- Mar 12, 2006
- Reaction score
Collaboration in a more concrete form (or more accurately, in wood and metal forms) is to be seen in Hall C. where two of the three Franco-German subsonic trainer projects exist in coy juxtaposition as full-scale mock-ups. The first is the E.650 Eurotrainer, proposed jointly by Snias and MBB (Messerschmitt-Bolkow Blohm) with French design leadership. Alongside stands the Alpha Jet, by Dornier and Dassault-Breguet, in which the leader is Germany. The Eurotrainer, in green and brown camouflage, is a low wing design with a high tail, while its counterpart, finished in white, has a shoulder wing and fuselage-mounted tailplane. Both have been designed with private money; government support does not begin until the contractor has been selected.
Both aircraft are twin-engined, and designed to take either the Snecma Larzac of 2,464lb. 10.9kN thrust or the General Electric J85-GE-4 rated at 2,950lb, 13.1kN thrust. The French and German Governments each have a requirement for 200 aircraft, and one of the stipulations in entering the design contest was that a firm in either country would have to team with a partner from the other. Both are designed around a combined trainer/light-strike role (designation TA on the fin of the Alpha Jet denotes training and attack). The winner will replace the venerable Magister in France, but its adoption in Germany will signal the beginning of a new training philosophy for that country. For some years fight crews for the G A F have been trained in America, beginning on Cessna T-37s and graduating to Northrop T-38 Talons. While certainly helping to offset the costs of maintaining American troops in Germany, the forces of nationalism are beginning to press for a "homegrown" product. More to the point, training in clear American skies is hardly a suitable preparation for fighting in proverbially poor European weather.
A model of a similar project, the Type 291 by VFW and Fokker, demonstrates the thoughts of this now-combined Dutch-German firm. This, too. would have twin Larzacs or J85s. but in view of the political constraints mentioned above in connection with the Franco-
German projects, its realisation (at least in response to this competition) appears remote.
Another European Trainer
THE NEW DESIGNATION E.650 now used for the Franco-German trainer proposed by Snias (Sud-Nord-Sereb) and Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm aircraft division (Flight, January 29, page 171) was given when the joint project teams completed the design phase shortly before the end of last year. This project is based on the MBB Type 462 and the Nord SN600. It will be powered by two Snecma-Turbomeca Larzac engines, have a speed range lying between Mach 0.2 and Mach 0.9 and be able to operate from unprepared strips. Weapon load for eventual ground support missions will be about 3,360lb, 1,524kg, and the all-up weight will probably be about 11,200lb, 5,080kg. The two seats will be in tandem.
Another proposed Franco-German trainer has now appeared on the scene, making three all told. This is the VFW T291, shown in model form in the photograph on this page. Like the others, this would replace the Fouga Magister and Lockheed T-33 types.
Newcomer on the European military jet trainer scene, VFWs T291 proposal has a shoulder wing layout, its structure being designed for afterburner powerplants (two Snecma Larzac 02s or two J-85 CE4s) so that operation at low supersonic speeds is possible.
Models of basic and advanced versions of Dornier's proposed DoP375 Universal Trainer designed with the aid of a computer to formulate the handling characteristics of any aircraft about all six axes of freedom in all flight phases. The area-ruled fuselage is common to both, but wing plan-forms distinguish subsonic and supersonic versions; the latter, below has longer engine nacelles to accommodate afterburners on its Bristol Siddeley BS 358 turbofan engines. The Universal Trainer is in the project study phase at Friedrichshafen
a supercritical wing with Alphajet.