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June 2007, Vol.

US Aircraft Corporation Raymond F. Williams President

From the President, Raymond Williams


Greetings, and welcome to the world of US Aircraft. This is our premier edition of Win Smart magazine. We plan to use this venue to share our thoughts, insights, and those of leading experts in the aviation field. In many respects, Aviation is at the crossroads, in General Aviation, Commercial, and Military. General Aviation faces challenges from regulators and is redefining how aircraft are made with all composite structures and ballistic parachutes. Corporate America is embracing the VLJ and LJ category as solutions to commercials increasingly overcrowding and unreliability. Commercial Aviation is expanding in the face of increased travel demand, increased population, and increased competition. The world has rediscovered the efficiency of the turbo-prop. Once relegated to the old way, it is again the new way with companies like Pilatus, Socata, and Beechcraft having proven the point. Fuel cost and availability are increasingly driving decision-making throughout the world. After 100 years of flight, the industry is redefining itself in some cases driven ahead by technologies like GPS and Glass Cockpits, in other cases reverting to what was simpler and worked better from the past. We believe that change creates opportunity. Our focus is to identify and find solutions to those niche aviation requirements which have not been resolved, drawing the best from the past and the state-of-the-art. The way war is fought is also reverting to the past when combatants dressed as civilians and hid behind trees. We are creating aircraft appropriate for the missions and environments of today.

John D. Eisenhut Vice President Derrick W. Wyman Chief of Staff Col. Arnold J. Kampe, USAF Ret. Military Liaison Angela M. DOrazio Editor US Aircraft Corporation 1535 Exeter Road Akron, OH 44306 P: 330-455-1181 F: 330-455-0823 E-mail: info@usaircraftcorp.com Website: usaircraftcorp.com

US Aircraft Corporation Advisory Committee Brig. Gen. Charles Skip Jones, USAF Ret. Maj. Gen. Richard Comer, USAF Ret., special operations

Raymond Williams President US Aircraft Corporation Win Smart

Maj. Gen. David Tanzi, USAF Ret., operations and logistics Brig. Gen. Bill Lawson, USAF Ret., tactics and training Lt. Col. Jerry Kemp, USAF Ret., flight test and training Lt. Col. Robert Shaw, USAF Ret., human factors and displays Maj. Ron Shoulars, USAF Ret., flight test Edward Luttwak, Center for Strategic International Studies

Take A Look Inside


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US Aircraft Corporation Wins Smart with the Development of the A-67 The A-67 Dragon: Survivable. Maintainable. Durable. A-67 built from the ground-up for a more effective COIN/ISR aircraft Airpower plays vital role in Building Partnership Capacity
Cover Design by Innis Maggiore Group, Inc.

The A-67 Dragon

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US Aircraft Corporation

US Aircraft Corporation Wins Smart with the A-67


US Aircraft Corporation began with a specific concept in mind.
to fly low and slow to engage the enemy but be able to resist ground fire In 2003, Raymond Williams founded the corporation to create an aircraft and speed away at high speed when necessary. Technological sophistication is not the critical factor in an effective that met the requirements for Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in second and third- COIN/ISR plane. In fact, Williams said that in many cases the aircraft that world ally countries. Williams, who is the president and founder of six exists today is too high-tech for countering insurgents. Second and third-world ally countries are fighting the wars of Vietnam other companies that specialize in aircraft maintenance, brought 25 years of military aircraft maintenance support to his new endeavor. Along with and World War II, Williams said. They arent fighting high-tech wars. The aircraft most suitable for countering insurgents in developing counhim was Brigadier General Charles Jones III, U.S. Air Force Ret., a longtime friend who Williams credits with showing him the need for a tries is not a highly advanced warplane but rather an aircraft that is survivable, durable, and easy to fly and maintain. In the same way that a Cadillac COIN/ISR aircraft. Jones identified the need through his relationships with air forces in Escalade is not an appropriate golf cart, high-tech warplanes are not suitother countries whose squadrons were the left over World War II planes able for countering insurgents, Williams said. Just because its bigger and faster doesnt mean its the best for meeting that were all worn out and there was nothing to replace them with, that need, he said. Williams said. In many ways, the A-67 is patterned after the single engine propeller From its inception, US Aircraft Corporation has partnered with retired air force personnel and numerous other consultants who offer years of expe- fighters of World War II. During Vietnam, these fighters were converted to rience and knowledge. After Williams and Jones established the need for aircraft suitable for fighting insurgents, and they were successful because an aircraft to counter insurgents as well as perform ISR missions, their they had long range, endurance, and advanced survivability. Though these original plan was to convert existing aircraft into an effective COIN/ISR aircraft are not in existence today, Williams said he has relied on the platform, something that many aircraft manufacturers have attempted to do expertise of the individuals who understand the merits of these propeller fighters for countering insurgents. with trainers. Because weve not previously built an aircraft, weve teamed up with However, as Williams enlisted the advice from even more experts in the field, the plan to use aircraft already in existence rather than design and the best and the brightest in the field, Williams said. Single engine fighter aircraft is an art and discipline that was once well known, and the construct a COIN/ISR aircraft from the ground-up quickly proved futile. experts in that field are still We tried to do what everyone around. else has tried, which is to take an US Aircraft Corporations E building at Akron-Fulton Municipal Airport in Though some may see these existing aircraft and morph it Akron, Ohio offers 196,000 square feet for the manufacturing of the A-67. single engine propeller fighters into this platform [for COIN/ISR The E building was constructed during World War II and served as the as unsophisticated, Williams said missions], Williams said. But manufacturing facility for the F4 G Corsair. that this model is the most approas we put together the advisory priate for COIN/ISR missions, as team, it became increasingly seen during the Vietnam War. apparent that this was an inapThe last time we got ourselves propriate approach. in an insurgent war, which was The team, which was now comVietnam, we drug out the T-28 prised of some of the most Trojan and A1E Skyraiders knowledgeable experts in the propeller fighters because they fields of aircraft tactics, training, were appropriate aircraft for that maintenance, and design, went back to the drawing board to design an aircraft that would be built specif- type of warfare, but theyre gone now, Williams said. However, the A-67, which is reminiscent of those propeller fighters that ically for COIN/ISR missions. The team offered suggestions for the aircrafts specifications such as speed, loiter, and lift. After three years in the were once used to fight insurgents, revives the merits of a single engine conceptual design phase, the first proof of concept prototype was complet- aircraft for COIN/ISR missions. That mass capability that once was appropriate is appropriate again, ed in 2006. The prototype was a side-by-side configuration and was modWilliams said. eled on the A-37. However, in a manner that has become typical of US Aircraft Corporation, Williams said that additional information from aerospace and Win Smart defense experts and pilots altered the planes design and revealed that a tandem configuration was preferable for COIN/ISR missions. The design US Aircraft Corporations A-67 program has partnered with some of the of the plane was altered to include a tandem configuration, which Williams most knowledgeable experts in the field of aerospace defense to create the said would allow them to more readily meet COIN/ISR specification cri- only aircraft in the world that is specifically designed for COIN/ISR misteria. sions. Teaming with these experts to develop the A-67 is consistent with After the first prototype, Williams said the team next sought out one of US Aircraft Corporations win smart approach. Ultimately, Williams the worlds leading experts in single engine, turboprop military aircraft to said that the company wins by providing its customers with the most effecredo the conceptual design in a manner that was specific to their unique tive aircraft to meet the increasing need to quell insurgent uprising. capability criteria and attack aircraft survivability. Its about our customer. They can win their battles more readily by being What has emerged is the A-67, a fixed-wing, turboprop plane that is smart in the acquisition of the aircraft, Williams said. The A-67 represpecifically designed for COIN/ISR missions with its rugged survivabili- sents a mission-specific aircraft at a lower cost, lower operating cost, ty, durability, and maintainability. The plane is geared toward second and longer life, and simple maintenance. It can be armed or sensored to their third-world ally countries that are engaged in irregular warfare conflicts needs as opposed to taking on whatever aircraft is available and trying to against insurgents. As a COIN plane, Williams said the A-67 must be able make it work.

By Angela DOrazio

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By Angela DOrazio
With the development of the A-67, US Aircraft Corporation is creating the only aircraft in the world that is specifically and uniquely designed for Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The A-67s range, short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability, ruggedness, and endurance make it uniquely capable of executing COIN/ISR missions, especially in areas most vulnerable to insurgent uprising and ground fire. According to Raymond Williams, founder and president of US Aircraft Corporation, every design decision that has been made in the development of the A-67 ensures an effective COIN/ISR aircraft and supports features such as survivability, maintainability, and durability. Survivability is especially significant, according to Dr. Edward Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a consultant to the National Security Council, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The advanced survivability of the A-67 differentiates it from trainers, planes which have been used for COIN missions because of their fixedwing, turboprop engine, and considerable range. However, the problem with trainers, Luttwak said, is that they are unable to withstand attack, making them unsuitable for COIN missions in high-threat areas. Though attempts have been made to enhance the survivability of such trainers, Luttwak believes that they can never be adequately fitted for combat. The need for an aircraft designed specifically for COIN missions rather than retrofitted for these types of missions after the fact comes on the heels of the long-overdue realization that airpower has the potential to play a critical role in countering insurgents. Airpower can play a decisive role in counterinsurgency in terms of strike, ISR, lift, communications, and psychological operations, and yet it has been neglected, said Dr. Wray Johnson, a retired U.S Air Force colonel and author of the book Airpower in Small Wars: Fighting Insurgents and Terrorists. According to Robyn Read, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and current research analyst at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, the essentials of each COIN mission are entirely dependent on the unique local circumstances that govern each insurgency. However, he said that the ability of airpower to affect ground operations is important in conflicts against insurgents regardless of the terrain or nature of the conflict. According to Read, it may take the form of presence, ISR, airlift or strike, but the range and speed inherent in airpower can provide options vital to an embattled government. Airpower is particularly relevant in countries with large segments of ungoverned or undergoverned space. Counterinsurgency, a subset of irregular warfare, according to Read, characterizes many of the active military operations today missions in which airpower plays a critical role.

Counterinsurgency has to be tailored to the conditions that spawned the insurgency which makes each conflict unique, Read said. But airpower, its mere presence, changes the equation on the ground. Over the years, the nature of warfare has fundamentally changed from a more conventional combat against a peer competitor to combat on the lower end of the spectrum, or conflict against insurgents or guerrilla groups, according to Major Kenneth Beebe of the U.S. Air Force in his article The Air Forces Missing Doctrine: How the U.S. Air Force Ignores Counterinsurgency, which was published last year in Air and Space Power Journal, the professional journal of the U.S. Air Force. The A-67 is designed to respond to the increasing COIN/ISR need, of both the U.S. Air Force and foreign partner nations, for an aircraft to fight the wars of today, wars that typically involve low-intensity conflict against insurgents. The Changing Nature of War According to Major General Richard Comer, U.S. Air Force Ret., irregular warfare is a term coined to describe fighters or insurgents who dont wear uniforms and so are difficult to identify but are nonetheless combatant. Today, however, Comer said that the term has come to mean warfare

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waged to win people away from allegiance to the legitimate government or the relevant political authority in an area. This irregular warfare, according to many experts in the aerospace and defense industry, is becoming the warfare of today and the next several decades. At one pointit was classical war and classical invasion, said Christopher Danan, the CEO of Octagon Defense and Security, a consulting firm for the research and development of military aircraft. But now, 15 or 16 years later, there are terrorist groups who are creating a third force and are infiltrating the porous borders of nations. Luttwak agrees and argues that today there is very little traditional warfare in which one country engages in a classical military operation against another country. With fewer and fewer conventional enemies, it has become more common for countries, particularly developing countries where the political infrastructure is weak, to find themselves in battle against insurgents who attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the government. The more pronounced presence of insurgencies has demanded a different kind of strategy and military equipment for engaging in these conflicts. According to Luttwak, low-intensity conflict, which characterizes COIN missions, involves the need to detect low-contrast targets, or targets that are difficult to identify. In conventional warfare, high-contrast targets such as military bases or enemy tanks are easily detectable by bombers; however, such aircraft are unsuitable to detect and attack the low-contrast targets in todays wars against insurgents. We dont have air power to fight the wars we are fighting today in Afghanistan and Iraq, Luttwak said. The solution, Luttwak said, is a piece of flying equipment that can fly slowly enough to detect low-contrast targets but is not a helicopter, which is highly vulnerable to attack. A COIN aircraft should also have a fixed wing so that it can zip in and out of high-threat areas, carry two pilots so that one can fly the plane while the other identifies targets, and have an enhanced loiter capability. The development of the A-67 is the result of this recent shift in the nature of warfare and is compatible with all of the capabilities necessary for a plane designed to counter insurgent operations. Danan sees the A-67 as

No aircraft in the world can begin to compete with [the A-67]. -Dr. Edward Luttwak
inextricably linked to the need to address the increasing presence of lowintensity conflict today. The A-67 is a natural response to the change of war, Danan said. The A-67 One of the most important considerations in the development and construction of an aircraft specifically designed for COIN/ISR missions is the need to identify the market for this type of plane. According to Read, virtually none of the nations most vulnerable to insurgent uprising is in the high-tech market. He said that high-tech systems are not the most important aspect of a COIN plane. Rather, practicality is the critical factor. The sophistication of the airplane has to be balanced with the ruggedness and serviceability of the airplane, Read said. A COIN platform of choice needs to be one that is consistent with a countrys infrastructure, their technology base, and their ability to sustain and maintain the aircraft. According to Johnson, countries that face the highest internal threat of insurgency do not have the funding or resources for high-tech equipment. These countries require what Johnson calls alternative technology, which is not a low-tech aircraft, but rather something that is more applicable and effective in countering insurgency in developing countries, something that is easy to fly and maintain. Highly advanced countries, those which do not face a high risk of internal conflict anyhow, may rely on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to search for potential threats. However, according to Luttwak, only a handful of countries are so advanced that they can use UAVs. Given the current change in the nature of warfare, which has rendered traditional aircraft ineffective, and the inability of developing countries to afford and use advanced aircraft suitable for COIN and ISR missions, nations that face the highest risk of insurgency are left without an effective and affordable aircraft for countering insurgents. According to Danan, the A-67 offers a solution for these countries. The A-67 is filling the gap between the classical interceptor, or bomber, and the UAV, Danan said. ... Cont on Pg 7

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A-67 built from the ground-up for a more effective COIN/ISR aircraft
By Angela DOrazio
The emerging realization that airpower plays an instrumental role in countering insurgents has resulted in numerous attempts to modify existing training aircraft to be capable of Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance (ISR) missions. In the absence of an aircraft designed specifically for COIN and ISR missions, trainers which have been modified for COIN/ISR are the Embraer Super Tucano, Beechcraft T-6B and AT-6, and the Pilatus PC-21. Trainers and modified general aviation aircraft may look like and even have some features of a COIN/ISR plane such as durability, simplistic design, and a turboprop engine. Their inability to withstand attack, however, makes them fundamentally unsuitable for COIN missions, which are often combative. According to Dr. Edward Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a consultant to the National Security Council, the U.S. The A-67s survivability, maintainability, and durability make Department of State, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the Office of the it especially suitable for COIN/ISR missions in second and Secretary of Defense, despite additions of armament made to enhance the survivability of the aircraft, trainers will never be suitable for COIN missions. Luttwak said that third-world countries. Modified aircraft such as trainers are the survivability of an aircraft is not only determined by external armor on the plane, not sufficient for resisting ground fire. but rather begins with the internal design of the aircraft. People have tried to make trainers more survivable, but you must make detailed provisions to the actual engineering of the plane to ensure survivability, Luttwak said. Because the A-67 was designed with COIN and ISR missions in mind, the plane is suitable for these types of missions in ways that trainers are not. In addition to the advanced survivability of the A-67, it can carry about 3,600 pounds of external load, weight which would easily overwhelm the wings of most trainers. According to Jim Kampe, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and mechanical engineer with over 40 years of aircraft maintenance experience, the design of an aircraft should be determined by its anticipated missions. The wings and fuselage of an aircraft built from the ground-up for COIN and ISR missions are designed very differently than the wings and fuselage of a training aircraft. Because the build of an aircraft is a key factor in how appropriate it is for COIN/ISR missions, Kampe said that converting a trainer into an aircraft suitable for these types of missions is kind of like turning a school bus into a motor home. On a superficial level, the aircraft can be converted, but the design and internal workings of the plane will never be appropriate for COIN/ISR missions unless it is built specifically for this purpose. If you want to do it right, youve got to start from scratch, Kampe said. Robyn Read, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and current research analyst at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, said that attempts to convert trainers into aircraft suitable for COIN/ISR missions are not totally futile and that modifications can result in an effective COIN/ISR airplane. However, Read said that changes made to an existing aircraft are typically limited only to external modifications, such as the addition of armament. After the fact, the types of modifications that need to be made are fundamentally going to be external, Read said. External modifications, while feasible, do not address many of the important design considerations for a COIN/ISR aircraft, like STOL capability. Read said that the ability to take off and land on unimproved runways is not a concern during the design process of a trainer but certainly would be in the design of a COIN/ISR aircraft. Besides the build of the wings and fuselage of the aircraft, other features of an effective COIN aircraft, such as higher payload capacity and internal gun placement, cannot be easily modified on an existing aircraft. Like Kampe, Read believes that building a plane with a specific mission in mind will guide its construction and ultimately result in a more effective design. If a pure design is available, that would obviously be the optimal choice, Read said. Attempts to modify existing aircraft to be suitable for some other purpose than the one for which it was specifically designed have been made throughout the history of How the A-67 compares to Competitors the air force. According to Luttwak, World War II fighter planes were ... Cont on Pg 7

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... Cont from Pg 5 The features of the A-67, including its rugged survivability, ease of maintenance, and low-cost structure, have ensured that it will be an effective COIN/ISR plane in second and third-world ally countries that face the highest internal threat of insurgency. According to Danan, the A-67 embodies an entire system of air defense in one plane. What used to require three different planes, he said, can now be accomplished with one plane: the A-67. The A-67 is the perfect multi-mission airplane, Danan said. It carries electronic cameras and delivers ordnance to the designated target. The flexibility will replace at least three pieces of flying equipment. The first being the reconnaissance plane, the second being the attack plane, and the third being the mission assessment plane. In addition to cost-effectiveness, provisions for aircraft survivability have been a top priority in the development of the A-67. According to Jim Kampe, the military liaison for US Aircraft Corporation and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, hardening the plane during the design phase will allow for affordable survivability features to be incorporated into the A-67 to optimize their cost and effectiveness. In addition to adding armament around key areas of the plane such as the cockpit and the engine, Kampe said that wiring, fuel lines, and critical components can also be routed/mounted in such a way as to promote the planes survivability. These provisions, however, must be made in the engineering of the plane; in many cases, retrofitting such features after fielding can be radically expensive. These provisions for survivability are significant and have been critical to the A-67 program. The advanced survivability of the A-67 is what differentiates it from other aircraft that could be used for COIN/ISR missions, such as trainers like the Embraer Tucano or Beechcraft AT-6. The A-67 is also designed for ease of maintenance, an important feature of a COIN/ISR airplane due to the limited technology of the areas most likely to benefit from this type of aircraft. ISR and COIN airplanes, by their mission, are going to operate out of forward, unimproved areas where support footprints should be minimized, Kampe said. Maintainability is very important for the A-67. The A-67 also includes sensors to gather intelligence from the air and a communication system to relay that sensory information to the ground. The aircraft will offer ejection seats as an option, but also includes a Ballistic Recovery System (BRS), which will deploy a parachute to lower the entire plane to safety. The A-67 is a plane that has been designed and developed for a very specific purpose and for a very specific customer. What it amounts to is an aircraft that is unmatched by any other in existence. No aircraft in the world can begin to compete with [the A-67], Luttwak said.

Airpower plays vital role in Building Partnership Capacity By Angela DOrazio


The A-67 program, due to its international focus on countering insurgents in second and third-world ally countries, facilitates in what the U.S. Department of Defense has termed Building Partnership Capacity. The term is defined by the DoD as Targeted efforts to improve the collective capabilities and performance of the Department of Defense and its partners. Because the A-67 is equipped to complete Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in developing countries, it is designed to empower partner nations to restore the legitimacy of their governments and quell insurgent uprising. According to Major General Richard Comer, a retired vice-Commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), building partnership capacity through the use of aircraft has become critical in responding to the irregular warfare that destabilizes the governments of second and third-world partner nations. According to Comer, insurgents work from isolated areas of a country that are difficult to identify and reach with ground operations only. A well-equipped and well-trained air force, however, can help to extend those ground efforts as well as the legitimacy of the government. Comer emphasized that military power is not the sole mechanism for countering insurgents in a developing nation. He said that insurgents seek to win the peoples allegiance by undermining the legitimacy of the government. Especially in areas where the government is helpless to respond to famine or other humanitarian concerns, insurgents can easily destroy the peoples faith in the government. Any aircraft designed to counter insurgents should not only have ISR capabilities, which Comer said provides vital situational information, but also be equipped to respond to the humanitarian needs of the people. Enabling the partner air force to use the plane to deliver food to its people, for example, restores the citizens confidence in the government and repels them from the insurgent movement. Other methods of countering insurgency are to enter the fray of humanitarian aid to the people, Comer said. Its a part of a whole of a country extending the legitimacy of its government. According to the May 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review by the DoD, there is a growing need to address insurgencies not only through military means, but through personal engagement, persuasion, and quiet influence. Ultimately, Comer said that victory over insurgents occurs when the people separate from the insurgent movement, which often becomes a straight contest with the government. That victory is often contingent upon reestablishing the peoples trust in their government. Airpower can aid in that effort by providing military, surveillance, and humanitarian services. Air provides the best means to reach the places that insurgents seek out places where the government is weak, Comer said. Having the full spectrum of capability is important for partner nations.

Customer Identification for the A-67 Many of the planes most important features, including its STOL capability, low maintainability requirements, simplistic flying mechanisms, and low cost structure, have been added in anticipation of the market for this type of aircraft. Though the plane is geared toward developing countries, it is important that the U.S. Air Force also have the A-67 in its inventory when it is engaged in second and third-world ally countries or supporting the training of those countries. According to Johnson, although the A-67 is more suited for a country like the Philippines because it is less expensive, more rugged, and easy to fly, countries such as the Philippines will look to the U. S. Air Force, which serves as a sort of mentor to foreign air forces. Johnson believes the A-67 represents a suitable platform for countries facing internal threats. For counterinsurgency the A-67 is an appropriate platform, especially for countries in the developing world, Johnson said. Danan agrees, seeing the A-67 as a cost-effective solution to many of the problems plaguing developing countries. The A-67 is the perfect response for countries who want to combine their assets of defense on one expense.
... Cont from Pg 6

modified and used to counter insurgents during the Vietnam War. These propeller fighters were effective for COIN/ISR missions because they were highly survivable, could fly slowly, and could loiter for extended periods of time. However, Luttwak said that these types of fighters dont exist anymore. The A-67 would be of little value in the 1960s when you could turn to propeller fighters, Luttwak said. However, the A-67 has all the virtues of

a propeller fighter, plus it is much more efficient. The key virtues of a COIN plane, Luttwak said, are flight endurance, low stall speed, and, most importantly, the ability to resist attack, none of which are captured by todays fighters or modified training aircraft. Luttwak believes that trainers do not offer any real competition to the A-67. No aircraft in the world exists today that has a low stall speed that was designed to withstand attack, and that has the range of the A-67.

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