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 Post subject: Project Cava?
PostPosted: 28 May 2005, 19:10 
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Does anyone know anything about the Atlas Cava?


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PostPosted: 30 May 2005, 08:20 
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There was a Project Carver in the 1980's that was a twin-engined tandem-seat canard design.


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PostPosted: 30 May 2005, 11:11 
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Dean wrote:
There was a Project Carver in the 1980's that was a twin-engined tandem-seat canard design.


Dean, u got a pic of the design somewhere? I did a quick google and came up with an interesting link, but it's only mentioned once...

http://www.iss.co.za/Pubs/ASR/9No4/MillsAndPienaar.html

The article does, however, confirm the thread we had on the F1 re-engining woes...

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 Post subject: RE: Project CAVA
PostPosted: 30 May 2005, 20:36 
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Perhaps the best source I've come across on project CAVA is the Flight International Magazine's web discussion forum. I quote:

[quote]

"People forget how advanced South Africa was technically. It had a successful nuke project. It's really a little piece of Western Europe situated on the southern tip of Africa (okay, their racial attitude back then was 18th century Europe).

Looking up older threads here at AFM on the Cava, this is what Thor, who brought the subject to me on October, 2002, said about the plane:

Project CAVA (sometimes "Carver") was started in the '80s to replace the Canberra , Buccaneer , and Mirage 111 in the South African fleet.The Cheetah was a total upgrade of the Mirage 111 and was always supposed to be an interim type to serve until the late 90's until CAVA would come into service.The reasons for the project was that under Apartheid , South Africa was under an arms embargo.There was some speculation that a twin engined design would be produced , either as an upscaled attack variant with the single engined type . or possibly instead of it.This was done under the instigation of the SAAF chief , an ex buccaneer man and a firm advocate of twin engines.

This aircraft was NOT a modellers excercise.Pres. FW De Klerk mentioned its cancellation in parliament along with the 6 nuclear weapons in the early 90's.Upwards of 10 billion Rand had been spent on the project already as well as a mock-up to test systems placement.Comprehensive wind tunnel tests and a host of related work had been completed.Apparently a prototype was either beginning to be constructed or was just about to commence.Towards the end of the research and test phase , quite a few Israeli engineers made redundant from the Lavi cancellation joined from 1987 onwards , leading to speculation that it would be a Lavi lookalike , ala the J-10

The design was to be a Fly by Wire (FBW) unstable design with a large percentage of composites in its construction.There is evidence that the Advanced Composite Evaluator (ACE) constructed by Atlas/Denel in the late 80's early 90's was part of the R&D into aircraft composites.The Ace was a turbo prop trainer in the class of the Pilatus PC-9 or Tucano.It had at the time the highest percentage of composites in a military type aircaft in the world at the time.

One of the most interesting aspects was to be the powerplant.It was said that it would be an engine "based on or using the Atar 9k50 as a starting point but considerably different." The project was cancelled as the end of Apartheid did not justify its continued development.I think that this was a mistake as it would have been in the class of the Gripen and would have probably entered service possibly a little sooner.The aircraft was to incorporate a high degree of composites as well as it's small size would have made it slightly "stealthy" in clean config.

I don't think it is that similar to Indias ACA.It appears to have a different nose section , cockpit area , a different wing design and better wing/fuselage blending.It does appear to be in roughly the same weight class.I think it looks more like a single engined Rafael without the Canards.The funny thing is that it would be a very viable project today , given that the Eurofighter , Rafael , export Gripens and Indian ACA are some time off entering operational service."

If anybody would like to see the full discussion, go to:

http://www.forum.keypublishing.co.uk/sh ... hp?t=24609

There are pictures there too!
[/img]


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PostPosted: 31 May 2005, 00:21 
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Thanks.

How would the Cava compare with the Cheetah and Grippen? If it was built?


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PostPosted: 31 May 2005, 20:38 
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How the CAVA fighter would compare to the Cheetah and the Gripen is difficult to say given that we (the public) know so little about it. However I think it would be fairly correct to speculate the following:

CAVA was designed to replace the Cheetah C and D fighters so it would have definitely been more advanced technologicaly. (ie: Fly by wire, HOTAS, glass cockpit, etc). The engine, most likely, a turbofan in the 20 000lb class like the Eurofighter. The radar would have been sourced from Israel with advanced functions such as track-while-scan, multiple target tracking and designation as well air-to-ground functions such as ground mapping, terrain avoidence/following.

A fair amount of weapons would have been carried on about eight external hardpoints such as the A-Darter SRAAM, R-Darter MRAAM, the MUPSOW or Torgos stand-off cruise missiles, LGB's as well as the full assortment of 'dumb' bombs that the SAAF has in inventory. (oh ... and a nuke too!!) Stealth would have been a definite feature of the design.

A fighter such as that that I've outlined above would most probably compare very closely to the Gripen... except for a few points:

The CAVA would have been designed with the SAAF's requirements in mind given its recent combat experience in Angola. A long combat radius would have been of high importance as apposed to an emphasis on very short take-off and landing performance as is the case with the Gripen. Inflight refueling would have been a pre-requisit from the outset. Perhaps some of the advanced avionics and weapons systems of the Rooivalk would have been included too.

Personaly, I think the CAVA would have been a better fighter than the Gripen. (Just look at the kick-ass Rooivalk compared to the Apache !!!)
... and it looks better too:


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PostPosted: 31 May 2005, 22:58 
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Quite possibly true. Apparently the original CAVA design was seriously underpowered, almost certainly due to the inability to obtain modern engines thanks to the arms embargo, but with two F-404s or something similar it could have been a really impressive performer.

For our conditions, it probably would have been a better fighter than the Gripen, but the question is whether that would have been worth the massive cost that it would have required to develop the aircraft. On balance, even though the Gripens have a horrible combat radius, we're getting a similar level of capability to what we would have had with the CAVA for a significantly lower price.

Of course, we can still muse wistfully on what might have been.


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2005, 09:15 
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Look what I found while delving into my archive last night!

Image


Last edited by Dean on 02 Jun 2005, 09:55, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2005, 09:31 
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Hhmmmm... Theres a certain kind of 80's SAAF logic to the design:

Front fuselage is vaguely Tornado-ish (UK Bucc replacement, while we were looking to replace ours too) and nice big delta (reminds me of Mirage 4000...) to soothe the fighter jocks... Hence a picture of a plane that can replace most of the fast jets, perfect to present to the Brass...

This design would not have been stealthy at all (unless mostly built from composites, as was mentioned previously, and also not necessarily then!) there are too many straight surfaces that don't line up, and those Tornado inlets make nice head-on reflectors... but one must also remember the initial pics sometimes look nothing like an evolved design.

Its damn pretty though...

Quote:
http://www.forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=24609

Is it just me or is this link broken?

Cheers

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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2005, 14:22 
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Leave out the "www" then it should work:

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=24609


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2005, 16:05 
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Hmm, that drawing shows quite a bit of evolution from the pic of the model on ipmssa:
Image

Seems they added canards, different air intakes, a two-seat cockpit, and wing-tip missile rails at least.

Pirate's also right about the stealth element - there isn't any. Still, being a small aircraft, if designed right it would have had a small RCS, like the Gripen, which is really all we would have needed.

Does anybody know where we can get more info on the CAVA?


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2005, 16:34 
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From the previously-broken-now-sans-www link...

http://ipmssa.inext.co.za/KB/Aircraft/Cheetah/Cheetah_new_background2.htm

VERY interesting article about the cheetah, once again more relevant to a previous thread...

Once cannot help but wonder how much of CAVA was a ruse to keep prople interested until the Cheetah C's arrived?

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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2005, 10:51 
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Yep IPMSSA is a truly excellent resource, I used it (with permission of course) when building my somewhat inferior Cheetah article on Wikipedia.

Though I'm not entirely sure that Project Cava was intended as a ruse to disguise the Cheetah program, because from what I've heard it was actually pursued rather seriously as a new fighter until its cancellation. The Cheetah C program was started rather late, so it's possible that once the design team for the CAVA ran into funding/development difficulties, the SAAF decided to go for a more advanced version of the Cheetah in the interim.

That's all speculation, of course. I really need to find out more about the CAVA. :P


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2005, 20:43 
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Thanks for the response.
i fouind this intresting article.

BAE Systems has placed a R210-million order on South African state-owned defence company, Denel, for the production of high-technology pilot helmet tracking systems for installation on the Eurofighter Typhoon. The order follows contracts placed in 2003 for the design and development of the helmet tracker system. BAE Systems is now ordering 450 Head Tracking Systems (HTS) and Helmet Storage & Drive Units (HSDU). These comprise the core of the Eurofighter Typhoon's helmet tracking system. A smaller order has also been placed covering the supply of helmet tracking system equipment to be fitted to the training simulators for the fighter.

These orders are the latest in a string of BAE Systems and Saab contracts placed on South African companies as part of their joint Direct Industrial Participation offset programme, arising from South Africa's procurement of modern Hawk and Gripen aircraft for the SA Air Force. The two companies are obliged to deliver US$8.7 billion of benefit to the South African economy through investments, additional exports, skills development and technology transfers.

Using high-technology components, the head-tracking system continuously monitors the position of the pilot's head and where his eyes are looking. It enables the tracker to direct the aircraft's weapons, reconnaissance and self-protection systems, to focus on whatever the pilot is looking at.

"We are particularly impressed with the design ingenuity and reliability of the Denel head-tracker system. Eurofighter Typhoon pilots operating in peace-support missions, will be confident with the integrity and accuracy of the system," explained Jonathan Walton, BAE Systems Executive Vice President for South Africa.

Denel's outgoing chief executive, Victor Moche, described the contract as a significant boost for the corporation and South Africa: "This contract is unequivocal proof that South Africa has the necessary expertise and strategic technologies that the world market needs today. It is expertise such as this that should be nurtured and protected to ensure our continued participation and co-operation with players in the global defence markets."

The Denel design comprises of three cockpit sensors -- essentially tiny video cameras -- that detect a series of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) embedded in the pilot's helmet. A head-tracker processor captures data from these sensors and rapidly calculates the angle and position of the pilot's head. This information is used to correctly position the display of vital symbology on the pilot's helmet-mounted display.

The helmet-mounted display projects vital flight, instrumentation, navigation and mission data together with weapons and counter-measures status, directly onto the pilot's visor. With this information directly in front of his eyes, the pilot never has to take his eyes "off the road" to glance down at physical instruments. The head tracker processor also drives external sensors and missile seekers, keeping them aligned with the pilot's line of sight.

Denel developed this unique world-leading binocular technology entirely in South Africa. This latest version of the system, for Eurofighter-Typhoon, tracks and processes data three times faster than predecessor versions, making it ideally suited to the latest generation of fighters.

http://defence-data.com/eft/eftpage58.htm


I guess this technology would have been used on the Cava?
Which would have made it very competitive with other new generation fighters? :)


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2005, 08:17 
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Well, it did fly on the F1, and is used in the Cheetah too... and Rooivalk?

:- P

PS Wonder if Denel actually makes some profit from this deal for a change...?

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