Soko J-20 Kraguj

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J-20 Kraguj
Soko J-20 Kraguj.jpg
J-20 Kraguj in private collection with Yugoslav marks at a local airshow in Serbia, 2009.
Role COIN
Manufacturer SOKO
Designer Aeronautical Technical Institute
First flight 21 November 1962
Introduction 1964
Status Retired in 1989
Primary user Yugoslav Air Force (1968-1989)
Produced 1968-1977
Number built 85

The J-20 Kraguj (Sparrowhawk) is light military, single-engine, low-wing single-seat aircraft with a metal airframe, capable of performing close air support, counter insurgency (COIN), and reconnaissance missions, that was designed by VTI and manufactured by SOKO of Yugoslavia, first flown in 1962.

Design[edit]

It is of classic semi-monocoque, metal structure with a slightly tapered wing. The pilot is accommodated in an enclosed, heated and ventilated cockpit with adjustable seats. The cockpit canopy slides backwards to open. The landing gear is non-retractable with a tail wheel. Rubber dampers provide shock absorption, and hydraulic brakes are used for wheel braking.

The power plant comprises one 340 hp Textron Lycoming GSO-480-B1J6 piston engine and Hartzell HC-B3Z20-1/10151C-5 three-blade metal variable-pitch propeller. The engine cooling airflow is intensified by means of two specially designed ejectors. 36 US Gal of fuel contained in two rubber tanks enables a flight range of 350 NM for the fully armed configuration of the aircraft. 28 V DC electric power is supplied from a 1,5 kW generator and a storage battery. De-fogging and de-icing of the windshield is done by blowing of hot air.

Operation[edit]

The aircraft was specially designed for low-altitude missions against day and night visible ground targets in a broad area. It was readily available to be loaded with weapons and supplied through a flexible system of auxiliary airfields that required no special preparations, especially in mountainous regions. Yugoslav military planners assumed that potential aggressor will first disable airfields. Therefore, J-20 Kraguj was designed to take-off from short unprepared runways, even ones covered in deep snow when fitted with skis. It was also called a "Partisan aircraft".

The Kraguj P-2 was intended for close ground force support, and could be used for training of pilots in visual day/night flights, aiming, missile firing and bombing of ground targets.

Armament[edit]

Permanent armament comprises two wing-mounted 7.7 mm Colt–Browning Mk-II machine guns with 650 rounds each and a collimator sight in the cockpit. For combat missions there is a capacity for an external load of bombs and two 57 mm and two 128 mm (HVAR-5) air-to-ground rocket launchers. Adapters on the underwing pylons can be used to switch the armament configuration from free-fall bombs to multi-tube launchers with twelve 57 mm air-to-ground rockets. Cluster or cargo bombs, or 128 mm air-to-ground rockets can be fitted.

Users[edit]

Yugoslavian J-20 Kraguj on display in the Museum of Aviation in Belgrade, Serbia.
 Croatia
 Republika Srpska
 Yugoslavia

Specifications (J-20)[edit]

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1969-70 [1]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × 7.7 mm Colt–Browning Mk.II machine guns (650 rounds each)
  • Rockets: 2 × 12 round rocket pack or 6 × 57 mm or 127 mm rocket
  • Bombs: 2 × 100 kg (220 lb) bombs

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ J W R Taylor 1969, p.506.
  • Taylor,John W.R. (editor). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1969-70. London: Sampson Low,1969.

External links[edit]