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Supersonic Super Mystère / Etendard

H_K

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In the mid-1950s the French were developing 2 Dassault fighters in parallel: a high altitude supersonic interceptor (the Mirage delta), and a low altitude light tactical fighter (the Mystère/Etendard series).

In hindsight the Mirage was a success while the Etendard was a mixed bag (not enough thrust and payload). This led to strange decisions in the 1960s, like buying Crusaders to fill the Aeronavale’s supersonic fighter gap, and buying Mirage IIIEs, IIIRs and Vs for low altitude strike/reconnaissance.

What if the French, with a little foresight, had decided to tweak the Etendard IV design with an afterburning Atar 9B, the same engine that made the Mirage III so successful?

I could see this happening around summer 1957. The Mirage III and Etendard IV prototypes first flew in 1956, and it was soon clear that they were both great designs. The French were ready to order the first pre-production aircraft, which they quickly did by mid-1957. At the same time, Dassault was asked to build a test bed for the Atar 9 engine, the Super Mystère B4. So what if Dassault had ditched the SMB4 and suggested using the Etendard IV as the Atar 9 test bed instead, with the French Navy’s full support?

(As by now the performance of the Mirage III and F8U Crusader / F11F-1F Super Tiger must have been leaving them a little envious and worried about the little Etendard IV, while the SMB4 was an evolutionary dead end for Dassault!)

How realistic would it have been for Dassault to mash up the wing & front fuselage of an Etendard IV with the engine & rear fuselage of a Super Mystere B.4?

(This would have been an alternative to the BR.1120 Sirocco - see this thread: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/th...-2-2-naval-fighter-proposal-from-1956-57.142/)
 

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Archibald

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The SMB-2, Etendard IV-01 and Mirage III-01 which all flew in 1956 had essentially the same engine in a similar "rump". Atar 101G except the Etendard which had the non-afterburning 101G called 101E. From there indeed you could play lego with Mirage Mystere Etendard and Atar 8 & 9.
One could create hybrids from 1/72 scale models.
 
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Archibald

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What the Etendard lacked to go supersonic was two things: "mices" in the air intakes and an afterburning Atar 8 - that is, an Atar 9.

As you noted the SMB-4 had an Atar 9, just like the Mirage III-C. The Etendard IVM had an Atar 8.
Put an afterburner on it tweak the air intakes and it should go supersonic at least. Etendards could already do Mach 1.1 in steep dive.

Funnily enough a supersonic Etendard would look like a low wing Mirage F1.
 

archipeppe

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As you noted the SMB-4 had an Atar 9, just like the Mirage III-C. The Etendard IVM had an Atar 8.
Put an afterburner on it tweak the air intakes and it should go supersonic at least. Etendards could already do Mach 1.1 in steep dive.

Essentially the same problems that affected the original FIAT G-91, and even placing a couple of afterburner engines (J-85-13) on the ill-fated G-91Y didn't improve the general speed performances.
 

Archibald

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I often think of creating a fourth member in the family: SMB-4 with a Mirage III wing.
Either a tailed delta with a frontal intake (MIG-21 look alike) or a pure delta (= XF-92A).
SMB + Mirage + Etendard = could be called SAMBA (for Brazil !), SIMBA (for Kenya obviously) or SIMBAD. The latter would be fine: mirages, mystery and Simbad are related through desert, Middle East...

As for the supersonic Etendard, since it would borrow Mirage "mices" and afterburner
...
ET-endard
mi-RAGE
= ETRANGE (= strange - fine with mystery and mirage !)

So now we have Mystere, Mirage, Etendard, Simbad and Etrange...

ROTFL.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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So, the Etendard IV was procured as an attack aircraft to replace its existing piston-engined attack aircraft. France had just got Sea Venoms for the fighter role and weren't looking for a new fighter until a few years later in 1962.

For the attack mission, the afterburner is dead weight.

So I guess what you are saying is could the Etendard have been a fighter which would mean no need to buy the F-8. Possibly, but it might need a better engine than an Atar.
 
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Archibald

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As shown in Suez the Aeronavale was split between Corsairs and Sea Venoms. The reason why the Corsairs lasted until the Crusaders relates to the Aquilons being mostly land-based. The reason ? It was a matter of ill-suited carriers...

As far as the Aquilons went
-Arromanches: 220 m deck, long enough but too slow at 24 kt.
-Lafayette: too short a deck at 190 m while fast enough, 30 kt.

Basically: too often the Aquilons found themselves on a De Mayo / Skyhawk / Falklands situation: they could not operate out of Arromanches or Lafayette safely or efficiently... the Corsairs had no such issues but were utterly obsoletes. Except perhaps over Algeria, no opposition in the air...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Thats' several generations on - the weight penalty is smaller, much less important (as other areas are improved), plus it meant off-the-shelf engine commonality rather than a specific non-afterburning engine.

In late 50s with the Atar I would say its a different balance.
 

galgot

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I don't know if that match the exact time frame, but I think the rational for using the delta MIII airframe for the MIIIE and for the even more dedicated to attack M5 was that they were supposed to be able to cope with hi supersonic opposing fighters (anyway that is certainly the case for the israeli demands for the M5, that it would have to be fast enough to be used as a fighter too, which it did).
Can imagine a MIII fuselage with ATAR9 matted with a Etendard/Super-Mystère wing platform. would certainly look good.
But I don't think it would reach M2.0 . Seems to me that Etendard/SMB2 wing platform was good for hi-subsonic/lo-supersonic speed but not higher.
So it would have made a truly dedicated lo supersonic attack aircraft, when they already had the speedier M5 for sale (and the Jaguar after buying Breguet).
that wing platform was clearly saved by the French navy need (-> Etendard/SuE) cause it was good for lower speed landing needed on carriers.
Funny thing is they came back to the sweep wing to address landing performance of the III after all the research with Mirage Gs, that became the F-1 (where they wisely placed the wing hi on fuselage). But thinner and higher performance sweep wing than that old Etendard wing of course.
 
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Archibald

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Yep. A Super Etendard with F1 wings, afterburner and air intakes... still with its low wing and high tail perched on the tail.
Would make for a nice hybrid ( Super Etrange - ultra weird LMAO).
 

H_K

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For the attack mission, the afterburner is dead weight.

The afterburner would allow higher take-off weights from the Clemenceau’s short catapults... (the ETD-IV was limited to ~10.8t). So my goal would be to increase payload/range by more than the extra weight penalty.

That plus the ability to have 1 type for both strike and interceptor missions would be the main draw. (There would still be 2 sub-types, like the Mirage III/V and F1C/F1A, with slightly different avionics).

But I don't think it would reach M2.0 . Seems to me that Etendard/SMB2 wing platform was good for hi-subsonic/lo-supersonic speed but not higher.

Funny thing is they came back to the sweep wing to address landing performance of the III after all the research with Mirage Gs, that became the F-1 (where they wisely placed the wing hi on fuselage). But thinner and higher performance sweep wing than that old Etendard wing of course.

I wouldn’t aim for Mach 2.0, personally. I think Mach 1.5 would be plenty for a naval interceptor. The main benefit of the afterburner is greatly improved time to climb/increased energy levels, I doubt there would be many scenarios where they would have time to accelerate past M1.5. The side benefit would be no need for mice, so weight savings.

The Mirage F1 comparison is interesting. The wing was too small / too thin really for naval use... it’s one of the reasons why I started thinking of an F1 with a better wing. And presto! The Etendard IV’s wing fits the bill.
 
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H_K

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Essentially the same problems that affected the original FIAT G-91, and even placing a couple of afterburner engines (J-85-13) on the ill-fated G-91Y didn't improve the general speed performances.

I remember reading that one of the main criticisms of the Etendard in the NATO competition was that the French had sacrificed too much for a little extra speed (transonic performance). While the Italians had correctly understood that the air-to-ground focus meant that the G-91 didn’t need to go faster than M0.9.

So the flipside is that the Etendard should be able to make much better use of an afterburning engine... it was indeed already slightly supersonic in level flight and was flown to M1.45 in testing (in a dive).
 
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zen

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So obviously I'll throw UK engines at this, je suis desolet;)

But while we might talk of Avon or Sapphire, it's really the smaller next generation meduim engines that hold potential here.

Sadly only the Gyron Junior resulted. Which is a bit large in diameter. But perhaps this might not have been that bad with the right effort on inlet and exhaust nozzle.
It's just this that seems part of the problem with the Bristol's T.188 engines....
Essentially Atar levels of thrust.
A DH license could produce all sorts of divergence from History.
Such continued funding into Gyron Junior, might impact Bristol's T.188, Buccaneer mk1, and in turn alter History substantially.
1957 is the ideal moment for the French to come to the rescue of the Gyron Junior.....

However the alternatives like the Bristol BE.33 or RB.123 seem like ideal solutions.
Bristol did later tie up with SNECMA on the M.45.

Later on the Anglo-German RB.153 or the Anglo-French M.45 are the right size for a supersonic Etendard.
Obviously the M.45 seems like the solution with proper supersonic inlets and fully convergent divergent exhaust nozzle. People might quibble over the thrust levels, but considering the total size, weight, and s.f.c this and the RB.153 are rather competitive.

Or perhaps the earlier RB.145 which is small, light and has a reheat option might offer a twin engined alternative.
 

archipeppe

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So the flipside is that the Etendard should be able to make much better use of an afterburning engine... it was indeed already slightly supersonic in level flight and was flown to M1.4 in testing (in a dive).
Yes, the proof is when FIAT thought about a truly two seat supersonic version of the G-91, dubbed G-91TS, it turned out to be a rather different aircraft, bigger, heavier and with a different wing.
 

galgot

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Got some fun making hybrids of Mirage F1 and Super Etendard. So all hail the Super Étrange (third, on the right).
Super-Étrange indeed : D love that name. Crazy how smaller the F-1 wing is... Didn't realize that.

So obviously I'll throw UK engines at this, je suis desolet;)

...
You are welcome. I think I saw a post about the Etendard been proposed with the Avon to the Indian Navy ?
 

Archibald

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H_K

you have a point... Mirage F1 length is 15 m, S.E is 14 m yet when I put them side by side, the S.E is longer.

Another very shitty sides of the Internet: the sheer impossibility of finding broadly similar, same-scale 3-views (sigh)

The other issue is that the F1 stands horizontal when the S.E is perched on a long nosewheel, so nose up and ass down. As such, trying to paste a F1 rear fuselage on the S.E made it banana shaped... :p

More hybrids (with the same caveat): tailed Mirage III and delta SMB-2...
 

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Archibald

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At the end of the day it would be possible to create five Mirage F1 / Super Etendard / SMB-2 / Mirage III hybrids

Hybrid 1 - SMB-2, tailed delta (= MiG-21 style)

Hybrid 2 - SMB-2, pure delta (= XF-92)

Hybrid 3 - SMB-2 with F1 thinner wing and afterburner (= Su-7 ?)

Hybrid 4 - Super Etendard supersonic - with F1 afterburner and "mices" in the intakes

Hybrid 5 - Mirage III with Super Etendard fin and tail - tailed delta (= Gloster Javelin, except single-engine)
 

Archibald

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Is there a decent 1/72 scale SMB-2 at an honest price on the market ?
 

Archibald

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no, I wanted (but failed) to say a 1/72 model ;) I stopped modeling back in 2007 but now my hands are itching again...
 

galgot

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Ho... ok :) AFAIK the old Airfix one. Which was decent shape wise . I had the box back in the days, but never assembled it.
Quick search , I found that one too :
 

Archibald

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Thank you. I just realized that a tailed delta SMB2 would look like a Nord Gerfaut (hopefully less ugly !)
 

H_K

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@Archibald Thanks, my favorite is the Etendard - Mirage F1 mash up. I’m going to try to find time to do it this weekend with the right scale (and a cutaway view for the internal arrangements).
 

Archibald

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You are welcome ! It will be a fine-looking, quite original bird.

Note that the main tricky point might be the undercarriage.

The Super Etendard has the undercarriage folding in a large wing.

The F1 wing is much smaller but it is high-mounted, and so the undercarriage folds TSR-2 / Jaguar style: in the fuselage flanks.

Now, an Etendard with a F1 wing will have the worst of both worlds: its undercarriage folding into a small wing...
(English Electric Lightning, is that thou ?)

Basically with the low-mounted wing half-eaten by the undercarriage, any "classic" bomb / missile carriage will be minimal.

We will need British excentricity there: above-wing mounting, or fuselage side-mounted pylons (Vickers 557, Lightning, Jaguar... British unability to put missiles at the usual locations, is beyond me LMAO).
 
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H_K

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I’m keeping the Super Etendard wing. Just adding the Mirage F1 aft body for the afterburning Atar engine.

So the landing gear should be fine. The tricky part is figuring where to store all the fuel lost due to the larger engine. There’s less space in the center midsection so the fuel tanks have to go forward or aft while still respecting area rule and CoG issues... hence why I need to play with some internal arrangements.
 

Archibald

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Yep, range won't be that aircraft prime virtue. Unless one swaps old Atar for shiny M88, but that's an entirely different story, altogether (all, together ! as they say in Airplane !)

For the wing, an interesting trick might be to keep the S.E wing up to the undercarriage and then put F1 outer wing panels. But the NACA profiles will be horribly mismatched...

Well at least it looks fine.
 

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Archibald

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And unlike the S.E, on the F1 wing there are wingtip hardpoints for Magic or Sidewinders...
 

H_K

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Wingtip missiles are not a priority for me as the added weight and bending moment is not good for a folding wing naval aircraft.

As an alternative, the Etendard wing could have taken 2 more hard points in front of the landing gear (where the « Point 0 » hard points were added on the SEM). In the 80s Dassault were marketing those hard points as being compatible with AAMs or bombs up to 400kg.

original
 
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Archibald

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Never seen a S.E with so much "accessories"... nice model, at least the underneath. Is it yours ?

The Etendard IV-01 was such a cute beauty... before they added that horror under its nose... ugh. At least the Super Etendard lost it.

86-5763_T.jpg
 

galgot

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Always wondered why they added that keel under the IVM nose. Was it just a way to place an antenna ? Or an aerodynamic stuff ?
 

Archibald

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I have improved the "Etrange" using a much, much better Etendard IVM profile.

Avionsmilitaire.net has good 3-views, really.

"All in the family" - Mirage F1, Etendard IVM, and variation on the result of their one-night-stand.
Up to down:
- Etrange first prototype, still with the Etendard IV "rounded" nose
- Etrange second prototype, with a "pointy nose" and the F1 anti-roll fences
- Etrange modified second prototype adapting the Etendard IVM nose refueling system to the pointy nose.

It is extremely cute, maybe I should call it the Dassault Mogwai or maybe the Dassault Kawai ?

EDIT: added a front view with Mirage F1 smaller wing. Damn, tedious job.
 

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Retrofit

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Always wondered why they added that keel under the IVM nose. Was it just a way to place an antenna ? Or an aerodynamic stuff ?
That keel under the IVM nose was added to improve the aircraft behaviour when in spin (and also house an ECM system antenna).
 
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