Piper PA-48 Enforcer

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
This would've been a very cool aircraft to fly. Powered by an 2, 445 shp Lycoming T55 turboprop, the Piper PA-48 Enforcer was to be a Close Air Support aircraft for low-intensity Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations, working with the A-10, and closely related mission-wise to the A-1 Skyraider. It had two 30mm gunpods, as well as 10 hardpoints for ordnance ranging from bombs to rockets to cluster munitions. It had self-sealing fuel tanks, ceramic armor plating, and wingtip fuel tanks. It had a top speed of 350 kts, a range of 920 miles, and a ceiling of 25,000'. The USAF tested the PA-48 during 1983-84 and decided not to buy the aircraft, presumably because it had a propeller and a tailwheel and wasn't considered "modern" enough to justify cost. Two PA-48 Enforcers were built. One crashed during the test program, and the other resides at the USAF Museum at Dayton, Ohio.


 

hellmuth

Well-Known Member
Now THIS would be a cool plane to have. The cockpit layout is like a jet trainer (very similar to the Alphajet) and fulfills U.S. military requirements. It was built in the early 80's to be a trainer for airforce pilots (first intended for the German airforce), sinking the costs of early training while retaining jet-like characteristics (it's powered by a ducted turbofan aft of the cockpit). Germany ended up turning it down largely due to political reasons, but Thailand ended up ordering 40 of them.





Here are the statistics:

Engine : Allison 250-C30
Leistung: 650shp
Max. Speed: 300 kts
Max. Operating speed: 250 kts
Cruising speed: 200 kts
Stall speed: 61 kts
Max. Climb (SL): 3.145 ft/min
Max. Climb (15.000 ft): 1.580 ft/min
Max. Range: 750 nm
Endurance: 4,7 hrs
Ceiling: 25.000 ft
Max G's: +6/-3 g
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
It looks as if they spruced up a P-51 with more external hard points, some structural modifications, and added a turbine engine.
 

hellmuth

Well-Known Member
Hey Eagle, how did you manage that? Did you paste it to your own webpage or did I just do something wrong?
 

BlueStreak

New Member
It's funny that there is a post about the Enforcer because I was cleaning out my room the other day and was looking at a Piper Aircraft geneology poster that I have. It shows every aircraft Piper has produced, and I looked at the Enforcer and thought how cool it would be to have one of those. It would be cool to see a Piper being used for close-air support


MikeD - on a similar topic, wasn't the AF looking to retire the A-10 prior to the first Gulf War? I thought I remembered hearing something about that. Any truth to it all? Is it still at risk, even with its proven success?
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
MikeD - on a similar topic, wasn't the AF looking to retire the A-10 prior to the first Gulf War? I thought I remembered hearing something about that. Any truth to it all? Is it still at risk, even with its proven success?

[/ QUOTE ]

It's derived from the F-51s design.

The A-10 was being retired prior to Gulf War I. It's performance in Gulf War 1 saved it from the chopping block then.....

But now it's being hit again. Limited budget and money needed for the V-22 Osprey, the F/A-22, and the F-35 JSF have forced the AF to limit, and in some places cut, spending for older A/C like the A-10. In fact, the phase-out from active duty is slated to begin in mid 2004 with 2 squadrons closing up, to end @2010. The Guard and Reserve will probably hang on to them longer since they have different funding sources.

But the jets are old and somewhat difficult to maintain. My squadron can generate about 10 with 1 spare on a daily basis out of 24 aircraft. The remaining 14 are down for phase inspections, grounded for inspection/modification, hard broke for other reasons, etc.
 
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