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SNCASO (Sud-Ouest) SO.4060 Super Vautour

Archibald

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SO 4060 Vatour replacement
SO 4060 01 All-Weather Interceptor
SO 4060M (Marine) Naval fighter-bomber
SO 4060 B Bomber
SO 4060 02 Revised All-Weather Interceptor
SO 4060 02-B Reengined 4060 02
SO 4060 03-B Reengined 4060 02
SO 4060 B New bomber version
SO 4060 N Renamed All-Weather Interceptor
SO 4062 New naval fighter version
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SO 4060 B.IV Unmanned Robot Bomber
SO 4060 “Robot” Missile project
SO 4061 Enlarged bomber version
The SO-4060 certainly had many different lives. The reason is that SNCASO (much like Breguet a decade later with the Jaguar) had managed, if barely, to broke Dassault rampant monopoly over combat aircraft. With the SO-4050 Vautour, of which 140 were bought by the AdA.

Buoyed by the Vautour (relative !) success, they felt they had some kind of "edge" over Dassault, in the category of "heavy, multirole, twin engine combat aircraft". Which could be either a) a Phantom all weather heavy interceptor or b) a light bomber.

And surely enough, they got a contract for a couple of SO-4060 prototypes, circa 1955-56. They were of the all weather interceptor variant, with a pair of Atar 101 they would reach mach 1.5.

The SO-4060 was doomed by the fact that prototype-01, as build, had a fuselage dimensionned for the old Atar 101 and not the evolved Atar 9. This explains the "re-engined" variants mentionned by Overscan.
Then the specifications gradually evolved. The Armée de l'air had no money for a (Phantom-class) large all weather interceptor, which role was ultimately filled by the smaller Mirage IIIC (note: no money for a twin jet aircraft was a constant until Rafale come. It doomed the AFVG, G4, G8, ACF, 4000).
The heavy fighter evolved into a land- and ship- based nuclear bomber. A more and more desperate SNCASO, stuck with the wrong prototype with the wrong engines (Atar 101) tried to get interest from the French Navy. But the SO-4060 was probably too heavy for the Foch and Clemenceau, and underpowered with the wrong engines, so PA-58 Verdun was SNCASO only hope. Nuclear strike bombers, USN style, were all the rage: the SO-4060 might have been France poor's man A-5 Vigilante. We all know what happened to the A-5: Polaris SLBMs stole his role.

And then Dassault, starting from scratch (more exactly, from larger Mirage III variants) managed to beat SNCASO advance they had build with both SO-4050 and SO-4060. The delta wing could get far more fuel than the swept wing, among other advantages.

By 1958 a major budget crisis was looming on the Armée de l'Air future. In a Diefenbaker, Sandys -like move, the French government started a major butchering of varied, redundant interceptor projects.

As of 1957 the Armée de l'Air long range plan was as follow

- more SMB-2 and Vautour as interim day and all-weather interceptors
- Etendard IV for low level interception (LWF).
- Mirage III (or Durandal) up to 60 000 ft
- SO-4060 for all weather, with a decent radar and R-530 missiles.
- Leduc, Trident or Griffon above 60 000 ft, on ramjet or rocket power.

Then every single of these aircraft was slaughtered, and the Mirage III replaced all of them after 1960. So if you think Sandys and Diefenbaker were bad, De Gaulle was a butcher, too, in his own way. So was Krushchev, by the way - Lavotchkin, Tsybin, Myasischtchev (goddam name !) were all gone by 1961, fed to the ICBM industry.

Note that the SO-4060-B, as shown by Le Fana (and hesham) had no radar but a navigator in a glazed nose, just like a freakkin' B-25 or A-26 of WWII !!

"Aucun radar n'aurait pu être emporté" mean "no radar could have been installed [in the nose]"

This explains by the SO-4050 own story: that jet bomber still had a Norden and a navigator in a glazed nose. :eek:
When the Israelis bought a handful of Vautours from France in 1957-1958, the pilots they send to train with the Armée de l'Air were aghast. The French crews used their Vautours like jet-powered A-26s or even B-25s, when the contemporary and quite similar Buccaneers and A-6 Intruders were packed full with advanced avionics, including all weather bombing systems.
France was completely a la ramasse as far as radars and avionics went, a situation that would not really improve until the Mirage F1 (see French Jaguars, and British Jaguars avionics !), although the Mirage IIIE was a good step in the right direction.
 

zen

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That is a fascinating explanation Archibald!
 

fightingirish

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The SO.4060 Super Vautour is also featured in an article about "60 years Mirage IV ", which is published in lastest August issue of the French aviation magazine Le Fana de l'aviation N°597 .
The two drawings so far are again done by Alain Ratinaud and are the same as in Le Fana de l'aviation N°455. See the pictures 455-7.png and 455-2.png post #42 by hesham.
Source: www.facebook.com/LeFanaDelAviationMagazine/posts/2430943063639137
 

orlovsky

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This is a fascinating project. I have a question regarding 455-10.png: The text refers to the 4060 M. According to the data, this version should be 19.1m in length.

Assuming the engines are Atar 9s of about 5.9m length, the aircraft shown is about 16-17m in length. And the nr in the right lower corner, isn't that a "4062"?

1595767394452.png
 
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orlovsky

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Yes, slightly scaled down; I guess it wouldn't have much internal fuel capacity, but at ~9 tons empty very light. With that weight, length, about 40m2 wing area and 12-13 tons of engine thrust, it's all very close to a Crusader III.
And might have worked from a Clemenceau class carrier.
 
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