The fates of combat aircraft add up in different ways. Some, having come into the world, still do not go beyond the boundaries of test centers, others are being put into service and serve their Fatherland, and still others gain wide popularity in many states around the globe. And there are cars that, having remained unvalued in their homeland, gain fame by fighting as part of the air force of another country. That was the fate of the French Votour bomber (Grif).
In the postwar years, the French Air Force, as in most other developed countries, began the transition to jet aircraft. However, the French developed quite well in the prewar years. aviation industry, suffered significantly during the Second World War, as a result of the first serial jet engines that entered service, the English "Vampires", which were later produced in France under a license under the name "Mistral". Naturally, such a situation did not suit the proud French, especially since the main aircraft manufacturing enterprises - the state SNCASO and SNCASE, and the private Dasso, Breguet and others managed to maintain their design teams. The first production jet of French design was the Hurricane fighter Marcel Dassault. Gradually swayed and state concerns.
In June, the French Air Force 1951 headquarters prepared the technical conditions for the development of a multi-purpose aircraft capable of solving the tasks of an all-weather and night fighter, a light bomber and a reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, at that time, the creation of a universal machine was not possible, as, indeed, in later times. As an example, the Panavia multi-purpose fighter “Tornado”, created as a universal combat aircraft for the Air Force of England, Germany and Italy, as a result, a number of specialized modifications were obtained. Therefore, the leadership of the Air Force decided to create three types of aircraft based on a single glider. The creation of such a machine was entrusted to Sud-West.
History This company is quite complicated and confused. In the 1936 year, as a result of the nationalization of the aviation industry in France, the company SNCASO (“National Aircraft Company of the South-West”) appeared, uniting the companies Bleriot, Marcel Bloch and Lior et Olivier. In 1941, the Vichy government merged SNCASO with the company SNCA del West. SudWest ", forming a giant conglomerate of nine main and a large number of auxiliary enterprises, supplying a large number of components to Germany for German combat aircraft. It is worth noting that the Germans generously rewarded the French workers for the above-planned products, and they tried to over-fulfill the plan, producing as many components for the “Messerschmitt” and “Junkers” as possible.
After the war, 1 in September 1956, the company was renamed West Aviation. In March of next year, merging with the company SNCASE (Sud-Est), gets the name "Sud Aviation". Later, it took over several other companies, and in 1970, it turned into the Aerospatiale concern, which shared the aviation market of France with the private company Dassault before 1999.
The development of the new aircraft was conducted at high rates with very close cooperation with the headquarters of the French Air Force. The first "full-scale" machine from the family of French "griffins" was the SO.4000, which rose in the air of 13 in March of 1951. It was a two-seat monoplane with a mid-wing swept 31 °. Two English TRN "Nin" maximum load on 2260 kg located in the fuselage. The C-shaped air intakes were located on both sides of the fuselage between the cabin and the center section. Original on the SO.4000 was the chassis, which consisted of five one-wheel bearings - the nose and four main, arranged in pairs under the fuselage.
SO.4000 was designed as a front bomber. Its design armament consisted of a pair of 20-mm guns in outboard containers and 3,6 tons of bomb load, of which half was suspended in the bomb bay and the rest on underwing pylons.
In general, the SO.4000 was a full-fledged fighting vehicle, but unfortunately the French were late for several years. Having low-power engines, SO.4000 had no prospects for launching into the series. At the same time, the demand of the French Air Force for new jet engines continued to worsen. It was at that moment that the Air Force Command announced the requirements for a new combat aircraft, which could, depending on the modification, perform the functions of an attack aircraft, a bomber and a long-range all-weather fighter. The management of SNCASO decided to create such a machine on the basis of SO.4000, equipping it with a pair of Atar turbojet engines. Work on the project, called SO.4050 Votur, was led by aircraft designers Jean Parrot and Jean Weil.
Like its predecessor, the SO.4050 was a mid-plane, made according to the classical scheme with the swept wing 35 °. The wing of the caisson design is equipped with two-section flaps and ailerons. During the operation of the aircraft, it has been repeatedly modified. On some machines, the top and bottom surfaces of the cantilever parts carried vortex generators. Later machines had a slightly larger wing area due to the ledge on the leading edge, which formed the so-called aerodynamic canine. The eddies generated by it prevented the aircraft from reaching the critical angles of attack.
Underwent major revision of the chassis, for the SO.4050 chose a bicycle scheme. The main racks had twin wheels. In this case, the front support was removed against the direction of flight, and the rear of the flight. The small lateral support racks with small wheels were completely retracted into the compartments on the sides of the engine nacelles. With all the advantages of the bicycle scheme, loading the bomb bay seems to be very problematic because of its low location and “surroundings” with the landing gear and engine nacelles. This disease, by the way, was typical for the domestic Yak-28.
The fuselage of the oval section is formed by four spars and frames without intermediate stringers. The design of the bow in different versions is different. Votur Interceptor IIN had a radio transparent nose fairing and a double sealed cabin with pilot and operator seats arranged in tandem. Behind the cab were fuel tanks. The Water Bomber IIB was also a double bomber, but in this version the navigator was located in the nasal glazed part, and the bomb bay was located between the main landing gear. The fighter also had the usual single cabin.
Tail plumage can be called a classic for most cars of the early fifties. The position of the stabilizer in the middle part of the keel ensured its independence from disruptive phenomena on the wing at high angles of attack, the keel provided with a two-section rudder, and the stabilizer provided the elevator. Aircraft control system - hydraulic with irreversible boosters, dubbed.
October 16 The X.UMNX of the Year SO.1952-4050 in the variant of a two-seater night fighter first took to the air. Difficulties with fine-tuning experimental machines were largely due to the lack of its own engines in France with the necessary burden. On the SO.001-4050, two ATN 001 TRDs were installed, according to 101 kg, which was clearly not enough for an aircraft with a take-off weight of about 2400 kg.
But for the time being, Vour could not be considered the first fully French jet aircraft, since it was staffed with ejected Spanish armchairs (the licensed version of the British Martin Baker). The radar did not reach the start of flight tests, and instead of it, a weight model was established in the nose section. The tests took place without incident, and in April X.UMN of the year SO.1953-4050 at a decrease exceeded the speed of sound. By this time, the car had Atar 001D engines installed on 101 (2800) kg and the American SCR.2820 radar. In the same year, the first Vaut was shown at the Paris Air Show, where it aroused great interest among specialists.
4 December 1953, the second prototype of the single-seat strike aircraft took off, and a year later the third SO.4050-003 bomber took off, equipped with more powerful English TRS "Sapphire" A.S.Sa.6 xnumx kg. The equipment of the third machine included a gyro platform and radar. The increased flight performance of the car with foreign engines forced the French aircraft industry, one of the oldest in the world, to "squeeze" the 3640 kg from its 101 Atar by refusing the English license. By the way, during the operation, the engines of the Atar 3300-101 modification installed on production machines were brought to 3 kg.
Following the prototypes, six pre-production vehicles were launched: the bomber SO.4050-04, attack aircraft -05 and -07, and fighters -06, -08, -09, the latter again equipped with the British TRD, this time Avon RA.28 Mk 21, 300 MK 1956 It is time to mass production, and the French Air Force for a long time to decide how many aircraft, and what type of order. The scout was abandoned even at the stage of building prototypes, and the most massive modification was to be the shock Votur IIA, ordered in the number of XNUMX machines. But he was outrun by the all-weather Votour IIN fighter that became winged in April XNUMX.
Contrary to expectations, Vot IIA was built with a small series of 30 machines. The first of them flew around a few days after the interceptor - April 30. The combat service of this version in the French Air Force did not last long. The views of the French military on the construction of the Air Force quickly changed, and the cheaper Dassault Super Mistera took on weapons as drums, so the order for IIA was canceled in 1957. In the early sixties, 25 machines from the 30 built were transferred to Israel, thanks to which Votur was able to take part in the Arab-Israeli conflicts of the 1967 and 1973.
Thus, the all-weather fighter IIN has become the most popular version of Votur. The 70 aircraft of this type were delivered by the French Air Force from 1956 to 1959. At the time of its entry into service, the 30.4050 IIN was a rather formidable vehicle. Its only serious drawback can be considered only subsonic flight speed. The powerful American radar A1 (the same radar installed on the British "Javelin") allowed to detect targets day and night in all weather conditions. The aircraft was guided towards the target by an operator located in the rear cockpit, where the radar indicator and control equipment were installed.
The armament of the interceptor, too, can not be called weak. In the bow, under the cabin floor, there were four 30-mm DEFA 553 cannons (initial velocity of the 820 projectile, m / s, 30 fire rate per minute) with 100 ammunition per barrel. The payload compartment housed two Matra Type 104A launchers. Spent by the firm on the “Grronyar” attack attack aircraft, they fitted 116 63-mm NAR SNEB, stabilized in flight by rotation, on 1250. Various types of payload could also be hung on the interceptor pylons, including additional fuel tanks with a capacity of XNUMX l.
By the middle of 1963, most of the IIN fleet received a French air-to-air missile, Matra R.511. Modified in this way the aircraft received the designation II, 1N. In 1968, a part of the aircraft was re-equipped with a more modern rocket, Matra R.530.
The first of the 40 ordered bombers took off on 31 in July of 1957. The 92 squadron subordinated to FAC (French equivalent of the American Strategic Aviation Command) was equipped with these machines. The plane did not have gun armament, but could carry up to 2400 kg bombs, both conventional and nuclear, on the internal and external hangers. In fact, prior to the launch of the Mirage 1964 and Votura strategic bombers in 4, Voutra was one of the main components of the French nuclear forces, since they were able to achieve targets in the European part of the Soviet Union. driven by V.1953, however weapon it has never been used.
The latest modification of Votura was the IIBR built in 1958. Recall that the aircraft was originally intended to be used as a scout. Sud Avionion attempted to do a reconnaissance-strike version, retaining the IIB bomb bay, he received a radar for mapping in the nose, photographic equipment and an in-flight refueling system. The machine, released in one copy, remained in the discharge experienced.
In service with the French Air Force "Votes" remained until the end of the 70-x. The last part that exploited them was the 30 Fighter Squadron in Reims, re-equipped with the Mirage IIIC fighters in the 1974 year. Nevertheless, the Voturov 16, which was at the Reims airfield, left the military formations of the French Air Force only in the 1979. In Israel in the early eighties, the six remaining Vots were used for training purposes, but soon they were also decommissioned. There is information that several cars have been preserved in the French Testing Center (CEV). At the same time, the once formidable “Grif” can be seen in aviation museums.
Although Votur was in service with the French Air Force for about a quarter of a century, he made a name for himself in the sky of the Sinai Peninsula. The Israelis immediately appreciated the merits of the strike aircraft carrying the cannon armament of the IIN variant and the bomb load of the IIB.
The first baptism of fire machines received during the Six Day War 1967. According to some reports, in June, Votes won their first air victory. Three times they launched assault strikes on the most western Iraqi airfield H-3. And if the 5 June aircraft operated without cover, then 6 and 7 they were accompanied by "Mirage". 6 June over the H-3 started an air battle - 4 "Votura" and 2 "Mirage" against the MiG-21 group and "Hunters". Then the Arabs lost the MiG-21 and two Hunters, one of which was credited to Vour. The "visit" of 7 June turned out to be much more unfortunate. When attacking the H-3 group of four "Voturov" and four "Mirage" cover, as a result of air combat, two attack aircraft were lost, one fighter. But this is not the only loss of the Vosturov, since on the first day of the war the MiG-21 intercepted and shot down the IIA in the Abu-Suveir area. The number of air victories "Votur" is small, except for the aforementioned case, according to Israeli data, two more aircraft of unknown type were shot down.
The main victories of Votura were scored on the ground. Strong armament allowed them to deliver highly effective strikes against Arab air bases - the main targets of Israeli aviation and attract them in limited numbers to the direct support of ground forces. The episodic use of “Vots” during the “sluggish war” in the air from 1967 to 1973 was noted. For example, on February 24 of the 1969 IIA, under the cover of Mirages, attacked a Palestinian camp in the Damascus area. MiG-21 of the Syrian air force rose to intercept, but as a result of the ensuing air combat three of them were shot down by Mirage.
By the beginning of the new large-scale 1973 war of the year, the outdated “Votyra” were used exclusively to support the troops. By this time there were very few of them in the Israeli Air Force, with losses during the Six Day War and normal wear and tear. Therefore, they have not achieved any particular success.
The Israelis have converted several cars into jammers and electronic warfare planes, since the large payload compartment made it possible to place the corresponding equipment. Despite the small number of built aircraft, "Votur" went on a well-deserved rest, faithfully serving after a good three decades.
In our country, the Yak-26 / 27 family of aircraft was the closest in concept and even in an aerodynamic scheme, including an interceptor, a strike aircraft and a reconnaissance aircraft. Like the Votura, the Soviet cars also had a bicycle chassis, a bow performance that was different depending on the purpose, and other similar layout and design solutions. Created in Yakovlev Design Bureau, famous for its high weight culture and having RD-9 engines outstanding for that time, domestic aircraft turned out to be more compact and light, while having a slightly smaller flight range and exceeding the Frenchman in speed, being already supersonic aircraft. It is worth noting, however, that Soviet machines were not mass-produced, with the exception of a small series of reconnaissance modifications, but served as a transitional stage for the Yak-28 - a combat aircraft of the same concept, but of the next generation.
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