Douglas A/D-1 Skyraider v. Martin AM Mauler

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ShVAK, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #1 ShVAK, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
    [I figured thread would best go in this forum as both planes were designed during WWII but if it gets moved so be it]

    As much as I love and admire the Spad I always wondered why its close contemporary the Martin AM Mauler never got as much play. By all rights it looked like a great design with great capability--it carried the record load for a single-engine piston aircraft at 14,179 pounds (over 10K of which was ordnance including THREE torpedoes :shock: ). Instead it was sidelined to the reserves after only a year and a half in naval service, which seems like a real missed opportunity.

    Its major downfall seemed to be both development problems with the tail hook and its handling on carrier landings (similar in respect to early F4U's). Which makes for a great "what-if": Remove the shipboard requirement from the original specification, ditch the tail hook and other USN accoutrements and hand it over as a land-based attack aircraft to the USAF. On paper it could be developed to do everything the A-1 could do--close air support, forward air control, ECM, recon, etc.--and with a larger useful payload and possibly even better overall performance once the extra weight was removed. It would've been a boon in Korea and Vietnam just as the A-1 was, assuming it was as reliable and/or economical.

    The AD-1 could've stayed with the USMC and USN as it was the better carrier plane and its service record with all branches and VNAF speaks for itself. Plus it looked better, IMHO. I hate to see such a great bird go to waste.


    Specifications (AM-1 Mauler)

    Data from American Combat Aircraft, Third Edition[16]

    General characteristics

    Crew: 1 (2 in AM-1Q)
    Length: 41 ft 2 in (12.55 m)
    Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
    Height: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)
    Wing area: 496 ft² (46.1 m²)
    Empty weight: 15,257 lb (6,935 kg)
    Loaded weight: 22,323 lb (10,146.8 kg)
    Max. takeoff weight: 25,737 lb (11,698.6)
    Powerplant: 1 × Pratt Whitney R-4360-4 Wasp Major radial engine, 2,975 hp (2,219 kW)

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 367 mph (323 knots, 618.57 km/h)
    Cruise speed: 188 mph (165 knots, 302.6 km/h)
    Range: 1,437 mi (1,260 nmi, 2,334 km)
    Service ceiling: 27,000 ft (8,320 m)
    Rate of climb: 2,780 ft/min (14.1 m/s)

    Armament

    Guns: 4 × 20 mm M2 cannons @ 200 r.p.g.
    Bombs: 4,500 lb (2,045 kg) normal load

    Specifications (A-1H Skyraider)

    Data from McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920[30]

    General characteristics

    Crew: One
    Length: 38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)
    Wingspan: 50 ft 0¼ in (15.25 m)
    Height: 15 ft 8¼ in (4.78 m)
    Wing area: 400.3 ft² (37.19 m²)
    Empty weight: 11,968 lb (5,429 kg)
    Loaded weight: 18,106 lb (8,213 kg)
    Max. takeoff weight: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-3350-26WA radial engine, 2,700 hp (2,000 kW)

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 322 mph (280 kn, 518 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
    Cruise speed: 198 mph (172 kn, 319 km/h)
    Range: 1,316 mi (1,144 nmi, 2,115 km)
    Service ceiling: 28,500 ft (8,685 m)
    Rate of climb: 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
    Wing loading: 45 lb/ft² (220 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (250 W/kg)

    Armament

    Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) M2 cannon
    Other: Up to 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of ordnance on 15 external hardpoints including bombs, torpedoes, mine dispensers, unguided rockets, or gun pods


    So how bout it--which do you think would've ultimately been the better plane, and would the vagaries of military planning make the AM in USAF service unfeasible?
     
  2. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    What you propose seems reasonable to me. I saw an AM-1 at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola and it is a beast. I am not sure of the AF direction for close air support post WWII. I guess it was happy with the very capable A-26, the just OK F-51, and the limited endurance jets and didn't see the need to replace the P-47 in the CAS role. Maybe they were more directed in fighting a total war with the USSR. Buying a land based Mauler would certainly substantially add to their CAS capability, IMO.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Martin AM Mauler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Same reason modern day USN operates F-18s rather then F-14s.
     
  4. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    I love the looks of the Hawker Sea Fury, but I am very ignorant of the engine performance. Was it a low / medium altitude rated engine? One of the reasons I went with the Thunderbolt was its ability (proven) to operate high to low. Again, this is a tough choice, so many fine specimens.

    I agree with the person who pointed out that the British may have a different ideal of what was needed, however with Germany defeated, wouldn't the threat of invasion be absent?
     
  5. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Think you posted in the wrong place. :p
     
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