the Lockheed/GD Plant at the Joint-Military base at Fort Worth, which was called Carswell AFB...
Anyone have any new updates on the where-abouts....
thank you --- Alfredo

07/15/2008 @ 10:28 [ref: 22146]
 Kurt Plummer
 , CO
Some things to keep in mind...

1. The Avenger II VLO never worked. It can't. Because whenever you put a straight edge behind a swept/canted one, it is the former which dictates the travelling wave index of return to any given emitter bearing. The leading edge merely serves to scatter the Mie speculars across a BROADER horizon (auroral fuzz as opposed to lightning quills of direct spiking).

Such is what proper Planform Alignment (half off the back = _1/4_ off the front, pre-RAM) is all about.

As such, a proper A-12 would have looked like the B-2.

It also would not have recovered to a deck worth a durn as the outer panel trailing edge index hingelines across the 'spoilervators' would have been incompatible with the approach angle and the funky chicken behaviors of the outboard controls would have really played merry hell with the control mixing at a point in the envelope where you cannot afford to dorking about with response curves and rate saturations in the FLCS code.

Now add all the 'marine environment' crap and crud which continually pits and grimes the fuselage of naval air and /guess/ how likely it is you are going to keep your .0001 (-35db or better) 'frontal LO factoring'.

Then there's the joke that was the 'venetian blind' effect of the inlet solution. You want a device, you place it RIGHT IN FRONT OF the engine and you 'cant' the impedence loaded vanes trans-radially to bounce the signal off of DEEP RAM internal panels. Not the bloody lip.

2. Even discounting FLCS problems, flying wings, at least of the design shown and with the control effectors selected, are not capable of 'suitable' integration with a carrier ops environment.

The moment arm relationship between pitch control (AOA for sink) and lift vectors (speed for drag) just doesn't work on such a short chord body. The A-12 having a length roughly equivalent to a Mk.1 Spitfire, yet it's span is roughly four feet short of an F-14 at minimum sweep.

You crank the airfoil up and the critical (float) lift margin gets so high, so fast, that the plane just says "You wanna fly, OK, let's fly!". And your pendant scatterpoint control becomes utterly random.

You APC the power back or adjust cambered surface effector ratios with slotted flaps or autolift dump (the F-14 spoiler solution) and the plane gets sluggish and porpoises until it is so far behind the power curve that nothing can save it. Especially with that 'fat wing' drag modifier they threw in, halfway through the program.

'Somewhere inbetween' the relevant onspeeds and stall margin, directional and rolloff (roll angle for sideslip at AOA X) gets coupled on the effectively noseless (keelless) aspect ratio and the wing tries to zero the sweep effect 'with one side or the other' coming forward.

The resultant terminal approach behavior (over the rounddown and through the buffet) being like that of a crosseyed, drunken, elephant sliding into first base on buttered rollerblades.

3. From the very start, the jet was /massively/ overarmed and under structured for the warload/gas combination required by the Navy. IIRR, the original 'CAS' spec (though why you would want to...) was for something like X12 Mk.82 _per side_.

The alternatives for Mk.83/.84 paired munitions were not much better (X5 and X4, per side, _internally_, IIRR).

Add to this, multiple overlapping navalization requirements for maintenance access and corrosion control on a nominally 'no holes, no gaps' Stealth airframe that had to use RAM in huge quantities to compensate for it's planform deficiencies, and you end up with a jet that weighs, not in the 37-39,000lb EEW range.

But something more akin to 45-47,000lbs. EMPTY.

That should have IMMEDIATELY spelled the end of the program because right there, just on a 24K fuel and 5,500 weapons load basic TOW, you're looking at takeoff weights in the 75-80,000lb range which can only be handled by a single rated C-13 catapult on the /largest/ of the CVs.

With all this weight problem (I think the USN originally estimated 3,500lbs overage, lied to GD about it then gasped themselves as the final weigh increase went to 7,800lbs _for the FSD prototypes_), the core mods they were looking at for the F404 (11,900 and 14,500lbst IIRR) simply didn't have the umph to maintain positive SEROC on a fully loaded takeoff.

Or bringback within the 137 knot approach (gear transfer) speed on non-expended PGMs in a 'Deny Flight' type patrol loadout of just 2 LGB and a pair of HARMs plus AMRAAM.

For the weight range given, you need something like the F118 or F414 type cores in the 16-18,000lbst class and the jet simply wasn't big enough to do that without taking the nominal 850-1,108nm radius improvement right back down to A-6E '550nm class'.

Which of course also would have spelled doom for the jet if any of the JRMB/DAB review agencies within OSD had taken acccurate Milestone 1 data back to a sceptical Congress that wants improvements in all areas, 'or else'.

After ATF, the left-out contractors were hungry and desperate for a requirement until the first of the Light Weight Fighters started timing out around 2000-2005 (DS pushed this up, at least for the F-16A/18A by almost a decade, showing what _real war_ does to overworked airframes fatigue indices).

The USAF, having secured their perch atop VLO, wanted to pull the rug out from under USN deepstrike (they faced a major cost vulnerability if simple SEAD continued to let a 1950's mixed-package force concept to work over the beach).

And the OSD and Navy were just dumb enough to collude with both these predatory impulse needs in starting something they had /no idea/ how to finish.

And which their own internal auditors stated would exceed the original 3.5 billion dollar development funding limit (all that was allowed within the F-14D and A-6F 'backup plan' options) by almost double. BEFORE procurment mind you. They were talking 7.5 billion dollars.

In the face of such unaffordability -at the outset- the USN could only bluff Congress by using Special Access Required rules to bypass all the 'paperwork' (MENS or Mission Element Needs Statement in particular but also COEA, and CPS).

And the USAF was quite willing to abet their attempted fraud by promising to play ball with equally "You may officially know one or the other but never bust down a compartment to talk about both in the same room" SAR restricted (legally, you can go to jail for 20+ years for breaking these rules) VLO data for the F-117 and B-2 materials research.

The Blue Suiter's were lying through their teeth of course and when it became obvious (by late 1988) that the A-12 would not get a windfall bene from any other VLO efforts, every wheel in the signature reduction art had to be reinvented rather than duplicated which meant that GD in particular could never get any relief in generating some timely production drawings (at which point they would have discovered how hard it is to 'scale up' massively monolithic composites in the production engineering phase).

Again, ALL of this _was deliberate_. By OSD to feed the Military Industrial Base monster. By the USAF to start the snowball which would avalanche USN deepstrike. And by the the Navy itself in it's ego driven quest to either dominate it's own power structure (Lehman was a cowboy and a FOOL) or match the USAF for the new sex-word: Stealth at the yearly beggars convention on The Hill.

But the one thing most people DON'T GET (certainly from Stephenson's book) is that the Contractors were just as big a bunch of shysters because they had multiple Sneaky Pete/Have Key opportunities to _flight test_ the flying wing concept under reduced observables prototype testing programs which DID produce flying hardware.

Even as they could have exploited basic Northrop engineering in the YF-23 planform control theory (as every AvLeak Reader surely did).

And thus discovered /why/ the USAF system of 'unnecessary computer models' was useful because it allowed characterization of the secondary returns that are in fact only -detectable-, _off the pole_ (background clutter is greater than the fuzz but the latter is still detectable to powerful search systems, especially those longwave systems designed to scan for halfwave period dipole resonators).

And they never exploited this in-house knowledge and denied without credibility, that they had it in their possession when they were spending MILLIONS for industrial park type military construction that had little or nothing to do with expanding the A-12 engineering database with either basic research or production prep.

The irony then being that:
A. The USAF shot itself in the foot because valuable A2G and 'integrated' (shared cost ICNIA/INEWS and civillian PPC architecture) avionics development was effectively bypassed to bring an 'F/A-22' to service with almost no ground attack capability.

Now they are stuck with an F-35A that is going to cost 100 million plus dollars instead of the 'CALF' 50 that it should have. Because they are carrying the flatbacked Marine and Navy mission platform requirements that they knowingly destroyed in creating the tacair trainwreck of funding concurrency.

B. The USN lost not only all trust within the five wall asylum for aviation programs (Never, EVER, make the SecDef look like he doesn't rule his own house!), but also got stuck with a single engine 'fighter' (F-35C) that does effectively the same mission, in the same weight category, with half the potential VLO and a quarter of the 2-seat systems management and loiter options of a properly designed _attack_ bomber.

Something that is rather important when you are flying 700nm /before/ hitting targets around Kabul.

The JSF itself being so expensive that it will be ondeck in even fewer numbers than the A-12 (originally desired to be 2X20 aircraft squadrons). Roughly 1, 10 airplane, squadron carrier being the likeliest number.

i.e. one of the arguments against CVTOL deepstrike is that it is

C. The OSD tried to sleep in everybody's bed but settled for 'saving money' (the USAF conspiracy favored outcome) by contractual termination _for convenience_ of destroyed power projection. The mission hadn't died, the capability was endorsed by Admiral Morris the day before termination. It was simply convenience.

Something OSD KNEW would happen because the USN //told them// that the 'must continue work so long as it brings in a reasonable profit' clause would not stand up in court for without even a 'proforma' (papertrail opens wide the inducement fraud played upon GD/MDC during the demval competition) bureacratic appearance of negotiated windup cost reviews.

The act of 'Fraud Of Inducement' (hear-kitty-kitty spiking the spec for a cost you know the system or work cannot be made to do) in the government contractual system being one of the ways you bypass 'Deficiency Laws' (thou shalt not commit the government to work which the Congress hath not appropriated funds to, nor ask someone who is nominally doing goverment work to do it for less than fair and equitable value).

Unfortunately, the government and particularly the USN is staffed by morons with no business sense for the 'Buy In' (technology development blackmail) by which the Navy tried to foist half their own R&D shortfall off on the industry could only lead to bankruptcy when MDC/GD could not come up with the ONE BILLION DOLLARS of internal liquidity which _no company_ (even at the height of the Cold War defense pork) could muster, teaming be hanged.

And thus the default of contract led to litigation which discovered the USN absence of honest specs and failure to provide GFE stealth data /anyway/.

D. By engaging in a landmark court case which justly destroyed the OSD's own appearance of fairplay useage of the restricted access black procurement system within the eyes of Congress; GD and MACDAC both basically hung a GIANT NEON SIGN on their backs which said: "These companies shall be bought out by whatever means, fair or foul, are required to destroy them as independent corporate entities. Because they will never again work 'within the system' of Defense Procurement..." And lo, 4 years later, GDFW is now Lunchmeat Tactical Aircraft Systems. And it's now the 'Boeing F-15 Eagle' etc. etc.

Surprise, Surprise.

One thing that struck me in reading one of the many items out there on this debacle, the author of _The 5 Billion Dollar Misunderstanding_ (which is itself an entirely contractor biased view of the real power politick and technology issues being played out) made a quote something along the lines of:

If, in 743BC, you started spending 1 BILLION DOLLARS, at a rate of 1,000 dollars a day. You would be finished just about the time 2001 rolled around.

Comparitively, _NO THREAT TO THIS NATION_, not the Nazis, not the USSR, not the GWOT nor the 'coming-soon' Chinese, is so great, for length of duration or peak of menace.

That the civillian lives which that kind of money could improve through proper 'everyday visible' spending, should instead be compromised to fund a military aristocracy which exists solely to serve the kings of industry that themselves nominally exist solely to make their toys sharper.

MDC/GD lost some 2,557 jobs, each. Another 4,500 or so secondary contractors lost out as well.

Ford Motor Company employs FOUR MILLION AMERICANS.

Just between the factory lines and distributorship. Do the math.

Figure out what MIB make work which produces not a single aircraft means to the 'rest of us' while foreign national interests buy up our home industry and gain a 'controlling interest' over our debt consolidation as we go on continuing to pretending 'that's okay' because we have a warrior society to protect us.

A warrior society which never makes a single permanent looted-conquest to 'pay the credit card debt' of wasted $$$$ outlay that is 'preparation for the next battle'.

06/26/2005 @ 05:39 [ref: 10595]
 Dennis Dobrinich
 Irvine, CA
I understand that this airplane had a system to put a nitrogen blanket in the fuel tank to prevent explosions. Does anybody have any experience with this system or know of someone that does?
11/09/2004 @ 17:30 [ref: 8589]
 , TX
I have a website on the A-12 Avenger II, I noticed several of the pics uploaded to this site were taken from my site so I thought I would provide a direct link here:

11/09/2004 @ 10:42 [ref: 8583]
 , VA
I too worked on the A-12 program, on the gummint side. Sorely disappointed when the F18 Mafia got our program. I also notice about the ATF - USAF was much better at hiding their program problems than USN was...

Anyway, I've been looking for a model of the A-12 since about its cancellation, and I found one:


It's not quite accuratge wrt exhaust and weaponry/weapons bays, but it beats having nothing!

Best regards
10/18/2004 @ 08:24 [ref: 8465]
 Richard Kilby
 Mojave, CA
I own the full scale mock up of the A-12 and will eventually put it in the museum I own when I get the time and also some sort of drawings as the aircraft came to me in giant peices like some sort of jig saw puzzle from hell.

02/18/2003 @ 19:16 [ref: 6331]
 Erv Hicks
 Fort Worth, TX
I was on the A12 program for a number of years and would like to acquire a scale model of the Navy A12 II Avenger.

11/03/2002 @ 10:14 [ref: 6011]


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