Dassault Rafale Projects

overscan (PaulMM)

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27 December 2005
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Two early ACT.92 configurations

  • 'A New Fighter for Europe' Air International, Sept 1980


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Isn't it interesting that every European canard-delta fighter (Eurofighter, Rafale and Gripen) started with a cranked delta wing planform? Even the Su-37 (1991) was a cranked delta.
Some pre-Rafale studies from AWST april 1980, Dassault archives and some I foud on internet.


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The first, grainy pic is mine; I tried copying from a library book using a digital camera. It didn't work too well.
You should use digital camera with CMOS chip. For example I have Nikon D50. CMOS has the lowest noise from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. However copying book with camera is a bit complicated idea :)
This picture is very because the plane really look like the Mirage 4000, but the air intakes had been moved to the Rafale position... This is really the link between the two (there's many features of the 4000 in the Rafale)


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If my eyes don't fool me, all shown designs/designstudies are showing
twin engined aircraft. IIRC several years ago in the AirInternational,
a single engined version with a M53 engine was mentioned, intended
for export customers, who were already using this engine and wanting
more commonality. I've never heard again of such a proposal.
Anybody else ?
I have never heard it too. However it is not very good idea. When customer wants single-engined advanced (at that time) fighter, than he should buy Mirage 2000. Why to develop in some aspects similar plane?
Jemiba said:
Heureka !
Although I haven't found the statement about the single engined export version,
I've found in AirInternational June, '97, that there was "a short-lived project powered
by a single engine", during the earlier stages designated Rafale C, before this
designation was used otherwise.

I have the same article.

I can also remember seeing a very small, low quality rendering of what appeared to be a single engine Rafale on a French website...about a decade ago.

No, I didn't save it
1978-1979: ONERA's "Rapace" fighter study


  • ONERA Rapace(b).jpg
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Early ACT 92 studies


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Stealth cocoons? Are those basically external housings to hold missiles in?
Kryptid said:
Stealth cocoons? Are those basically external housings to hold missiles in?

Yes, also called "shrouded weapons".

Source: http://www.dassault-aviation.com/fileadmin/user_upload/redacteur/AUTRES_DOCS/Fox_three/Fox_Three_nr_4.pdf


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here is the Dassault-Breguet ACT-92 two-view,Air International 9/1980.


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here is Dassault-Breguet ACX aircraft Model,Air International 9/1983.


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From Lotnictwo 9/2016,

here is a two Models for Dassault ACX and ONERA Fighter.


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  • ONERA.png
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From Le Fana 195.


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Does anyone know a good source about the Rafale A demonstration programme? French language is ok
Paul-san already posted ACT92A/B/C/D2C three side view drawings in this topic.


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  • ACX EARLY.jpg
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  • Super Rafale.jpg
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hesham said:
From Lotnictwo 9/2016,

here is a two Models for Dassault ACX and ONERA Fighter.

the first one looks uncannily like a Mirage 4000. Truly the missing link between the two aircrafts.
Hi! More clear ACX(late) image and prototype Rafale A video.




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As far as I can understand, this "Super Rafale" does not come from Dassault, but from gamers world :


Terribly sorry for not proper information. :'(
In view of the occasion, please all of us should recall point 5 of the forum rules
"Please do not post [your own] "fantasy" projects ..."
and especially point 16 "Give your sources. This is vital to allow other forum members
to judge your contribution ..."

To fall for a What-If or a fancy CGI is not condemnable, but only with a given source
other members have a fair chance to correct such things quickly, without having to
search for the sources by themselves first !
Looking at the ACT-A design again, the main difference with the Mirage 4000 is really the air intakes.

I have this suspicion that Dassault probably found (from Milan, Kfir, Mirage 2000, Mirage III NG experience) that putting the canards on the rounded air intakes was not efficient enough.

The familiar Mirage intakes were a nuisance in the sense the canards could not be blended in the fuselage semi conformally as for the Rafale. I would say that, as far as canard efficiency goes, the aircrafts would rank as follow 1) Rafale 2) Typhoon 3) Mirage 4000.

This is just speculative.

LoL Very funny indeed Mr Archibald.

Arjen, I own you an explanation:

"Wrong" was for my edited post. Obviously, I should have wriitten :" EDITED, REASON; wrong assumption.

I stated earlier (and deleted the text) that the Black & gold scheme is sourced from Dassault (true - appeared in some late 80's brochure and then in other aero publication) and appeared when the Rafale model was famously unveiled during the 1986 Le Bourget Airshow (it's probably the 1984 one). I had in mind Mr Marcel Dassault standing aside of the model, smiling. In fact, it appears that this early representation of the model was gold/bright yellow tinted.

So, sorry for twice inducing the reader wrongly in the same post. An early 2018 record?
TinWing said:
Isn't it interesting that every European canard-delta fighter (Eurofighter, Rafale and Gripen) started with a cranked delta wing planform? Even the Su-37 (1991) was a cranked delta.

Double deltas (SAAB Draken) function similar to canards or chines on the forward fuselage. The sharply-swept inboard portion creates large vortices at high angles of attack. These vortices are huge wingtip vortices. The spiral swirl re-energizes airflow over the main wing. Strakes also develop lots of lift - at high angles of attack - improving maneuverability.
The disadvantage is that strake or canard vortices are difficult to predict.


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Dassault died after he took over in 1986. Focussing on secure markets and using CAD to disempower the designers worked for business jets, not for fighters.

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