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On August - 16 - 2011

Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan reveals the secrets of his Model 151 ARES turbofan “Mudfighter” developed for US Army Close Air Support (CAS) that should be ground-mobile in its own BATTLEBOX towed by a high-technology M113 Gavin light tank to provide maneuver air support (MAS) now lacking with the centralized, pampered USAF air base & bloated fighter-bombers-need-runways mentality. www.combatreform.org Killer Bee Clean-Sheet Designs www.combatreform.org ARES details www.combatreform.org In 1981, the US Army requested a design study for a Low Cost Battlefield Attack Aircraft (LCBAA). Scaled Composites created the ARES testbed aircraft which used a single Pratt and Whitney Canada JT15D-5 turbofan engine (same as in the Beechjet / T-1A Jayhawk trainer), and a GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun. www.scaled.com The ARES Mudfighter is cleverly designed so its 25mm GAU-12U 25mm autocannon is on one side of the aircraft fuselage while the turbofan engine intake is on the other–this also puts the nose of the plane forward to prevent birds from going into the engine! Burt Rutan is a genius! The ARES can also carry 2.75″ Hydra 70mm rocket pods, small unguided and guided bombs and guided missiles on 4 underwing hardpoints–this could be air-to-air missiles like AIM-9 Sidewinders and conceivable beyond-visual range (BVR) AMRAM AIM-120s to sweep the low-level skies of enemy aircraft for a new US Army Air Corps owned and operated by ground maneuver elements using the FINAB ground

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25 Responses so far.

  1. HDaviator says:

    @HMSBeagle200
    So you are saying that the USAF would hate it because its a smart design and would save the taxpayers allot of money? Sounds about right.

  2. mryellow123 says:

    Odd…. an more expensive, more complex and harder to repair version of an A10….

  3. HMSBeagle200 says:

    I don’t think this aircraft will ever made it into service. USAF hates close support aircraft (they hates A10 as well), secondly, it’s small, USAF hates small aircraft (like F-5, F-20), thirdly, It’s simple, USAF and congress hate simple aircraft, because the production can not be contracted across constituents. Can this aircraft can take off on an amphibious assault ship? I guess USMC hates the same kinds of aircraft as the USAF

  4. 1madcanuck says:

    an interesting aircraft,but if your using it for ground attack as a main mission,a single engine aircraft spells doom for the pilot.

  5. swedishvolvo says:

    Why would you not just center the gun and put the air intake inlets in front of the gun to prevent the gun powder from getting into the engine?

  6. sakpan39 says:

    If Burt Rutan can practicly replace the A10 using a small aircraft built around a tiny engine, I wonder what he could design around a Honeywell F125 engine (9.250lbs).
    I bet that he would offer at least F15 if not F22 performance for a fraction of the cost!!

  7. viper8red says:

    @AmericanAviator Aircraft get hit all of the time with small caliber rounds. It’s exceedingly rare that small arms takes down a combat aircraft because of all the redundant systems.

  8. pilotfighter says:

    It doesn’t cost nearly enough !!!! Oh, if only they would take this man seriously. We love you Burt! Keep the faith man!!

  9. AmericanAviator says:

    @dnlcast2 You gotta think though, Even a good shot with an AK-47 will have a hard time hitting a small jet traveling 200+ knots, low to the deck. Still, having something that isn’t fiber glass would go a long way for morale.

  10. dnlcast2 says:

    Very nice plane but it looks too fragile…i dont trust composites and plastics and fiberglass against hundreds of ak-47 rounds streaking up towards you from the ground!

  11. jetaddicted says:

    magnificent rutan creation (as usual).
    however; please allow me to ask a few questions:
    wouldn’t having the gun in a central position and the pilot in a more inclined position above it be more effective?
    what if the pilot as to violently yaw left for more than 2 seconds? wouldn’t the engine stall? (lack of air supply?)
    the canards, should be placed in the plane of the wings for efficient stealth, and aren’t they a bit too long? i mean they seem a nice target and what about high G manoeuvers?

  12. gosciu555 says:

    @zipacna1980

    Yeah the gun can be replaced with something more tame such as the ASP-30 or German 30mm recoiless, which Mike S. has already touted. Or something different altogether like a large caliber (70-100mm?) version of the german recoiless and caseless system.

  13. dnlcast2 says:

    Its a hard decision, 1 F-22 Raptor…or about 120 Ares aircraft..hmmm…i dont know..

  14. zipacna1980 says:

    This plane is awesome but I think pilot firing that gun feeling the same as a mice in a can tied to a speeding car.

  15. TayouJin says:

    @geekfish The A10′s design is dangerously efficient. It can loiter for hours on one fueling and carry loads and loads of armament. It’s slow because it needs to be. You can’t see stuff that’s whizzing by and you can’t attack what you can’t see.

    Horses for courses.

  16. wiccanmoonman says:

    I’m related to Burt Rutan he married Tonya Simone my cousin.

  17. LarryMellman says:

    That thing is so light that it isn’t stable enough for the gun. Look at how it bucks when it fires. You can see the same thing in the gun site footage, the rounds jerk to the left when the pilot is trying to keep the pipper on the target. He’s over-compensating at the end of the burst. Another reason they put the GAU-8 in the middle & moved the nose gear on the A-10. That bird was also manuvering clean, not “Christmas Tree’d” with TER’s like the brass likes to do.

  18. ATLRCFlyer says:

    @dptp9lf I thought the same thing

  19. dvdmoe says:

    @MOJONIXION Completely different theaters of War, and thus a different level of Close Air Support. Although, the A-10 is nice, is has a HUGE footprint across the sky. Oh, let’s not forget it’s for the ARMY.

    Fly Navy

  20. texNoz says:

    @MOJONIXION
    Where’s the “titanium bathtub” for the average grunt on the ground? Perhaps they should just suck it up like the rest of the troops that aren’t in the sky.

  21. dptp9lf says:

    Looks like a Long E-Z or Velocity wing…

  22. pheenix42 says:

    Myself, I would love a sport aircraft variant of this concept.

    *WOOOSH*

  23. nobody2612 says:

    20 or so squad-fighters would have a devastating effect against a ground invasion force

  24. blaxblax82 says:

    foarte tare! freat plane

  25. Kneedragon1962 says:

    Note, this is now a 29 year old idea. Read the info.

    Losses of pilots and machines might be significant, which these days is politically unacceptable. If we found ourselves fighting a truly defensive war, that had the enthusiastic / desperate support of the people, that’d change.

    An AK47 is a weapon to be reckoned with, because it’s cheap, simple, reliable, and you can arm everybody. You can train a 12 yo to use it in a couple of hours. It isn’t perfect but it does what it does superbly.

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