FMA IA-63/AT-63 Pampa - Advanced trainer.

Discussion in 'Modern' started by CharlesBronson, May 4, 2012.

  1. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #1 CharlesBronson, May 4, 2012
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
    A somewhat complicated story of a very good aircraft.

    Origins:

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    In april 1979 the Argentine Air Force (AAF) through an "Directive of development" put in charge the FMA (Military Aicraft Factory) of the city of Cordoba the studies and manufacturing research for a new medium-advanced jet trained. the main goal of the directive was to replace the 56 Morane Saulnier MS 760 Paris, 50 of them manufactured under license in the same factory.

    Things had moved forward since tha adoption of the Paris and the AAF didnt wish to lay behind in technological develpment. In the preliminary draft 4 design with single engine and 3 with a single powerplant always combing with low or high emplacement wing were on the table, the later shape in a single engined aircraft was the choice because easier manintenance and economy.

    The Powerplant:

    The 2nd stage was to choose the engine, in the order of 1360 to 1590 kilos of thrust. The FMA was at the beginning interested in the Pratt whitney JT15D-5, an slightly improved variant of the JT15D-4. However that variant did not had at that time (1981) the certification of aproval by the Federal aviation Administration so the program moved on in order not to affect the schedule. Eventually the Garret TFE-731-2-2N was elected, althought it was a little less powerful than the P&W it had the advantage of being already in service with the AAF in his 2nd Air Brigade photo recce Learjet 35s, so the maintenace and spare parts supply was spected to be trouble free.

    Garret TFN-731-2
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    Namesake:

    The aircraft received the new designation serial IA-63 (IA being the prefix for Instituto Aerotecnico, aerotechnical institute, the design bureau inside the FMA complex). At first the new jet had no a "name" but eventually in 1981 the word pampa was choosed. Pampa has a lot of significances being not only a region of Argentina but also a province, a wind wich race trought the midsouth, and a race of natives.
     
  2. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Example of preliminary studies for IA-63

    An atractive mock-up for an advanced trainer, this 1979 design serial IA-60 had a quite heavy armament for a trainer in the shape of 2 x 30mm Defa guns .
     

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  3. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #3 CharlesBronson, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
    Agreement with Dornier.

    Coincidently with the conclusion of the conceptual phase, some years of dialogue between the FMA and the Dornier GmbH, the 5 of May of 1980 were crystallized, when It was sign an agreement between the AAF and the German company. The FMA counted on one long experience, modern facilities, recognized ability to work, but it was clear that with a view to developing an airplane of it completes generation needed an ingredient, the acquisition of avionics and computers for calculations and design, mainly in the aerodynamic design and the electronic systems of attack. The agreement included technical advising and attendance of design, as thus also the specialization of the Argentine engineers complete techniques of construction with composite materials. The team of design, engineers and technicians began to work with its colleagues German as much makes in it of Cordoba, like in the factory of Friedrichschafen, where It was centered the main effort of design. This caused some "revival" the golden age of the FMA in which they were for all time working some of the best german designers such as Horten and Kurt Tank.

    German version of the Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet.

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    The definitive profile of IA-63

    [​IMG]


    In some aspects this process increased the similarity of project IA-63 with the French-German attack Dassault Breguet-Dornier Alpha Jet. The german influence was pretty obvious, much so in le Bouget 1981 some observers when seeing the scale model in 1;1 quickly classified it as " Mini Alpha Jet". To the eyes of the neophyte the airplanes were certainly similar, but an exhaustive analysis but would prove both jets totally different. Completed the phase of definition in September of 1981 the phase of development of total scale was fully underway, with tests in wind tunnel of discharge and average speed and the intensive use of CAD (Computer Asisted Drawing = CAD) CATIA, to define the installation of the systems and equipment. Progressive changes went introduced, like the tapering of the wing, the revision of the geometry of the exhaust pipes, and a stylisation of the nose of fuselage. New european made machine-tools manufacturing plant got ready, all being CNC numerical control such as winches, chemical milling machines, drills, milling machines, vertical furnaces under pressure and a great central computer station IBM 3000 of to control all the process.

    First proto under construction, 1984.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #4 CharlesBronson, May 6, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
    IA-63 prototypes:

    It must be taken in consideration that the prototype stage on IA-63 Pampa was caught between a hard transition times in Argentina. The 7 years of heavy handed military rule (1976-83) left the country not only with a heavy luggage of human rights violation but also with a bad economical management. That was quite evident when the AAF asked for 4 protos but was onlly allowed 3 by the new autorities.
    Putting a great effort on extracting the best flight information of those 3 aircraft the AAF send the pilots of the argentine CEV (Flight test center) to the french CENPR ( school of advanced test pilots and flight) to improved their skills.
    Eventually the roll-out of IA-63 EX-01 (EX being trainer experimental) was made in 14th august 1984.

    [​IMG]

    First flight was completed 6 weeks later by Vice-Commodore G.M sciolla and Major J. Orefice. An maximal speed of mach .65 was obtained at 4650 meters (13600 feet) . The EX-01 was in charge to elaborate the flight manual so it was extensively tested on the usual stall, flutter, low speed and max speed spectrum.The aircraft behaved well in all situations. Some advertising for the program was obtained when EX-01 was in statical and flight demonstration at the French airshow of Le Bouget in 1985. That aircraft was ferried inside an AAF Hercules C-130h.

    EX-01

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    Second proto flew in august 1985 and the third in 26th march 1986. EX-03 was a a weapons development aircraft to test the new locally made Czerweny-Citefa SINT N-2 ( SINT = integrated navigation and fire control system) wich is a simple 32 bit computer to calculate data for bombs/rockets/canon fire and to help in navigation)
    Fortunately for the somewhat restrained development program the protos were completely trouble free and series production was autorized by the Civilian autorities.

    EX-01, 02 and 03.
     

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  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #5 CharlesBronson, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
    In service

    [​IMG]

    Several changes were made before the jet could entered in production series, for example a new landing gear made by IAI of Israel, USA made zero-zero ejection seat UPS Stencel SIII-31A63, simplified avionics (it was the intention to have an electronic HUD, but eventually a electro-mechanical giroscopic gunsight was emplaced)
    Originally the Air Force wanted 64 pampas but again some "scissorshands" in the Goverment cut that to only 22 with option of 10 more (option later used by the AAF). The first Pampa was delivered to the 4th Air Brigade in the Province of mendoza in april 1988. Aceptation of this first batch (we could call it IA-63A) continued until 1992.

    [​IMG]

    The IA-63 pampa was/is well know for his pleasant behavior and maneouvrability at low speed. The choice of a straight, slightly dihedral wing with an critical wing profile type Dornier Do-7 was a factor creating high sustentation at reduced mach numbers. This wing evidently provide some "forgiveness" with the new trainee, its only disavantage is it cut the the max speed by a 9% compared with less advanced designs. The Pampa is capable for example to complete a full loop at only 250 knots, at the same airspeed it can make a barrel roll in 2.8 seconds. landing speed with normal weight is merely 165 km/h, 88 knots.

    [​IMG]

    For weapons training this early variant used rockets, bombs and a usually central pod made by AEROCUAR of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba. the pod contains a french DEFA 553 30mm revolver gun along with 135 rounds. Provition is made to use the radio guided air-to-surface missile as-25k Martin Pescador, althought I have never seen a photo of an Pampa with one in place.

    general specifications:

    Wingspan. 9.69 meters.

    Lenght: 10.9 m

    wing surface: 15.63 square meters

    wing loading: 224 kilos per square meter

    surface of the vertical stabilizer: 4.35 square meters

    normal take-off weight: 3510 kg

    maximal take-off weight: 4560 kg

    fuel capacity. 1115 kilograms (1360 liters)

    take-off run at sea level ; 400 m

    top speed at 2500 meters in level flight: 760 km/h, (mach .75)

    service ceiling: 12,900 meters
     

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  6. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #6 CharlesBronson, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
    Pampa and the J-PATS.

    [​IMG]

    This was no more no less that the combined Vought-FMA entry for the juicy Joint Primary Aircraft training System. The cordobesian factory placed a lot of effort in the sales promotion of this cutie trainer and several people from the 2 countried flew the P-2000 usually becaming very pleased with the ship. Changes with respect to the standar IA-63A were few, mostly internal configuration and oxigen equipment, new ejector seats plus a small head down LCD display in the center of the aft cockpit.

    Now the following is extracted from Vought website:

    n 1990, LTV Aircraft Products made a decision to enter into competition for development and production of a next generation trainer airplane for the Air Force and Navy. The development program was required because both Air Force and Navy trainers were worn out after decades of service in the training of pilots. Announcement of the decision to initiate the program set off high-stakes competition among companies offering to build the trainer. The two services had decided to use the same trainer to replace the Navys T-34 turboprop and the Air Forces T-37B jet trainer. The replacement program was called the Joint Primary Aircraft Training Program (JPATS).

    The services specified they wanted an off-the-shelf aircraft already designed and ready to go. They did not specify that the aircraft had to be turboprop, turbojet or turbofan. After the Pentagon said it was all right for American companies to have an international partner on the project, LTV launched an intensive search before narrowing its list to 38 potential team members. LTV selected Fabrica Militar de Aviones, the Military Factory of Aircraft (FMA), at Cordoba, Argentina, as its partner. FMA had previously developed a high-winged jet trainer labeled as the IA63 with a tandem two-seat cockpit. The IA63 was powered by a Garrett turbofan engine, the TFE 731-2. This aircraft had just recently been placed in service in the Argentine Air Force as a trainer aircraft and had significant flying time.

    The IA63 was versatile as both a basic and intermediate trainer. It was designed for basic pilot skills, acrobatics, spin exercises, basic instrument flying, navigation, formation flying and in-flight emergency training exercises such as engine out exercises. On the intermediate end, the airplane could provide instrument training, low-level navigation training, formation flying, simulated tactical employment and tactical maneuvers.

    Three IA63 aircraft were shipped to Dallas, Texas, and extensively modified to meet specific Pentagon requirements. Compliance with Military Specifications was investigated and, where necessary, modifications were implemented. A large engineering staff was employed, and the manufacturing factory was used to implement necessary changes to the aircraft. Fuel system modifications were made to meet stringent ground refueling requirements. The cockpit layout was dramatically changed, and additional avionics equipment and displays added. The AirResearch environmental control system was upgraded to meet U.S. specifications and requirements. Landing gear changes were implemented to meet stringent drop requirements. Pilot ejection systems were investigated for compliance. The changes implemented had no deleterious effects on proven flying quality characteristics.

    The entry into the competition was labeled the PAMPA 2000. Two of the refurbished aircraft were placed in a comprehensive Flight Test Evaluation Program. Argentine pilots were employed in the flight test program as well as two experienced LTV test pilots. The PAMPA 2000 was declared fully ready and the company committed and ready for submittal of a third Pampa 2000 aircraft which was fully missionized and compliant with all U.S. service requirements. The aircraft was shipped to Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio, for extensive flight evaluation by Air Force and Navy pilots.

    Air Force and Navy pilots evaluated the flying characteristics of Voughts Pampa 2000 jet trainer in August 1994. The flight evaluation encompassed 10 days of rigorous testing. Vought provided a 16-member support team, but evaluation testing was solely accomplished by service personnel. Other government evaluators checked the maintenance aspects of the aircraft and evaluated a hot mockup of the Pampa 2000 cockpit. Fifteen sorties were accomplished in 6 days. The Pampa jet trainer was reported to have performed impressively.

    Vought, with the Pampa 2000, was the second competitor to participate in the flight evaluation. Seven contending aircraft were evaluated by Air Force/Navy personnel. These included:
    FMA Vought Pampa 2000 Jet
    Grumman S211A Jet
    Rockwell Ranger 2000 Jet
    Cessna Citation Jet
    Northrop Grumman Super Tucano Turboprop
    Lockheed T-Bird 11 Jet
    Beech PC-9 Turboprop

    Vought submitted a 10,000-page proposal to the government for producing the next-generation trainer aircraft for the Air Force and Navy. The proposal was considered to be top-notch, just like the airplane.

    Voughts entry in the JPATS competition, however, was not the winning entry.
     

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  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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  8. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Very interesting!
     
  9. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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