Boomerang ground attack airplane Low-poly 3D model
This is a game ready, textured, skinned and rigged airplane model. Maya file contains the model, skeleton, rig and a character set for easier animation. The model consists of 7 meshes, 77 hull joints and 35 weapon joints. A quick rig overview is included in the video. The FBX file is a clean, skinned mesh, ready to be imported into game engine. I've tested the model in Unity (see attached video) A separate maya file with a quick take off animation is also included.
The textures are 4096 size and are optimised for PBR rendering (albedo, metalness, gloss, normal, occlusion etc.)
After the debacle of multi task air planes such as the F-35, a need arose in the late 2020's for a next generation dedicated ground attack fixed wing aircraft.
Fighting local conflicts against insurgents lacking any air force or sophisticated air defence, the Army dropped the requirement for stealth and instead focused on survivability, weapons flexibility and STOVL capability (Short Take Off, Vertical Landing).
Learning from the success of the A10 and its GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, the privately owned Icarus Aeronautics designed the Boomerang around the monstrously powerful Bofors 40mm 8 barrelled “Big Bertha” Gatling cannon .To counter the cannon's enormous recoil, the second engine nacelle was added to the right side of the airplane, aligning the airplane's centre of mass with Big Bertha's firing barrel and giving the airplane its distinctive boomerang like shape. Placing the cannon pod mid-section on the fuselage also eliminated the danger of cannon's exhaust gasses being sucked into right engine. 800 40mm rounds are stored internally.
The underside of the mid-wing section also carries a 60mm CF-HVIP (Caseless-Flachette-Hyper-Velocity-Inert-Penetrator) “Gunny” cannon, used for targets that require pinpoint accuracy and minimal collateral damage. 20 CV-HVIP rounds are carried internally
For backup, the Boomerang also carries an internal M61 20m cannon located on the right side of the nose. 600 20mm rounds are carried.
The underside of the right engine nacelle is reserved for 2 Hydra 70mm rocket launchers, each carrying 88 rockets.
The standard weapon load-out usually includes AGM 97 “Uragan” missiles. Uragan missiles are active/passive radar guided missiles, used mostly in “over the horizon neutralisation of air defences”. 3 such missiles are usually carried on the left inner underwing pylon.
The Boomerang's main anti-tank weapon are 16 laser guided AT-33 “Fury” missiles. 8 of these laser guided, tube launched missiles are carried on outer weapon pylon under each wing.
The latest addition to the plane's arsenal is the LOAR 98 (Low Observable Aggressive Reconnaissance) “Horsefly” cruise missile. Once launched, the Horsefly can loiter over the battlefield for an extended period of time, provide recon data, provoke air defences and eventually use its warhead to eliminate high priority ground targets. One such missile is usually carried on the left wing's middle pylon.
Both wingtips are reserved for 2 short range “Swift 8” heat seeking missiles, used for self defence.
The last weapon hard point is the central fuselage pylon. While being capable of carrying a large variety of bombs and rockets, it is usually reserved for a large external fuel tank that almost doubles the Boomerang's range. Two additional conformal fuel tanks are also attached to the dorsal side of the fuselage. The airplane can also be refuelled mid-air via in-flight refuelling receptacle in the nose
To acquire ground targets, the Boomerang primarily uses the “Sniper” Laser/TV target designator pod, mounted on the right side of the fuselage. In case of combat damage, the pilot can switch to a secondary Laser/TV designator mounted in the tip of the nose. Long range aerial and ground targets can also be acquired passively via IRST (Infra Red Search and Tracking) sensor located on the right front side of the cockpit. The backup IR sensor is located under the nose of the aircraft, together with a microwave radar, used for ground target acquisition and terrain following at night. Unusual for a ground attack airplane, the Boomerang also carries CAPTOR-E AESA radar in the right engine nacelle.
The defence package includes flare dispensers in the back od the fuselage and engine nacelle, ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) pod and chaff dispenser under the right wing, radar warning receivers in the nose and the back of the fuselage and a laser warning receiver in the left wing root.
Every decent ground attack aircraft must protect its pilot. In this category, the Boomerang is no exception. The pilot sits in a titanium bathtub, capable of withstanding direct hits from 14,5mm AA shels. The frontal windshield is even tougher, capable of withstanding a direct 20mm hit. In later versions, extra protective panels were added to the cockpit canopy, to protect the pilot from shrapnel.
The Boomerang is inherently asymmetrical aircraft, so no single vertical lift solution could be used.
Instead the Boomerang uses a combination of a lift-fan and directed thrust.
During vertical landing, both engine's back exhausts swivel down to provide vertical thrust. The right engine uses “Harrier” style movable nozzles to divert some of the compressor stage air verticaly down, while the left engine couples to a lift fan, located behind the cockpit. Some of the left engine's compressor stage air is also diverted into left wing thruster, to improve overall stability.
In horizontal flight, the whole left engine exhaust assembly rotates 90° and thus provides thrust vectoring in horizontal plane, while the right engine provides thrust vectoring in vertical plane.
While the forward-swept wing configuration provides great low-speed handling it is not well suited for supersonic speeds. In case of emergency however, the Boomerang can jettison all external weapon pylons (including “Big Bertha” and “Gunny” cannon pods) and all external fuel tanks. In this configuration, the Boomerang turns into a nimble, thrust vectoring aircraft, capable of reaching Mach 1,2 and armed with 2 AA missiles and internal 20mm Gatling gun. (The top speed is limited by the shape of air inlets and large foreign object filters)
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