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Author Topic: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33 *And* SBC Helldiver!  (Read 13794 times)

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Joberg

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Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33 *And* SBC Helldiver!
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:20:24 PM »

Hello everyone. Let me start off by quickly thanking the members of the community for all of the great mods you all have made to make this great game even greater. My favorites have always been the late 30s and early war planes. I've been having fun with the great b5n skin hack from Archie but its left me kinda hungry for the "real thing"  so I thought I'd put in a request and see if any modders shared my interest in this big beautiful bird!





Brief info (mostly from Wikipedia):
Code: [Select]
The Northrop Gamma 2F was an attack bomber derivative of the Northrop Gamma transport aircraft, developed in parallel with the Northrop Gamma 2C, (of which one was built, designated the YA-13 and XA-16. The Gamma 2F had a revised tail, cockpit canopy and wing flaps compared with the Gamma 2C, and was fitted with a new semi-retractable undercarriage. It was delivered to the United States Army Air Corps for tests on 6 October 1934, and after modification, including fitting with a conventional fixed undercarriage, was accepted by the Air Corps.[1] 110 aircraft were ordered as the A-17 in 1935.[2]
The resulting A-17 was equipped with perforated flaps, had fixed landing gear with partial fairing. It was fitted with an internal fuselage bomb bay that carried fragmentation bombs and well as external bomb racks.
Northrop developed a new undercarriage, this time completely retractable, producing the A-17A variant. This version was again purchased by the Army Air Corps, who placed orders for 129 aircraft.[3] By the time these were delivered, the Northrop Corporation had been taken over by Douglas Aircraft Company, export models being known as the Douglas Model 8.
[edit] Operational history
The A-17 entered service in February 1936, and proved a reliable and popular aircraft.[4] However, in 1938, the Air Corps decided that attack aircraft should be multi-engined, rendering the A-17 surplus to requirements.[5]
In June 1940, 93 ex-USAAC aircraft were purchased by France, and refurbished by Douglas , including being given new engines.[6] Not having been delivered before the fall of France, 61 were taken over by the British Purchasing Commission for the RAF and given the name Nomad. They were assessed as being obsolete and sent to South Africa for use as trainers.[7] The remaining thirty two aircraft from the French order were transferred to Canada, where they were also used as advanced trainers.[8]
The last remaining A-17s, used as utility aircraft, were retired from USAAF service in 1944.

Other than the US it was ordered by France, and Norway, and Sweden built them under license. They were used in combat in Iraq, the Netherlands and Peru and given another couple of months would likely have been used in Norway and France which I believe makes it a great plane for early war scenarios.

Stats :
Code: [Select]
   
Crew: two (pilot and gunner)   
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1535-13 of 825 hp
Maximum speed: 220 mph
Cruising speed: 170 mph
Range: 732 miles
Ceiling: 19,400 ft.
Span: 47 ft. 9 in.
Length: 31 ft. 8 in.
Height: 9 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 7,543 lbs. maximum


Variants:
Code: [Select]
A-17
    Initial production for USAAC. Fixed undercarriage, powered by 750 hp (560 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1535-11 Twin Wasp Jr engine. 110 built.
A-17A
    Revised version for USAAC with retractable undercarriage and 825 hp (615 kW) R-1535-13 engine. 129 built.
A-17AS
    Three seat staff transport version for USAAC. Powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engine. Two built.
Model 8A-1
    Export version for Sweden. Fixed undercarriage. Two Douglas built prototypes (Swedish designation B 5A), followed by 63 licensed built (by ASJA) B 5B aircraft powered by 920 hp (686 kW) Bristol Mercury XXIV engine. 31 similar B 5C built by SAAB.
Model 8A-2
    Version for Argentina. Fitted with fixed undercarriage, ventral gun position and powered by 840 hp (626 kW) Wright R-1820-G3 Cyclone. 30 built.
Model 8A-3N
    Version of A-17A for Netherlands. Powered by 1,100 hp (820 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine. 18 built.
Model 8A-3P
    Version of A-17A for Peru. Powered by 1,000 hp (746 kW) R-1820 engine. Ten built.
Model 8A-4
    Version for Iraq, powered by a 1,000 hp (746 kW) R-1820-G103 engine. 15 built.
Model 8A-5N
    Version for Norway, powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) R-1830 engine. 36 built. Later impressed into USAAF service as Douglas A-33.

Weapons info:
Code: [Select]
    * 4 × 0.3 in (7.62 mm) fixed forward M1919 Browning machine guns
    * 1 × 0.3 in (7.62 mm) trainable rear machine gun
    * Internal bay for bombs
    * External wing bomb racks (total bomb load 1,200 lb/544 kg)
The A-17A could lift over one ton of bombs. The bombs were carried on four external racks and in an internal bomb bay that featured vertical chutes, which held up to 20 30-pound fragmentation bombs. In addition to the bombs, the A-17A was armed with four forward-firing .30-cal. machine guns for strafing, and one flexible mounted .30-cal. gun in the rear cockpit for self-defense.

I'm afraid that I don't know much about 3d modeling but its shape and dimensions are not so different from the B5N. It might be enough to to make a frankenplane to add the Northrop's distinctive canopy. Though the Northrop's wingspan is about 6ft longer, the wing and horizontal stabilizer from the SBD look pretty close to the right shape. Maybe with a little modification they could work on this one too?
I didn't want to clog up the topic with lots of great big pictures so here is a link to a site with many good pictures:
http://nhungdoicanh.blogspot.com/2009/04/northrop-17-nomad.html
and a 3-view drawing:
http://richard.ferriere.free.fr/3vues/northrop_a17_3v.jpg
and the pilot's cockpit:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8f/A-17A_cockpit_-_USAFM.jpg

If any modders elect to take this one on I'll be glad to help out with what little I can (probably just research? the only mod experience I have is text editing entries in Medieval 2 Total War). Until then I'll fly the B5N skin from Archie and patiently keep my fingers crossed that someone else with modding experience likes these early war planes as much as I do!
Thanks for looking

*UPDATE*
I've been meaning to request this for a while and rather than doing things that I need to get done for work, I'm taking some time to request-
Curtis SBC Helldiver
This Navy dive bomber served in the late 30's. I'm requesting it because as cool as the SB2C is, much like the automobiles of the 1960s, the warplanes of the 1930s just have more style and personality than more modern ones to me! Also, given the time of is use and what appears to be a (hopefully) growing interest in 1930s and alternate history campaigns and aircraft, I believe it could be a great plane for all sorts of campaigns! Think early U.S. entry into the war or intervention in the Spanish Civil War or 2nd Sino-Japanese War. These planes were sold to France and given another couple weeks a whole Bearn full of Helldivers and Buffaloes would have arrived to fight in France! Or heck, the Bearn's crew could decide to join the Allies or the Vichy and the planes could find service under either side's colors. Or they could be more second-line aircraft sold to Finland for the Winter War along with their Buffaloes and Gladiators. I'm sure a dive bomber like this would find good against the Soviets or anyone a mission maker chose to put it up against! And now, some pictures and numbers and stuff-

maybe you folks have better luck but the pictures of the helldiver aren't appearing on my laptop so I'll put links to them too

Three view

http://www.histomin.com/Aviation/Classic%20Aircraft%20Between%20the%20Wars/Curtiss%20SBC-3%20Helldiver/CA4012%20No.%206742%20SBC-3%20In%20Action%20Three%20View%20.jpg]http://www.histomin.com/Aviation/Classic%20Aircraft%20Between%20the%20Wars/Curtiss%20SBC-3%20Helldiver/CA4012%20No.%206742%20SBC-3%20In%20Action%20Three%20View%20.jpg]http://www.histomin.com/Aviation/Classic%20Aircraft%20Between%20the%20Wars/Curtiss%20SBC-3%20Helldiver/CA4012%20No.%206742%20SBC-3%20In%20Action%20Three%20View%20.jpg
French

http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/21_2.jpg]http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/21_2.jpg]http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/21_2.jpg
U.S. Navy

http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/3_6.jpg]http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/3_6.jpg]http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/499/pics/3_6.jpg
General characteristics
Crew: 2; pilot and gunner
Length: 28 ft 1? in (8.57 m)
Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
Height: 10 ft 5 in (3.17 m)
Wing area: 317 ft² (29.4 m²)
Empty weight: 4,552 lb (2,065 kg)
Loaded weight: 7,080 lb (3,211 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 7,632 lb[11] (3,462 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-1820-34 radial engine, 850 hp (634 kW)
Performance
Maximum speed: 234 mph (203 knots, 377 km/h) at 15,200 ft (4,600 m)
Cruise speed: 175 mph (152 knots, 282 km/h)
Range: 405 mi (352 nmi, 652 km)
Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,320 m)
Rate of climb: 1,630 ft/min (8.28 m/s)
Armament
Guns:
1 × 0.30 in (7.62 mm) forward-firing M1919 Browning machine gun
1 × 0.30 in (7.62 mm) flexible rearward-firing machine gun
Bombs: 1 × bomb of up to 1,000 lb (454 kg)

p.s. The French planes were armed with .50 cal machineguns

Again, thanks for reading. If anyone wants to tackle these I'll help what little I can with research and maybe (BIG maybe) a little minor class editing. I've tinkered with that in the past but never did anything more significant than changing what machineguns a plane used....
Unless there's any objection I'll continue to post any requests in this thread, I can think of one or two more that I'd like to see...

-Joberg
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HundertzehnGustav

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 07:15:36 AM »

Its a weird suggestion really, i think...

making the precessor of the SBD from a Kate...
weird indeed methinks.
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redarrows2006

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 10:30:54 AM »

I think it is a must to have this in the game :) also i just wonder what is it under the wing on these aircraft?
http://www.historicaircraft.org/Army-Air-Corps/pages/Douglas-8A5.html

s red
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Joberg

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 01:00:33 PM »

Redarrows2006-
Wow that's a good question, I haven't seen it in any other pictures. At first I thought it might be part of some sort of rearward retracting gear but I compared it with pictures of other planes that had that and it looks different. It looks outboard of the landing gear. It doesn't really look like a wheel fairing or ski. Maybe its just wishful thinking but could it be some sort of gun pod or provision for a cannon? I don't remember reading anything about that being part of the plane but that's the closest I can come up with from looking at the picture. If you squint at the leading edge of the object it looks like a barrel hole maybe? Anyone else have better info or see it as anything different? I'm squinting and guessing on this one. Although...were this plane made I doubt many would complain about a version pair of cannon under the wings....heh.

Northrop BT-1 with rear retracting gear, a similar design also derived from the Gamma-
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Northrop_BT-1_at_El_Segundo.jpeg
 
HundertzehnGustav-
I had mentioned the B5N mostly because the skin hack from Archie is made from it and it has a similar, sorta long streamlined look the profile.
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HundertzehnGustav

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 01:20:21 PM »

but dude that would mean throwing away the wings and the divebrakes, the gear and whatnot... :)
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Pursuivant

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 01:35:45 PM »

I think it is a must to have this in the game :) also i just wonder what is it under the wing on these aircraft?
http://www.historicaircraft.org/Army-Air-Corps/pages/Douglas-8A5.html

Probably not a gun. My guess is that the picture is of a plane used by the Norwegian training command set up in Canada during the war. Since they were only used for basic training and liaison, it's unlikely that they carried cannons.

It looks more like a radiator scoop or the fairing over a camera or navigation aid. Possibly it could be some sort of target towing apparatus, since the 8A5 was used as a target tug.

If I had the skill to make a frankenplane, I'd probably use the Douglas SBD as the base. The tail, wings and rear fuselage are somewhat similar. Just swap out the central fuselage/cockpit area (with the B5N Kate? the SU2? the Nieman R-10?) and use the engine from the D3A Val.
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Joberg

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 03:15:10 PM »

Yeah the SBD might be better base to start from. Easier to keep as much of the dive brakes and stuff and the wing shape is close. Is there a way to stretch or rescale it? The A-17's wing span is 6ft greater than the SBD. I'm not sure if its that or how the fuselage tapers that makes it look longer narrower than the SBD but the A-17 is actually a little shorter.I think I would change out the tail along with the fuselage, since the SBD tail is taller than the Northrop's. The other main differences I see are that the A-17 doesn't have that dorsal fin leading up to the vertical stabilizer and the A-17 has the cool streamlined looking canopy.

Quote
It looks more like a radiator scoop or the fairing over a camera or navigation aid. Possibly it could be some sort of target towing apparatus, since the 8A5 was used as a target tug.

Yeah those would make more sense for a second-line aircraft like the Norwegian planes eventually wound up being. Out of those I would guess camera or navaid, but again that's just me. I have no idea what towing gear looks like. I sent the guy an email so maybe he will tell us if we are lucky!
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Jarink

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 10:42:17 PM »

I'm willing to bet that the weird devices under the wings are smoke generators.
These are the ones under the wings of the A-20G at the USAF museum:


Laying smoke screens was a common mission for USAAF light attack planes, so it's certainly plausible.
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Joberg

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 12:15:47 PM »

I vaguely remember reading something about smoke being laid by planes in the big Louisiana war game or something, now that you mention it. Not certain it was a long time a ago. But that would be around the right time period when this plane was still in the US inventory. I remember seeing colored smoke dispenser mods for Il-2 like they use in airshows. I wonder how big a deal it would be to simulate a smoke screen. Would the AI be able to see through it anyway?

edit-
http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675068157_A-17A-aircraft_trucks-cross-a-bridge_lay-smoke-screen_fly-over-bridge

here's some a-17s laying smoke I can't get a clear view of the devices under the wings but they are in the same place on the plane and about the same size
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redarrows2006

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 08:14:38 AM »

In this http://transportmodels.co.uk/a33norwegiandb8a5niraqidb8a4-14663.php?products_id=14663&sid=lmjkf3m2osj0742g2bu2i6i771
 pictures it look like it is some kind of a weapon i mean sice attackbomber.

s red
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Joberg

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2011, 04:27:36 PM »

I think i found it.

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_A-33.html

Quote
The 8A-5 was the most powerful and best armed of the series. It was powered by a 1,200hp Wright R-1820-87 engine, a big improvement on the 825hp engine of the A-17A. It was armed with four wing mounted 0.30in machine guns, two 0.50in machine guns in pods below the wing and two rear-firing flexibly mounted 0.30in guns, and could carry up to 1,800lb of bombs.

So not cannons, but Ma Deuce apparently.
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Jarink

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Re: Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2011, 04:46:12 PM »

Well, I'll be.  :-X

That pod looked way too short for machine guns, especially a Ma Duce.
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