J. Wiley
(Aviation Researcher)
07/26/09 04:09 PM
Re: The Fairchild T-46A - What Happened?

Originally it was argued the T-46 program would cost LESS than any upgrade to the -37 and would offer a longer life with lower operating costs. It was supposed to be a win-win.

According to some reports, some mods included new engines for the -37 (none specified) and extending the service life. Of course, at some point in time someone was going to have to address the fact that the final turn for landing in the -37 put the pilot outside the ejection seat envelope. The -37 seat was NOT a zero-zero seat and the normal sink rate on final placed the pilot in jeopardy.

Jane's reports in Mar86 that the CBO said the USAF could extend the -37s for $1.2 billion less than acquiring the -46A which by then had taken on the nickname, the "Thunder-piglet" in line with Republic aircraft being named thunder-something.

Like Beech, Fairchild Republic had Rutan build a 62% aircraft and the numbers looked good. But poor engine perf, bad cost over-runs, poor management of the program doomed the little pig.

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